Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery has become a staple in Athens during its 11 years, and this weekend will be a chance to celebrate their brews. On Friday and Saturday Jackie O’s will be hosting an 11th Year Extravaganza at the Jackie O's Taproom & Brewery on 25 Campbell St.
Jackie O’s Taproom opened on Friday with a breakfast spread featuring biscuits and gravy, and other local food. Guests began to line up in the production brewery for the bottle sale, which began at 11 a.m. and lasted until 9 p.m. While waiting in the line, samples were available to visitors.
On Saturday, doors of the Taproom will open at 11 a.m. and close at 9 p.m., and food carts will be there, as well. Bottle sales will be done only in the Taproom until supplies run out.
“It’s going to be an awesome weekend,” Matt Spolar, the director of marketing, said. “We can’t wait to see everyone down there.”
Jackie O’s was opened in December of 2005, Spolar said. In the past year the brewery evolved its barrel system, which gives the ability to experiment and brew more beer.
“We get to have more creative freedom and fun, and get our brew throughout Ohio,” Spolar said. “It’s great to push that beer throughout the state as bobcats move on.”
Art Oestrike, president of Jackie O’s, said Jackie O’s has brought more people to Athens and has influenced the public opinion on the college town.
“We’ve started to change what people think of Athens, Ohio, (Jackie O’s has) come up in the conversation,” he said.
Spolar, who graduated from Ohio University, said that it’s been “great” to watch Jackie O’s grow and evolve, all while keeping it local. Jackie O’s only distributes in the state of Ohio, and has been able to produce more from the new barrels, Spolar said.
“It’s cool to see things back in Cleveland from Athens on the shelf,” Spolar said. “It’s really awesome to be a part of.”
This weekend will feature both familiar and new brews.
“A lot you’ll recognize, but won’t see again,” Spolar said.
Some of the taps will only be available on Friday or Saturday, or until they run out.
“It’s something you can’t really do anywhere at one time,” Oestrike said. He believes the 11th anniversary will bring in tourists and “beer addicts” to town.
“The bottles we’re releasing (this weekend will be) some we have seen before, but with different packaging and aging,” Spolar said.
Some of the brews available this weekend will be Lucent, a sour wheat ale, and CSAison Reserve, a saison spiced with yarrow and lemon balm from Jackie O’s farm. A full list of the brews available during the anniversary, and their prices, is featured on the Jackie O’s Facebook page.
“In the next year, every one-to-two months we’ll be releasing a new sour beer (from our barrel age and sour program),” Spolar said.
One of the goals of Jackie O’s is to create more sustainable jobs in the area, Oestrike said. “We’re really try to give people world class beer in Ohio from Ohio,” he said.
Oestrike is proud of the growth of Jackie O’s and the economical impact it has on the Athens area.
“It’s what I do,” Oestrike said. “I put my heart and soul into it, and it’s been awesome to watch it grow and develop and give people work.”
Jackie O’s has brought more dining options in the area, and grow items for the pub, restaurant and brewery on their more-than-20 acre farm.
While Jackie O’s has been open, the pub has grown from six employees to more than 100, Oestrike said.
“We’re going to keep running with (Jackie O’s),” Spolar said.
Oestike said the upcoming weekend will be eventful, and he looks forward to seeing everyone and sampling beers.
“It’s good to see friends and drink beer, and they bring their own beers from other cities,” Spolar said. “(We see) how it’s working for them and see things we can do better.”