Berea has a proud history founded in quarries of sandstone known worldwide as “Berea Stone.” CornerStone Brewing Co., the city’s four-year-old brewpub, honors that tradition in an 1891 building on the town’s historic square. The long and skinny pub’s exposed ducts and original brickwork make it quietly hip, a place that would fit just as easily in Ohio City as in this historic suburb. CornerStone’s three flagship beers — Grindstone Gold, Sandstone Lager and Seven — resemble the light, golden and hoppy beers on grocery shelves. But the seasonal beers are where the brewers mine their creativity. Linus’ Revenge, a spicy pumpkin ale, has become a cult favorite among CornerStone regulars. Rowan Scotch Ale, a malty beer with hints of caramel and toffee, is served on Robert Burns’ birthday, Jan. 25, when the bar honors the Scottish poet with bagpipes, poetry readings and Scottish food.
Take it home: Fill a 64-ounce growler with Liquid Soul, a Belgian-inspired beer.
Erik Rothschiller and Jay Cox
Cornerstone Brewing Co.
How long they’ve been brewing: Rothschiller began home brewing in 2000 and has been with Cornerstone Brewing Co. for about three-and-a-half years. Cox started at the brewery two-and-a-half years ago and has been home brewing for about six years.
How they went pro: Rothschiller’s curiosity in brewing came when he was in the military. “I found a decent beer store on base and started trying quirky beers after work,” Rothschiller says. “Eventually, I ended up with a Mr. Beer Kit, and it kind of grew from there.” As for Cox, his interest in brewing was sparked while watching a history channel special on the history of beer. “I bought a little kit and did some research,” Cox says. “After my first batch, I was hooked.”
What they like most about brewing: Both agree it’s a toss-up between the camaraderie they share with their patrons and the joy of crafting whatever flavor they can imagine.
Common brewing mistake: “I wouldn’t call it a mistake, but I’d say beginners aren’t in tune with their ingredients,” Rothschiller says. “To make quality beer, you need quality ingredients, and you have to know what your ingredients are going to do.”
Favorite type of beer: Cox likes Russian imperial stouts. Rothschiller appreciates seasonal ales.
What they wish more people knew about beer: The intricacies and flavors of a craft beer
Favorite food-and-beer pairing: Rothschiller favors plum pudding paired with Cornerstone Brewery’s Christmas ale, while Cox appreciates handmade vanilla ice cream with a bourbon-barreled imperial stout.
Mug, bottle or can? Cox prefers a pint glass, while Rothschiller prefers a can. “Give me a can any old day,” he says.
Why not wine? “Because I’m a beer drinker,” Rothschiller says.
— Brandon Petitto