An Ohio beer judge takes his love of beer to the next level with his own brewery, Restoration Brew Worx in Delaware, OH…
So what happens when a well-respected beer competition judge opens his own brewery in the heart of his hometown? Yeah, you get Restoration Brew Worx in Delaware, OH, and it’s drawing people from near and far with its perfectly balanced beers and mouth-watering food.
Founder Frank Barickman, like many brewery founders, got the craft beer bug decades ago as a home brewer, long before the brewery craze had launched in earnest. His passion for good beer took him out of his house and all around as he became a craft beer judge throughout the midwest.
With his knowledge and taste for microbrews, he soon found himself consulting for commercial breweries, and finally, the time was right for his family to open their very own brewery. After twenty-plus years, RBW was born.
(Don’t miss the photo gallery at the bottom!)
Restoration’s on-site 10-barrel operation pumps the tasty goodness straight from the back of the building to the taps in the front, and each of the many, many beers we sampled were excellent.
Of course, IPAs are all the rage right now, and their Azaccaho Judgement IPA is currently their best-seller, but their other offerings are not to be overlooked. From your traditional stouts to more adventurous triple-Belgian wheats, it all goes down smooth.
We’ve said a thousand times, we’re not beer critics, so we’ll just leave it at this… We didn’t try a single beer we wouldn’t feel comfortable ordering a full pint of. They were all awesome.
For a lot of craft breweries, food is somewhat of an afterthought, but not here. They’ve featured a kitchen from day one.
Frank told us, “It’s a lot easier to not do a kitchen, but when my wife and I go to breweries, we appreciate when they have food. We tend to stay longer.”
And don’t think this kitchen is just pumping out fried bar food. Oh, no. It’s serving up fresh, craft specialties to pair perfectly with their craft beers.
All their sauces, yes, even the ketchup, are made right in house, and many of the ingredients from the cheeses to the buns come from other local small businesses.
Of course, they have a couple items on the menu created not only to be delicious but to also create a little buzz when guests see them carried out.
First, let’s introduce you to the Cellarman’s Grilled Cheese-Cheese Burger:
This massive sandwich combines two of our favorite things… Grilled cheeses and cheeseburgers.
Now, meet the one and only Tripel Judgement Burger:
This monster starts with a half-pound of ground chuck & short rib then gets out-of-control with Tripel-infused mac-n-cheese, pepper jack, onion straws, maple candied bacon, Carolina cole slaw and a Carolina sauce.
Since we had lots of beer and food to try later in the day, we opted for the more “responsible” Restoration Burger, a classic half-pound cheeseburger cooked to order with all the fixings.
And yep, it’s just as good as it looks.
The space and the vibe
Aside from the beer and burgers, we were also impressed with the space. Exposed brick and high ceilings make the restaurant feel just right, and opposite the long bar you’ll find a wall lined with rotating pieces of local art, all for sale to support local artists.
The local art is just one visible aspect of what Frank told us again and again, they loved being a part of this community. “Everyone gets it,” he told us, referring to the attitude of his fellow downtown Delaware businesses. If someone needs something, they’re all there to help.
That’s our kind of town, and you better believe Restoration Brew Worx was our kind of brewpub.
Restoration Brew Worx
25. North Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015