“When we started going to the home-brew club meetings, it was me with a bunch of burly, bearded men,” Liz Staas recalls. Since those home-brewing days, Liz and her husband, Donald, have opened Staas Brewing Co., the “Cheers”-like neighborhood bar in downtown Delaware. Although she’s occasionally referred to as “the owner’s wife,” the beers she brews have garnered a following. “The people who live locally, they understand,” Liz adds. “And they’ve started saying, ‘Liz knows more about beer than Donald!’ ”
Middle West Spirits’ love affair with all things barreled just got deeper with the release of OYO Barrel-Finished Honey Vanilla Bean Vodka. Bartenders are crafting cocktails with it. Bottles are flying off liquor store shelves. And to think it was all a fluke.
It was a common point of confusion. Even though they shared a first name, Barley’s Ale House No. 1 in the Arena District and Barley’s Smokehouse on the near West Side had not shared an owner for several years. So it only made sense when smokehouse owner Leonard Kolada simplified things in May, renaming the Dublin Road restaurant Smokehouse Brewing Co.
Sometimes moving on can be a good thing, as the latest restaurant shuffle in Grandview has proved. As one eatery expands down the way, its former home is the perfect size for a startup.