Lineage Brewing raises the bar with smart, not fried, bar snacks

Anthony Dominic, Crave

When Jessica Byrne and her partners were developing the taproom menu for Lineage Brewing, there was one thing they were determined to avoid: greasy, fried bar food. So Jessica turned to her Colombian heritage-to memories of her father cooking empanadas in the kitchen-for inspiration. "You come to find every culture has its own hand pie," she says. "Just yummy stuff inside of a great pastry, and it makes perfectly good bar food-a pint in one hand, a pie in the other."

Since opening in late March, these oven-baked pies-all wrapped in flaky Dan the Baker crust-have anchored the Clintonville brewery's smart and concise food menu. The Hanoi banh mi pie (all pies are $6.50) is packed with pork meatballs braised in a light and tangy, teriyaki-esque sauce. The Guillotine duck pie is a miniature delicacy-duck confit with mushroom duxelles deglazed in house beer and served with a side of more-savory-than-sweet blueberry jam. Five styles of pies, including a dessert offering (currently a pecan pie with a side of bourbon-spiked whipped cream), will rotate seasonally.

"We want to continue to explore different cultures," general manager David Day says of the pies. "We'll swap out two of them for France and Colombia [pies] in the next couple of weeks. We love fried foods as much as anyone else, but we want to bring something new and fresh to the area."

Also not to miss is Lineage's shareable bacon plate ($12). Again, don't envision fried pork strips. Lineage's bacon is house-smoked and cooked in bourbon, rendering it spreadable, and served with hard bread, maple syrup and a poached egg.

Not sure which beer to pair with your snacks? Visit on Thursdays when Lineage taps a new cask through its beer engine. "Mike, our brewery operations manager, either dry hops or incorporates fresh ingredients into the beers," Day says of the process. "A couple weeks ago we had a cask of our IPA with mango that was just delicious."