Bad Tom Smith was a bad man… but Bad Tom Smith brewing’s new owner John Vojtush brought us into another side of this famous outlaw. Towards the end of his life, Bad Tom made amends with God for what he did. He found a way to turn a corner and try to become something different, something other than what people had previously known him for. Cincy Brewcast Episode 27 found us setting up shop in the newly remodeled taproom of Bad Tom Smith on Eastern avenue, where we talked to not only John, but head brewer Eric Napier and new bartender Kevin Lay. We flipped the script on the show a little bit, and instead of diving right in to our tasting segment, we started by talking about the elephant in the room… the history of Bad Tom Smith.
Turning Around A Brewery
It might have been easier to re-brand the brewery when John and Sheryl (The new owners) took over Bad Tom Smith (read about when that happened here) But there is little at the new Bad Tom Smith about doing things the easy way. The story of Bad Tom Smith can be seen as one of redemption…both stories I should say, the brewery and the man himself.
We talked at length with John about the soul of Bad Tom Smith. We talked about the hurdles that they’ve had to overcome, and continue to try to overcome each day. The brewery has undergone a massive change, and from the sounds of it, it’s only the start of it. What really strikes me is that while they strive to make the needed changes…big sweeping changes… there is still a big part of the Bad Tom Team that wants to keep the soul of what makes (and made before) Bad Tom Smith Brewing special.
All the brewery is asking for from this city is another chance. Head down to their taproom and try the beer… which is exactly what we did next.
From The Beer Fridge
The beers that they are brewing are a nice mixture of classic Bad Tom Smith recipes for their fans, but they are quick to try new things as well and keep people from getting bored with the offerings. They pride themselves in not being afraid of making big beer, with an edge to it. They don’t use their slogan #BadAssInAGlass for nothing! We grabbed a couple flights to try:
- Brethitt County Blonde
- Bad Tom American Brown
- Fink Red Rye
- All American IPA
- Black Kettle Oatmeal Stout
Again… this is not the beer you might have tried in the past. These recipes have been revamped, and improved. They are working their butts off to make sure that quality and consistency are top of their priority lists in the brewery. Tasting what they are doing leaves me with the distinct impression that this is a Bad Tom Smith that this city can rally behind.
So, after you finish listening this show on iTunes, Stitcher, or right here… and commenting on social media about all your Bad Tom Smith thoughts, you can start planning for next weeks show, because it’s fast approaching since we did this show on a Wednesday. This Monday we are going to be live… again! We are going to be out in Oakley at the new Kroger store talking about their push for craft beer. We’ll sit down at their growler bar, taste a few beers and talk about how this all came about, and where it might be going for the grocery giant in the future!