Y Bridge opens as Zanesville’s second brewery

Written by on November 8, 2017 in Beer - No comments

Located one hour east of Columbus is the small city of Zanesville, population 25,000 and home of the famous Y Bridge spanning the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers. For the past ten years, if you wanted to see the Y Bridge and enjoy a craft beer you could drop in at Weasel Boy Brewing, a craft brewing fixture in Zanesville since 2007 that sits on the banks of the mighty Muskingum River just down the street from the Y Bridge. Now you have one more reason to make the trip to Zanesville as the city got its second craft brewery in August, appropriately named Y Bridge Brewing Company.

Located on the other side of Y Bridge, the family-owned brewery, led by head brewer Ray Ballard, came out of the gates with a 20-bbl brewing system and five 40-bbl fermenters: a big brewery for a small town. Ballard did his research before specifying the brewing system, and was consistently advised by other brewers to be bold.

Six of their eight taps are pouring house beers including Y Not (Blonde), YPA (IPA), Double Y-d (DIPA), Guinea Pig (hoppy Blonde), Cherry @ the Y (Cherry Stout) and Dresden Smash IPA (IPA made with local hops sourced from Cass Place Hops in nearby Dresden). Y Bridge has 32oz cowlers available, and of course, fills howlers and growlers, but bigger things are in store. Ballard is already exploring the purchase of a bottling line to take full advantage of their considerable brewing capacity. He has also formed a relationship with Mill Street Distillery in Utica, and will be utilizing their bourbon barrels to produce some barrel aged beers. One candidate is currently in the fermenter: a high ABV Brown Ale. You might expect to find a BBA Vanilla Bean Brown Ale sometime in 2018.

Ballard also is in the process of renovating some additional space in the building which will make room for a small kitchen, allowing them to get their AIA license in order to serve wine and liquor. Pool tables are expected to be added as well.

Y Bridge Brewing is located at 1417 Linden Avenue in Zanesville. (While you are in Zanesville, stop at Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl, selected by USA Today as one of America’s Top Ten Ice Cream Parlors!)

About the Author

Bill Babbitt is a retired engineer, beer lover, and freelance writer for Beer Advocate Magazine.

Leave a Comment