It all began with Bier Market in 2005. Since then, Sam McNulty has been transforming a small stretch of West 25th in Ohio City into a thriving empire. His latest creation? Nano Brew, a one barrel brew house, creating a single beer at a time in twenty gallon batches.
Nano Brew is especially bicycle-friendly, apparent by the bicycle decorations, bicycle tune-up station, bicycle-adorned coasters and beer glasses, and outdoor bicycle corral. Nano Brew caters to pedaling patrons, offering up thirst-quenching beer cocktails for those visiting on two wheels; redefining the term “biker bar.”
Service and Atmosphere
Nano Brew has a nice urban, industrial feel to it–lots of exposed brick, a repurposed wooden bar, bicycle decorations strewn about, and even a bike tune-up station for its pedaling patrons.
Upon walking into Nano Brew, we made our way to a table and mulled over whether or not we should go to the bar to order a drink. Just as we were about to make our way to the bartender, he came over to us and asked what we wanted. Surprisingly, he didn’t make any recommendations and he didn’t explain the nano brews on tap, but instead, looked visibly annoyed when we didn’t know immediately what we wanted.
Not surprisingly, Nano Brew has a good beer selection: lots of great craft options sprinkled with a couple of their own (delicious) nano brews. I was hoping to see more house brewed beer on their list, but maybe they’ll get there with time? I’m not sure.
I tried the Nano Citramax, an American IPA with loads of Citra Hops. This brew was well balanced–a good combination of bitterness mixed with the sweetness of the citrusy hops. And it left me wondering what else Nano Brew could come up with.
Unfortunately, the food ended up being a bit lackluster. Looking at the menu, I was excited: lots of tasty-sounding bar food like mac and cheese bites, a whole plethora of burger options, and a few sandwich choices. I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to eat.
I ended up opting for the falafel sandwich ($8), a chickpea falafel patty topped with hummus, pickled cucumbers, and alfalfa sprouts and served with a side of waffle fries. I’m not sure that you can call what I was served falafel at all–it was over-salted, sort of mushy, and otherwise lacking in flavor. And I’m not sure where the pickled cucumbers or sprouts were! The wrap that this “sandwich” was served in was thick and way too chewy–the only component that was good was the hummus. The waffle fries were nothing to get excited about either; they were crispy, but lacking in any sort of seasoning.
We also sampled a classic burger ($6) and asked for it to be prepared medium well. The temperature seemed a bit off, and when we mentioned it to the server, he offered to have a new one made. After we declined a new burger, he ended up taking it off of our bill–a gesture anyone should appreciate.
The menu really did get me excited, and, with their low prices, I thought we had hit the dinner jackpot. But unfortunately for us, the food was sub par at best.
I would maybe come back to Nano Brew to try new house made beers they release in the future, but I’m not certain I would return here to dine–not when there’s plenty of tasty and very much comparable options throughout Ohio City.
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