Northeast Ohio Breweries: R. Shea Brewing

R. Shea Brewing | 540 S Main St #214 | Akron, OH

R. Shea Brewing sits in an Akron industrial park.

Ohioans like to drink. Besides the fact that there is a brewery (seemingly) on every corner in Cleveland, there are actual numbers that support my statement. The Buckeye State ranks fourth in craft beer production and has close to 300—yes, I said 300—breweries statewide. 

So, where to go for a family birthday celebration involving people from the Akron/Medina area … how about a brewery!?! My brother-in-law John recently turned 33. Tiffany and I met him, their dad Dennis and stepmom Trudy at R. Shea Brewing.

Side note: I want to briefly reminisce about being 33 again. Those were the daysno gray hair in the beard, no need for nose hair trimmers and still on the right side of 35. Okay, I’m back to the realities of being 37. 😂

The bar/restaurant has tons of space.

Housed in an industrial park on Main Street (Canal Place) in Akron, R. Shea features a production brewery and taphouse/restaurant. The theme—which I enjoyed—is modern industrial, as the bar and taphouse overlook a giant production facility. 

That’s where the magic happens.

The brewery has many styles of beer on tap—IPAs, stouts, ales, lagers, hefeweizens and ciders—plus wines and cocktails. The menu can be described as elevated bar food, with offerings like hummus, nachos, burgers, pizzas and salads. Most items are priced between $7 and $15. Vegetarian options and a kids menu exist, too—a nice touch, indeed.

The view from above

I can’t drink IPAs or craft beers like I used to, so I chose R. Shea Light, a refreshing crisp pilsner. Dennis, Trudy and John sampled the brewery’s flights, which provide a great value. They preferred R. Shea’s lagers and hefeweizens to the stouts. 

The restaurant is full of fun decor and interesting art.

As for food, the table ordered pulled pork nachos, wings, grilled cheese, a cheeseburger and a buffalo chicken pizza. Everyone was satisfied with their selections. The portions were sizable and the presentation was excellent. I’ll say it again—this was a step above bar food. I dare you to try the hot wings—they actually made John sweat, which gave everyone a good laugh.

If you’re looking for a happy hour spot in Akron, you could do worse than R. Shea’s. They have 3-2-1 specials: $3 off specialty pizzas, pulled pork nachos and growler fills; $2 off select mixed drinks, hummus and onion rings; and $1 off flights, pints wine and the Bavarian pretzel.

Decisions, decisions

Overall, I was impressed with R. Shea Brewing—great service, a laid-back atmosphere and fun decor. Be it their Canal Park spot or Merriman Valley location, I plan on visiting again. Who am I kidding, it will probably be for happy hour … I’m always looking for ways to save a buck. Cheers!

Coming Friday: What do you say we do fast casual? We’ll visit Brown Bag Burgers in North Olmsted.

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