Places I’ve Been: Bad Tom Smith Brewing


Fridays have been mostly low key lately– cooking or grabbing food from someplace cheap and quick and playing board games or watching movies. A nice evening in. But cabin fever can set in quickly, as happened this past Friday, so we headed for another stop on the Brewery Passport: Bad Tom Smith Brewing.

Bad Tom Smith sits on West 25th Street, right in the heart of Ohio City. When we walked in, we found a long and narrow space that was half bar with a soundtrack of classic rock. The hight top seemed small, but we were able to fit two flights on the table– since the Friday special is a flight of four five-ounce pours for $5. The bartender surprised us with a good mix of the 18 beers on tap, including a churro-flavored one that was reordered in a larger pour after the flights were done.

Bad Tom Smith doesn’t do the cooking, but Pizza Whirl just down the street does. Order at the brewery and the pizza shop brings the food over. We only got garlic knots as we were only feeling snacky at the time, but those were some of the best garlic knots I’ve ever had. I’ll be interested to see what a New York brick oven 3-minute pizza tastes like (and I’ll keep you updated!)

Anyways, back to the beer… There were some very unique styles and flavors in the 8 pours we had. Beyond the churro, there was also a Belgian Wit with a good tropical flavor and an American Strong Ale that smelled like baking bread and had a hint of honey to it. All of the pours were unique to the brewery, not quite tasting like anything else I’ve had.

This place was very chill, so if you’re in a hurry, maybe not the best spot for a drink unless you can find a seat at the bar. But we were perfectly content with a slow night and savored the libations and the atmosphere. Another great part was walking right in and getting a seat, considering when we left to try to visit some of the neighboring breweries, there were wait times of at least 20 minutes.

I think one of my favorite parts of this brewery is their namesake, Bad Tom Smith, and how they work it into their products. An outlaw responsible for the murder of 6 people in the 1800s and who found redemption prior to being hanged for his crimes, Bad Tom Smith’s legacy not only inspires the names of the brews but also the flavors– and you get the story of each on their draft list cards.

I would highly recommend this little taproom, and gladly put it in my top 5 so far on this tour with only 6 to go.  Decent beer for a good price, good food, and no wait? Anytime.

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