Our Story

The story of Bad Tom Smith is one of redemption, both the man and the brewery. Bad Tom Smith was a Coal Hearted Killer from Breathitt County. He was an American Outlaw who spent most of his adult life escaping justice. When he killed his 9th person, Doc Rader, the law was going to ensure that he was not going to Cheat the Gallows one more time. He was convicted in two minutes and a little Bad Luck caused him to fail in his final attempted Jailbreak.

In the end, Bad Tom was looking for Redemption through baptism by 13 Preachers, showing he was “bad enough to be hanged, not too bad for God to save”. The Jackson Hustler reported that over 5000 people were present when Bad Tom Smith stood and provided his final hour long testimony; “Bad Women and bad whiskey have brought me where I am, don’t drink bad whiskey and don’t do as I have done”… with his last words being “Save me, O God, save me”, the lever was pulled to end the life of America’s original Bad Ass.

Much like Bad Tom himself, who turned his back on his outlaw ways in his last hours, the brewery has committed to doing what is right. Bad Tom Smith Brewing’s turnaround is a credit to Sheryl and John Vojtush’s purchasing the Cincinnati brewery in April, 2015. Since that time, the taprooms have been remodeled, new equipment purchased, staff has been added, and expansion plans are being implemented. Head Brewer Sean Smith, a relative of the namesake outlaw has grown as a reputable brewer, developing the highest quality craft beer for each style we have in our portfolio.

Bad Tom Smith opened its Cleveland brewery and tap room (Ohio City) in December of 2017, and plans to move its Cincinnati brewery and taproom to a larger location in Madisonville in early 2019. Each Bad Tom Smith Brewing tap room and brewery location are supported with craft beers brewed in our Cincinnati brewery and collaboration brews produced on-site in our Stout 2-barrel brewing systems. This is a win-win scenario, allowing our local lead brewers to brew side by side with local breweries to create quality collaborations. Introducing craft beer lovers to more styles – and a wider variety of takes on existing styles – than ever before in Bad Tom Smith’s taprooms.

“Being community-centric is an important part of who we are at Bad Tom Smith,” said Vojtush. “We will continue to be a brand that will integrate as part of a community with styles of beer that will resonate for all who enjoy craft beer.” With higher quality and increased quantity of beers, Bad Tom Smith is poised to go into other markets as well, all within a four-hour drive of the Cincinnati production facility. “We will bring in new team members, in Cincinnati and each other location, that will allow us to become a brand that community will enjoy,” Vojtush said.

Another innovation of Bad Tom Smith is the Bad Ass Beer Club, which allows members to enjoy unlimited $3 pints in all locations – for life! The redemption story of Bad Tom Smith, the man, may be written, but for Bad Tom Smith Brewing, the story is just beginning.