The story of Bad Tom Smith is one of redemption, both the man and the brewery. Named for an infamous outlaw who was hanged in 1895, the brewery overcame an uneven start to begin producing quality beers made by good people.
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, and Assistant Brewer Rob McNamara have evolved as brewers, especially since the addition of new brewing equipment in late 2016. The quality of the core beers has improved, so much so that new beers and styles are being added to the lineup consistently.
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 late 2018. Each location, as added, will be supported with core beers from the Cincinnati brewery, but will also utilize two local home brewers each month to brew on 2- or 3-barrel brewing systems. This is a win-win scenario, allowing home brewers to get their beers brewed on a bigger scale while plugging Bad Tom Smith into each community in which we land. That, combined with the Trial By Jury rotating tap, will introduce 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.