Downtown Dayton has been pining for a microbrewery to call its own since the craft beer craze began, but as with many other businesses, it’s been a bit of a challenge to entice someone to stick with a spot outside the Oregon District. In that context, it’s so appropriate that Warped Wing Brewing Co. opened its doors in a former industrial site, preserving much of the feel even as it set up major equipment with plans to take its crafts regional. The crowds here are a clear testament to the naysayers of Dayton: If you build it, and you rock it, we will come.
The brewery started in 2013 with three core beers, now it has brewed dozens over the years, many seasonal, and a few available in cans. Some of them:
- Ermal’s Belgian Style Cream Ale: The lightest of Warped Wing’s inaugural beers, it’s got a light aroma and a very mild, almost citrus-like quality to it, before a clean finish. My favorite of the varieties I tried.
- Flyin’ Rye IPA: I’d consider this one a lighter variety of IPA, of course the hops are a presence, but more of a delicate one. It’s got a full body and the hop bite comes as an aftertaste.
- 10 Ton Oatmeal Stout: A heavy stout with a good oatmeal base, the flavor on this one is pretty easy to like. It’s a heavy beer that doesn’t fill you up.
- Gamma Bomb IPA: This American IPA is a bit on the heavier end of the India pale ale spectrup, with an ABV of 7.2%. Recommend if you like hops — a lot of hops.
- Flying Heads Pumpkin Beer: While this beer is definitely on the darker end, and stronger for sure at ABV of 8.4%, that full body matches well with the pumpkin taste. For dark lovers, to be sure.
- Space Food IPA: Another American IPA which is a bit lighter all-around, this one appears during the summer months and is nicer with a lighter food.
- The Radler: A radler beer is inherently a little weaker, but this one is another option popular during the summer months. A light, almost crispy taste on the nose makes this a nice starting beer.
- Mr. Mean Double IPA: Warped Wing does heavier beers well, and this one is a perfect example. It’s a lot to handle; ABV of 9.7% and a flavor that is a strong kick of hops in the beginning, middle and end.
- Barn Gang Saison: This saison, or lighter beer, can be enjoyed in spring months, with that crisp, wonderful on-the-nose floral note and clean finish.
- Pirogue Black Tripel: This one is another dark beer, a Belgial Tripel with a strong body and a heavy 9% ABV. It’s got a nice caramel flavor that hides how strong it really is. Great!
- Incorruptible IPA: This beer can be found in the March timeframe, and it’s got a strong German Sapphire hop that adds a body to it. It’s a middle ground though; a lot of Warped Wing’s IPAs are weaker, and this one has that almost banana-like note thanks to abbey yeast.
- Irreverent Red IPA: I red IPA, but not overwhelmingly bitter. It’s got a warm, caramel taste, a citrus aroma and the hoppy note comes later.
- Cascara saison: Another lighter beer, this one has an interesting twist; it’s made as a collaboration with WoodBurl Coffee Roasters and features dried coffee fruit, giving a notable tartness.
- Self Starter Session IPA: This India Session Ale is one of the first ones the brewery sold in cans thanks to its popularity. Pale orange with citrus hints, and a dry but clean finish. Great.
- Trotwood Lager: This mid-range lager is a very well-liked beer, with a sturdy but smooth flavor. Great for warm months.
- Wedding Beer: This unusual take on beer has to be tried to be believed. It’s a lighter one for sure, but the beer has the texture almost of champagne. Very unique!
- Whiskey Rebellion Russian Imperial Stout: Bourbon barrel aged stout. This beer has had a lot of good attention recently. It’s got that full, chocolaty body and a nice hint of bourbon smokiness.
The Spent Grain Grill nearby has the added charm of selling food for Warped Wing. And there are a lot of great things to try there:
- Pulled pork: Served on a thick bun with a very vinegary sauce, this pork is best topped with the collared greens for an unusual but great sandwich.
- Cheese curds: Easy finger food to go along with the beer, the curds are served with a nice tomato sauce.
The atmosphere of Warped Wing is great; very industrial. The interior is spacious, with long tables and a bar that encourage people to socialize, and of course the genuine industrial feel; everything from the exposed brewing apparatus to the door-going-nowhere hanging above the entrance make this place by far the most interesting craft beer environment. In all, a spectacular craft beer house.
- Parking is ample in the front, but the place is just about always busy. I’d recommend the lot on the side, or street parking.
- Like the others, Warped Wing doesn’t serve food, but encourages you to bring in your own or get some from the nearby spots.
- It doesn’t look close to anything, but actually you’re really close to the Cannery and Oregon District, and I consider the walk to be fine from either.