It’s organized as the second brewpub co-op in the nation, and Fifth Street Brewpub in the neighborhood east of downtown Dayton generated a lot of hype when it first opened, having attracted over 2,000 members at this point for something of a neighborhood bar concept. But while it added food as it has spun up, those craft brews it was created to churn out proved elusive; months went by and they still weren’t brewing their own beer. And now, finally, Fifth Street’s first brews are starting to churn out. But what makes Fifth Street such a great place to go isn’t the brews, or the food, really. It’s the great people that have made this spot happen.
The brews are the big thing to try on the menu, so they are the first thing to go for:
- Deluge Pale Ale: A good all-around take on a pale ale, and definitely worth a taste as your first Fifth Street Beer. I think it’s got a light body, despite an aroma that seems fit for a heavier brew.
- Cure-All Cream Ale: The ale is very light, true to the cream ale type, it’s almost a little bit sweet. Very clean finish.
- Jo Jo’s Midnight Stout: If you love the smokier beers, this one’s for you. It’s technically a milk stout, it’s got lactose in it, but the taste is a little more about the smoke. Full body, very silky texture.
- Icebreaker IPA: The right balance of hops make this one forward with the bitter, but it doesn’t overwhelm the palette and block other flavors the way some IPAs do. Strikes a rare balance to me.
- 85 Shilling Scottish Ale: So this one has a good amber color, and a nice kick in front. A little livelier flavor but still good.
The food here is good. It’s a pretty light menu, almost bistro-like, mostly sandwiches and some good side dishes.
- Roast beef: I tried the roast beef sandwich, which was good. The ingredients are quality, the chips are made in house, the cole slaw is creamy, and the roast beef is very tender, albeit the sandwich could use some kind of sauce on it to make it really pop. Good food.
- Burger: Customizable with plenty of veggies, toppings and other things, the burger comes default with lettuce and mayo, cole slaw and chips. Small up-charges here and there, but the burger is cooked perfectly to order. Could use a bit of salt.
- Spinach and artichoke dip: This dip is thick with minced artichoke, but still pretty creamy compared to other recipes. Not a bad appetizer.
- Salmon dip: An extra creamy dip with bits of salmon, served up with some saratoga chips for extra taste. Smoked salmon, dill and capers make for a very flavorful dip.
The staff of the spot is really great. The people are part of the co-op, and the bar is owned and operated by its members, and the people you meet here on a night-to-night basis are fantastically friendly. It’s a really nice concept. It’s one of the first in the country like this, and I’d really say that the end results for Fifth Street are an experience that really rocks on all fronts: the beers are good, the food is good and the experience is really and truly excellent.
Fifth Street is a new concept here in Dayton, but it’s quickly weaving itself into the town’s culture. This spot is really worth a visit.
- The bar is active in the community, and many nights there will be a “guest bartender” who gets to bartend to support a charity and choose something that will be on tap. Good nights to go.
- The menu is light for food, and pretty small, but I still recommend giving it a try.
- The beers made in-house are also good. The cream ale being my personal favorite.