I am endlessly excited to watch Bad Tom Smith as they grow and change.  I can assume that you have heard about some of the issues that they’ve had in the past, and I’m also certain that there are some of you that have written them off based on what you’re friends or other beer “bloggers” have told you about them.  I can only encourage you as loudly as I can to not only give them a shot, but to keep one eye very closely on them as they expand and make a few moves this year.

Managing The Brand

They’ve gotten shit for every aspect of their business at some point, but their brand is still something that they cherish.  There have been some of you online that have chastised them for having a murderer as a “mascot” – but that’s sort of missing the point of who Bad Tom Smith is.

The Bad Tom Smith that the brewery is named after lived a terrible life, until the very end when he repented and turned to God.  The Bad Tom Smith that we are all familiar with today (The Brewery) is living a life of redemption… of using the past to grow who you will become in the future – much in the same way that Bad Tom was trying to do at the gallows.

The Brand itself is something that the brewery loves, which is why they have never changed it, even through the shit storm that they’ve weathered over the years.  They’ve decided to expand the family a little bit and bring in someone to help manage that brand, and help guide Bad Tom into who they will become in what is going to be a very busy near future.  Andy Foltz is that man.  You might know Andy as a local beer writer – penning some really great stories about beer – but he’s also a fellow advocate for local beer, and a fan of what is going on in this city.  He’s a great match for Bad Tom and will do fantastically in his new role.

They’re going to need him too – it’s gonna get busy at Bad Tom Smith!


If you’ve been to the Bad Tom taproom recently, you’ll notice that the new brew system is chugging away, helping to increase their efficiency and overall quality.  But what you won’t see is the plans for their new taproom(s).

The first one that will come online is up North, in Cleveland’s Ohio City.  It’s scheduled to come online this Summer(ish) after a few delays, and will bring Bad Tom Smith beer to a whole new group of people in Ohio. It will start expanding the brand’s footprint in a way that might eventually see more Bad Tom Brewpubs springing up in a lot of different places.

But the one that is going to be even more exciting for us here in Cincinnati, is the expanded and improved taproom that will be located in Madisonville.  It’s going to be an anchor for some of the redevelopment that is happening in the area, and will give Bad Tom Smith a proper space finally, but also will give them a role as a community catalyst like so many breweries around Cincinnati have already become.  This taproom is a little farther away from completion, and although you’ll be hearing more about it here as it nears just chalk its date up to “2018” right now.

The point of all this is very simple – just keep watching, and keep rooting for Bad Tom Smith.  Know who they are at their core, and be excited as each new change comes along!  Redemption is sweet… and they are right on the cusp of having theirs.

4 thoughts on “Bad Tom Smith, Progress and Growth”

    1. I think everything matters… and I can without a doubt say I’ve had beers I liked and didn’t like from EVERY local brewery. Are you saying every beer BTS makes isn’t good? Because I call BS.

      Hell… for that matter, what does “good” even mean?

  1. Very good article, GnarlyGnome. I have been a fan of this brewery’s beers since before a bigger brewery with deep pockets forced them to change their name. I think Bad Tom has been way overcriticized. From what I’ve seen, a lot of the flack they’ve received has been from self-appointed gatekeepers of what is “hip” or “correct” in the local craft beer scene. I’m not interested in nonsense like that. I’m interested in good, quality beer, and have seldom been disappointed by Bad Tom’s brews. Best of luck to Bad Tom in pursuing their plans!

    1. Thank you Gary. We appreciate your honesty and in giving us a chance. We continue to view each day as an opportunity to show craft beer enthusiasts what we can do. We know that the Brand has disappointed people in the past. But we learn from our mistakes and remain committed to improving in all areas.

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