What’s in a name? Entries sought to name county beer

SIDNEY — Shelby County residents are about to have the opportunity to answer the question posed by the often quoted line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The Shelby County Bicentennial Committee is sponsoring a contest to name a special bicentennial beer that will be brewed especially for Shelby County’s Bicentennial.

The announcement was made during the Dec. 4 meeting of the Shelby County Bicentennial Committee.

The Bicentennial Beer Subcommittee, chaired by Shelby County Commissioner Tony Bornhorst, has been working with Nick Moeller. Moeller operates Moeller Brew Barn of Maria Stein.

The brewery already produces a number of craft beers. Those beers include Dirt Track Kolsch, Frogtown IPA, Moweizen, Wally Post Red, Hoppy Heff, Hazy Mae Ekuanot, Marzen Oktoberfest, Honeywagon IPA, Blackberry Prairie Wheat, Baked Oatmeal Stout, Dunkel Weizen and Sawcreek Pale.

“Nick is excited to work with us on this project,” Bornhorst reported to the committee members. “The beer will be a pilsner – a type of lager.”

Interestingly, the John Wagner Brewing Company, the only brewing company located in Shelby County between 1896 and 1919 when it closed after the passage of the 18th Amendment brewed a pilsner. That pilsner was named Golden Pilsner Lager.

“The sale of the beer will coincide with the bicentennial celebration,” Bornhorst said, “and, who knows, if the beer is a big seller, they might just continue to brew the beer.”

Bornhorst reported the special brew would be sold at the various events in Shelby County during the bicentennial. Those events would include events in the villages of Shelby County, Anna Homecoming and Jackson Center Community Days, for example, as well as during the Shelby County Fair.

A printable contest entry form is available on the home page of the Sidney Visitors Bureau website at www.VisitSidneyShelby.com. Those wishing to submit entries should place one proposed name on an official entry form along with their name, address and contact information and mail their submission to the Shelby County Commissioners office at 129 E. Court St., Sidney, OH 45365.

Submissions can only be accepted from those 21 years of age or older. The entry selected will receive the first case of beer brewed and a check in the amount of $250.

“Wagner Beer was brewed in Shelby County off and on for eight decades,” Bicentennial Committee Member Rich Wallace told the committee. “The brewery survived the 1913 flood, Prohibition and a disastrous fire before bankruptcy eventually closed the business for good.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Moeller’s on this project,” Bicentennial Committee Chair Mike Barhorst said. “I anticipate a large number of entries and suspect that the selection of the official name will be difficult.”

The deadline for entries is Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. That will provide time for the selection of the winning entry, notification of the winner, and design of the label for the cans, and the packaging of the beer for sale. It is anticipated that the beer will be available locally at grocers, restaurants and bars.