More Than Just Beer
“No Masters No Snobs” is what can be found written on the t-shirts, glasses, hoodies, and walls of the MADCAP Brewing Company. The slogan is designed to make everyone and anyone, no matter how familiar they are with craft beer, feel like they have a fun place to drink, play, and socialize.
Aside from the sign in the front of the old machine warehouse, there are no real ways to tell that there is a brewery, taproom, Pinball arcade, Ski ball, cornhole, and a slew of other things within its walls.
Located on Mogadore Road, just eight minutes away from Kent State’s campus, MADCAP is a wacky community-oriented brewing company that caters to both of and under age patrons.
On MADCAP’s website under the “Our Story” section, the viewer can find a very colorful story about how MADCAP began. It starts with “In the year 12,345,678 BC, MADCAP was assembled in a laboratory from a mixture of space junk. Its Mother was an Immortal Space Goddess and Father, a Stinky Mop Bucket.”
The actual story however, started simply with a neighbor handing another neighbor a beer over a shared fence.
The receiver of that beer, freshly graduated Ryan Holmes who had just moved into his first house with his wife and child.
That beer that was handed over the fence that day was home brewed by Holmes’s neighbor. Holmes followed his neighbor into his basement, examined his home brewery, and thought “I need to do this,” said Holmes.
Holmes graduated from Kent State with a degree in Biology, but with kids on the way he was unable to attend grade school. He was able to get a job as an engineer for automotive parts in Twinsburg designing gaskets.
Holmes missed his involvement in science, brewing was his outlet both scientifically and creatively. “When you’re working and a starting a family it’s good to have a hobby and that’s what it was,” said Holmes.
He never intended for MADCAP to get to this point, but that didn’t stop more and more people from taking interest in his beer.
In 2011 Holmes decided it was time to move his operation from his basement to a new facility in Stow. However, in 2016 MADCAP moved again to its current 17,000 square-foot location in Kent.
While MADCAP is a brewing company, it is not a company that is only about beer
Kyle Mullen is MADCAPS Brand Ambassador and handles outside sales for the company. He wants to make it clear that MADCAP is not a late-night bar but a family brewery.
“On Saturday nights you will see people in here who will bring their kids and we encourage that,” said Mullen. “We want people to be able to have their kids come in here and play giant Jenga, and play pinball and hangout, and parents to have a few beers responsibly with them and make a Saturday night out of it.”
Aside from the beer, MADCAP hosts various events throughout the year. These events include but are not limited to corporate events, chili cook offs, and cornhole and pinball leagues.
They have also hosted events for children like birthday parties, and this past October they had a children’s Halloween event. Children could come and decorate an empty barley sack that they could use to carry their candy in on Halloween.
“That’s what gives people the incentive to come here not ‘Oh they have beer’,” said Mullen.
However, the community for MADCAP doesn’t stop at the door to the taproom with their patrons. It extends to all the breweries in the area. The MADCAP head brewer Vince Rinaldo is always in contact with other local breweries for advice or to lend a hand.
“I have guys that text me all the time asking questions and I text people asking questions and get support,” said Rinaldo “We try to have a collaborative effort and It’s not about one person being better than the other.”
Moving forward the company is taking it step by step. Since they are not a heavily funded operation they are constantly evolving, and plans can change daily.
In the future Holmes hope to start canning their beer to sell in stores but they do not know when that might be.
For right now “If we throw a beer on tap or sell it outside and it flys off the handle then that’s enough for me,” said Holmes