FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- Jungle Jim's here is celebrating American Beer Month in July with special promotions and tastings throughout the store.
According to Dave Schmerr, wine and beer director, all domestic beers are being featured, some in display stacks, with an emphasis on microbreweries from Midwestern states like Wisconsin.
"We're doing some big names, not necessarily Miller, but like Little Kings [Cream Ale], a big name in Cincinnati. We're promoting that," Schmerr said.
Known for the monthly beer-tasting sessions it hosts in its second-floor cooking school, Jungle Jim's is preparing a special beer class on July 23 that will highlight more upscale American selections. Tastings on the main floor have also revolved around brews from domestic suppliers this month, including Harpoon Brewery from Vermont and Goose Island Beer Co. out of Chicago.
Schmerr said he has noticed a trend toward the nostalgic within his beer and wine departments, and brews like Little Kings, which was off the market for a while but is now back, are enjoying brisk sales.
"It's a blast from the past," he said. "Being in the business for 26 years I've seen a lot of things come back. Sangria is popular now like it was when I first started in the business. Fruit-flavored wines, those are all coming back," Schmerr said.
In addition to the American beer month promotions, Schmerr is also trying to educate consumers on the proper summer wine selections to complement grilled foods like seafood, ribs, burgers and brats, this month and next.
Lighter, spicy-style red wines and smooth, dry whites are being featured at tasting stations, as are lighter-style Chardonnays and Shiraz from Australia and California.
"What we're tying to promote is [the fact that you can] use wine for every one of your meals. Just because it's 90 degrees outside and you're grilling doesn't mean you can't have wine. There are lighter-style wines that go with that type of food -- and also that temperature," Schmerr said.
American Beer Month is being sponsored by various breweries including Coors Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery and the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery. Restaurants, pubs and other food establishments across the country are also supporting the event with various specials and theme nights.