Lyman boat lovers, you now have your own beer.
Lyman Boat Beer Works is a Sibling Revelry brew launching at the Old Fish House in Huron this weekend, thanks to Ryan Koroknay, whose dad bought the Lyman archives shortly before the company shuttered.
The beer is a “Lyman Hefe-Boat-Weizen” and it honors brothers Bernard and Herman Lyman “Leiman” (German immigrants) who founded the Lyman Boat Works in Cleveland in 1875. The beer launch is a big event, with Lyman Life on hand as well.
Koroknay plans to open a Lyman beer tap room next summer with the Old Fish House and eventually create a combination museum/brewery to celebrate Lyman’s Lake Erie heritage.
“Really the ultimate goal is to be able to fund and build to some regard a Lyman Boat Works museum, where we can showcase all of these original artifacts and set up chronological history,” Koroknay said. “You can have a nice beer and learn about the history of a local company.”
Built in Cleveland and then Sandusky, Lymans are loved for wood frames that glides through the rough chop of Lake Erie. The company experienced a heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s before ceasing wooden-boat production in 1973 and switching to fiberglass.
In all, Lyman built 60,000 wooden boats, thousands of which are still lovingly cared for and cruising around Lake Erie.
“They’ve always been known for their craftsmanship and seaworthiness,” said Koroknay. “They were built for the average American family that wanted to … tow kids on skis, go fishing… That still draws people to them today.”
Lymans were “clinker built.” The beer cleverly models that with “clinch your thirst” on a tweaked name plate.
Koroknay, 32, lives in Kentucky and serves in the U.S. Coast Guard on the Ohio River. He maintains his grandfather’s Lyman, a 1962 16-foot boat with an outboard motor. His parents live in Lexington, Ohio, but have a place in Marblehead where they keep their 1967 26-foot Cruisette.
“The boats have “created so many memories and touched so many families,” he said. “On Lake Erie, surrounded by fiberglass boats and Jet Skis and pontoons, the Lyman, that classic boat, stands out. People really appreciate that and people are really trying to keep that alive.”