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Old 06-30-2011, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,797,403 times
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The local beer scene down there seems utterly lacking. Why? Is it local laws? Lack of interest? Are you just hiding the good stuff from out-of-towners? I just can't see how one of the most German cities in America can have so little interest in craft beer. Any explanations?
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:15 AM
 
73 posts, read 135,870 times
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Christian Moerlein is turning the tide with that. New brewery operations locally, new brewpub at spectacular Ohio River/Downtown location in November, local owner.

Also, about 2/3 of Sam Adams beer is brewed here. If you drink a Sammy, it's probably a local beer.

But yeah, go to the westside of town and there are actually large groceries that sell nothing but Bud/Miller. Abysmal. But so is the economy there.

Rivertown (name?) brewing on far east side of town has been about the only 100% local brewer in recent years. Their bottled beer in stores I've found to be of very inconsistent quality, possibly due to skunky handling by those stores, I dunno. Not impressed, but I have had their fresher beer on tap at bars and its OK.

Moerlein is out great local beer hope.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:31 AM
 
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Go to the Biergarten at Findlay Market. They always have fresh Christian Moerlein beer on tab.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,726,919 times
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it is better than it used to be. the historic hudepohl operation is rolling again with the old recipes although some of the product is not typical craft beer at all (believe it or not, the germans of yore were not drinking super-premium beer all of the time).

moerlein has several good brews - OTR ale and the Northern Liberties IPA are great, the Helles is great; the darker selections are a little meh but pretty good. Also, Mt Carmel brewery is improving in leaps and bounds lately.

i think that the market down here is WIDE OPEN for more craft brewers - something of a cluster is hopefully happening in OTR and in 5 years I think we will have a lot more choice.

I will now go into a tangent about the self-deprecating nature of many Cincinnatians. The beer snob crowd here has relied on imports for so long that they have come to believe that craft breweries from other states is really the best stuff out there. So well-marketed out-of-state places like New Belgium, Breckenridge brewery, Brooklyn brewery, Dogfish, etc do really well and have people believing that is the cool or preferred drink. I agree that these breweries have many fine drinks, but the attitude of most places I have lived is LOCAL FIRST - meaning, most of your support goes to the local brewers, and some goes to your major exporters like new Belgium, and some still goes to whoever makes something cheap and passable. We need an attitude shift here, and it is happening, I think, as some of the locals improve their quality. The Moerlein restaurant at the Banks will be a big help in this effort.

A Cincinnati wrinkle in microbrews that I am really liking is the presence of locally brewed "cheap beers." The more national trend is expensive microbrews and then when that market is saturated to make EVEN MORE expensive microbrews, all the while turning your nose up at anything that is "cheap but does the job." With Hudepohl, we seem to have a legit competitor to your more working class brews and that is fantastic. Fact is, only recently was our spending power so high that we all got to be snobs about every product we consume. I assure you that my relatives in Lautertel, Germany, were not enjoying perfectly brewed, smooth yet hoppy perfection every day.

Finally, the OP brings up another good point - this stuff just isn't marketed well. The local groups "don't get it" in terms of what people want when they visit a city. They go crazy about fading national trends instead. This isn't the 1980s, most of your visitors are not that interested in the zoo and convention center. People want the ultra-local, niche, "this place is different" experience. WE HAVE THAT IN CINCINNATI. The architecture, the brewing tradition, our neighborhoods, the arts - it is all here but it can be, absolutely HARD TO FIND, especially given what I will call a fairly high "vacancy" rate in the City.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:37 AM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
it is better than it used to be. the historic hudepohl operation is rolling again with the old recipes although some of the product is not typical craft beer at all (believe it or not, the germans of yore were not drinking super-premium beer all of the time).

moerlein has several good brews - OTR ale and the Northern Liberties IPA are great, the Helles is great; the darker selections are a little meh but pretty good. Also, Mt Carmel brewery is improving in leaps and bounds lately.

i think that the market down here is WIDE OPEN for more craft brewers - something of a cluster is hopefully happening in OTR and in 5 years I think we will have a lot more choice.

I will now go into a tangent about the self-deprecating nature of many Cincinnatians. The beer snob crowd here has relied on imports for so long that they have come to believe that craft breweries from other states is really the best stuff out there. So well-marketed out-of-state places like New Belgium, Breckenridge brewery, Brooklyn brewery, Dogfish, etc do really well and have people believing that is the cool or preferred drink. I agree that these breweries have many fine drinks, but the attitude of most places I have lived is LOCAL FIRST - meaning, most of your support goes to the local brewers, and some goes to your major exporters like new Belgium, and some still goes to whoever makes something cheap and passable. We need an attitude shift here, and it is happening, I think, as some of the locals improve their quality. The Moerlein restaurant at the Banks will be a big help in this effort.

A Cincinnati wrinkle in microbrews that I am really liking is the presence of locally brewed "cheap beers." The more national trend is expensive microbrews and then when that market is saturated to make EVEN MORE expensive microbrews, all the while turning your nose up at anything that is "cheap but does the job." With Hudepohl, we seem to have a legit competitor to your more working class brews and that is fantastic. Fact is, only recently was our spending power so high that we all got to be snobs about every product we consume. I assure you that my relatives in Lautertel, Germany, were not enjoying perfectly brewed, smooth yet hoppy perfection every day.

Finally, the OP brings up another good point - this stuff just isn't marketed well. The local groups "don't get it" in terms of what people want when they visit a city. They go crazy about fading national trends instead. This isn't the 1980s, most of your visitors are not that interested in the zoo and convention center. People want the ultra-local, niche, "this place is different" experience. WE HAVE THAT IN CINCINNATI. The architecture, the brewing tradition, our neighborhoods, the arts - it is all here but it can be, absolutely HARD TO FIND, especially given what I will call a fairly high "vacancy" rate in the City.
Unfortunately, you can't get any New Belgium beers legally in Cincinnati or Ohio. It's not sold in any stores, restaurants and/or bars. For someone who lived for the past five years about 40 minutes from Fort Collins and used to go to the brewery religiously for "samples," its lack of availability here is depressing. While there are a ton of craft beers from Colorado that I love, Great Lakes beers from Cleveland can more than hold their own.

For the OP, as for local Cincinnati beers, did you try Christian Moerlein? It's available on tap in just about most places in the metro and has a variety of beers to choose from. There's also Rivertown and Mount Carmel beers which are gaining popularity and momentum and are also in a lot of local taps.

As a previous poster mentioned, the Christian Moerlein Lager Haus will be open on the downtown riverfront this fall and will be really a unique, one-of-a-kind celebration of Cincinnati beer and beer history. Beers will be brewed on site. Not many cities will be able to say they have anything like it. Moerlein is also renovating a former potato chip factory in Over-the-Rhine into a brewery.

Hudepohl beer has also been revived. In fact, Hudepohl Amber Ale is being featured in plenty of local bars including the Holy Grail downtown and at Great American Ball Park, where you can also get Moerlein beers on tap.

Cincinnati (and more specifically Over-the-Rhine) also has a significant beer past and it's finally re-emerging from the shadows, thanks largely to Moerlein and Sam Adams. Check out these old beer tunnels beneath the city:

Historic Brewery's Hidden Tunnel Opened - Cincinnati News Story - WLWT Cincinnati (http://www.wlwt.com/news/24940095/detail.html - broken link)

Sam Adams, incidentally, is much more of a Cincinnati beer than it is Boston's in just about every single way. Sam Adams is owned by a Cincinnatian, is brewed mostly in Cincinnati, and the beer itself is a strictly Cincinnati recipe that was locked away for decades in a Mount Lookout attic.

Oh, and in addition to the Moerlein Lager Haus later this fall, Cincinnati will also have another beer staple that Chicago, even in its wildest dreams, won't have: Yuengling.

YUENGLING EXPANDS DISTRIBUTION TO INCLUDE OHIO | Eighteen Twenty Nine

Last edited by abr7rmj; 06-30-2011 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:44 AM
 
73 posts, read 135,870 times
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Went thru Party in the Park on serpentine wall last night. Nothing but Bud beer. WTF? No Moerlein or any other real beer. Stones throw from new brewpub construction.

Also no food but one Skyline stand.

Party in the Park is a real pooper now. Just say no to Bud Light. But then it appears that event is targetting the lowest taste denominator in all aspects of what makes a good music fest. Fratboys playing cornhole (when I grew up, that meant something else lol) love their Milwaukee urine (wow, p-word is censored? Don't tell the English).
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,164 posts, read 57,288,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abr7rmj View Post
Cincinnati will also have another beer staple that Chicago, even in its wildest dreams, won't have: Yuengling.
Yuck!

Yuengling will be to the 2010s what Rolling Rock was to the 1990s: a cheap regional beer that gains a brief following among people who are too cool to drink Budweiser.

Although Yuengling's porter isn't bad; still, it's not as good as Great Lakes' Edmund Fitzgerald porter.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:38 AM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Yuck!

Yuengling will be to the 2010s what Rolling Rock was to the 1990s: a cheap regional beer that gains a brief following among people who are too cool to drink Budweiser.

Although Yuengling's porter isn't bad; still, it's not as good as Great Lakes' Edmund Fitzgerald porter.
It's go time! Those are fighting words!

Everytime I'm in Pennsylvania or Tennessee I make sure to leave plenty of room in the car for several cases to return.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:42 AM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
Reputation: 1385
Quote:
Originally Posted by cincity View Post
Went thru Party in the Park on serpentine wall last night. Nothing but Bud beer. WTF? No Moerlein or any other real beer. Stones throw from new brewpub construction.

Also no food but one Skyline stand.

Party in the Park is a real pooper now. Just say no to Bud Light. But then it appears that event is targetting the lowest taste denominator in all aspects of what makes a good music fest. Fratboys playing cornhole (when I grew up, that meant something else lol) love their Milwaukee urine (wow, p-word is censored? Don't tell the English).
I think Budweiser sponsors and pays for the whole thing. That's why you won't even see Coors Light or Miller Lite, let alone Moerlein, Great Lakes or any real craft beers. That's fairly common at events like that in every city.

What I don't understand is the beer situation at Great American Ball Park. While you will find standalone stands that have Moerlein on tap, and if you look hard enough you can probably find the beer you want, by far the majority of concession stands offer the same exact thing: Michelob Light and Budweiser or Bud Light and Molson.

It really never deviates from those four, and if you're at a Michelob/Bud stand, that's all you can get. All the taps (usually 8 per stand) will have the same beer. That doesn't make any sense to me, though I'm sure it's sponsor-driven.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:50 AM
 
33 posts, read 87,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abr7rmj View Post
Unfortunately, you can't get any New Belgium beers legally in Cincinnati or Ohio. It's not sold in any stores, restaurants and/or bars. For someone who lived for the past five years about 40 minutes from Fort Collins and used to go to the brewery religiously for "samples," its lack of availability here is depressing. While there are a ton of craft beers from Colorado that I love, Great Lakes beers from Cleveland can more than hold their own.
This is a tangent, but I'm ignorant of the law I guess. Is it not legal to buy beer in Kentucky and bring it to Ohio? Or are you just saying that short of driving out of state to get it, there's no legal way.

I'm moving to Cincinnati in September and I hope this trend of local brewing continues to expand (re-bloom?).
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