As the 2015 All-Star Game approaches, we’re taking a look at the places that make Cincinnati beloved by its residents and a blast for visitors. One of our favorite examples… Cincinnati’s booming craft beer market…
Back before Remus and his boys made their fortune bootlegging through Prohibition, Cincinnati was a beer drinkin’, beer brewin’ town, to say the least. Thanks to a hefty population of German immigrants, breweries dotted the Cincinnati map, and thanks to the rising popularity of craft beer, the Queen City is once again becoming known for its tasty brews.
For people traveling to Cincinnati for the 2015 All-Star game, you’re in luck. You can actually try pretty much every local craft beer all at one awesome All-Star Weekend festival: Volksfest.
The best summer beer festival is back During All-Star Weekend! Volksfest is a festival for the people of Cincinnati, brought to you by your favorite local craft breweries. Held July 10th and 11th at Listermann Brewing Company in Norwood, Ohio, Volksfest will feature beers only from local breweries. The word Volk in German means people, and Cincy’s brewers have decided to come together once again to show our customers just how much they mean to us. There will be live music all day, performed by local musicians. Several different food vendors will be on hand to serve a wide range of food. The idea behind Volksfest is lower ABV and session beers for the hot summer days in August. There is no cost to attend Volksfest, just pay for whatever you eat and drink! The celebration goes from Friday at 5 pm until midnight and Saturday from Noon until 11 pm.
(2015 Volksfest is being held at Listermann Brewing Co. 1621 Dana Ave. Cincinnati OH 45207)
You also have another stellar option for touring the Cincy beer scene while in town for the All-Star game: the Cincy Brew Bus. They’re running a full specially-crafted schedule for All-Star Week, and we can’t think of an easier way to hit up multiple local breweries in one day. For more details, check them out.
Volksfest and Cincy Brew Bus aside, if we had to pick a few of our “All-Star” breweries you should visit, we’d recommend these 5…
(On a side note, this is not an in-depth “beer guide.” We like ‘em all. If you want that, go to each place, get a flight, and conduct your beer-sniffing and tasting.)
We remember touring their operation before it was open to the public, and we just knew we had stumbled onto something big. Sure enough, Rhinegeist and its massive and historic tap room have taken the midwest by storm. Rhinegeist Brewery has become something more than a brewery… They’ve become a symbol of growth for the Over-the-Rhine area north of Liberty St. We wish we were better at writing so we could accurately capture the awesomeness of their tap room. Instead, just look at some pictures and put it on your All-Star Game week itinerary.
Address: 1910 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
SPECIAL ALL-STAR GAME FUN:
If you’re in town all weekend, Rhinegeist is hosting the Wiffle Home Run Derby for a Cause on Sunday. Wiffle ball and beer… do we need to say more?
Visitors Guide: A perfect walk from Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine or even downtown. It’s also a super-cheap uber ride from anywhere in downtown Cincinnati. Tie in a trip to Rhinegeist with the rest of your Over-the-Rhine exploring like the tap room at Christian Moerlein and Taft’s Ale House.
We remember when MadTree first opened… They were so freakin’ popular you played hell to even find any in the stores. Today, they’re even more popular, but they’re also cranking out enough to keep all Cincinnati’s “Psychopathy” and “Happy Amber” lovers happy. Their tap room, a fine example of their rapid growth, now features in-house pizza, outdoor seating, and a general feel-good vibe. The tap room is also where you’ll find their frequent bizarre, but delicious beer experiments.
Address: 5164 Kennedy Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45213
Visitors Guide: MadTree is just northeast of downtown Cincinnati (Exit 7 on I-71N) It’ll only take you 10 minutes or so to scoot up from downtown- well-worth it, especially if you tie it in with a visit to nearby Listerman’s and Rivertown.
Braxton Brewing Co.
Well, Braxton Brewing is technically not “in Cincinnati” but across the river in Covington, KY. Their motto, “Lift one to Life,” is something we’re more than happy to get behind. The brewery and tap room have an industrial-meets-chic feel with lots of concrete and glass balanced out by a couple massive leather couches. Our favorite little touch? The “garage”. Braxton Brewing, like so many breweries, was born in a garage, and they still pay homage to the ever-important garage in their tap room.
Address: 27 W 7th, Covington KY 41011
Visitors Guide: Make Braxton part of an afternoon or evening in Covington. A bit of a walk if you’re staying in downtown Cincinnati, we’d suggest heading over by car. (part of the fun is crossing the Roebling Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge’s older brother.)
Christian Moerlein Brewing Co.
Blending the past with the present, Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. brings Cincinnati back to its brewing roots by revitalizing a brand once so popular in this area. Christian Moerlein began brewing in the mid 1800s, but his brand sadly died with Prohibition until the 1980s when it was revived and reintroduced to Cincinnati. Today, Moerlein feels like the wise grandfather of the Cincinnati craft beer movement, having a 150 or so years under its belt.
Visitors Guide: There are two ways to give Moerlein a try… The first, and most convenient, is the Moerlein Lager House right by Great American Ball Park and The Banks. Here you’ll get great beer, great food, and great river views. For beer aficionado, a short walk to just north of Liberty St. in Over-the-Rhine gets you to their historic tap room and brewing operation. (For more on the tap room and brewery tours, click here.)
Listermann Brewing Co.
Listermann has long been the go-to store for local home brewers, and their own tap room serves up some of the most delicious beer in the whole midwest. They’re not so concerned with being the next big-money micro-brewery, but they are concerned with good people making good beer. (Case in point, hosting Volksfest).
Visitors Guide: If possible, visit during Volksfest. Duh. Otherwise, Listermann just happens to be on the way to Madtree. Ta-da. It’s a 2-for-1. You’re welcome.