The city of Cincinnati is home to rich history, a hip social scene and some of the best beer in the country. Below is a list of some of my favorite stops to take in all of these great aspects of the Queen City at one location.
1. Taft Ale House
Just north of Washington Park in the city’s Over-the-Rhine district, Taft Ale House packs Cincinnati history, beer, and atmosphere all under one gorgeous roof. Inside of a restored 19th century evangelical church, Taft Ale House derives its name in homage to the 27th President of the United States and Cincinnati native William H. Taft. Their awesome lineup of brews incorporates a piece of Taft’s life into each beer. Try Gavel Banger, an excellent and juicy American IPA and Mooly Wooly a rich and creamy coffee oatmeal stout.
Dive deeper into the history and beer from my stop at Taft Ale House with a more in depth article here. A Taste of Cincinnati History and Presidential Beer at Taft Ale House.
It’s impossible not to mention Rhinegeist when talking about Cincinnati beer. One of the largest producers in the city, they have long been a fixture in the Ohio craft beer scene. The brewery’s name translated from German means, “Ghost of the Rhine,” and harks back to the Rhinegeist’s surrounding neighborhood. Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine district, once home to scores of breweries and tap houses, owned and operated by German master brewers and artisans. Prohibition and the First World War ruined the beer industry in the city with hundreds of famous breweries closing up shop for good. Rhinegeist has taken one of those forgotten breweries and restored it, brewing up great beer and paying homage to the city’s beer making past. Marg Monday is a tasty and tart gose perfect for folks who like things on the sour side and Knucklehead is a delicious American Ale with rich malted roasty flavor.
Check out this deeper review of everything Rhinegeist has to offer. Ghosts, Cornhole, and Brews: Celebrating Cincinnati Beer Revival at Rhinegeist
3. Urban Artifact
Hosted inside another Cincy historic site. Head down into the basement of St. Patrick’s Church on Blue Rock Street and step into Urban Artifact. The music, the atmosphere, and the beer are as funky as it gets in the Queen City. Regular live music on a small stage, retro lighting and a hip aesthetic give off an air contrary to the pious vibe of the church above. Urban Artifact’s beers utilize the wild side of the brewing world, experimenting with bacterias and enzymes that lend flair to each offering. Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus abound in their extensive sour program. Whirligig will make your lips pucker with its tart blueberry flavor and Keypunch is a delicious mild gose packed with the essence of key lime.
For more details on this funky brewery check out the full article. Church Bells, Sour Beer, and Funk: Hanging at Urban Artifact
4. MadTree Brewing Company
MadTree opened its new expansive taproom facility almost a year ago to date in the Cincinnati’s Oakley area neighborhood. With great food, plenty of room, and delicious beer MadTree is the perfect place to take in the social scene of the city. The brewery’s on site restaurant offers some of the best food in the neighborhood and each dish is a perfect pairing to go along with MadTree’s extensive tap list. With so many good rotating options there is something on tap to appeal to all palates. Dreamsicle is a crisp clean Kolsch enhanced by the added flavors of orange zest and vanilla. Psychopathy is MadTree’s year round heavy hitting IPA packed with citrus hoppy flavor. Get your tickets to their upcoming New Year’s Eve party complete with live music, a local DJ, full bar, and great food.
Check out my time celebrating at MadTree as they opened their new taproom. Grown On Great Beer in the Queen City: A Celebration at MadTree Brewing Company.