#OhioBeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
It’s Oktoberfest time! For beer lovers in and around Cincinnati, Ohio, this season is pretty much made for them — the Queen City throws the second largest Oktoberfest celebration outside of Munich, and the world’s largest chicken dance.
Sadly, COVID-19 will put a major damper on how Oktoberfest social events are handled this year. However, one of the great things about the season is the glut of Oktoberfest, Märzenbier and Festbier releases. (Check out this primer on what exactly it is we’re drinking when we have an Oktoberfest beer.) While it’s great enjoying these styles at a Cincinnati Oktoberfest celebration with an oompah band playing in the background, they’re also plenty enjoyable to relax with on a patio or porch as the summer heat wanes into crisp autumn evenings.
Buckle up! Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) has some exciting new hardware, and they have already released it through the stratosphere. A year-long favorite that will not disappoint has arrived to wet your whistle during these waning summer weeks, deep into winter. I am talking about Hazecraft IPA, available now everywhere GLBC distributes.
August is around the corner, and for many of you that likely means the end of summer and those wonderful autumn days are approaching. That is very much not the case here in Georgia. Things are looking up, though. Well kind of. There still continue to be many highs and lows of 2020 as sports are back, but conversations about whether or not and how to reopen schools, breweries and public spaces remain. Civil Rights leader and legend John Lewis passed away this week, leaving a legacy of pressing towards equality and continuing the narrative of fighting for civil and human rights. Rest in peace, Mr. Lewis. To celebrate getting through the week, here is What We’re Drinking.
With so many breweries closed or offering limited service, it is a serious challenge to find a steady supply of great beer. Luckily, there are a few notable breweries that are offering shipping to states with a more liberal policy on out-of-state beer shipping (thank you VA, DC and AK!). Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery is one such notable example.
The good people at Jackie O’s are not just selling their more commonly found offerings, but have also opened up their cellars and are selling early examples in their sought-after Polycephaly series, including Polycephaly IV.
I jumped onto the Urban Artifact wagon a bit late. “Better late than never” is a cliche that I find myself faced with quite regularly. Needless to say, I became an instant fan of the brewery’s vast array of spectacular beers that often steer away from the typical IPA and other popular beer styles we’ve come to expect in the craft beer circle. My first dive into their collection was while watching a soccer match at a local restaurant that sells numerous beers, canned and bottled. I saw Urban Artifact’s Keypunch, a key lime Gose, and my mouth instantly started watering. I had two of those sweet, flavorful Goses. Later, I learned of their other varieties. One stopped me in my tracks when my brother-in-law introduced it to me. Urban Artifact Pickle is a dill pickle Gose. It intrigued me enough to return again and again for more salty and sour sips to refresh during the dog days of summer.
To all the hard-working dads out there just waiting for their opportunity to crack open a cold one after a long day of doing dad stuff, Happy (early) Father’s Day! I wanted to showcase the perfect beer for such an occasion that just so happens to hold a very special place in my liver. Dad is a malty, heavy Red Ale that comes out of Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio. Yes, I know it’s June and this is a technically a Winter Ale, but hear me out. A good friend of mine who lives outside of Cincinnati sent me a couple six packs a few weeks ago as a way to celebrate my introduction to fatherhood. My wife and I are expecting a baby boy in July, and this was a wonderful and very fitting way to welcome me into my new role.
Since opening in June 2018, Branch & Bone Artisan Ales in Dayton, Ohio, has created eye-opening beers in a wide range of styles, including bright and juicy IPAs, crisp and inquisitive session sours, and velvety smooth stouts and coffee beers. Head brewer Brett Smith loves them all, having carried many recipes over from his homebrewing days, but the beers that really have his heart pour from two wooden vessels in the back room of the brewery: oak wine foeders Smith picked up from American Solera in Oklahoma City. They once held Italian Vin Santo.
There’s craft beer and then there’s special-release craft beer. And for the enthusiasts, getting these special-release beers is one of the most entertaining parts of the hobby. Breweries love indulging the passion of their fans by releasing a specific beers only once a year.
The New England IPA (NEIPA) was once only available via bottle trades or to those willing to wait in long lines. But that has slowly started to change because larger breweries are making this style and distributing them in much larger volumes. That’s good news to those that previously couldn’t get their hands on these beers. However, it is worth asking if the large scale production can mimic what made this style so unique and special. Cleveland’s Platform Beer Haze Jude helped answer that question.
Just north of downtown Cincinnati sits the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. The enclave got its name because of the high German population that settled this part of the city in the 19th century. Crossing the former Miami-Erie Canal into this neighborhood was said to be like crossing the Rhine River into Germany.
You can’t deny the prevalence of beards that exist in the craft beer world. I’ve got one, so I can’t really complain or dispute the association. Sometimes I wonder if some get into craft beer just to justify their beard. Well, Land Grant Brewing Company isn’t afraid to express its love of beards either, and they’ve done just that with their winter seasonal Beard Crumbs Oatmeal Stout.
Dayton, Ohio, doesn’t get much love.
While the country’s craft beer nuts have started to pay attention to the amazing beer scenes in nearby Cincinnati and Columbus, Dayton gets ignored. That’s a big mistake because Dayton has an excellent and growing beer scene in a compact and affordable city center. With close to twenty breweries (and more in the planning stages) and quite a few excellent beer bars and beer-conscious restaurants—many of which are located in or near an attractive and walkable downtown area—Dayton makes for a great weekend beer getaway. If you decide to leave downtown, there are plenty of breweries and awesome restaurants in neighborhoods and suburbs farther afield, but let’s just focus on the heart of Dayton for now.
Ask most people to picture Ohio, and they’ll probably think of flat farmland covered in soybeans and corn stretching for miles toward the horizon and broken up only by farmhouses and small towns. That’s an accurate enough image for much of Ohio, but as you head toward the southeast corner of the state, the landscape becomes something else entirely. This region is hilly and rugged, wooded and more wild than the tamed crop lands of the rest of the state. These are the foothills of the Appalachians, and this region of the Buckeye state feels like it has more in common with its neighbors, Kentucky and West Virginia, than its does with the rest of Ohio.
When it came time for Yellow Springs Brewery in western Ohio to redesign their logo and cans, they wanted designs that would express both the experimental freedom of the brewery and the intricate, complex precision with which master brewer Jeffrey McElfresh crafts their excellent range of beers.
ABV: 6.8% | IBU: 70
Blank Slate Brewing Company was my first exposure to the Cincinnati Craft Beer scene when I arrived in 2011, when you could only find its brews on draft. Safe to say, both Blank Slate and I have matured a bit since then. Now, in addition to having a tap room of its own, one of the Blank Slate Brewing stalwarts, Fork in the Road, is available in cans.
Pair with: Friendsgiving gatherings. Thanksgiving leftovers.
‘Tis the season to embrace all things fall. If you’re burnt out on pumpkin-spiced everything, Yammy Yammy by Platform Brewing Co. features another star of the fall cornucopia, the sweet potato, making it …
ABV: 6.1% | IBU: 12
Pair with: A Hawaiian shirt, shades, and a laid-back island attitude
Summer is in full effect in Cincinnati. With the arrival of these hot summer months, Taft’s Ale House has graduated their Coconut Brown Ale, Culebra Cut, from a draft-only offering to easily-portable cans. Just the kind of six-pack I’ll be bringing poolside.
ABV: 7.5% | IBU: 40
Cleveland winters are some of the most enduringly cold, heavily blanketed, and wildly unpredictable in the Midwest. As Lake Erie freezes, city streets are caked in a thick layer of rock salt, and residents begrudgingly …
A new year means new resolutions! For most people, it’s to eat better, drink less, etc. etc. I say this is the year to try more beer and experiment with different flavors, especially dessert style stouts. Have …
Columbus, Simcoe, Centennial
Pale, CaraMalt, C-15, Cara-Pils
We dismissed Fat Head Brewery’s beer immediately the first time we saw that chubby, caricatural face grinning behind sunglasses and a mustache on a bottle of beer. Then, the fat man began appearing, pale, naked, and in a barrel, perched atop tap handles as Fat Head’s beer began infiltrating our local bars. His enormous head had several inches on all of the other handles. It was Ohio in the early 2010s, the fat man was everywhere, and we were skeptical.