Favorite Five: Local Beer

Local Beer

I won’t pretend that I’m some sort of beer connoisseur, but given that I “beertend” at a craft beer bar and date a guy who’s pretty into the stuff, I’ve learned a lot about it. I consider myself a casual — at best — beer person, and I’m sure there are many others who can relate to that distinction, especially with the rising in popularity of craft beer and breweries. I have taken it upon myself to throw out some suggestions with regard to my palate* and beers from local breweries that I enjoy — advice from one newfound casual beer drinker to the next, if you will.

Favorite Five Beer Styles:

  1. Opera Cream Stout (sweet stout, Blank Slate)
  2. Shamrock Shake (Irish cream stout, Listermann)
  3. 562 Lateral (oatmeal stout, Listermann)

Pale Ale

  1. Zeppelin (American pale ale, Christian Moerlein)
  2. Don’t Talk Sh*t About Norwood (pale ale, Listermann)
  3. Zen (session pale ale, Rhinegeist)


  1. Hustle (rye pale ale, Rhinegeist)
  2. RYEsing Up (rye saison with peppercorn, Blank Slate)
  3. SPRYE (MadTree)

Summer Beer (okay, I know I cheated here, but I needed a broader category)

  1. Strawberry Pig (creme ale, Christian Moerlein)
  2. Blueberry Lager (fruit beer, Rivertown)
  3. City Flea (summer session wheat ale, Taft’s Ale House)

Amber and Brown Ale (I know I cheated again, but I wanted to combine the two and both are largely malty, so bear with me)

  1. Shroominous (brown ale, Blank Slate)
  2. Fork in the Road (India amber ale, Blank Slate)
  3. Ohio Knife (brown ale, Christian Moerlein) This was, unfortunately, a limited release, but will always be a favorite.

Honorable mention: Planetary Eclipse (black IPA, Listermann), Se7en (Hefeweizen, Christian Moerlein), Altered (pale ale, Christian Moerlein), Lift (Kölsch, MadTree), First Pitch (American pale ale, Taft’s Ale House)

Because BK has an entirely different palate than I do, I enlisted his help beer and writing prowess to share his opinion. Here’s what he had to say about his favorites in the local beer scene:

This is a big IPA town — a ton of West Coast influences early on with Rhinegeist and MadTree’s early stuff. Those two have really produced the flagship beers for Cincinnati, but there are other beers worth mentioning:

  1. PsycHOPathy (MadTree)
  2. Truth (Rhinegeist)
  3. Lesser Path (Blank Slate)
  4. Sabre Tooth Tiger (Rhinegeist)
  5. Jungle Honey (Listermann)

There really aren’t a ton to choose from yet, but Rivertown’s recent refocus toward sours has had some real hits (and admittedly, a few misses for me). Also worth mentioning is the relatively new Urban Artifact, which I’ve really liked so far.

  1. Kriek Lambic (Rivertown)
  2. Finn (Urban Artifact)
  3. Out & About (Blank Slate)

And a couple more worth seeking out:

  1. Coffee Brown (Mt. Carmel) – A brown ale that’s the best “coffee beer” I’ve ever come across. I could drink it all day.
  2. Long Way Home (Blank Slate) – Untappd says it’s a “black IPA,” but you could even call it a dark ale. Lots of coffee and chocolate flavor on it; incredible if you can find it.
  3. Galaxy High (MadTree) – One of the most drinkable imperial IPAs I’ve ever come across — citrusy and refreshing.
  4. Cinnamon Roll Chickow! (Listermann/Triple Digit) – This is a beer that tastes like cinnamon rolls. The Chickow! series is all great, but this is my favorite.
  5. Pineapple Saison (The Woodburn) – The brewery itself is coming soon, but I got to try this at a preview event and it was really, really good. Perfect summer beer; I can’t wait to try more from them.

Truthfully, it’s hard to go wrong with the hundreds of local beers from our many local breweries. What are some of your favorites?

*Disclaimer: I am not huge on sours and IPAs, so my list is admittedly lacking in those areas. I left that to BK.


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