Review: Hoots & Hops

In case you haven’t already read, my husband and I recognize our monthiversary* on the 8th of every month. But considering we were out of town the weekend of the 8th and already had plans to attend Hoots & Hops, I decided to make our night at the Cincinnati Nature Center Monthiversary Vol. 10.

On Friday night we attended the first of two Hoots & Hops events in 2017, the “fifth annual fundraiser under the stars.” Hoots & Hops featured 14 beers from seven breweries (Bad Tom Smith, Braxton, Fifty West, Great Lakes, Mt. Carmel, Nine Giant, and Old Firehouse) and bites from 10 more (A Catered Affair, Delish Dish, Elegant Fare, Holtman’s Donuts, Madisono’s, Mazunte, Pickles & Bones BBQ, Rooted Juicery, Skinny Pigga Kombucha, and Street Pops). When we arrived, we received six beer tickets and eight food tickets in exchange for delicious libations and food options. Most of the vendors were set up around Krippendorf Lodge, where there was a band to play the soundtrack as we made our way through one of the more beautiful and whimsical event spaces in greater Cincinnati. 

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Mazunte tostadas and soft pretzel bites with beer cheese from Delish Dish
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Donut holes (left: blackberry with IPA glaze; raspberry lemonade) from Holtman’s
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Meatloaf sliders with Coca Cola ketchup glaze and herbed onion frites from Elegant Fare
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Cafe Mocha gelato from Madisono’s
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The band, New Brew, played acoustic rock to accompany our evening

In addition to the beautiful lodge with music, food, beer, silent auction, and even a photo booth and local wine for tasting, there were rehabilitated birds of prey on display from RAPTOR Inc. and a self-guided trail that included beer and nature stations, games, really beautiful scenery, and telescopes to explore the night sky.

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Rehabilitated owl brought by RAPTOR Inc. — an Eastern Screech Owl that was only about 7″ tall!
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Another rehabilitated owl, the emo version, on disply by RAPTOR Inc.
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Scenery from the self-guided trail
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One of the handful of beer stations along the self-guided trail

I personally tried four new-to-me beers from Bad Tom (Doc’s Kentucky Common), Mt. Carmel (Queen Bee, a blackberry honey blonde, and Take Home IPA), and Nine Giant (Happiness is all the Rage, a guava ginger Berliner Weisse), while we each got to have other beers we love (Fifty West Strawberry Lodge Golden Ale, Braxton Revamped and Summertrip) and some we wanted to try again (Old Firehouse Pin Up Girl Blonde Ale, Great Lakes Turntable Pilsner, and Nine Giant Django Belgian Blond). I also had and tried food from Mazunte (tostadas), A Delish Dish (pretzels with beer cheese), Elegant Fare (meatloaf slider with Coca Cola ketchup and herbed onion frites), plus a Holtman’s Donuts donut hole (blackberry with IPA glaze).

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Mt. Carmel booth
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Pouring Fifty West beer

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of the event aside from it sounding pretty cool, but I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anyone who has any passing interest in a combination of beer, food, and nature.

It was a wonderful way to explore the Cincinnati Nature Center outside of wedding receptions and it’s inspired me to make a return visit to walk the trails (with Franklin) as soon as I can.

As previously mentioned, there is one more Hoots & Hops event in 2017. Tickets sold out for July 14, but there are still tickets remaining for August 11. They are $40 apiece and, to purchase tickets and for more information regarding event details and vendor information (which is slightly different from July 14), click here.

Follow Cincinnati Nature Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Location (Rowe Woods)
4949 Tealtown Road
Milford, Ohio 45150

Hours and Admission
Varies throughout the year. For more information, click here.

Some background
Every month on our around the day we got married (the 8th), we decided to challenge ourselves to try somewhere new. This seems easy enough, but we want to be sure that we are still exploring, trying new places, and essentially still dating each other, even now as an old married couple.

In 2013, after about six months of dating, I started Tour de Cincinnati. I set out on a journey to try a new place or restaurant every week for 52 weeks of that year. I’m happy to report that I achieved that goal in both 2013 and 2014 despite the fact that it got to be pretty expensive and obligatory at times. We got to try so many places in this area and I am thankful for that, but over the past few years we have exhausted ourselves by always trying somewhere new (and not often being able to return to places we like). Making a point to do this once a month is not only a way to commemorate our marriage, but also give us the motivation to get out and explore this great city without breaking the bank.

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