Now that I’ve had some time to let the news sink in, I still cannot believe it’s gone. I’m relatively new to the beer-drinking scene, having started somewhere around 2014 thanks to BK, Ei8ht Ball (first review here and second review here), and Tour de Cincinnati. What began as casually sneaking tastes from BK’s flights, eventually developed into a full blown love for all things Cincinnati craft beer.
And Blank Slate, one of the pioneers in the local industry, is a big reason for that.
It took some time to acquire a taste for beer, something I never cared for when I was younger. So I started out as most people do with Blank Slate: I tried Fork in the Road for the first time at my new gig as a beertender at The Growler House, on December 2, 2014. While that India Amber Ale was too hoppy for me then, it remained one of their core offerings, and ended up being one of my favorites as I eventually acquired a palate for hoppier styles. Thanks to The Growler House opening that December in 2014, I was able to get Blank Slate beer essentially on demand, where my palate expanded to RYEsing Up (farmhouse rye), Shroominous (brown ale with shiitake mushrooms), and eventually Opera Cream Stout, Blank Slate’s collaboration beer with The BonBonerie in early 2015. (Read my first review about Blank Slate and my love for Opera Cream here.)
It didn’t take all 48 beers of Blank Slate’s I was fortunate to try (according to Untappd) to know it was my favorite brewery in the city. It was a combination of consistently great and innovative beer, a laid back atmosphere, fun events, charity support, food truck and pop-up dinner offerings, a dog-friendly patio, and a crew that felt more like family that made BSBC so wonderful.
Everything that came out of Blank Slate, even if it wasn’t my style of choice, was a great beer. I went frequently enough to where people were familiar and I could get my fix on my favorites, but infrequently enough to where I could always count on trying at least one new beer on a flight each time I went.
How do you properly memorialize a place as special as Blank Slate? You don’t. But I have so many fond memories, starting with developing a taste for local beer, attending fun events (like the Opera Cream release party for the pourhouse’s first anniversary), and making friends in the taproom, plus everything in between.
Beer brings people together. It’s a way to socialize, make friends, and support our neighborhoods. Scott and the friendly crew at Blank Slate will be missed, and there will probably always be a void in the Cincinnati craft beer industry with its unexpected and abrupt closing. It is my hope that all of Blank Slate’s employees (and also Pjork, a new fixture in BSBC’s taproom) land on their feet and continue to contribute to Cincinnati’s greatness in any way they can.
Drink local and support local. In every way you’re able.
My all-time favorite Blank Slate beers:
Fork in the Road (India amber ale)
Lesser Path with Pineapple and Habanero (IPA)
Opera Cream Stout (and all its variations, especially with cocoa nibs and the Mexican hot chocolate)
Orchid’s Bloom (saison)
Pinango (hefeweizen with pineapple and mango)
RYEsing Up (farmhouse/saison)