If you like beer, here’s a list of festivals where you can try a number of local crafts year round (not including Beerfest, which we all know is the biggest beer festival in Cincinnati every year), in order of when they take place, starting with one of my favorites this weekend:
Fifty Fest (Fifty West, Mariemont) – September
Fifty Fest is home to a beer, music, and food festival all in one. More than 25 regional breweries (Ohio- and Kentucky-based) attend, with special tappings every hour on the hour. Additionally, at 2017’s edition, there will be 10 bands throughout the day and food available from four vendors. Admission is $7 in advance and $10 at the door, with individual beer tickets available for purchase at the event.
Super Firkin Saturday “Firkin Fest” (Christian Moerlein, OTR) – February
Hands down one of the coolest beer events in Cincinnati. This low-key cask festival takes place in historic Christian Moerlein’s taproom, where tickets ($10 for five) buy you samples of experimental local and regional beers made in very small batches. (See: Rhinegeist Double Triple Truth, Christian Moerlein Hot Pepper Third Wave, Mt. Carmel Lemon Basil Blonde, MadTree PSA with mango/pineapple/strawberry and citra hops, among many others.)
Ale! to the Queen City (downtown) – November
New to Cincinnati last year, I loved that Ale! gave us something to do outdoors in the middle of winter. There were heaters and firepits dispersed throughout, so as long as you have a way to keep your feet warm, it was a pretty cool event featuring live music and local eats.
Bockfest (OTR) – March
Cincinnati loves its traditions, especially those that celebrate our German heritage and our rich brewing history. In its 25th year, Bockfest, the largest Bock celebration in the US, seems to have garnered even more excitement than ever. Festivities last all weekend, starting with a parade and followed by a 5K, Bockfest dinners, brewery tours, Billygoat Ball, Beard Baron and Sausage Queen competition, and a Bockfest Brunch to cap the weekend.
Starkbierfest “Strong Beer Festival” (Listermann, Evanston) – March
I love a good Listermann festival and, while my favorite was the now-defunct Volksfest, I will go to Listermann’s great event lawn for just about any beer festival featuring local breweries, food trucks, and music.
There are a number of beer festivals where you can sample recipes from around the world, too, including Jungle Jim’s International Craft Beer Fest (June), and don’t forget about Cincinnati Beer Week, which takes place every year at multiple venues around the city.
Featured image: firkins lined up at the 2017 Super Firkin Saturday “Firken Fest” at Christian Moerlein