Quest to 1000 Cincinnati Beers

I technically downloaded Untappd in 2011. But that was also the time in my life when drinking was for browning out, so when I learned that I couldn’t check in vodka sodas and jäger bombs, the app found itself on the back burner.

In 2012 I started dating BK and I very slowly warmed up to drinking beer. In December 2012 I logged four check-ins while all of 2013 saw a grand total of 22.

Untappd has been a way for me to keep track of all the great beer I’ve had in Cincinnati and abroad, and it’s become an obsession—a game to track reaching milestone after milestone, check-in after unique check-in. It also makes it easier for someone like me, who is an acquired brain injury recipient, to remember beers I’ve had and those I haven’t.

While I don’t usually check a beer in if I’ve had it before, there are certainly exceptions (which you will see below). What started as a goal to reach 1000 unique check-ins was achieved in May of 2016, and segued into the next goal of 2000 (which I’m still working towards—currently at 1852). But then I thought, why am I so intent on reaching that milestone when 1) I drink mostly local beer, and 2) I could instead reach a goal of 1000 unique Cincinnati check-ins?

So I started tracking my local beer progress. (For blogging purposes, I have a spreadsheet of all local breweries and relevant information, so I decided to log it there.) Because Untappd doesn’t feature a geographical filter, this has been a manual task.

I am happy to report that, official as of February 2, I have reached (and surpassed) 1000 unique Cincinnati beer check-ins. I did my best to hold out for my milestone beer to be from Listermann because it is my favorite brewery. I’d also planned to have my benchmark brew at Cincy Beerfest and, thankfully, they had a Sabotage variant I’d yet to try: a New England milkshake IPA with raspberries and vanilla. I’d been planning it all week, so as soon as I walked in, BK and I went directly to Listermann, where we were greeted by a friend (and manager of the brewery), whose first words to me were, “Have you had your 1000th beer yet?” I told him I hadn’t and that I was at the Listermann tent for just that. It was the best way to ring in #1000—a great beer from a brewery I love.

Some of my favorite photos from my journey:

BK at Ei8ht Ball, one of the first places I ever really tried good beer. (For more from Week 51 in 2013, click here.)
Flight of beer from Blank Slate, my all-time favorite Cincinnati brewery. To read about its demise, click here.
BK and me at Beerfest, 2016
A photo from one of my favorite local beer festivals, Firkin Fest at Christian Moerlein. For more about my favorite area beer festivals, click here.
Me having my 1000th Cincinnati beer at Beerfest this year
Here are some stats from my Quest to 1000:
Top check-ins:
Blank Slate Opera Cream (19), Listermann Shamrock Shake (11), Listermann Satsfied? (7)

Top venues (non-brewery):
The Growler House (519), rhinehaus (70), Mecklenburg Gardens (35)

Top breweries:
Listermann/Triple Digit (107), Rhinegeist (99), Christian Moerlein (79)

First check-in:
Rivertown Hop Bomber (12/7/12)

Most recent check-in:
Fifty West Autostrada (2/3/18)

Some favorites:
Listermann Satisfied? (stout)
Blank Slate Opera Cream (stout)
Listermann Shamrock Shake (stout)
The Woodburn Brewery Han Solo – A Christmas Story (coffee blonde with spices)
MadTree Citra High (imperial IPA)
Christian Moerlein Strawberry Pig (cream ale)
Cellar Dweller Corporal Khaos (pale ale)
Urban Artifact Tricorne (tart NE IPA)
Paradise Hefeweizen (hefeweizen)
Streetside I Drink Your Milkshake! (milkshake IPA)

(For my favorite beers from 2017, read number 5 here.)

Top styles:
IPA (variations ranging from session to triple to New England and back) – 467
Stout (from oatmeal and milk, to dry Irish and Russian imperial) – 168
Saison/Farmhouse – 96
Sour (including Berliner Weisse, gose, and lambic) – 95

Here is what I’ve learned about craft beer:

1) It is not created equal.
As someone who did not like or care for beer (except for light domestics while playing beer pong or flip cup), I’ve learned that there are so many styles and there is truly something for everyone. If you don’t like hoppy, try something malty instead. Don’t care for sour? You may enjoy something more “fruit forward” or crisp. Beer and all its variations are an acquired taste. Trust me.

2) It is more bang for your buck.
I can drink two beers and get a really reasonable buzz, then go home and go to bed. No hangovers. I really love the craft beer movement for this.

3) It has opened so many doors for me.
I have attended a ton of great events and I’ve worked in the industry. As a result, I have gotten to try so many great beers and meet even better people. I have met small business owners, brewers, salespeople, and marketers, and have had beer from every brewery in our great city. It has been fun watching this community grow and evolve, even as a new-found beer drinker. 

4) Cincinnati has no shortage of great brew.
Having been to every brewery in Cincinnati, I can attest for the quality of beer we are fortunate to have access to. (And I’ve been to dozens of breweries in Asheville, Denver, Grand Rapids, and abroad.) For a more complete guide to local beer I love by style, click here.

When a friend asked, “So with 1000 out of the way, what is the next hill to climb?” I responded with, “I really don’t know. Maybe start drinking more wine.”

You can follow me, linsinnati, on Untappd here.

Featured image: Tour de Cincinnati Beer sticker on the wall at Streetside Brewery


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Frederick says:

    Love beer, and I actually haven’t heard of this app. Just downloaded it. Thanks for the post!

  2. Tabitha says:

    Urban Dictionary had to teach me what browning out is. 😉 I’ve never been able to get into beer, but I love cocktails…even if they may lead to the occasional brown out lol.

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