Craft Beer Guide

There are so many good breweries and delicious beers in the greater Cincinnati area and, as a result, I decided to draft a local craft beer list with beer recommendations in collaboration with my husband.

I can hear it now: “What do you know about beer? Why should we listen to you?” I am no cicerone and I’m happy to admit that. I only really started drinking beer within the past few years, and have really taken to the local beer scene especially. I may not know a ton about beer itself, but I have had over 1000 local beers (via Untappd) and I know plenty about what I’ve had and what I like. I think that qualifies me for some kind of opinion—educated or not.

There are dozens of beer styles, but I narrowed it down into broader categories, which then list what I consider to be some of the best local beers within each (in alphabetical order).

Amber/Red Ale
Bad Tom Smith Fink Red Rye
Dogberry Great 8 (imperial red ale)
Fifty West One Way Street Exp #07270 (hoppy red ale)
Fretboard Trey
Old Firehouse Code 3
Paradise Red Headed Stepchild (Irish red)

Bircus Diving Elk (Belgian dubbel)

MadTree Stütze (Belgian blonde)
MadTree Vernal Beckoning (Belgian pale ale)
Tap & Screw Golden Mallet (Belgian strong)
The Woodburn Belgian Quad
The Woodburn Belgian Wit (witbier)

Bircus The Breaded Lady (kölsch)
Fibonacci Estivus 
MadTree Lift
MadTree Lemon Basil (herbed/spiced blonde)
Mt. Carmel Hibiscus Blueberry
Streetside Tea Bags (blonde with green tea)
Woodburn Han Solo (with Coffee Emporium’s pumpkin spice coffee blend)

Brown Ale
13 Below Confused 13
Brink Brown Ale
Darkness Ike Ike Baby (vanilla brown ale)
MadTree Espressoself (coffee brown ale)
Mt. Carmel Coffee Brown (coffee brown ale)
Taft’s Culebra Cut (coconut brown)

Triple Digit Chickow! (hazelnut double brown ale)

Cidergeist Dry-Hopped
Cidergeist Semi-Dry
March First Traditional Cider
Over-the-Rhine Cider Co. Crisp Hard Cider

Cream Ale
Braxton Brewing Storm
Christian Moerlein Strawberry Pig (strawberry cream ale)
Fifty West Carson City Cream Ale (brewed with flaked maize)
Fifty West Tastee Whip (ice cream ale)
FigLeaf Basmati Cream Ale
Hudepohl-Schoenling Little Kings
Narrow Path Cream Ale
Tap & Screw Cremerick

MadTree Shade
Streetside Goseface Killah
Swine City Girl Got Reasons
Urban Artifact Chariot (infused with Montmorency sour cherries)
Urban Artifact Key Punch (key lime gose)

Braxton Revamp
Cellar Dweller Jeremiah Morrow IPA
Fibonacci Marty’s Hamilton Ave IPA
Listermann Brewer’s Delight
Mt. Carmel Take Home IPA
Nine Giant Trigger Cut
Streetside Alpha

IPA (imperial/triple)
Christian Moerlein Bay of Bengal
Fifty West Punch You in the EyePA
Listermann Elusive Double IPA

MadTree Citra High
MadTree Galaxy High
Rhinegeist Saber Tooth Tiger
Wooden Cask Citrannati

IPA (NE and specialty)
Brink Milkshake IPA (passionfruit and strawberry)
Listermann DDH Biggie
Listermann Hank the Dumpster Kitty
Rhinegeist Astro Dwarf
Streetside I Drink Your Milkshake!
Swine City This Is the New Stuff

IPA (session)
Brink Fashionably Late
Fifty West Rainbow Road
Streetside Sad Beep

Woodburn Hammer Session IPA
Wooden Cask X IPA

Braxton Oktober Fuel
Christian Moerlein Das Über
Christian Moerlein Fifth & Vine Oktoberfest
DogBerry Hosen

Paradise Leapin’ Lederhosen Oktoberfest
Rhinegeist Franz
Taft’s Masskrug

Pale Ale
Cellar Dweller Corporal Khaos

Listermann Don’t Talk Sh*t About Norwood
MadTree PSA (session pale ale)
Nine Giant Mistadobalina
Old Firehouse 50 Dalmatians (collaboration with Fifty West)
Paradise Area 51
Streetside Turnt to Stone

Braxton Catalyst: Dry Hopped (Czech pilsner)
Christian Moerlein Purity Pils (German pilsner)
DogBerry OB Plus
Fretboard Vlad the Impaler (Czech pilsner)
Taft’s Ale House 27 Pils
Woodburn Steinpils (German pilsner)

Listermann Nutcase (peanut butter porter; also brewed with various jams)
Little Miami Smoke on the Water
MadTree Identity Crisis (hoppy porter)
Taft’s Ale House Maverick Chocolate Porter
Woodburn Irish Porter 

MadTree Sprye
Municipal Brew Works Station 2
Nine Giant OSHY Battles the Pink Robots
Rhinegeist Hustle (rye pale ale)

Saison/Farmhouse Ale
FigLeaf Saison Rouge
Grainworks Farmer’s Daughter
Taft’s Ale House Skin Off The Mango (infused with fresh mango)

Woodburn Pineapple Saison (infused with pineapple)
Wooden Cask Saison York

Braxton Summertrip (Berliner Weisse)
Braxton Yesterday’s Headlines: Kiwi (Berliner Weisse)
Narrow Path Cherry Tart
Rivertown Nice Melons (Berliner Weisse)
Rivertown Ojos Negros (blackberry lambic)
Streetside Raspberry Beret (Berliner Weisse)

Urban Artifact Finn

16 Lots Muddy Creak (oatmeal stout)
Braxton Dead Blow brewed with Starter (coffee stout)
Cellar Dweller Eye Opener (coffee stout)
Darkness Man on the Moo (milk stout)
Fifty West Coffee Please (coffee stout)
Fretboard Jazz
Listermann 562 Lateral (oatmeal stout)
Listermann Shamrock Shake (milk stout)
MadTree Rubus Cacao (chocolate raspberry stout)
The Queen City Brewery of Cincinnati Issue 27 (chocolate coffee stout)
Rhinegeist Ink (Russian imperial stout)
Rivertown Silverback Snack (white chocolate and banana)
Taft’s Ale House Wooly Mooly (milk stout)
Woodburn Chocolate Cherry Stout
Wooden Cask Reformation (foreign stout)

16 Lots Treaty (pale wheat ale)
Braxton Haven (hefeweizen)
Christian Moerlein Se7en (hefeweizen)
Fretboard El Jefe
Little Miami Pterodactyl (hefeweizen)
Paradise Hefeweizen
Sons of Toil Wheat the!?!?

Taft’s Ale House Nellie’s Key Lime Carribean Ale (pale wheat ale)
West Side Hefeweizen

Darkness Pineapple Fire (Kentucky Common with pineapple and chipotle chilies)
Grainworks Haybale (English bitter)
Great Crescent Light of Aurora (Vienna lager)
MadTree Pilgrim (fall pale ale with Pilgrim hops, cranberry, vanilla, and walnuts)

Urban Artifact Palmistry (“Berliner pale ale”)
West Side ESB (extra strong bitter)
Wooden Cask Yorkshire Ale (English ordinary ale)

So you say you “don’t like beer?” I call your bluff. I just gave more than 100 ideas in the Cincinnati area alone of different beers to try; many of them don’t “taste like beer.”

You’re welcome. Now get exploring.


Note: This list only includes beer I have personally had. Some of these beers are seasonal, so whether or not they are currently on tap is to be determined. It’s also worth noting that I’ve had many more beers from some breweries than others, and the number of recommendations may reflect that.

[Updated 2/6/18]