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Brewed in Ohio: A visit to Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati

October 02, 2014 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Travelin'

Rhinegeist Brewery - signIn the cavernous shell of the old Moerlein bottling plant in Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood, a new brewery has been born.

Rhinegeist Brewery is making 20bbl batches of beer in this historic Ohio building, built in 1895, that features a brewery, canning line and a unique taproom with long wooden tables and games for kids and adults alike.

Rhinegeist, which means “ghost of the Rhine,” brewed its first batch on June 8th, 2013, and has quickly become a big part of Cincinnati’s resurgent craft beer scene.

Rhinegeist’s year-round beers range from Uncle, a British Mild that registers just 3.8% ABV, to the Truth, a 7.2% ABV IPA with Centennial, Citra, Amarillo and Simcoe hops.

“The yin/yang of our brewing philosophy is hoppy/sessionable and we aim to brew beers where ‘the first sip calls for the third,'” according to Rhinegeist’s website. “We’re a small team with big dreams and tend to smile while we sweat. We brew those styles which are most compelling to our thirst and we certainly hope you enjoy our brews as much as we do.”

Rhinegeist’s beers are available on draft and in cans only in the Cincinnati area. The brewery’s taproom is open seven days a week, so check it out if you’re ever in town. It’s worth stopping in.

Here are some photos from my recent visit to Rhinegeist:

Rhinegeist Brewery - fermenters

Rhinegeist Brewery - inside

Rhinegeist Brewery - bar

Rhinegeist Brewery pint

Rhinegeist Brewery - seating

Rhinegeist Brewery - more seating

Rhinegeist Brewery canning

Rhinegeist Brewery - canning

Rhinegeist Brewery - kegs

In Cincinnati, hitting Rock Bottom and liking it

September 17, 2012 By: mike Category: Breweries, Craft beer, Travelin'

Rock Bottom - coaster

On a recent trip to Cincinnati I stumbled on Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, a surprisingly good chain brewery in the heart of Fountain Square in Downtown.

The Cincinnati location is one of more than 30 Rock Bottom breweries across the nation. It’s owned by CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc., a multi-brand restaurant operator headquartered in Chattanooga. It’s North America’s largest operator of brewery restaurants and also owns Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants.

As a chain, I wasn’t sure what to expect at Rock Bottom, but the beer was great, the atmosphere was relaxed and the food was excellent.

Rock Bottom Brewery - EntranceThe entrance to Rock Bottom in Cincinnati. The first Rock Bottom opened in 1991 in Denver, Colo. It was on the first floor of Denver’s Prudential Building, also known as “The Rock,” which is where the Rock Bottom name came from.

Rock Bottom - restaurantA view inside the restaurant at Rock Bottom, with the brewery in the background.

Rock Bottom - menuRock Bottom’s head brewer is Mitchell Dougherty, who began his career as an assistant brewer for the Rock Bottom Phoenix, Desert Ridge and Arrowhead locations. Each brewer adds his or her own touches to the beer line-up at Rock Bottom locations.

Rock Bottom - samplerMy sampler at Rock Bottom included the Brown Ale, IPA, Queen of Hops and Kolsch. The Queen of Hops, a fantastic American Pale Wheat Ale brewed with Amarillo hops, was my favorite beer of the bunch.

Rock Bottom - mac 'n cheeseThe Classic Mac ‘n Chicken, topped with crunchy Parmesan breadcrumbs, was quite tasty.

Rock Bottom - Serving vesselsBehind the bar at Rock Bottom are the “serving vessels.”

Rock Bottom - windowChain-wide, more than 95% of Rock Bottom’s 30,000 pounds of hops come from the Pacific Northwest.

Rock Bottom - BreweryA shot of the brewery and a very excited employee!

Rock Bottom - Inside the breweryRock Bottom was awarded “Large Brew Pub of the Year” at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival. That year, Rock Bottom breweries brewed a total of 1,371,099 gallons of beer.