It seems like a new brewery is popping up on every street corner in Cincinnati these days. With what many are calling “Cincinnati’s Brewery Renaissance” at its peak, it’s hard to keep up with which new beers are worth giving a try. We can honestly say that we were a little overwhelmed with the task of searching for over fifty of Cincinnati’s local craft beers, but luckily The Brass Tap of Clifton had close to forty on tap, so we didn’t have to do too much searching. After some great conversations with the bartenders, and flight after flight of beer, we think we’re ready to unveil our list! Cincinnati beer lovers, rejoice!
As a side note, before we begin, we believe it’s important to include this piece of information: If you like local beers, buy local beers! Trust us, most of the work that goes on in these breweries is harder than you can imagine (go down to MadTree and take a tour while they’re making a batch). These companies live and die by their local sales! They have a passion for beer, and we should have a passion for supporting them!
Blank Slate is filled with Cincinnati pride. This brewery is operated by a man who built the entire building that holds its brewery with only his bare hands and the help of local friends. There was a time when grains were roasted over an open fire before being put into beer, and this beer pays homage to the old ways. We would stretch to say that this beer would also go great with any smoked food as well. A beer from a small, local company with a touch of brewing history, and the ability to go well with all kinds of food… Cincinnati, you have to try this beer.
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2. Saber Tooth Tiger
Damn, Saber Tooth Tiger packs a punch. Hopped to the max and loaded with alcohol, this beer was overwhelming at first. It wasn’t until after a few sips that we realized how impressive it was. When you’re looking for the most impressive IPA you’ll ever taste, you’ll find it right in your back yard. It only comes around for a few months every year, so just be sure to get it before it goes… extinct…
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3. Axis Mundi
A Russian Imperial Stout has to be black… like, Batman in a blackout black, and Madtree has done it again. Just when we thought that IPA’s were their specialty, they hit us with this. Dark, smooth, and full of alcohol; they’ve definitely perfected this beer. The fact that it has 10% ABV (not a soda in Soviet Russia) and this much of a chocolatey taste… well, it’s unbelievable.
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4. Brother Clement
So, you like Blue Moon… that’s great. Now go throw out that case of over-processed sh*t you’re drinking and go pick up a pack of this. No joke, this beer is the best Belgian Wheat to ever grace the planet. The sweet clementine is so much better than the typical mandarin that people attribute to this style. The best news is: it’s made right here in Cincinnati.
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5. Lil’ Sipa
Lil’ Sipa deserves more fame than anyone that has “Lil’” in their name. Brewed within the confines of Rivertown Brewing Company (you should also try their Roebling), this beer is going to be great for those humid summer nights. With mad “hops” and a refreshing, citrus aftertaste, this beer made made us want to have more than just a “lil’” sip.
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6. Tarnished Ale
Yes, we’ve all stopped in to the Party Source at least once (or hundreds of times) for our various alcohols and party needs, but what we really needed to do was try this beer! Often compared to Rhinegeist’s “Cougar” (An Honorable Mention), we were surprised that it was from a brand new brewery. It’s definitely the most simple of the beers on the list, but definitely worth enjoying while watching a Reds game.
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Actually, hold the coffee. We want about five more rounds of this delicious coffee stout! It may not wake you up like coffee will, but it will definitely leave you feeling some kind of buzzed.
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8. Springtime Ale
Ah, it’s time for some fresh air and freshly brewed beer from Mt. Carmel. It (or maybe it was the alcohol) made us want to run naked through a field of freshly bloomed flowers. Fresh, smooth, and full of flavor; you definitely want to try it before it goes away!
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9. Northern Liberties
God Bless America, what a glorious beer! It’s our right to take full advantage of our freedom to consume gracious amounts of it, and you’ll be doing plenty of that. Just make sure to keep your thoughts of liberty to yourself… politics and drinking don’t always lead to a happy ending.
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We’re nuts about this Nutcase! This peanut butter porter (you heard us) sounded a little strange at first, but just got better and better. We knew peanut butter’s taste makes most things better, but this was pretty surprising. Our only thought now is: Will they make a jelly porter to go along with it?
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