Archive for the 'Beer' Category

Fretboard Brewing

With the increasing number of breweries around the city I’m finding it harder to visit them all. Fretboard Brewing has been open for a little over two years now, and I’ve only visited them twice. If they were located closer to my house I’m sure my visits would be more often.



Fretboard is located in Blue Ash not too far off of I-71 at Pfeiffer in a sort of warehouse district. While the space looks pretty typical of the surrounding buildings on the outside, the renovation on the inside is great!



Of their six or seven year round beer offerings, I probably drink Improv (IPA) or Trey (Amber) the most, though their Vlad (Pilsner) has won some national and international awards. But when I’m in the taproom I love trying out the creative seasonals that they have on tap.



One thing that make Fretboard stand out from other breweries is that they have live music essentially every weekend. I have not had the chance to check that out, but it seems to be very popular. They are also kid friendly during day with cornhole and giant jenga sets.



Smoked Out Cincy is located at the back of the room and features in-house barbecue. I’ve enjoyed the flying pig sandwich with pulled pork, coleslaw, BBQ sauce, spicy bacon bits, and horseradish aioli ($11). They even offer a limited kids menu when the entire family is in need of some lunch. Fretboard is another great addition to the Cincinnati craft beer scene.

New Holland Brewing – Holland, MI

During our trip to South Haven, Michigan I convinced my family to take the 45 minute drive north to New Holland Brewing’s Pub on 8th. It helped that the day of our visit was Kid’s Night with free family-friendly fun in the form of games on the patio.


After dropping my family off at the door, and then finding a place to park, I was delighted to find that they had already been seated inside the sprawling complex. We had a low table near one side of a long rectangular room. The other side was occupied with a very long bar and plenty of high top tables.


There are so many beers on tap that deciding can be difficult for any craft beer lover, and there should definitely be something for everyone including cider and kombucha. I enjoyed their Brew Tang take on the New England style IPA ($5 pint) as well as the Hoptronix double IPA ($5.50 10oz). In hindsight I should have followed my wife’s lead and got a sampler tray as there were plenty of other options I wanted to sample.


After placing our orders I took the kids around to look at some of their brewing equipment and to check out the kids activities. There was definitely plenty to do to pass the time and our food actually was served pretty quickly.

Hot Brown

I’m a sucker for a hot brown, so when I saw one on their menu I knew I had to give it a try. The NHB take combines Michigan turkey with cheese sauce, bacon, pimento, mustard, and beer bread with chips on the side ($13). The portion size was smaller than what you’d often find in Kentucky, but the ingredients were top notch and really went well together. I would not hesitate to order this again.

Black Bean Spelt Burger

My wife went with the black bean spelt burger with vegan mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion with raw veggies on the side ($9). It’s always nice to see a made in house black bean option and this was one of the better ones we have had in recent memory.

Kid’s Plate

My daughter loved the kid’s place with cheese, turkey, fruit, and vegetables ($3.50). This is a preschoolers dream come true!

Kid’s Burger

The kid’s burger was also well liked, though a bit on the pricey side once we added cheese and subbed for fries ($8). I would include cheese and fries for the original $6 and then this would be a great option.

Overall my family and I really enjoyed our meal at New Holland’s Pub on 8th and I hope to make a return visit on future trips to the area.

New Holland Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Narrow Path Brewing

The Cincinnati area currently has 45 breweries open and brewing beer with even more on the way. One of the newer to join the group is Narrow Path Brewing in Loveland near the Little Miami Scenic Trail. I grew up in Loveland and my parents still live there, so I am happy to see a brewery close to their house. With the bike trail in their back yard, I imagine that they will be busy during the warmer months.


The brewery is really just one open room with the brewing equipment taking up more than half of one side. There is a bar taking up another corner of the space and a large communal table eating up most of the rest of the space. The outdoor area out back is large and even seems to be getting some use in the cold with a firepit.


The beers I sampled were all pretty good. The vanilla cream and the Dred Lokt stout were my personal favorites on tap during our visit. I look forward to a return visit soon as it seems they are still tweaking the beer choices and there are a lot that I have yet to try available now.


Brink Brewing Company

The Cincinnati brewing scene continues to grow and I am struggling to keep up with visiting all of the new options around town. One that I have visited and should be at the top of your list if you haven’t is Brink Brewing Company. Brink is on Hamilton Avenue in the heart of College Hill and opened up earlier this year.


My family and I spent the better part of an afternoon here. There is a really large communal table in the center of the room that provided plenty of space for our group and another group on the other end. My wife tried a flight of beers, and let me sample them as well, while I went right for a pint of one of their three IPA’s that were on tap at the time.


The tap list changes often and none of the IPA’s that I sampled appear to be on the current list. Each of them were quite good, and I especially liked their Like A Boss the best. But what really stood out for me were the samples of darker beers. Their Brown Ale was one of the better that I’ve had and the Moozie Milk Stout seems to be a regular on the menu.


They do not have a kitchen but there are plenty of places nearby (with menus inside) for carryout or delivery. They also often have food trucks on the weekend and live music on Friday nights.


Brink is a wonderful addition to College Hill and is now one of my most highly recommended smaller breweries in town.

The Woodburn Brewery

I’ve slowly been making my way through the growing list of Cincinnati breweries. It is definitely a good time to be alive for craft beer drinkers! The Woodburn Brewery has been open for nearly a year in East Walnut Hills. So far they have been solely focused on their draft beer, but they will soon have limited bottle releases and I’ve always heard that cans would be in the future too.


The Woodburn has a beautiful space right on Woodburn Avenue with exposed brick and rafters, skylights, plenty of seating around an L shaped bar, and even more seating at picnic style benches in the back. There is also a nice courtyard at the back of the building for those nice weather days.

Tostada “Sliders”

They have partnered with Mazunte to offer Mexican themed small bites. I’ve long considered Mazunte to be my favorite taqueria in the city. The food served at Woodburn is equally as excellent. I would highly recommend the tostada “sliders” that stuff fried mini tostadas with pork in chile Guajilla sauce, scallion ricotta, pinto bean purée, cabbage, avocado, and arugula (3 for $8). My mouth is watering just writing about these!

Teku Glass

As far as the beers go, it is hard to go wrong with their always available chocolate cherry stout. The chocolate mint imperial stout is also delicious and truly like a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie in a glass. Now that the temperatures have reached summer highs I need to get back to try some of their IPA offerings, and I’m sure I will do that soon. The Woodburn is one of my favorites around.

10 Barrel Brewing – Portland, OR

We didn’t eat at most of the breweries we visited during our tour of Portland, but 10 Barrel Brewing was an exception to that rule. There are so many breweries in Portland, that 10 Barrel sits directly across the street from Rogue Public House, which we also visited on this same outing.


The outside and inside of 10 Barrel is very industrial feeling, which mostly fits the neighborhood. There is an awesome looking rooftop patio, but it was much too cold for us to enjoy on our visit.


Some of us had flights, which included 10 samples, while others dove right into the IPA menu. I took the advice of our friend Phil and thoroughly enjoyed their Joe IPA.


For starters on the food we enjoyed their Brussels Sprouts with bacon, lemon, Cajun spice, and harrisa ailoi ($7). These were cooked to perfection! The bacon added some nice smoky flavor to balance the citrus and spice from the other ingredients. These are highly recommended.

Brussels Sprouts

Our group of four split The Pesto Pie with mozzarella, grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, red onion, spinach, and peppadew peppers ($19). This was more than enough for four hungry adults, but the guys took one for the team to finish off the remaining slices even though we were nearly completely filled. The ingredients on this pizza were plentiful and I especially liked the sweet peppadew’s, which you don’t find available in restaurants all that often.

The Pesto Pie

10 Barrel is a great place to stop on our Portland brewery tour for some good beer and great food.

10 Barrel Brewing Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Streetside Brewery

Late summer or early fall of the last year, Streetside Brewery opened their doors on Eastern Avenue in Columbia-Tusculum. The tap room space is really large compared to other newer breweries around town, and their brewery appears to have plenty of room for expansion.


You can get a great view of their equipment that sits one level down thanks to a large balcony that overlooks the entire space.


Beer is available in a four pour sampler, by the pint, or in growlers to go. My wife had ordered a flight and was happy to share some of her choices with me. I also sampled some of their IPA offerings, my favorite of which was their ruby toned “Sofa King” but that doesn’t appear to be on tap currently.


I also enjoyed their New England style IPA, “Suh, Brah?” which will be available in cans for the first time this Saturday. I won’t be able to make this special event, but hope to sample this solid simcoe hop focused beer again in the future.


A limited food menu is available from Steamed Str{eats}, or you are welcome to bring your own. Steamed Str{eats} is a creation from the same people who brought us Gilpin’s, so if you’ve had that you know what to expect. For those not familiar, their sandwiches are put through a steamer to blend the flavors together.

Steaming Hot Ham + Bacon

A handful of sandwich options are available, served on a sub style roll with a side of chips. We tried the steaming hot ham + bacon which is topped with sharp cheddar and a house made spicy mustard ($8.95) as well as the spicy Grippo’s pulled pork, topped with spicy BBQ sauce, crushed BBQ Grippo’s chips, and lettuce ($8.95).

Grippos Pulled Pork

I’ve long been a fan of Gilpin’s and thought these sandwiches were pretty much on par with what I’ve tasted from their larger menu at their downtown location. I’m a sucker for their sandwiches with chips on top, and I love Grippo’s, so the pulled pork was an easy favorite of mine.

Lebrewski Cruise

We just hit the one year anniversary of The Lebrewski Cruise and I just realized I never posted anything about it. Once the cruise was announced, I knew it was a must do as it combined a couple of my favorite things good music (namely O.A.R.) and craft beer. I easily convinced Kim that we should leave the kids behind with their grandparents and set sail to The Bahamas. We had a blast seeing O.A.R. perform three shows, finding some new great bands such as Jared & The Mill, tasting a ton of craft beer, and seeing a couple of different ports. We would have considered going again, but unfortunately the cruise appears to be one and done. Anyway, here are some of my photos from that trip last year.

Nine Giant

One of Cincinnati’s newest craft breweries, Nine Giant, has been open for a couple of months now. My family and I finally got a chance to give it a try a couple of Sunday’s ago. We had actually tried to go a couple of Friday’s earlier for dinner and found it too crowded and loud for a our preschool aged children. On our second attempt we chose early on a Sunday evening and found the crowd to be much more manageable and it not quite as loud. It was still a little on the louder side, but there were signs posted that around the room stating that sound insulation was soon coming.

Beer Glass

Beer Glass

I sampled both their Gold Soundz, a fruity IPA, and SRV, a hoppy brown ($6 per full pour). I enjoyed both beers and would rate them above average with no real preference toward either one. I would recommend ordering the one that traditionally falls in line with your flavor preferences. My wife also thoroughly enjoyed the Django Belgian Single, so don’t be afraid to give that a try if you are more into Belgians.



The food menu is quite small but we found plenty on the menu that suited our tastes. We started with an order of house made deep-fried pickle chips with a side of horseradish aioli ($4). I almost didn’t order these but threw them in at the last second and I am so glad that I did. The pickles were thick sliced and fried to perfection. The aioli wasn’t necessary in our eyes, but just a slight dip in the sauce added a nice kick to each bite.

Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles

Each week they have a new special item on the menu. During our visit it was the local heirloom tomato BLT topped with arugula pesto on Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakehouse Challah bread. I’m a sucker for a good BLT, so I knew right away that I would be ordering this. I’m not normally a huge fan or arugula, although my exposure has mostly been in salads, but the pesto was awesome. The tomatoes were ripe and perfect and their bacon was outstanding. Overall an excellent BLT.



The kids menu is simple but effective, a cheese burger and a grilled cheese. The burger features local, grass-fed beef in a smashed-style patty with sharp cheddar cheese on Sixteen Bricks Challah bread with the crust cut off ($5). My five-year-old loved this and ate nearly the entire thing.

Kid's Cheeseburger

Kid’s Cheeseburger

My wife went with the falafel wrap served in a naan wrap with lettuce, tomato, house-made pickles and tzatziki sauce ($7). She didn’t seem as impressed as I was with the BLT, but I took a bite of the wrap and really enjoyed it. The pickles added a nice touch and the falafel was above average. I would have maybe liked a bit more tzatziki sauce. Overall I felt it was a great vegetarian option.

Falafel Wrap

Falafel Wrap

Free wi-fi is offered as well as a handful of low top tables for those with families. Though most of the space is reserved for the bar and larger sized high tops. The space is not nearly as large as some of the dominant craft breweries that opened years ago in the area, but falls more inline with what is opening up more and more these days, smaller tap rooms with an emphasis on their immediate neighborhoods. With that said I think the popularity of their beers and food will allow them to cater towards those from around the entire city.

Nine Giant Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Nine Giant

Uber Brewery Tour

Some friends of mine recently commented that they hadn’t been to very many of our ever-growing list of craft breweries in town. We were considering doing one of the organized brewery tours but soon realized that for the price of those tickets, we could do our own tour using Uber to get around and go where we wanted to go when we wanted to go there.

Outside Mt. Carmel

Outside Mt. Carmel

We started out at Mt. Carmel Brewing Company, and since this was the first stop of the day and the farthest from our starting point, we decided to drive ourselves out to the former farm-house turned brewery. Mt. Carmel Brewing Company was established in 2005 and is Cincinnati’s oldest craft microbrewery. As they have grown every space of the house has been slowly converted from living to brewing and drinking spaces. It can be somewhat of a maze to find a seat inside, but I think the true beauty of this brewery happens when it is warmer and the entire yard can be enjoyed.

Inside Mt. Carmel

Inside Mt. Carmel

As far as the beers go, I find their year round offerings to be mostly average, but their snapshot series are all really great beers. All three snapshots were on tap during our visit and there was even a taproom only beer pouring. There are plenty of TV’s throughout the space and though they do not serve any food of their own, they have food trucks visit often.

Blank Slate Bar

Blank Slate Bar

The second stop on our self guided brewery tour was to Blank Slate Brewing Company. We lucked into an excellent day to make our first visit to Blank Slate, as they were celebrating their one year anniversary of their PourHouse taproom. This included hourly special tappings and way more selections available than they normally have.

Blank Slate Birthday Party

Blank Slate Birthday Party

Despite this being our first visit to the PourHouse, I have enjoyed Blank Slate’s beer since their opening in 2011 and consider them to be one of my favorite breweries in town. Their Fork in the Road is outstanding and the Shroominous, brewed with shiitake mushrooms, is a must try. During this event they had their hugely popular Opera Cream Stout on and it did not disappoint! I look forward to many return visits and can’t wait to see what the brewery looks like after another year.

From there we moved on to a couple of breweries that I have been to and written about before. MadTree Brewing Company is one of my favorite breweries in the city and their tap-room is always busy. They have 18 beers on tap, so even if you are familiar with their canned offerings, there is likely plenty of other beers you haven’t had.

Braxton Brewing Company is one of the newer breweries in town, but they are quickly making a name for themself with their Dead Blow tropical stout and Storm golden cream ale. They have already started canning Storm, so their popularity will continue to grow. Their tap-room is large and probably the nicest around.

We had hopped to see a few other breweries on this tour, but I guess we will just have to save them for our next round of Uber Brewery Tours.

Mt. Carmel Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato