We’re going on hiatus. Promise we’ll be back.

When Carla was teaching at the University of Tennessee at Martin, one of her colleagues had a saying that has become a standard at Casa de Hoperatives: “Life is too much with me.” As we’ve mentioned in earlier posts here, the last few months (years?) have been a whirlwind of both good and bad. But, mainly, life has been too much with us.

We’re going to take a short break, a hiatus if you will. We may even re-focus our efforts a bit. One thing that we plan on adding is the ability for better beer locations to submit their beer events directly for our calendar and This Week in Beer posts. [If you would be interested in being a beta tester for that project, email Tom at tom@hoperatives.com]

In the mean time, we will still keep posting and sharing interesting beer news and events on our Facebook page. Heck, we might even go back to posting on our Twitter and Instagram accounts more.

Feel free to drop us a line here or via email [both@hoperatives.com] if you have an idea, comment, suggestion, or even a funny joke you heard and want to share.

We’ll be back. Just taking a break for now.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

—- Tom and Carla

Hoperatives

This Week in Beer: September 18 – 24, 2017

Check out our Better Beer Happy Hours, Etc. page for regularly scheduled events and specials. We are only list events here that are unique for this coming week in beer. Remember to check our Events Calendar throughout the week to see events that are added after our Monday morning publication time.

Monday, Sept. 18th at 6:30 pm – Benefit and Pint Night for Texas Flood Victims at Wooden Cask Brewing

Wednesday, Sept. 20th at 7:30 pm – Is Cincinnati in a Craft Beer “Bubble” panel discussion at Brink Brewing

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 4:00 pm – Pilgrim Can Release supporting La Soupe at MadTree Brewing

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 5:00 pm – Bavarian Tapping Party at Braxton Brewing

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 5:00 pm – Devils Backbone Trailblazer Event With ArtsWave at Queen City Radio

Thursday, Sept. 21st from 5:00-10:00 pm – Jolly Pumpkin Pint Night at Cappy’s Wines and Spirits

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 6:00-9:00 pm – MadTree – Meet the Brewery Pint Night at Higher Gravity

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 6:00-10:00 pm – Christian Moerlein Bay of Bengal Pint Night at Cock & Bull Main Strasse

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 6:00-10:00 pm – Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest Pint Night at Cock & Bull Glendale

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 6:00-10:00 pm – Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel ALe Pint Night at Cock & Bull Main Hyde Park

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 6:00-10:00 pm – Breckenridge Agave Wheat Pint Night at Cock & Bull Clifton

Thursday, Sept. 21st at 7:00 pm – Great Lakes Oktoberfest Pint Night at Hebron Brew Haus

Friday, Sept. 22nd-Sunday, Sept. 24th – Grand Opening – Sons of Toil Brewing

Friday, Sept. 22nd from 5:00-9:00 pm – Hi-Wire Brewing Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate

Friday, Sept. 22nd from 5:00-9:00 pm – North Peak Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

Friday, Sept. 22nd from 5:30-7:00 pm – Friday Night Flights at Party Town

Saturday, Sept. 23rd at 10:00 am – Kendi & Pinkies Out Release at Listermann Brewing

Saturday, Sept. 23rd at 10:00 am – Suh, Brah Can Release #2 at Streetside Brewing

Saturday, Sept. 23rd at 11:00 am – Glassware Beauties at Braxton Labs

Saturday, Sept. 23rd at 12:00 pm – Fifty Fest 2017 at Fifty West Brewing

Sunday, Sept. 24th at 2:00 pm – Rhinegeist Brewery Dinner at the Farmstand Market and Café

Hoperatives: This Week In Beer

This Extended Weekend in Beer: Sept. 6 – 10, 2017

As we mentioned previously, the last few months have been crazy at Casa de Hoperatives and this current week is the craziest one yet. But, by Saturday, Carla’s dad (Hoperative #169) will be the newest resident of Florence, KY and things should hopefully calm down a bit. We missed our usual Monday publication date so here is our first (and last?) This Extended Weekend in Beer post.

Thursday, Sept. 7th-Friday, Sept. 8th – Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort at Braxton Brewing

Thursday, Sept. 7th at 4:00-10:00 pm – Bay of Bengal Taproom Launch at Christian Moerlein Malt House

Thursday, Sept. 7th at 5:00-10:00 pm – Dark Horse Pint Night at Cappy’s Wines and Spirits

Thursday, Sept. 7th at 5:00-10:00 pm – Prizes for Beer Lovers at BrewRiver GastroPub

Thursday, Sept. 7th at 6:00-11:00 pm – Fifty West Meet the Brewer Night at Higher Ground

Thursday, Sept. 7th at 7:00 pm – Mill Creek Pint Night at Hebron Brew Haus

Friday, Sept. 8th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Momentum Mosaic Pale Ale Tapping at Braxton Brewing

Friday, Sept. 8th from 5:30-7:00 pm – Friday Night Flights at Party Town

Friday, Sept. 8th from 6:30-11:00 pm – End of Summer Cincy Beerfest at Fountain Square

Saturday, Sept. 9th from 10:00 am-11:00 pm – Team Fiona Batch #4 Can Release at Listermann Brewing

Saturday, Sept. 9th from 11:00 am-12:00 am – Grainworks Brewing Grand Opening

Saturday, Sept. 9th from 12:00 pm-1:00 am – Cans for a Cure! Blueberry Pie Brown Ale Release at Braxton Brewing

Saturday, Sept. 9th from 2:00-11:30 pm – Old Firehouse Brewery’s 3rd Anniversary Party

Saturday, Sept. 9th from 3:00-11:00 pm – End of Summer Cincy Beerfest at Fountain Square

Hoperatives: This Week In Beer

This Week in Beer: August 28 – Sept. 3, 2017

Check out our Better Beer Happy Hours, Etc. page for regularly scheduled events and specials. We are only list events here that are unique for this coming week in beer. Remember to check our Events Calendar throughout the week to see events that are added after our Monday morning publication time.

Monday, August 28th at 5:00 – Rare Beer Monday at Braxton Labs

Monday, August 28th at 8:00 pm – Industry Night Beer Olympics at Olde Towne Tavern

Wednesday, August 30th at 5:00 pm – Dog Days and IPAs at Landlocked Social House

Wednesday, August 30th at 7:00 pm – Monthly Keg Tapping at Hofbräuhaus Newport

Thursday, August 31st from 5:00-10:00 pm – Dogfish Pint Night at Cappy’s Wines and Spirits

Thursday, August 31st at 5:00 pm – Donut and Beer Pairing with Deschutes Brewing at The Lackman

Thursday, August 31st at 6:00-9:00 pm – Taft’s Ale House–Meet the Brewery Night at Higher Gravity

Thursday, August 31st at 6:00-9:00 pm – Oktober Fuel Tap Takeover at Queen City Radio

Thursday, August 31st at 4:00 pm – Dreamsicle Can Release Party at MadTree Brewing

Thursday, August 31st at 6:00-10:00 pm – Pint Night at Cock & Bull Main Strasse

Thursday, August 31st at 6:00-10:00 pm – Pint Night at Cock & Bull Glendale

Thursday, August 31st at 6:00-10:00 pm – Pint Night at Cock & Bull Main Hyde Park

Thursday, August 31st at 7:00 pm – Bircus Brewing Pint Night at Hebron Brew Haus

Friday, Sept. 1st from 5:00-9:00 pm – Dayton Beer Company Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate

Friday, Sept. 1st from 5:00-9:00 pm – Fifty West Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

Friday, Sept. 1st from 5:30-7:00 pm – Friday Night Flights at Party Town

Saturday, Sept. 2nd at 10:00 am – Brass Monkey and Junkie Can Release at Listermann Brewing

Sunday, Sept. 3rd at Noon – Fireworks Party at Wooden Cask Brewing

Hoperatives: This Week In Beer

Donate to the Brewing Heritage Trail

Our friends know that it has been a crazy summer for us. So crazy that letting you know about this important project in need of funding slipped by us.

When Carla started researching the possibility of creating a brewing science program at Cincinnati State by visiting other schools, each place she visited mentioned the history of brewing in Cincinnati and how teaching brewing here now just made sense. The OTR Brewery District is instrumental in preserving that history and the Brewing Heritage Trail will strengthen that important work.

Please take a moment to check out their Indiegogo campaign. There are lots of great incentives for donating. Even if you just have one less pint of beer this weekend, your $5 donation acknowledges that you support preserving Cincinnati’s brewing history.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

Carla and Tom

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/build-the-brewing-heritage-trail-history-beer–2#/

This Week in Beer: August 21 – 27, 2017

Check out our Better Beer Happy Hours, Etc. page for regularly scheduled events and specials. We are only list events here that are unique for this coming week in beer. Remember to check our Events Calendar throughout the week to see events that are added after our Monday morning publication time.

Monday, August 21st at 6:00 pm – Kentucky’s Darkest Day at Braxton Brewing HQ and Braxton Labs

Monday, August 21st at 6:00 pm – Breckenridge Beer Dinner at Dilly

Tuesday, August 22nd at 7:00 pm – Tennessee Brew Works Trivia at Hebron Brew Haus

Wednesday, August 23rd at 6:00 pm – BrewDog Pint Night at Marty’s Hops and Vines

Thursday, Aug. 24th-Saturday, Aug. 26th – 3rd Annual BellsFest at Cappy’s Wines and Spirits

Thursday, August 24th at 6:00-9:00 pm – Maui Brewing Luau/Pint Night at BC’s Bottle Lodge

Thursday, August 24th-Saturday, August 26th – 2017 Cincy Brew Ha Ha at Sawyer Point

Thursday, August 24th at 7:00 pm – Warped Wing Meet the Brewer Pint Night at Higher Gravity

Thursday, August 24th at 7:00 pm – Pint Night at Hebron Brew Haus

Friday, Aug. 25th-Sunday, Aug. 27th – 2nd Annual Bewilderment at Urban Artifact

Friday, August 25th at 5:00 pm – August Art After Dark: Beer Bash at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Friday, August 25th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate

Friday, August 25th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Sierra Nevada Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

Friday, August 25th from 5:30-7:00 pm – Friday Night Flights at Party Town

Saturday, August 26th at 11:00 am – Total Eclipse with Total Eclipse at BC’s Bottle Lodge

Saturday, August 26th from noon to 6:00 pm – Rhinegeist Parking Lot Party at Flipdaddy’s Union

Saturday, August 26th from 4:00-7:00 pm – An Afternoon with the Beer Barons at Spring Grove Cemetery

Sunday, August 27th at noon – Get Buzzed-Honey and Beer Pairing at Fibonacci Brewing

Hoperatives: This Week In Beer

This Week in Beer: August 14 – 20, 2017

Check out our Better Beer Happy Hours, Etc. page for regularly scheduled events and specials. We are only list events here that are unique for this coming week in beer. Remember to check our Events Calendar throughout the week to see events that are added after our Monday morning publication time.

Monday, August 14th from 5:00-8:00 pm – Rare Beer Monday at Braxton Labs

Wednesday, August 16th at 6:00 pm – Woodburn Beer Dinner at Moerlein Lager House

Thursday, August 17th from 5:00-9:00 pm – 3rd Annual Stein Hoisting Competition at Taft’s Ale House

Thursday, August 17th at 7:00 pm – Elysian Pint Night at Hebron Brew Haus

Friday, August 18th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Belgian Blonde Tapping at Braxton Labs

Friday, August 18th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Rhinegeist Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate

Friday, August 18th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Christian Moerlein Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

Friday, August 18th from 5:00-10:00 pm – Founders Birthday Celebration/Green Zebra Release at Cappy’s Wine and Spirits

Friday, August 18th from 5:30-7:00 pm – Friday Night Flights at Party Town

Friday, August 18th at 8:00 pm – Molly’s 10 Year Anniversary Party at Molly Malone’s Covington

Saturday, August 19th from 11:00 am-5:00 pm – Bacon, Beer, Bourbon and Blues Fest at Mecklenburg Gardens

Saturday, August 19th from noon to midnight – One Year Anniversary Party at The Woodburn Brewery

Saturday, August 19th from noon to midnight – Oktoberfest Biergarten in the Taproom at Braxton Brewing

Saturday, August 19th from 7:00-11:00 pm – Buckeye Beer Bash at Jungle Jim’s

Saturday, August 19th from 7:00-11:30 pm – Newport Baseball Bar Crawl

Sunday, August 20th from noon to 8:00 pm – New England IPA #001 Taproom Release at Braxton Brewing

Hoperatives: This Week In Beer

Blank Slate Brewing Company closes

Blank Slate Brewing Company
#RIP June 2012 – August 2017

This one hurts. A lot.

Blank Slate Brewing Company has closed, effective immediately. Tom Aguero1 and Jesse Folk over at Brew Minds posted this to the Facebook page earlier today:

We have received multiple confirmations that Blank Slate Brewing Co. has ceased operations effective immediately. As one of the original, and best, local breweries – this is truly a loss for the whole region. Please keep Scott and his employees in your thoughts today, as this is surely a hard moment for him and his team.

They wouldn’t put something like that out there unless they were sure, so I started checking around with more than a little bit of dread. And damnit, it checks out. You couldn’t have screwed this one up, guys?

It’s like a death in the family. I’m way too familiar with what that feels like so I know exactly what I’m saying when I say that. I can’t imagine what Scott and everyone else is going through.

Blank Slate is the brewery I’d name if someone asked me to name a favorite brewery. I hate that question because I really don’t have a favorite per se. I spend way more time than is healthy hanging out at breweries and when I do there’s a beer there that, at that moment, is the greatest beer in the world. And I probably went there FOR that beer. So when people won’t let it go, I’d interpret the question as “What brewery are you most in awe of?” And then it was easy: Blank Slate. No question. Scott bootstrapped that place from Day One. You didn’t have to talk to him very long to know the place ran on a razor’s edge financially. He made it work.

Until, apparently, it didn’t.

I don’t know the details. They aren’t any of my business. I know owner Scott LaFollette well enough to know that the decision wasn’t made quickly or impulsively. I’ve never asked him a question where there wasn’t a beat or two while he thought it over before he answered. I know there are things he’d never compromise on. If this is what he thought he had to do, then that’s it. Everybody is going to want to second-guess this. It’s human nature. I get it. But no one had more skin in the game than Scott. I’m not going to insult him by thinking I’m somehow smarter than he is. I will think less of you if you do. I trust he couldn’t come up with a way to make the business work and put out the product he wanted to put out. Scott has integrity. I mourn with him. I don’t criticize him.

I speak of the brewery as if Scott were the only one there. That’s not at all true. The people he hired are top-notch. They made the place what it is … er … was. (Oh, I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all.)

When he had time Scott blogged about the brewery. Just after he opened he wrote this:

The success of Blank Slate Brewing Company is defined by the following (in no particular order):

1. Make the best quality beer that we possibly can.
2. Always be approachable to our customers and never forget where we came from.
3. Further the local beer industry as best we can through our words and actions.
4. Make enough money to pay the bills with enough left over to keep a roof over my family’s head, food on the table, and take my wife on a vacation somewhere farther than 10 miles away sometime in the next 5 years!

The first three were accomplished many, many, many times over. I’m guessing it was that last one that did it. It’s been five years.

So Blank Slate Brewing  is apparently no more. That’s a damned shame. The people who made Blank Slate are still with us.  Thank them. Support them how you can.

There’s a lesson here, as there is in any tragedy. This is what happens when chasing the new and the distant and the rare becomes more important than who’s making it.  You want local?  Support local.  You want great local?  Then support the places that are making great beer. Not the trendy. Not the newest. Not the flavor of the month.

Not everybody is going to make it. The choice of who does is up to you.


1 I’ve been dealing with some medical stuff and missed that Jesse was working with Tom over at Brew Minds now. My apologies for the misattribution.

This Week in Beer: August 7 – 13, 2017

Check out our Better Beer Happy Hours, Etc. page for regularly scheduled events and specials. We are only list events here that are unique for this coming week in beer. Remember to check our Events Calendar throughout the week to see events that are added after our Monday morning publication time.

Monday, August 7th at 5:00 pm – Rare Beer Monday at Braxton Labs

Tuesday, August 8th at 7:00 pm – Tennessee Brew Works Trivia at Hebron Brew Haus

Wednesday, August 9th at 6:00 pm – Braxton Tap Takeover at Goodfella’s OTR

Thursday, August 10th at 6:30 pm – Braxton Tap Takeover at Crafts and Vines

Thursday, August 10th at 7:00 pm – Golden Road Pint Night at Hebron Brew Haus

Friday, August 11th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Weyerbacher Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate

Friday, August 11th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Erie Brewing Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

Friday, August 11th at 5:00 pm – Braxton Patio Takeover at Strong’s Brick Oven Pizzeria (Newport)

Friday, August 11th from 5:30-7:00 pm – Friday Night Flights at Party Town

Friday, August 11th at 7:00 pm – Hoots and Hops at Cincinnati Nature Center

Saturday, August 12th at 10:00 am – Team Fiona #3 and Team Bifi Release at Listermann Brewing

Saturday, August 12th at 12:00 noon – Get Funked Up! at Cappy’s Wines and Spirits

Saturday, August 12th at 1:00 pm – Anniversary Party at Darkness Brewing

Saturday, August 12th at 2:00 pm – Rhinegeist Astro Dwarf at Lucky Turtle

Hoperatives: This Week In Beer

This Week in Beer: July 31 – August 6, 2017

Check out our Better Beer Happy Hours, Etc. page for regularly scheduled events and specials. We are only list events here that are unique for this coming week in beer. Remember to check our Events Calendar throughout the week to see events that are added after our Monday morning publication time.

Tuesday, August 1st at 5:00 pm – Rare Beer Monday (ON TUESDAY) at Braxton Labs

Tuesday, August 1st at 6:00 pm – Rhinegeist/Pipeworks Collaboration Launch: Astro Dwarf at The Gas Light Café

Wednesday, August 2nd at 6:00 pm – Summer of Sculpin at Flipdaddy’s Union

Wednesday, August 2nd at 6:00 pm – Fifty West Carolina Gold Kölsch Tapping Party at The Eagle OTR

Thursday, August 3rd from 5:00-10:00 pm – Brew Kettle Pint Night at Cappy’s Wines and Spirits

Thursday, August 3rd at 6:00-9:00 pm – Great Lakes Tasting at BC’s Bottle Lodge

Thursday, August 3rd at 6:00-10:00 pm – Pint Night at Cock & Bull Main Strasse

Thursday, August 3rd at 6:00-10:00 pm – Pint Night at Cock & Bull Glendale

Thursday, August 3rd at 6:00-10:00 pm – Pint Night at Cock & Bull Hyde Park

Thursday, August 3rd at 6:00-10:00 pm – Pint Night at Cock & Bull Clifton

Thursday, August 3rd at 7:00 pm – Sweetwater Pint Night at Hebron Brew Haus

Friday, August 4th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Jackie O’s Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Eastgate

Friday, August 4th from 5:00-9:00 pm – Fat Head’s Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

Friday, August 4th from 5:30-7:00 pm – Friday Night Flights at Party Town

Friday, August 4th at 6:00 pm – Hazy River NE IPA tapping at Bad Tom Smith Brewing

Friday, August 4th at 6:00 pm – Astro Dwarf Pre Launch Party at BC’s Bottle Lodge

Saturday, August 5th from 5:00-11:30 pm – 5th Annual Made in Cincy Beerfest at Marty’s Hops and Vines

Sunday, August 6th at 6:00 pm – Listermann Brewery Food/Beer Pairing at Delicio Coal Fired Pizza

Hoperatives: This Week In Beer