Better Beer Fourth of July Closings (And Openings) 2015

With Independence Day falling on a Saturday this year, there is the proverbial question of what better beer locations going to be open on July 4th so here is our annual listing of Fourth of July closings (and openings). As always, we will update this listing as we get more information. If in doubt, call before heading locations not listed here.

Bad Tom Smith Brewing – Holiday hours are July 3rd from 3:00 to 11:00 pm; July 4th from 12:00 to 4:00 pm; and July 5th from 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Also, Bad Tom All American IPA will be $2 a pint and all other pints are $4.

Blank Slate Brewing – Closed on Saturday, July 4th. Regular hours on Thursday and Friday.

BrewRiver GastroPub – Closed on Saturday, July 4th

Christian Moerlein Malt House – Open 4:00 pm to midnight July 3rd, 12:00 to 6:30 pm on July 4th, 1:00 to 6:00 pm on July 5th.

Everything’s d’ Vine – Open from 12:00 to 5:00 pm on July 3rd, close on July 4th.

Flipdaddy’s – All four locations will be closed on July 4th.

Jungle Jim’s – Holiday hours are 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Listermann/Triple Digit Brewing – Open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm on July 3rd, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on July 4th, 12:00 to 8:00 on July 5th.

MadTree Brewing – Regular hours on July 3rd, 4th and 5th. No tours on the 4th.

Marty’s Hops and Vines – Closed on Saturday, July 4th.

Mt. Carmel Brewing – Closed on Saturday, July 4th.

Rivertown Brewing – Open 12:00 to 10:00 pm on July 4th, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on July 5th serving brunch.

Virgils – Closed on July 4th.

Fourth of July Beer American Flag


The following locations were closed last year (2014) for the 4th of July (we’re still trying to verify for 2015): Adratico’s, Bakersfield OTR, The Eagle OTR, Zip’s Café.

It’s National Lager Day. Have A Cold(er) One!

According to various sources on the interwebs, December 10th is National Lager Day. When I first found out about this marvelous new thing last week, I assumed the day would a national holiday celebrated with bank closures, a day off for workers everywhere (or at least for the federal government), and a series of lederhosen-and-masquerade balls held in very cold rooms as an homage to the lower temperature storage that most lagers undergo before being ready for the world.

After a brief call to my Congressman’s office, though, I learned that National Lager Day isn’t quite that official. It’s apparently not even as important as Groundhog Day. Which, you know, makes me wonder why we even have holidays. But I digress.

Lederhosen Ball or not, we can—and should—certainly celebrate without a mandate from our government and/or employer. In fact, if my research is any indication, college students have been celebrating National Lager Day for years, often without even bothering to verify that that’s actually December 10th beforehand.

And who can blame them? It’s probably December 10th somewhere. N out of 10 quantum physicists agree.

Regardless of how you might choose to recognize it, today being National Lager Day has, at least, got me thinking about all that beer fermented by bottom-dwelling, colder-thriving yeast. And the more the wheels in my head turned, the more I wondered why I smelled burning plastic.  Ignoring that, I also realized that it seems lagers have maybe gotten the shorter end of the stick in the recent years of craft beer booming.

Now, sure, gallon after gallon of good quality lager is quaffed by thirsty humans every year. In fact, it’s no doubt a ponderous volume that I’m sure is remarkable without even considering the oceans of “American Light” consumed worldwide. For that matter, I’ve personally swallowed close to a good-sized lake’s worth of Sam Adams’ Boston Lager between the dawning of my craft beer drinking days more than 15 years ago and today.

But then, with all that lager, why does it seem that most of the big, high profile beers that pour forth from the minds of our nation’s creative brew masters are ales? Why does it seem that for every one truly creative Imperial Pilsner with hints of coriander, rhubarb, and sesame seed, there are ten brewers out there shoving hearts of palm and a anything else they can find on sale at Whole Foods that week into an ale with a healthy dose of hops and some kind of sugar I’ve never heard of.

Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit.  I do tend to do that whenever I write words in English from time to time. And having done some home brewing myself, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I understand ales are less difficult to manage, making them easier to experiment with while mitigating the possible financial setback of brewing 60 barrels of something a donkey wouldn’t even drink.  Also, my knowledge of available brews isn’t exactly encyclopedic, either. It could be there are a lot more experimental Weiss beers out there that I wouldn’t recognized if I one was splashed in the face by an angry cousin at a family gathering.

So you tell me, am I missing them? What’s you favorite off-the-beaten path lager?

And much more importantly, how do you plan to celebrate National Lager Day?  Because, sure, we could leave the college kids to celebrate this on for us, but I’m thinking there are probably ways to do it that taste a whole lot better.

Pud’n

Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend Events 2014

Because we are a beer blog, we’re only concentrating on specifically beer related Saint Patrick’s Day / weekend events. In other words, we’re not listing food or music information. And, no, we’re not listing anything involving green beer.

Dingle House
Monday, March 17th
Opening at 9:00 am
Kegs and Eggs

Holler Hops & Grill
Monday, March 17th
Opening at 3:00 pm
“We don’t believe in covers here at the Holler Hops and Grill, and in fact we are introducing a reverse cover. Everyone thru the door will receive a wooden nickel ($2) to put towards their tab. There will be a Guinness Chugging contest, raffle prizes, some Irish beers, Shepard’s pie and Corned Beef and Hash.
WE WILL NOT HAVE GREEN BEER! We like beer too much to ruin it with food coloring! If you promise to not act like a lunatic, you are invited.”

The Lackman
Saturday, March 15th
Opening at 10:00 am
$3.50 Guinness

MadTree Tap Room
Opening at 12:00 noon
Mac the Willis Irish Red and Black Forest Milk Stout on tap.

Molly Malone’s Covington
Saturday, March 15th
3rd Annual All About the Stout Fest
Monday, March 17th
Open at 7:00 am for Kegs and Eggs
First 100 people through the door will receive a Molly’s souvenir shirt.

Nicholson’s
Saturday, March 15th – Saint Practice Day (Drink specials)
Monday, March 17th – 11:00am – 11:00pm
$5 Guinness, Smithwick’s & Harp
$3 Guinness Black Lager bottles

The Pub at Rookwood Mews
Monday, March 17th
Kegs and Eggs at 6:00 am
$5 Guinness, Smithwick’s & Harp
$3 Guinness Black Lager bottles


A Better Beer Valentine’s Day

If you’ve been watching any of the Winter Olympics daytime coverage on NBC Sports Network, you’ve probably seen the many, many commercials trying to tell you what to buy for Valentine’s Day. The thing that stuck us was how many of them thought the point of sending your honey something on Valentine’s Day was to make the people around them jealous. How stupid is that?

Instead of that, we have two better beer related ideas for Valentine’s Day this year. The first comes from the always inventive folks at Fifty West Brewing.

Growlers Not Flowers

So, instead of the cliched and overpriced flowers, why don’t you send your Valentine a growler of Fifty West beer? On Thursday, February 13th (Valentine’s eve), you can get a growler of Fifty West Penny’s Pilsner, Thirty-37, and Paycheck’s Porter delivered to your sweetie. The cost is $25.00 which includes the delivery fee. To order, email Becca Bollinger at Becca@fiftywestbrew.com and send her your name, phone number, email address and delivery address. In order to qualify, the delivery location must be within the I-275 loop.

CIncy Beerfest

Then, on Valentine’s Day itself (2/14), take your Valentine to the Cincy Winter Beerfest at the Cincinnati Convention Center. That’s what we’ll be doing. The Connoisseur Packages are already sold out so if you thought ahead and got those for your honey, kudos to you! But, you can still get VIP tickets for either Friday or Saturday night. You’ll get in an hour earlier than the general admission ticket holders and get a slightly larger tasting glass.

But, honestly? You want to go Friday night. The crowd levels are much lower so the lines for the more popular beers are shorter. Trust us… we’ve seen the difference in crowd size every year. Plus, Friday is Valentine’s Day, not Saturday.

Tickets are available on the Cincy Beerfest website. If you want to save some money, you can also buy your tickets (cash only) at The Party Source (Bellevue KY) or Rock Bottom Brewery (Fountain Square-Downtown Cincy) Or Brew Monkeys (Cheviot) and avoid the online fees. Designated Driver tickets are also available, but must be purchased in advance.

No matter what you and your Valentine decide to do this year, we hope you have a great day. Have fun and just say “no” to stupid ideas from cable television.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

Carla and Tom

Beer Gifts of Christmas Past

We have been lucky to have Jason Rust aka Puddin’ as a contributor at Hoperatives for several years now. And over the years, he has written some wonderful holiday posts with a definite better beer theme. We wanted to share them with you again once again.


A Craft Brew Christmas Carol


How the Grinch Stole Beermas


Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Hoppy New Year!

— Tom and Carla

Thankful For the Better Beer in Cincinnati (and beyond, too)

Lo, the many years ago, when I first started writing for Hoperatives (that is, back in the fall of 2010, when I had way more free time and dinosaurs still roamed the Earth), one of the very first posts I rambled out in typical Puddin fashion was for Thanksgiving that year.  It related my experience from the turkey day the year prior, when I was appallingly inconsiderate to the point of offering my guests nothing but tasty craft beers for the day. Such gall I had! The cooler was conspicuously (and pointedly) free of anything I considered somewhat flavorless.

After all, it was my party, right? If you’re going to eat my turkey, then you should be prepared to drink my beer, too.

As likely comes as no surprise to the readers of this blog, the experiment was a smashing success. At the end of the day, the number of bottles remaining in my cooler equaled the number of complaints I’d received about having the audacity to skimp on the InBevMilloors options: ZERO.

The following year, then, in that first ever Hoperatives Thanksgiving post, I pondered what beers I should offer in the hopes of both making everyone a little happier while maybe taking things up a notch. You know, rolling everyone up to that fabled next level.

In the end, I came up with a solid list, one that I’d still proudly offer today.  But, of the five types of beer I iced down that day as the Detroit Lions were executing their annual march to NFL defeat, only two of them were local brews. And even those arguably strained the definition of “local”.

Finding myself now less than twenty-four hours away from having the whole fam damily over again for a day dedicated to turkey, football, each other, thankfulness, and (who am I kidding) pie and tasty brews, it’s time to settle on the beer list for this year.  As I contemplated that very question last night (yes, that likely explains the faint burning odor you thought you smelled), I realized something fairly important.

Oh, what a difference three years makes.

Because, this year, it’s not only feasible, but kind of favorable, to offer my guests beers brewed solely in the greater Cincinnati area. As anyone who’s been a Hoperatives reader for any length of time knows, today is glorious day to be a beer drinker in Cincinnati. While we’re not quite offering the volume that pre-Prohibition brewers did, we are still blessed with an embarrassing bounty of malty, hoppy riches, all produced in a twenty miles radius around downtown. I won’t name all the brewers and breweries again (the list is so long now!), but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I find the near-meteoric rise in our local brewing community a bit staggering.

Could I have cobbled together a local’s only list of brews three years ago? Sure, yes.  But my options would have been limited. Too many of the same labels all in the same ice bath. This year, though, there will be no repeats. I’ll be slipping the offerings of four or five different brewers into that ice, each one local, and each capable of going toe-to-toe with the brands and bottles of brewers hundreds of miles away.

Looking back to where this city was when I first starting writing for Hoperatives three years ago, I’d say that’s something to be damned proud of.

From all of us at Hoperatives, then, to all of our fellow believers in better beer out there, here’s to a full glass, a full plate, a full stomach, and a happy Thanksgiving all around!

Pud’n

Holiday Hours for Independence Day Weekend

This is just a partial list that we expect to grow as we hear from more better beer locations. Let us know if you have information on locations we don’t have listed here.

20 Brix
Thursday, July 4th: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday, July 5th: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: Closed

UPDATE Bakersfield OTR
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
Saturday, July 6th: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
Sunday, July 7th: 11:00 am – 10:00 m

Christian Moerlein Brewing Tap Room
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 4:00 – 9:00 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 12:00 – 9:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: 12:00 – 6:00 pm

Dilly Café, Wines & Gourmet
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Everything’s d’Vine
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm NO TASTING
Saturday, July 6th: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: Closed

UPDATE Fifty West Brewing
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 4:00 pm – 2:00 am
Saturday, July 6th: 12:00 noon – 2:00 am
Sunday, July 7th: 11:00 am – 12:00 midnight

UPDATE Flipdaddy’s (both locations)
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 11:00 am – 12:00 midnight
Saturday, July 6th: 11:00 am – 12:00 midnight
Sunday, July 7th: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Great Crescent Brewery Tap Room
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 11:30 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: Closed

Holler Hops & Grill
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 12:00 noon – 2:00 am
Saturday, July 6th: 12:00 noon – 2:00 am
Sunday, July 7th: 12:00 noon – 1:00 am

UPDATE Listermann Brewing / Triple Digit Tasting Room
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: Closed

UPDATE MadTree Brewing Tap Room
Thursday, July 4th: 4:00 pm – 12:00 midnight
Friday, July 5th: 4:00 pm – 1:00 am
Saturday, July 6th: 12:00 pm – 1:00 am
Sunday, July 7th: Closed

Market Wines
Thursday, July 4th: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friday, July 5th: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Moerlein Lager House
Thursday, July 4th: 11:00 am – 12:00 Midnight
Friday, July 5th: 11:00 am – 1:00 am
Saturday, July 6th: 11:00 am – 1:00 am
Sunday, July 7th: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

The Party Source
Thursday, July 4th: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Friday, July 5th: 8:00 am – 12:00 am
Saturday, July 6th: 8:00 am – 12:00 am
Sunday, July 7th: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

UPDATE Rhinegeist Tap Room
Thursday, July 4th: 12:00 noon – 12:00 midnight
Friday, July 5th: 12:00 noon – 12:00 midnight
Saturday, July 6th: 12:00 noon – 12:00 midnight
Sunday, July 7th: 12:00 noon – 8:00 pm

Rivertown Brewing Tap Room
Thursday, July 4th: 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm
Friday, July 5th: 5:00 – 10:00 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 12:00 noon – 10:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: Closed

UPDATE Virgils Café
Thursday, July 4th: Closed
Friday, July 5th: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Whole Foods Mason
Thursday, July 4th: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm; Mason Jar Pub 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday, July 5th: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm; Mason Jar Pub 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday, July 6th: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm; Mason Jar Pub 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, July 7th: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm; Mason Jar Pub 11:00 am – 9:00 pm