Braxton Brewing and NKY Homebrewers Guild to Host Hammerdown Brew Cup

Hammerdown Brew CupBraxton Brewing Company has teamed up with the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild to host a new homebrew competition this April.  The Hammerdown Brew Cup will be Saturday, April 23 2016 at Braxton in Covington.

The Hammerdown Brew Cup will be the second competition run by the NKY Homebrewers, but the first with Braxton as sponsor.  Braxton Head Brewer, Evan Rouse and COO, Greg Rouse have been members of the Guild since its inception in 2012 and remain highly involved in the club, despite their busy commercial brewing responsibilities.

Hammerdown Brew Cup is a BJCP sanctioned competition limited to 350 entries with a 10 entry limit per brewer.  Braxton Head Brewer Evan Rouse will serve as Head Judge and Brewing Team Member Mike Roszkowski will be Competition Coordinator.  The Best of Show winning beer may be eligible to be brewed on Braxton’s professional system if it is within a qualifying category. The winner will be invited to brew their beer with the Braxton team on their 20 BBL brewhouse. The winning beer will be released in the Braxton tap room and may be distributed locally. In the event that the BOS beer is not from an eligible category the runner up beers will be considered.


Entry registration for the competition opened Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the competition website  The Guild is also seeking volunteers to judge and steward the competition.  Judging will begin at 9:00 a.m. April 23rd, at Braxton Brewing, 27 W. 7th St., Covington KY.


Stout Season, Sound Off!

As you may have noticed, the air is becoming crisp, the days shorter and Christmas decorations are popping up around town.  That can only mean one thing; fall has arrived in Greater Cincinnati.  And though it troubles me that it has become normal around here for Christmas to arrive ten minutes after Halloween (we will save that for another post), one of my favorite things about this time of year is that fall is also stout season.  Everyone has their favorite beers and beer styles and for me, the higher the SRM1 the happier I am.

Chris and Jared enjoying a Stout at Holler
Chris and Jared enjoying a Stout at Holler

I can’t really articulate what it is about stouts that make me so happy.  Maybe the roastiness, or the dark chocolates.  Maybe it’s how the full body makes you feel like you are really drinking a beer.  Maybe, and this is a stretch, just maybe it is the often-elevated alcohol content.  Whatever it is, I love a good stout. Since we are getting into the season of the stout, I thought it would be fun to find out what your favorite Greater Cincinnati brewed stout is.

So let’s hear it!  What is your favorite stout?  Start with your favorite that is brewed locally.  I would also like to know what your all time favorite is if it doesn’t happen to be from around here.  And I know Porters are really good too, they are my second favorite style (see previous SRM comment), but I am looking for stouts right now.

Let me know in the comments here, on Facebook or Twitter @cmcgnky what your favorite Cincinnati area stout is and where I can find it.  Then let me know about your all-time favorite even if it is from out of town.   I will be making my stout shopping list and will follow up with another post on all of the great hometown stouts out there, hopefully just in time for you to start your Christmas shopping.

1The Standard Reference Method or SRM is one of several systems modern brewers use to specify beer color. Wikipedia

To Be Called A Contributor, You Must Contribute

Hello long lost beer readers, this is Chris.  I have been somewhat estranged from my contributor duties over the past….. well year or so, and I apologize to Tom and Carla for my lack of participation.  As they and some of you know, I was working very diligently over the past year and a half to achieve my life long goal of becoming a police officer.  Thankfully, I finally accomplished that goal, but as you might imagine, my better beer hobbies weren’t really at the top of my to-do list.  That list was heavily dominated by eating better and a lot of sit-ups, push-ups and jogging (pronounced yogging, according to Ron Burgundy).  Don’t get me wrong, there was a good amount of tasty beer involved and my homebrewing hobby, along with (equally estranged) Hoperatives contributor Jared Whalen, saw some action over that time, I just never found much time to sit behind my computer and write things down I thought you would want to read.

Chris Y'allville

With that I thought I would reintroduce myself in this semi-beer related short post.  Initially my goal was to write a bunch of Traveling Tuesday posts for Hoperatives, because in my last job, I traveled a ton so it made sense.  Of course about that time, I left that job and don’t get too far out of Cincinnati anymore on a regular basis.  So I hope to help Tom and Carla add some posts about one of my favorite parts of better beer which is alive and well in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, the vibrant better beer community consisting of you fine people and all of the great beer stores, restaurants, bars and events that call this area home.  I am going to make a great effort to visit spots and write reviews and recaps of all my adventures.  And hopefully, I will get to meet some cool new people along the way.

Until then, feel free to keep up with me on Twitter @cmcgnky.  I would love to hear any post ideas you might have.  And if you don’t see anything from me in a few weeks, put your electronic boot up my you know where.


Chris #212


NKY Homebrewers Guild and Christian Moerlein Brewing to Host Moerlein Cup Homebrew Competition

The Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild has teamed up with Christian Moerlein Brewing to host the first ever Moerlein Cup Homebrew Competition.

This will be the first competition organized by the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild, just two years after the club was founded in Hebron, Kentucky.  Competition entries opened on December 1st and the competition has already hit its 300 entry limit  just before 2 p.m. on December 10th.  Though no additional entries will be accepted, organizers want you to know you can still be involved in the inaugural event.  “Beer competitions are a great way to learn more about brewing and build community with other like-minded people.  We really want to encourage folks with an interest in homebrewing to not only enter their beers, but sign up to help judge or steward the day of the competition,” said Competition Coordinator Mike Roszkowski.

“We’ve fielded dozens of questions already from new brewers about how to enter.  Helping to educate homebrewers and take their brewing to another level is really the point, and we’re really working hard to put together a great pool of judges to give great feedback to the entrants”, said Roszkowski.

moerleincupNovice judges who sign up will be paired with more experienced BJCP credentialed judges.  Those who may want to get a better feel for the BJCP process but don’t want to judge can sign up to steward.  Stewards will deliver entries to judges and help keep scoring records during the event.  Judging will take place at the Christian Moerlein Brewery on Moore Street in Cincinnati on Saturday, January 18th.  As an incentive for those who volunteer, Christian Moerlein will provide two free drink tickets for the after party which will be held at the brewery tap room following the awards ceremony.

“Cincinnati has been one of the mecca of the “better beer” category (before the term craft beer), and Christian Moerlein is at the forefront to advocate the revival of the brewing tradition.  Homebrewers have shown over the years that they can very successfully create unique and exciting beers.  Christian Moerlein’s desire is to nurture this enthusiasm for more adventurous offerings,” said Richard Dubé, Brewmaster and Vice President of Brewing and Quality for Christian Moerlein Brewing Company.

Beyond providing a venue for the competition and covering nearly all expenses associated with the event, Christian Moerlein will select two first place entries to brew on their system at the Moerlein Lager House to be served to the public.  “What is more thrilling for a passionate homebrewer than seeing his/her creation reach a wider audience?  Not only will Christian Moerlein offer a platform to judge and comment on their efforts but will also have the pleasure to brew selected winner’s recipes,” said Dubé.

Thanks to the generous support and sponsorship of the Moerlein Cup by Christian Moerlein Brewing, all proceeds raised by entry fees will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati, a charity that the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild has supported since shortly after it’s inception.

Homebrewers, judges, stewards, event volunteers, friends, families and anyone who wants to hang out with a bunch of “beer-people” are invited to attend the awards ceremony and after party at the Christian Moerlein Brewery tap room at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday January 18th.  Organizers hope to have a great showing of people who come out and celebrate the first annual Moerlein Cup, the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild and the generosity of our sponsor, Christian Moerlein Brewing.  The brewery is located at 1621 Moore St Cincinnati, OH 45202.

If you are interested in volunteering as a judge or steward for the competition, visit to sign up.  You can also stay up to date on all of the competition details on the competition Facebook page at

I hope to see everyone there!

Chris (#212)

Who Dey Think Gonna Raise More Money?

MadTree Brewing is teaming up with the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild in their effort to raise money for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  1001380_3289504972175_1729332084_nThe two are inviting better beer and Bengals lovers to the MadTree tap room on Sunday, September 8th to watch the first game of the Bengals regular season.

MadTree will be serving up their finest craft beers while the Bengals face off against the Bears at 1p.m.  in Chicago.  A local food truck will be serving food while the Homebrewers sell split the pot and raffle tickets to all those in attendance.

All proceeds raised during the event will benefit the NKY Homebrewers Guild Walk to End Alzheimer’s Team.  This is the first year the Guild has raised money for the cause, and to date have raised over $1500 making them the 13th team in the walk’s top 20 fundraisers this year.  Team Captain Tina Rouse of Union says her goal is to be rated number 1 before the walk which takes place at Sawyer Point on Saturday October 5th.

According to the Alzheimer’s Walk website, over 1,000 people on 255 teams have registered to participate this year and raised over $114,000 of their $449,000 goal.  The Walk is the nations largest event to raise awareness and funds to fight Alzheimer’s disease which is the 6th most common cause of death in the United States of America.  You can help the NKY Homebrewers by simply coming out to watch the Bengals kick off their season, while enjoy great locally brewed craft beer with your friends and family.

The event called “Who Dey Think Gonna Raise More Money?” will be from 1 to 5 at MadTree Brewing, 5164 Kennedy Ave. Cincinnati Ohio 45213.

Barleycorn’s and Homebrewers Raise Money to End Alzheimer’s

The Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild and Barleycorn’s Florence Kentucky location would like to invite you, your friends, neighbors, families and co-workers to join us for a meal to raise money to end Alzheimer’s Tuesday, August 27th.

For every flyer presented on Tuesday, Barleycorn’s will be donating 15% of your bill (including alcohol) to the NKY Homebrewers Guild Walk to Cure Alzheimer’s fundraising team. Additionally, NKYHBG members will be on hand between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. selling split the pot tickets. 100% of the proceeds raised will go to the Walk to Cure Alzheimer’s is October.

In addition to a full menu of tasty food options, and spirits, a Mt. Carmel beer (yet to be determined) will be available on tap for your better beer drinking enjoyment.

You must present a flyer to your server in order for the donation to be made. Flyers will not be available at the restaurant so be sure to download yours by clicking HERE.

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

Barleycorn’s has been known as your neighborhood bar and restaurant for over 35 years. Family owned and operated by Ken, Joe and Rick Heil, they take pride in giving every customer a GREAT dining experience. Each location offers a great selection of lunch and dinner entrées, award winning burgers and chicken wings and a wide selection of spirits.

The NKY Homebrewers Guild are a brew-centric club that is dedicated to advancing the craft of homebrewing in Northern Kentucky. Their main focus is brewing but they also gather for social engagements such as happy hours, local craft brewery tours/visits, craft beer festivals, and competitions. We exist to help homebrewers of all levels learn, help, teach and advance their craft.

Barleycorn’s Florence is located at 8544 US 42. The restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. Stop by for lunch and/or dinner to help support this worthy cause. We hope to see you there!  (Don’t forget your flyer HERE.)

On Tap at the 35th Annual Taste of Cincinnati This Weekend

This weekend is the 35th annual Taste of Cincinnati hosted by the Downtown Council and the Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Association. I made some calls to find out what would be on tap for those headed downtown for this year’s flavorful festival. It looks like the price is pretty much $5 for a small and $7 for a large across the board. Here is a run down of the beers we know will be there:

  • Alltech Lexington Brewing, Booth 412 – KY Bourbon Ale, KY Bourbon Barrel Stout, KY Ale, KY Kolsh (Lite), and KY IPA
  • Bell’s Brewing, Booth 526 – Two Hearted, Oberon, Lager and Midwest Pale
  • Christian Moerlein, Booths 206, 230, 318, 400, 508, 614, 802 & 1002 – OTR Ale, Original Golden Helles, Exposition Vienna Lager, Elixir, Seven Hefeweizen, North Liberties India Pale Ale, Specialty Pints & Firkins
  • Christian Moerlein Tapping & Tasting Area, Booth 232 – OTR Ale, Original Golden Helles, Exposition Vienna Lager, Elixir, Seven Hefeweizen, North Liberties India Pale Ale, Specialty Pints & Firkin
  • Great Lakes Brewing, Booth 222 – Wright Pils, Dortmunder Gold, Burning River and Com Perry IPA
  • Hudepohl, Booth 602 & 716 – Amber Lager, Summer Pilsner, Classic Porter & Delight
  • Leinenkugel, Booth 200 – Summer Shandy, Red Lager and Berry Weiss
  • Rivertown Brewing, Booth 820 – Helles, Hop Bomber Pale Ale, Blueberry Lager, Jenneke
  • Samuel Adams, Booth 114 – Sam Adams Lager, Summer Ale

The website lists the following breweries as being in attendance but we weren’t able to determine which of the beers would be on tap.

  • Yuengling, Booth 524 & 534 – $4 Small and $6 Large
  • Miller Lite, Booth 810 – $5 Bottle
  • Heineken, Booth 730
  • Budweiser, Booth 430 – $5 Bottles

The Taste of Cincinnati hours are 12 (noon) to 12 (midnight) on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 and 12 (noon) to 9 pm on Monday May 27th.

Hope to see you all there supporting our local craft breweries.


Chris (#212)

Homebrewers Unite to End Alzheimer’s

Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 15 2013, the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild and
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Union Kentucky will be hosting a pancake breakfast to raise money for the Walk to Cure Alzheimer’s hosted in October by the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Cincinnati. Tickets are on sale now for only $7 each (kids under 5 are free) and money raised will be donated to the NKYHBG Alzheimer’s Walk team. Breakfast includes pancakes, bacon, breakfast potatoes, milk, coffee and juice. Tickets must be purchased in advance to ensure enough food is available for the event.

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death (

“I decided to start a team for the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild because they are a very diverse group. They like to have fun, they exhibit tremendous camaraderie and they are a very generous and giving bunch of people. I believe those ingredients combine to make a perfect recipe for a team. Through some casual conversations with Guild members, I learned that Alzheimer’s had touched the lives of a few of the other members. When I mentioned the annual walk, the pancake breakfast, as well as a few other things we had planned to try and raise money for the walk team, I got some really favorable responses and offers to help. Amongst ourselves we’ve discussed trying to become the highest fundraising team in the history of the walk. While I don’t know if that will actually happen, I truly believe that we are on a good path and will make a tremendous financial impact to benefit he Alzheimer’s Association” said NKYHBG Team Captain, Tina Rouse.

For tickets, you can email Chris McGreevy (Hoperative #212) at or call 859-488-1205.

Event Details:
NKHBG Pancake Breakfast
Saturday, June 15 2013
8:30 am to 10:30 am
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s
1597 Calvary Ln
Union, KY 41091

If you are unable to attend the breakfast, you can still support this great cause and the NKY Homebrewers Guild Team by making a donation online at

To find out more about the NKY Homebrewers Guild, visit
I hope to see you there to support this great cause.

Chris (#212)

A Craft Beer Weekend To Remember

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last month or so, you probably know that this past Friday and Saturday was the two night Cincy Winter Beerfest along with the 5B conference at the Cincinnati Duke Energy Convention Center.  If you didn’t make it downtown this weekend for the festivities, you missed quite the good time, in my humble opinion.

My planning for this weekend began in December when I booked my hotel room and submitted my vacation request at work.  Did I need to take 5 days off for a two day event, well no, but as I write this on Monday, I do not regret taking the long weekend one bit, was kind of a fun mini vacation kind of thing.  Prior to heading downtown Friday, I stopped and got some snacks and the all-important case of bottled water.  Hydration is very important when you plan to sample hundreds of craft beers in two nights, as you are aware from reading John’s post on how to survive a beer festival posted last week ;).

Being “dedicated to the craft” as I like to say, Jared (#14) and I purchased the upgraded 5B package which included two nights of Beer Fest with Connoisseur tickets both nights.  For the un-indoctrinated, connoisseur tickets allow you access to a special event area featuring the finest beer and food pairings featuring the best local restaurants and breweries from across the region.  Connoisseurs enjoy private restrooms and a complimentary coat check which is away from the sporadic craziness of the VIP and General Admission main event. We were in a larger banquet area this year with more room and table space so things never really got uncomfortably crowded.  The musicians playing were also a welcome feature, all of this made for a very enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere.  If you enjoy fine food and beer, I highly recommend investing in the upgraded tickets.

Cincy Winter Beerfest 2013

The main event area which was comprised of the entire convention center floor was organized very similar to last year and offered over 300 beer selections from all over the nation.  There was an excellent variety of styles and flavors to suit any pallet.  The crowds were large but nowhere near as uncomfortable or rowdy as they were in 2012.  It seems like a lot of people stayed away from Saturday this year which really made it a lot more enjoyable.  On the main floor, we spent a lot of time with the group representing the Northern Kentucky Homebrewers Guild most of which were clad in our guild shirts which apparently made us look somewhat official.  We were asked a lot of questions by a lot of people who were just beginning to explore craft beer.  It was really a fun time getting to talk beer with so many experts and novices alike.

Saturday morning was the second annual 5B (Believers in Better Beer, Bites and Blogging) conference hosted by Hoperatives.  Speakers from all over the region came together to discuss blogging and to help local bloggers, regardless of topic, stay motivated, organized and engaged with their audiences.  Local beer distributers graciously sponsored a beer tasting at lunch and bottle and glassware share ended the event in the afternoon which were excellent additions to this year’s conference.  Regardless of what track you were focusing on, it seemed like everyone really took a lot of great information away, and the collaboration and networking has continued in the days following the conference.

Cafe de Wheels at 5B

If you decided not to attend this year, you missed out on a great time.  This is one of my favorite weekends of the year and I think many in attendance will concur that in large part, it was a great event and wonderful opportunity for the advocates of better beer, food and blogging to get together to both celebrate and introduce the Cincinnati area at large about the unique and passionate community that has been created in Cincinnati.

My hats off to Tom and Carla from Hoperatives, the staff and volunteers from Cincy Winter Beerfest and to all those who came out and celebrated Craft Beer and blogging in Cincinnati.  I also want to commend the members and volunteers from the Cincinnati Malt Infusers who hosted the 2013 All-American Homebrew Competition on Saturday morning as well.  It took a lot of people and hard work to run these events this weekend, so on behalf of all those who enjoyed themselves, thank you to all that dedicated your time and talent.  Now that I have sobered up, I am already looking forward to next year.

Chris (#212)

A Craft Beer Holiday Survey

So, for the last few years, I have had a little holiday get together at my house to celebrate the holiday season with the people I enjoy being around, my friends and family.  As I am planning my holiday get together this year, I am having trouble deciding which better beers to serve up on my kegorator.  And as Carla will attest to, social media is supposed to be just that, social.  So I thought I would survey the most knowledgeable better beer people I could think of: the Hoperatives and readers.  Let me know what your favorite better beer would be for a holiday party.  Keep in mind, I have a combination of craft beer lovers and those yet to find their way in attendance so I always try to provide a good “gateway” beer for the non-believer.

So, let me hear it, and if you play your cards right, some of you may get to enjoy the selections.  And let me be the first to say, Happy Holidays!

Chris #212