What Beer Would You Take?

Back in November of 2010, we were lucky enough to attend the Inaugural Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder, Colorado. We went to Oskar Blues and Boulder Brewery. Met amazing beer professionals like Mariah Calagione of Dogfish Head, Greg Koch of Stone and Rob Widmer of Widmer Bros. But, best of all, we got to meet other beer bloggers from around the nation and we still keep in touch with many of them.

In the years since then, we missed some of the BBC conferences but have made it to most of the ones within driving distance of Cincinnati like Indy and Boston. This year, the conference is in a great beer town that we know well – Asheville. Oh, and it has a slightly different name that better describes the conference, so it’s the Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference (BBWC).

One event that has been a part of most of the past BBWC conferences is the Night of Many Bottles. It’s basically the bottle share portion of the conference. This year, the instructions are to “bring one six-pack of beer – your local favorite, something hard to get you have been cellaring, or anything else you choose.”

Since we are a Cincinnati focused beer blog / informational website, we always take Cincinnati beers. In past years, we had a much more narrow range to choose from. But, luckily, in 2015, we have so many great Cincinnati beers that it’s getting hard to choose two (one for each of us).

So we wanted to ask all of you. What Cincinnati beer would you take to share with other beer bloggers & writers from around the country? Unfortunately, it has to be in bottles or cans, so local beers that aren’t packaged won’t work.

Tell us what beer you would take and why. You can put your comment here or post it on our Facebook page. If you are concise, you can tweet it to us too. We will take recommendations through July 12th and let you know which two we went with that next week.

Thanks in advance!

–Carla and Tom

Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference 2015

Top Ten Things We’d Rather Not See at Beer Festivals

We go to a lot of beer festivals, possibly more than is healthy. It’s pretty hard to go more than a month or two without a festival popping up somewhere. A well-run festival is a lot of fun. It seems that when we compare notes at the end of a festival, however, certain things seem to happen over and over. Every blog seems to be required to do a list of ten things, and we considered doing “The Top Ten Beer Lists That Really Bore Us” but we thought that might be a little meta. So, instead we talked about it and polled our contributors to come up with this list of things we’d rather not see at beer festivals.

Do you have others? Leave a comment!

#10. People showing up drunk.
Why on earth would you come to a beer festival already drunk? There’s a good chance it’ll happen while you’re there, which is why good designated driver programs and close-by hotels are hallmarks of a well-run festival (e.g see Cincy Winter Beerfest). It doesn’t seem to matter, though. We’ve seen bachelor parties. We’ve see bachelorette parties. We’ve seen people projectile vomiting while waiting in line to get in. (They didn’t, by the way.) We’ve become weary of the the line “you’re doing it wrong,” but in this one case it seems very appropriate.

#9. People stopping randomly and without warning, then being astonished when someone runs into them.
This one comes under the heading of “News flash! There are other people on the planet besides you!” Because people (reasonably) attend beer festivals in groups, it’s not unusual to see herds of people migrating around a festival location. Traffic patterns emerge. Paths get beaten. Or they do, anyway, until Captain Clueless and his Merry Band of Slugs decides that this choke-point between two popular booths is JUST the place to stop and check their phone. Maybe to take a picture of all the people who were walking behind them and are now getting crushed because you came to a full stop in the middle of the traffic lane. Here’s a hint: if you’re walking, there’s a good chance there’s someone behind you doing the same thing and won’t stop when you do. Move out of the flow of traffic before you stop to have a chat.

#8. Booths that have nothing to do with beer or the festival.
Just because someone is willing to write a check to participate in your festival, it doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea to have them there. They won’t get much traffic and people will just stare at them the longer the night goes on.

#7. Brewers and Brewery Reps who won’t interact (or just disappear).
We’ve made a lot of great contacts with brewery folks over the years at festivals. It’s safe to say that most brewers and brewery reps take the promotional part of being at a beer festival seriously. What can be pretty annoying, though, is wanting to talk to someone from the brewery but you can’t get their attention because they’ve huddled together at the back of the booth and are talking among themselves. Granted, you can’t be “on stage” all the time (and brewing appeals to introverts), but that human touch is supposed to be what distinguishes craft beer from MegaBrewingCo. Make an effort.

#6. Lack of water for rinsing glasses and hydration.
Water is the second most important liquid at a beer festival. People need to drink it, and people need to rinse their glasses between samples. It’s not uncommon for there to be empty pitchers sitting out, but sometimes they get pressed into service as dump bucket instead of holding water. We’ve also seen situations where there was supposed to be water, but there weren’t any arrangements made to get the water refilled. We rejoice when we see iced bottles or cans of water readily available.

#5. People who know (or were told) nothing about the beer they are serving.
This is a tough one because a lot of festivals are staffed by volunteers who are either working for free beer at breaks or tips for an organization. They may not know much about beer (or the ones they’re assigned to pour). On the other hand, somewhere on the list of reasons people say they hold beer festivals is to help educate people about beer. There’s not much education going on if the person pouring the beer is surprised it gets foamy on top. You also have festivals required by venue rules to use some particular set of “professional” bartenders. Some try to pick up a bit, most don’t. If you can’t be there yourself, help out the people who’ll be pouring the beers by providing some kind of cheat sheet.

Top Ten Beer Festivals#4. No listing of available beers.
Some beer festival advertising would be more accurate if it simply said “We know what beers are going to be there but we won’t tell you.” There may (or may not) be a list of participating breweries. That list may (or may not) include what beers will be poured. There may (or may not) be a sign at each booth, but that sign will be written in ballpoint pen by a child and hung on the edge of the table that has a line in front of it slightly smaller than the population of Albania. You finally make it to the front of the line to find that the chalkboard tap handle has nothing on it but a pale smear of green eraser marks. You ask the sole person pouring beer what the tap is and they respond, “yellow.”

#3. (tie) “Strollers” and “Unattended toddlers running around screaming”
There are family restaurants. There are family fun centers. Family arcades, church services, petting zoos and ice cream stands.

There are no family beer festivals.

(Before you get the torches and pitchforks out, there are events held outdoors that have a music or food component at least as important as the beer part. That’s not the kind of event we’re talking about. We’re talking about events that are about the beer first and foremost.)

It sucks that it’s hard to find affordable childcare whenever you need it, but it’s not the problem of everyone else attending either. Bring your underaged kid to a beer festival and you will be judged harshly by pretty much everyone else there. You’d think it wouldn’t even be a question, but at least two festivals we’re aware of have found it necessary to explicitly ban strollers.

At. A. Beer. Festival.

We’ve seen infants in Snuglis or Baby Bjorns before and, other than the confusion and noise, we’ve never given that much thought. The kids are usually asleep. They’re being carried. There’s the risk of the child being hit by projectile vomiting from an attendee, but they’re in a better position than most to retaliate in kind. It wouldn’t be the choice we’d make, but it’s not for us to say.

Oh, and to make sure it’s clear this is really about the parents and not the kids, we don’t think mobility scooters have any place at a beer festivals either. Besides the issue with crowding at indoor events, it’s ultimately an act of drinking and driving. It hurts to get hit by one of those things.

#2. Clustering at a booth.
It’s not a bar, people. Give them your ticket (if necessary), thank the person who poured the beer and go away. Don’t down it like the first shot after working third-shift at the local mill and hand the taster back for a refill. That’s just not the way it works.

#1 “Irritating Dude-bros Tossing Back White Rajah With A Soul-Crushing Bitter-Beer-Face-Grimace While Macking On Poor Unsuspecting Ladies.”

That’s verbatim from Jason (Pud’n). No further explanation needed.

Did we miss one? Disagree with any of these? Leave your comments!


Traveling Tuesday: Dawa Bar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Last week, you may have noticed that we were light on blog posts. We were actually on vacation visiting our happy place – Walt Disney World. We’ve talked about how popular our Hoperatives Guide to Walt Disney World is before and we took some time this trip to check out the revised beer offerings there. We plan to bring you some of our findings over the next few weeks. This week, we’re looking at one of our favorite WDW beer locations that recently moved to a new location.

Dawa Bar at Tusker House

Originally located in the far left corner as you entered under the Tusker House sign above, the Dawa Bar is now to the right and near the front of this space. Because of the brightness outside, it’s hard to see it easily. Look for the three hanging lights to see it better. By the way, if you’re wondering, “Dawa” means “medicine” in Swahili… and damn fine medicine it is!

Dawa Bar at Animal Kingdom

This shot from the other side shows the new location better (recognize the hanging lights?). The new bar has three times as much bar seating space since there is seating on three sides instead of one. Alas, the empty beer bottles (all with animal brewery or beer names) aren’t anywhere to be seen now.

Dawa Bar Beer Menu

While not as extensive as some other locations, the Dawa Bar does feature some beers that are unique to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom resorts. This is one time to skip the generic draft beers and go with the more exotic bottled beers.

Tusker Beer

One of our favorites is Tusker Premium Lager from Nairobi, Kenya. It’s one of the beer options at Boma, Sanaa and the club level lounge among others. It’s great on a really hot day in the parks.

Traveling Tuesday: Milwaukee Beer Week 2014

After a long, cold winter like we’ve had this year (and the insult of one more snowfall on April 15th), a better beer lover’s mind starts to think about getting the hell out of dodge and checking out some other better beer cities. Ever since we read Maureen Ogle’s book Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, we have wanted to check out Milwaukee. And this year’s Milwaukee Beer Week may be the perfect time if you’ve been thinking about it too.

Running April 26th through May 3rd, there is a wide variety of events available to chose from. Some of them are similar to ones offered during our own Cincinnati Beer Week like firkin tappings, samplers and tap takeovers. Some are unique to Milwaukee like the Beer, Cheese, and Sausage Festival scheduled for April 26 from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. Several venues are holding beer cocktail events which sound interesting.

One of the unique features of Milwaukee Beer Week (MBW) that I hope our own Cincinnati Beer Week would adopt is the 2014 MBW Passport. Here is how it works: You can pick up your passport at any official MBW venue or pick it up ahead of time at five specified locations. Then, visit the participating Passport Destinations and get your Official MBW Passport stamped (it’s actually a sticker). Each MBW event is worth two points. At the conclusion of Milwaukee Beer Week, your passport can be redeemed for various prizes. For example, twelve points or six stamps in your passport gets you two brewery tour passes to Milwaukee Brewing Company or Sprecher Brewery. If you have twelve stamps (or 24 Points), you get a brewery wearable AND the two brewery tour passes.

Even if you can’t make it to Milwaukee for their beer week, you might want to LIKE their Facebook fan page for some beer travel ideas in Wisconsin. They are also planning daily daily giveaways via their Facebook page during Milwaukee Beer Week plus the grand prize is a “hard hat” tour for four at New Glarus Brewing Company with a certificate towards an overnight stay.

Milwaukee Beer Week

Traveling Tuesday: 24 Hours of Better Beer in Lexington, KY

Living in Cincinnati, we are lucky to have lots of better beer options right now. Definitely lots more than we started Hoperatives almost five and a half years ago. But, sometimes, you want to get the heck out of town. While Louisville, Indianapolis and Columbus are all close by, Lexington has become our go to weekend getaway.

Recently, Pinterest had a new type of board – the map board. Using FourSquare, you can pin some of your favorite places on to a map to share with others.

Since Pinterest is currently holding a contest for what they call “daycation” map boards, we knew we wanted to create one for Lexington.

Lexington Map Board

We ended up with nine pins and we can add more any time we want. Some of them you’ve read about here on Hoperatives before (West Sixth, Country Boy, Blue Stallion) and some we haven’t written about before (Kentucky Ale Tap Room at the Lexington Legends, Pazzo’s, Beer Trappe and North Lime Coffee & Donuts).

Clicking on one of the pins zooms in on the map and also highlights the pinned information about the better beer location on the left (as you can see it the example below). It’s all rather cool.

Lexington Map Board Close Up

This Pinterest map board turned out so well that we decided to start using them here on Hoperatives. Now, when you click on the Beer Maps link, you’ll be able to go to four different map boards: Breweries in the Cincinnati/NKY area, Brewpubs in the Cincinnati/NKY area, Restaurants/Bars/Pubs in the Cincinnati/NKY area and Beer stores in the Cincinnati/NKY area. The map board for each category is also linked at the bottom of the main page for each category.

As nice as they look, there are some problems. One – If a location isn’t on FourSquare or if Pinterest can’t find it using FourSquare, you can’t pin it to your map. Two – If a location is on FourSquare, but there isn’t an image linked to it and you don’t have an image to upload for it, you can’t pin that one to your map either. We’re in the process of taking more photos of the better beer locations listed here so hopefully we can fix one, if not both, of those problems.

In the meantime, we hope you like the new maps and hope you use them to find more better beer!

— Carla and Tom

Traveling Tuesday: Beer and Disney

While better beer is definitely one of our loves, Disney (especially Disney travel) is right up there too. A few years ago, we set up a portion of the Hoperatives website to provide more information on beer and Disney travel spots. The Hoperatives Guide to Beer at Walt Disney World in particular is one of our most popular web pages and is almost always in our top five.

Beer And Disney Cruise Line

We recently went on a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy and spent some time getting the beer lists for the various bars and lounges on the ship. While the selection isn’t as good as your favorite better beer location, it is getting better.

One thing nice about the Disney Cruise Line is that you are allowed to carry on your own alcohol as long as it fits in a soft-sided 12-pack cooler (No ice – Only one cooler per adult over 21 years of age allowed). As you can see above, we took some local favorites with us and also picked up some Florida favorites before the cruise too. The beverage cooler in our stateroom kept everything cool and our stateroom attendant kept our ice bucket filled so we could fill one of the soft-sided coolers to take with us pool side. Then, at the end of the cruise, we just folded the soft-sided coolers flat and slipped them into our suitcases. Saved a lot on our bar bill this way.

Beer and Disney

The Hoperatives Guide to Beer at Walt Disney World

The Hoperatives Guide to Beer on the Disney Cruise Line

The Hoperatives Guide to Beer at Disneyland

The Magic For Less Travel

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Traveling Tuesday: The Alchemist – Waterbury, VT

This summer my wife and I spent a week in New England driving around, camping, hiking in the mountains, seeing the sights, and, of course, sampling the fine beer that region has to offer.  One of our stops was Waterbury, Vermont, in the northern half of the state smack dab between Montpelier and Burlington. Our first stop in town was the Ben & Jerry’s factory and headquarters, which is one of those places that is so unabashedly fun and happy and delicious that even the most road-hardened traveler can easily overlook how touristy it is.  I mean, they have a graveyard for their retired flavors where visitors can pay their respects.  Yeah, it’s a pretty neat place, and Ben & Jerry’s from the source is every bit as delicious as you can imagine.

Our other stop in Waterbury was The Alchemist brewery. If you’ve never heard of them, you may have heard of their legendary singular product: Heady Topper.  It’s possible you’ve never even tried this beer and you’ve still heard of it – before our visit I was in that boat.  Heady Topper is a double IPA that is loaded up with hop flavor that isn’t too overwhelmingly bitter.  It was famously rated the #1 beer in the world by Beer Advocate.  And just to take the mystique over the top, it is sold in 16 ounce cans that encourage you to drink directly from them (somewhere, a beer snob just felt a great disturbance in the force).

Did I mention THIS IS THE ONLY BEER THE ALCHEMIST MAKES?  Long story short, they used to have a brewery in the basement of a pub where they made many beers, but it was destroyed by flooding from Hurricane Irene in 2011.  Then they moved to their current production facility where they devote themselves to this one beer.

We visited on a Monday to find the canning line in full operation.  We were treated to samples in mini-snifters from their small bar and gift shop.  As we watched the crew working the canning line and sat enjoying what really is a delicious, world-class beer, we noticed a strange thing.  People kept coming in, often forming a line, to buy Heady Topper by the case.  Mind you, a case runs you $72, or $3 a can.  Some purchased so many cases they needed hand-trucks to haul their spoils away.  Yeah.  I guess I don’t need to tell you that the black market for Heady Topper is beyond ridiculous.

Apparently the neighbors were none too happy about all the traffic and line-forming, because The Alchemist just announced they will close their retail operation at the brewery in order to “avoid a neighborhood dispute.”  They’ll keep the brewery running and are exploring other options for retailing their beer, beyond their already extremely limited distribution network.  Until they figure that out, the elusive Heady Topper just got a little harder to come by.

-John (#13)

The Alchemist

Nobody Goes to GABF Anymore. It’s Too Crowded.

I’ve never been to the Great American Beer Festival. I’m not sure I’m ever going to go, now. I have mixed feelings about that.

For those of you who have lives that don’t revolve around beer, the kerfuffle du jour in the beer world is that tickets for the Great American Beer Festival in Denver sold out extremely quickly. The Brewer’s Association/ American Homebrewer’s Association (BA / AHA) member’s pre-sale sold out in about two hours, but there were technical issues that kept a lot of legitimate members from being able to purchase tickets. When tickets went on sale to the general public the next day, they sold out in twenty minutes. Two years ago it took almost a week for tickets to sell out.

Except, of course, they didn’t really sell out. As I write this, there are just under 1000 tickets available on StubHub. There are about 50 more tickets listed there today (Friday) than yesterday. I expect there are probably similar numbers available via Craigslist, eBay and any number of other secondary markets. The Brewer’s Association — the sponsors of the Festival — have chosen to throw TicketMaster under the bus for the technical difficulties and have basically just thrown up their hands at the fact that so many folks are flipping their tickets for a profit. And I say “so many” with some reservations. The Brewer’s Association doesn’t release ticket sales numbers. They say 49,000 people attend GABF over the three days, but that includes brewers, staff, press and paid attendees. We have no way of knowing what percentage of tickets are on the secondary market (since a given ticket can be listed in more than one place) and how that compares to other high-profile events. My feeling is that what we’re seeing here isn’t all that large a percentage, but that’s just a guess. The logjam isn’t limited to people wanting to go to the sessions either. Brewers had difficulty getting in. The BA has proposed changes to deal with that issue, so it’s a pretty sure bet we’ll see some changes coming on the ticket purchase side once things settle down this year.

This story resonates with me on several levels. There’s the beer angle, of course. Then there’s the whole festival angle. We work with the Cincy Winter Beerfest organizers to put on the 5B Conference and I’m in awe of all the details that have to be handled simultaneously to get that many people safely in and out of a facility where intoxicating beverages are the entire point of the exercise. Finally, the first job I ever had when I was in high school and college was selling tickets at the Astrodome. I mostly worked Astros games in the summer, but we did football, concerts, prize fights, rodeos, whatever. We had the misfortune of being one of the first facilities in the country to adopt TicketMaster. I’ve played the game of cat-and-mouse with scalpers more times than I can count.

I called Craig Johnson to get some of his insights into the issue. Craig is one of the partners behind the Cincy Winter Beerfest, the Cincy Summer Beerfest on Fountain Square as well as similar events in Columbus and, most recently, Pittsburgh. He’s been to the last five GABFs and has a very strong admiration for how the logistics of the event are handled. One of the first things he stressed is the difference in scale between the festivals he works with and GABF. “We’ll have 350 some-odd beers,” he said, “They have 3,100.” The logistics of getting that much beer into the Denver Convention Center and to the right places at the right time is really quite an accomplishment. “What I don’t understand, though, is why they don’t expand the floor,” he said, “There’s a hall right next to the one they’re in that’s the same size. And downstairs there’s as much space as upstairs.” He stressed that he wasn’t necessarily arguing that the number of brewers needed to increase (though he wasn’t opposed to that, either), but that he thought it was worth spreading the crowd out and, presumably, being able to up the number of tickets being sold. He noted that he didn’t know what that would do to the Brewer’s Association’s cost structure or if the extra space is even an option, given other events in the facility.

Craig also pointed out that the three days of GABF is really expanding into an informal week-long beer holiday in the Denver area. It’s becoming sort of the national homecoming for brewers and beer fans alike and actually going to the festival itself is only part of the appeal of being in Colorado that week. “Everybody ought to go once to see it once,” he said, referring to the GABF itself, “but there’s a lot to do that week that makes the trip worthwhile without ever actually going [to GABF]” He pointed out that the Member’s session on Saturday afternoon was really the only time you’re likely to actually meet a brewer on the floor. “The public sessions are staffed by volunteers who wanted a ticket,” he said, “You’re not going to meet a brewer except at the Member’s session.” It’s relevant to point out here that, as I write this, StubHub lists the fewest available tickets for that session (98) and the highest starting price per ticket ($165 for a $65 face-value ticket that was discounted from $75 for being sold to an BA/AHA member).

There are things that the BA could probably do to cut down on the scalping, but most of those would involve making entry into the hall more difficult (and beer festival patrons aren’t exactly known for their patience. That’s a personal observation on my part, by the way. That’s not something that came up when I was talking to Craig). Economics says the way to deal with the issue is to raise prices. I actually think that would make the scalping issue worse. It’s clear there are folks who fund a portion of their trip by buying the maximum number of tickets allowed, then selling off the excess at a premium. Raising the price will only make that a more attractive option.

In the end I think it comes down to being careful what you wish for. You want craft beer to be popular? Then don’t expect that attending events will be as easy as it was “back in the old days.” The whole festival concept is pretty dicey for me anyway. How much can your palate really handle in a short period of time? Despite my years working large events (or maybe because of them), I’m not a big fan of big crowds. On the other hand, a festival can give you the chance to sample things you may not be able to get regularly. And there’s a “gathering of the tribe” quality that can’t be denied. For good or for ill, GABF is the premier Beer Festival in the US that’s associated with the only beer competition most people have ever heard of. It’s the White Whale right now. Will it still be in three years? Who knows? I think the worst thing the BA could do now is overreact. In every other realm of event planning I’m aware of, a sellout is considered a good thing. There are lots of beer festivals out there. So support local beer. And support local beer festivals.

Passages into the Past: Photographing Cincinnati’s First Brewing Era

The buildings that remain from Cincinnati’s brewing heritage have faced hard times along the way.  Luckily investors and concerned citizens of Cincinnati have realized the importance and potential of these former brewing facilities

The former Christian Moerlein bottling facility is one example, having been struck by a four alarm fire in 2010. There were fears that the historic building may have met its fate.   With the damages repaired, there have been talks over the past several years of converting the building into anything from condominiums to the maintenance garage of the future street car.  As reported in the last few weeks, however, this former brewery building is returning to its beer roots and will soon be home to the Rhinegeist brewery.

Door leading to the former Christian Moerlein Bottling Company which will be home to Rhinegeist, returning the building to its brewing heritage.
Door leading to the former Christian Moerlein Bottling Company which will be home to Rhinegiest, returning the building to its brewing heritage.
The bottling facility was once home to K-D Lamp Company.
The bottling facility was once home to K-D Lamp Company.


A shot of the Moerlein building from the alley leaves you feeling as if the building has been left nearly untouched from its heyday though the building was struck by a four alarm fire in 2010.
A shot of the Moerlein building from the alley leaves you feeling as if the building has been left nearly untouched from its heyday though the building was struck by a four alarm fire in 2010.

The resurgence in brewing in Cincinnati and interest in revitalizing the city’s city center, especially the Over the Rhine section, has given the homes of our city’s brewing heritage a new lease on life.  This will hopefully allow for us to proudly showcase our past while growing into an exciting future.

Passages into the Past: Photographing Cincinnati’s First Brewing Era

Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood is one of the most interesting and beautiful neighborhoods to photograph.  The turn of the century architecture as a whole is amazing and the buildings definitely have a story to tell;  from the materials the buildings are made of to the ornamental touches carved into the stone or wood. 

The Sohn-Clyffside brewery on McMicken is a great example of story telling via architectural design.  The symbolic representation is boldly visible by reliefs built within the structures façade. 

The Sohn-Clyffside Brewery on McMicken Avenue
The Sohn-Clyffside Brewery on McMicken Avenue

The brewers star sits high atop the building.  There are many variations behind the meaning of the star, but it is popularly believed to symbolize the purity of the beer brewed.  Another thought is that the six points represent six critical items required in beer making (water, grains, malt, hops, yeast, and the brewer). 

The Brewers Star situated at the top of the Sohn-Clyffside Brewery
The Brewers Star situated at the top of the Sohn-Clyffside Brewery

Though the brewers star may not be clearly understood by most, the second relief showing two cherubs holding what appear to be glasses of beer, a grain shovel, a mash paddle and aging barrels should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was a brewing facility.

(Photo courtesy of Joe Blank)
Sure signs of this building’s former life. (Photo courtesy of Joe Blank)

Sometimes, though, things may not be exactly as they seem.  With breweries changing hands multiple times or additions to facilities as operations grew, markers showing a year may not be when the facility as a whole was originally opened.  The 1887 marker on the Sohn-Clyffside building shows the date that portion of the building , the brew house (also known as the Sohn Building) was constructed, the original facility was opened in 1845. 

Date marker towards the center of the Sohn-Clyffside building.  But what does the date represent?  Years marked on buildings may not be from the original inception of the company, but an addition to.
Date marker towards the center of the Sohn-Clyffside building. But what does the date represent? Years marked on buildings may not be from the original inception of the company, but an addition to.

When exploring the city, take a look around and you may just be surprised at the stories some of the city’s oldest “residents” may have to tell.