BrewRiver GastroPub’s First Anniversary Celebration

It’s hard to believe that BrewRiver GastroPub has only been open one year. It’s quickly become a favorite spot for believers in better beer to enjoy great food and great beer. The folks at BrewRiver have an entire week of celebrations including a series of tappings planned.


  • The kick off event is a tapping of a special cask of the Listermann Beagle Series IPA dry hopped with Amarillo Hops scheduled for Tuesday, August 27th at 7:00 PM.
  • The Rhinegeist tapping is a single hopped ale named Bravo that will be available at both the brewery and at BrewRiver. That tapping will occur on Thursday, August 29th at 7:00 PM.
  • The Madtree tapping is a special PsycHOPathy IPA Randall version infused with hops, fresh herbs from BrewRiver’s micro garden and seasonal fruit from local farms. The tapping is set for Friday, August 30th at 7:00 PM.
  • The Rivertown tapping is a Reserve Series Imperial Pilsner. It will be tapped on Saturday, August 31st at 7:00 PM.
  • There will also be a tapping of a Blank Slate and Triple Digit collaboration beer later in the week.

Sour Cellar Spring Cleaning

This sounds like lots of fun. For their anniversary, BrewRiver is going to open up their personal cellar to the public. They’ve got some surprises coming on tap and some special 750ml format bottles as well. We found out that some of the surprises include Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Jolly Pumpkin De Viento, Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono, Jolly Pumpkin Madrugadda, Jolly Pumpkin Sobre Humano, Leelanau Good Harbor Golden, Leelanau Petosky Pale, Bruery Tart of Darkness, etc.


Along with their regular menu specials, Chef Michael is preparing a pig roast for the first time ever at BrewRIver. It will be served starting on Thursday, August 29th. They’ll feature a local pig from Ohio’s Premium Hog Farmers as well as coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, and house-made pickles among other options. They promise that this will be a feast to look forward to every year.

Happy Anniversary, BrewRiver!

Traveling Tuesday: Phantom Canyon Brewing Company – Colorado Springs, CO

Late this summer I took a backpacking trip through Colorado and eastern Utah, hitting up points of interest like Arches National Park, Canyonlands NP, Mesa Verde NP, and the ‘million dollar highway’ along the Rockies through central Colorado.  On my way back to Denver, I stopped in Colorado Springs for a quick lunch and some much needed liquid refreshment.  I thank the fine folks at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company for overlooking my scraggly beard, slightly funky odor, and wilderness-worn hiking clothes…all of which, I suppose, passes for ‘business casual’ in outdoor-loving Colorado.

The brewery and pub is located in what looks like a recently revitalized area of Colorado Springs, which is about an hour and change drive south of Denver. A door into the production facility was open, making the whole street outside smell of sweet, mashing grain.

 PCBC has a wide selection of beers that rotate regularly. They were happy to let me sample anything and even encouraged it for some of the more interesting offerings.

After 5 days of eating canned, boxed, cured, and other non-perishable foods, a great pub salad was in order. The hefeweizen dressing was fantastic.  They also offer 10 ounce pours (I love it when brewpubs do this), so I was able to try a couple different beers and still be more than fine to finish the drive back to Denver.

 The historic building was once a hotel, so it’s very open on the inside.  The 2nd floor has an incredible billiards hall (so sorry the photo I took didn’t turn out), and the 3rd floor is a banquet hall.

Happy Travels!

Traveling Tuesday: Asheville, NC Part 1

I had the pleasure of spending a couple of nights on a business trip in Asheville, NC. It just so happened to be located exactly in the middle of the two locations that I needed to visit so it seemed in the best interest of the company that I minimize my gas consumption and maximize my time by staying in Asheville. It’s a new concept that I’m looking to trademark called “Brewsness Tripping”. The definition of which is, “Utilizing work necessitated travel to hunt down every local brewery and beer not available in your permanent place of residence.” I’m pretty sure it will catch on.

I’m going to attempt to break the trip down into three parts and cover the 6 local establishments that I visited.

Part 1

Greenman Brewery

Tucked away on an unassuming street in a business district you can find Green Man Brewing. Despite it’s location it’s only about 1/2 mile from  downtown Asheville. This is a cool little brewery with a pretty decent tap list. They have about 5 house taps and 10 guest taps available.

This place has a slight British pub feel and seems to cater to local soccer and sports fans who love a good pint of beer. There is a nice patio area and it’s open to pets as well. The bar is directly attached to the brewery and the beers are quite good. The ESB in particular is very tasty with a malty body rounded out by a nice hoppy bitterness. If you are looking for nice laid back place to have a great pint of ESB then Greenman is a can’t miss in Asheville.


Thirsty Monk (Downtown Location)

Thirsty Monk is best described as the kind of place that if I lived in proximity to it would account for a large portion of my monthly beer expenditure. This bar / brewery / restaurant has two floors. Upstairs is the American Craft Beer Bar and downstairs hidden away like a well kept secret is the Belgian Beer Bar. Between the two floors there are more than 62 continually rotating draft lines and according to their website they tapped 1075 beers in 2011!





When I visited in June it just so happened to be sour beer week and my sampler was quickly filled with relatively exotic Belgian sour beers that I had never tried. The beer list is dizzying and it’s a bad place to be indecisive, but if you are having a hard time choosing the bartending staff was very helpful. It’s no wonder that this place was rated as Ratebeer’s #45 best beer bar in the world and listed as one of Draft Magazine’s Top 100 Beer Bars in America.

Needless to say the beer experience is one that should not be missed but what about the food? I had the Highland Mocha Stout Beef Sliders topped with poblano relish and white cheddar cheese. Everything is a take on the classic “Bar Food” but it’s bar food on flavor steroids with nice presentation as well. Yum!






Thirty Monk is now a can’t miss for me when I visit Asheville again and my current favorite beer and food location in the Asheville.

Stay tuned as I attempt to put together parts 2 and 3 of my Asheville visit.




Follow me on Twitter @jrodwhalen

Traveling Tuesday: Iron Hill Brewery – Lancaster, PA

My wife (#102) and I (#13) found ourselves in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a wedding, and we were looking for a place to grab a nightcap with friends after the reception.  Iron Hill Brewery was well recommended online, and we’re very glad we went.  If you’re ever in Lancaster and looking for a great beer, you owe it to yourself to visit them.  They have several other locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

The brewery and restaurant has a very modern feel, featuring lots of outdoor seating.

We loved the mural that walks through the brewing process, and that you can peer into the brewery.

All the house beers are solid – the Vienna Red and Raspberry Wheat are particular highlights.

The samples are generous and include their seasonal and special brews.

We were also especially impressed with how knowledgeable our waitress was about all the beers – definitely the sign of a great brewpub!

Traveling Tuesday: Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery – Key West, FL

Pan Am Show Logo

One of the new television shows this fall season is “Pan Am” on ABC. Set in 1963, the show tells the story of several flight attendants (then called “stewardesses”) at the beginning of the jet age.

For us, the show immediately reminded us of the birthplace of Pan Am in Key West. And it just happens to be the home of a brewpub now.

Kelly's Main Sign

Kelly’s Caribbean Bar, Grill & Brewery is located at 301 Whitehead Street in Key West. You can enter under this sign to go right to the outside seating.

Kelly's Exterior

Or you can go around the right side of the part of the original building where Pan American Airlines was born to both the inside bar and the brewery itself.

Kelly's Entrance

The brew tank at the entrance lets you know you’re at the right place.

Kelly's beer listing

This large sign on the corner of Caroline and Whitehead lists the beers that Kelly’s brews on premises.

Pan Am Birthplace Sign

But, next to the beer sign is this sign telling you that you are at an historic place.

Pan Am Memorablia

The wall between the breezeway entrance and the inside seating is separated by some display cases with Pan Am memorabilia in them.

Pan Am Memorablia 2

The beer is pretty good. We happened to be there on a down day and it was hard to get a good picture of the brewhouse. We also managed to miss getting a picture of the bar top made from the wing of an airplane.

100 Shares of Pan Am Stock

It seems sometimes that if you throw a rock you’ll hit something historic in Key West. Or a drunk tourist. If I were you I’d avoid the rock-throwing drunk tourists and get a beer at Kelly’s.  You won’t be sorry.

Traveling Tuesday: Offshore Ale Company – Martha’s Vineyard

My wife (#102) and I (#13) were in Martha’s Vineyard with her family for Easter weekend to partake in a little east coast bourgeois.  While there, we had dinner at The Offshore Ale Company, a brewpub in the heart of Oak Bluffs on the northeast part of the island.  It’s obviously out of the way if you’re “just passing through” the area, but it’s well worth a visit if you’re visiting the island and looking for better beer.

(Ed. Note: it was rainy outside and poorly lit inside, so the pictures aren’t of the best quality.)

We respect a bar with quality English steel tip darts.


It was rainy the day we visited, but it must be nice to sit outside in the summer.


Their beer lineup was pretty standard, but all solid and delicious. The Brown Ale is one of the best browns we’ve ever had.


The brewing facility is featured behind the bar. You’ll also note that there are as many oyster choices as beer choices. NICE.


Like many establishments in Martha’s Vineyard, there is a distinct nautical theme.


The food was also excellent.  The fisherman’s stew was easily the best meal I had on the trip.


The Offshore Ale Company
30 Kennebec Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

-John (#13) & Erin (#102)

Growlers and Tastings Report – May 27, 2011

Don’t forget apertif tonight from 8:00 pm-1:00 am, hosted by Arnold’s, MOTR, The Drinkery, The Famous Neons Unplugged, and Milton’s The Prospect Hill Tavern. Hudepohl Amber Lagers for just $2 and other drink specials at select locations. There’s a shuttle running between bars and no cover.

● For tonight’s Friday Night Flights at Party Town in Florence, they’re pouring some great beer from Goose Island and the Goose girl herself Lindsey Bonadonna will be on hand. Samples will include some Goose Island classics plus some new releases. They will also have growler fills of 2010 Bourbon County Stout and Dominique available. The cost for the regular tasting is $2 for a full flight of beers and it goes from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

● On the Growler Station at Party Town in Florence: Goose Island Honkers Ale ($6.99), Three Floyds Robert the Bruce ($6.99), Stone Old Guardian Belgo ($12.99), Avery The Beast Grand Cru ($32.99), Avery Samael’s Oak Aged Ale ($32.99), Avery Mephistopheles ($32.99), Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald ($6.99), Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial IPA ($12.99), Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ($6.99), Great Lakes Holy Moses ($6.99), Founders Red’s Rye P.A. ($8.99), Rogue Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA ($11.99), Schlafly American IPA ($8.99), Schlafly Dry-Hopped APA ($8.99), Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale ($19.99), BBC Bourbon Barrel Big Brown ($9.99), BBC Chocolate Wheat Wine ($10.99) and BBC Russian Imperial Porter ($10.99). All prices are for a refill. For a new growler, add $2.00.

● At this week’s Cork ‘N Bottle beer tastings, they will feature Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, Arcadia Whitsun Ale, and Southern Tier Pale Ale at the Covington location. At the Buttermilk location, they will be tasting the same beers as the Covington location. The tastings at both locations are from 4:00 – 7:00 pm on Fridays. Cost is $1 for 6 to 8 beers.

● On the Growler Stations at Cork ‘N Bottle: Covington has Rogue Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA ($8.99), Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale ($10.99), Goose Island Fleur ($13.99) and Cumberland Moonbow Wit ($5.50). Buttermilk Pike has Arcadia Sky High Rye ($6.99), Great Lakes Doppelrock ($9.50), Bell’s Expedition Stout ($14.50) and Goose Island Summertime ($6.50). All prices are for a refill. For a new growler, add $2.50.

● Main Street Wine and Spirits is having a beer tasting today (Friday) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Beers will include Mad River Brewing Company Steelhead Double IPA, Stoudts Karnival Kolsch, Boulder Beer Hazed and Infused and Wittekerke Belgian Wit . All tastes are 50 cents each.

● At the two tap growler station at Market Wines in Findlay Market, they have Anchor Brewing Brekles Brown ($12) and White Rajah by The Brew Kettle ($15). Add $3 if you need to purchase a growler.

● Cincinnati Whole Foods’ growler station offerings are Smuttynose Imperial Stout, Smuttynose Vunderbar Pilsner, Sierra Nevada S.H. Harvest Fresh Hop Ale, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and Lost Coast Indica IPA. Regular fill prices are $7.49 for the 32 oz growler and $14.99 for the 64 oz growler. They also have Happy Hour pricing on Monday through Thursday from 3:00 to 6:00 pm with $4.99 for the 32 oz growler and $9.99 for the 64 oz growler. For a new growler, add $3.99.

● On the Growler Station at the Liquor Cabinet (1990 N Bend Rd # A Hebron, KY), they have Arcadia Sky High ($7.99), Unibroue Chambly Noire ($8.99), Schlafly Bourbon Ale ($9.99) and Rogue Dad’s Little Helper Black IPA ($10.99). For a new growler, add $2.00.

● On the Growler Station at One Stop Liquors (10 Donnermeyer Dr., Bellevue, KY), they currently have Leinenkugel Summer Shandy ($6.99), Lexington Bourbon Barrel Ale ($10.99) and Sam Adams Summer Ale ($7.99). All prices are for a refill. For a new growler, add $2.99. Also, receive $5 off your 6th refill.

● On the Growler Station at Party Source in Bellevue: Ommegang Tripel Perfection ($25.99), Flying Dog Raging Bitch ($11.99), Rivertown Roebling Porter ($12.99), Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale ($9.99), Samuel Adams Rustic Saison ($10.99), Great Lakes Holy Moses ($6.99), Unibroue Chambly Noire ($10.99) and Southern Tier Choklat ($14.99). All prices are for a refill. For a new growler, add $2.00.

● Thanks to Rodney, one of our readers, we know that the growler stations at DEP’s Fine Wine and Spirits in Fort Thomas had Bell’s Lager, Boulder Kinda Blue, Three Floyds Gumballhead, Boulder IBA, Abita Turbodog and Breckenridge Vanilla Porter as of April 29th Bell’s Lager, Stone IPA, Erdinger Hefe, Sam Adams Rustic Saison, Abita Amber and Left Hand Sawtooth as of May 27th. One of these should soon be replaced with Flying Dog Gonzo. Thanks again, Rodney! Still no information on the Covington location. If anyone happens to stop by there and could send us the updated information, it would be greatly appreciated.

Beer Tasting in Dayton Tomorrow night

Though it looks like all the beers for this tasting are going to be Anheuser-Busch products, we still wanted to pass this information along.


The Great American Beer Tasting, brought to you by Heidelberg Distributing/Anheuser-Busch, is taking place this Saturday, August 8 from 2pm – 6pm at Fifth Third Field. Tickets are $25 each in advance ($30 the day of) and include:

-20, 4 oz. samples (choose from over 60 products)
-A souvenir sampling glass
-Entry into the raffle (see list of prizes below)
-Entry into the tennis ball toss for the chance to win cash and gift cards

Designated driver tickets are also available for $5 each.

Brand new products will be available for sampling including Bud Light Golden Wheat (not available in market until October) and Select 55 (available in mid-August). These products are so new you can’t even buy them yet, but at the Great American Beer Tasting you can sample them.


The raffle grand prize this year is two tickets on the Bud Light Port Paradise Party Cruise. The 4 day/3 night cruise sets sail on Halloween weekend and includes a private concert by the Dave Matthews Band while stopped on a tropical island.

Other great prizes include Budweiser golf bags, dart boards, autographed Dragons items, a suite night to a 2010 Dragons game plus more. You’ll also have a chance to win $250 cash and gift cards to local bars and restaurants in the tennis ball toss.

Visit for more information on the event or call the box office at (937) 228-2287 to buy your tickets. Cheers!

Short Hops (Travel edition): June 28, 2009

Happy 180th Birthday, Yuengling!
You can start your beer travels in Pottsville, PA wishing America’s oldest brewery Happy Birthday! And those of us in the Cincinnati area can once again wish that we could get Yuengling here…

Beer Is Good Food (San Francisco breweries and brewpubs)
Carla was in San Francisco this June and got to visit three of the locations listed (Gordon Biersch, 21st Amendment and Thirsty Bear) plus also enjoyed beer from Anchor and Speak Easy. Favorite neighborhood bar? Shotwell’s in the Mission district

NY Times: A Beer, Please, and a (Good) Menu
Oh so true… sometimes great beer comes with not so great food (and vice versa).

Draft Magazine’s Beer Towns
We’re going to be going to Chicago soon and checked here for some great places to get better beer. Hoping to hit the Map Room, Piece, Goose Island and the rooftop garden at the Chicago Rock Bottom!

Asheville, NC: Thirsty Monk to pour first draft Duvel in the state
Asheville is already a great beer town, but this news makes it even better.

● These are some of our favorite beer towns to visit. What are some of yours?