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.


Happy AHA Big Brew Day!

The main reason Hoperatives exists is to celebrate beer culture, especially as it’s found in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. Today is a day we want to give a shout-out to a group of people who definitely put the “craft” in craft beer. Home brewers are people who take their love of beer to the next level. Today is the American Homebrewers Association National Homebrew Day, and, like every year since 1998, home brewers will gather together to brew beer at what’s known simply as The Big Brew. A quick examination of the AHA website lists four Big Brew events that have been registered in the immediate area, but I suspect there are other, informal ones, happening all over. That’s actually true of any Saturday, but I suspect there may be more going on today.

Because there would be no beer community without angst, there’s an ongoing (if not never-ending) discussion among people with nothing better to do about what the “craft” in “craft beer” means. My take actually comes from an old television production book I used when I was an undergrad. That was shortly after the Earth cooled. As I recall it, the author described a craft as something that required the ability to understand both the scientific and artistic requirements of doing some activity well. That’s stuck with me.

Being a good brewer is like being good at anything else: you have to know the fundamental principles involved. That’s only partly the ability to follow a recipe and have a sense of what’s going on under the hood. More than that, though, after a while you begin to see how you can balance one set of requirements against another to bend the fundamentals to an outcome you’re looking for. That’s true at whatever level you’re brewing. It’s not the equipment or the title or where you get your paycheck that makes you a brewer. It’s the dedication to learning the science and then manipulating that to make something you can call your own. Some might eventually be paid to do that. Most will not. Both sets of people can legitimately call themselves brewers.

Our area has several homebrewing clubs, many with nationwide reputations. (Good reputations, I hasten to add). I’m hesitant to name them because I don’t want to leave anyone out. The best way to hook up with a group is to visit a homebrew supply shop near you and ask the staff. And, I assure you, if you live anywhere in the Tri-State there is a homebrew shop near you.

One of the things you discover quickly when you’re brewing for a while is that there a fair bit of information you’ll want to track, both as you’re preparing to brew and then during the brew itself. Through a set of (happy) accidents, we’ve become acquainted with a brewer in Ottawa, Canada who has developed a free tool to help you do just that. It’s a recipe builder and style guide and general brewing utility built on top of Microsoft Excel. Here’s the link you can check out:

Take a look if you’re interested and leave us a comment to let your fellow Hoperatives know what you think. Also feel free to leave contact information for any homebrew club you are a member of.

So happy Big Brew Day, everyone!

Beer Trivia and More Saturday Afternoon at Bockfest

Good news! If you missed our beer trivia during Cincinnati Beer Week, you have another chance AND it’s part of a great new event at Bockfest this year. Join brewers and representatives from Bad Tom Smith, Blank Slate, Christian Moerlein, Ei8ht Ball, Fifty West, Hudepohl, Listermann, MadTree, Rhinegeist, Rivertown, Schoenling, Triple Digit and Wiedemann plus beer bloggers like Jesse Folk from WCPO and us for the first ever Bockfest Bock Beer Experience / Bock Beer Tasting on Saturday, March 7th from 1:00-6:00 pm.

Saturday, March 7th

1 – 2:00pm
Opening of event – casual socializing

2:00 – 2:45pm – Panel 1
(Blank Slate, Cellar Dweller, Ei8ht Ball, MadTree, Listermann/Triple Digit, Fifty West)
• Introduction of guests
• General discussion amongst panel participants
o Questions/debate items/beer stories • Audience Q/A

2:45 – 3:00pm

3:00 – 3:45pm – Panel 2
(Bad Tom Smith, Christian Moerlein/Hudepohl, Rhinegeist, Rivertown, Wiedemann)
• Introduction of guests
• General discussion amongst panel participants
o Questions/debate items/beer stories • Audience Q/A

3:45 – 4:00pm

4:00 – 4:45pm
Beer Trivia with audience – Hosted by Carla and Tom from Hoperatives

4:45 – 5:00pm

5:00 – 5:30pm
Bockfest 2015 Homebrew winner announcement — Bloatarian Brewing League

The event is free to attend, individual 3oz drink tickets are $2 and it’s $25 for 15 3oz tickets and that includes a Bockfest pint glass. Tickets are now available at:

Hope to see many of you there!

Bockfest 2015

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


Cincinnati Beer Week events for Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014

See the post for Thursday’s Cincinnati Beer Week events for the all week events listing.

Cincinnati Beer Week Events for Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014

11:00 am — Cultivating Hops in Ohio at Brew Monkeys
Go to Brew Monkeys website at & sign up through the online store by selecting this class.

11:00am-11:00pm — Splinterfest at Moerlein Lager House
Barrel aged beers including Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog, Uinta Cockeyed Cooper, Weyerbacher Insanity, Southern Tier Oak Aged Back Burner, Great Divide 19th Anniversary, Petrus Aged Red, Crispin Georgia and the premiere of Christian Moerlein 10/161

11:00am-10:00pm — De Struise Tap Takeover at Ei8ht Ball Brewing
Beers will include Westoek X, Westoek XX, Westoek XXXX, Rio Reserva, Black Albert, Black Damnation I Black Berry Albert, Black Damnation II Mocha Bomb and Black Damnation III Black Mes.

11:00am — Mt. Carmel Tapping at Dingle House

11:00 am-10:00 pm — Pints For Parkinson’s at Flipdaddy’s Union
$1.00 of every sale of West Sixth beers goes to Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research. Pint glass giveaway too.

11:00am-4:00pm — Saturday Stella Brunch at Mayday
Glassware giveaways, Stella inspired cocktails, Stella swag

12:00-8:00 pm –- Cincinnati Brewing History at Listermann’s
Enjoy Listermann’s beers while seeing part of the Bricks, Barrel Vaults & Beer exhibit that’s currently at The Betts House. Guided brewery tour at 6:00 pm.

12:00-3:00pm — Blank Slate Tap Takeover at Remke Hyde Park

1:00pm, 3:00pm & 5:00pm — Free Christian Moerlein OTR Brewery Tours
Tour the Christian Moerlein production facility and the 1850′s John Kauffman Brewery.

2:00-5:00 pm — Bell’s Fire & Ice at Cock & Bull Hyde Park
Featured beers include Quinannan Falls, Hopslam, Expedition, Amber, Two Hearted & Smitten. Bell’s Fire & Ice Fireside Ice Sculpture Demo on the Patio

2:00-4:00pm — Rock Mill Brewing Tasting at Party Town
Beers include bourbon cask tripel, dubbel, saison and tripel.

3:00-7:00pm — Maple on Tap at Cincinnati Nature Center
Enjoy Mt. Carmel’s Maple Dopplebock while following the process of making maple syrup from the tree to your beer. Pints of Coffee Brown Ale, Amber Ale, Blonde Ale, and IPA from MCBC also available. Cost is $30 and you can purchase tickets and get more information at

4:00-6:00pm — Brews and ‘Ques at Rivertown Brewery
Smoked BBQ with homemade sauces paired with a flight of six Rivertown Brews.

4:00pm — Blank Slate Pitter Patter Pint Night at Coaches Corner
Buy a pint, keep the glass.

4:00pm — Upland and Erie Breweries Tap Takeover at Marty’s Hops & Vines
Three drafts from each breweries including Upland Coast Buster Imperial IPA.

5:00-11:00pm — Dirty Water Beer Tapping with Jackie O’s and New Holland at Arnold’s
See their Facebook event for more information.

5:00-8:00pm — Beer Based Craft Cocktails W/ Rivertown Brewery at Goodfellas Pizzeria
For $16, try tastings of three Rivertown beers and three cocktails made with those beers.

5:00pm — Class of ’88 Tap Takeover at Flipdaddy’s on Wooster Pike
Three great breweries (Great Lakes, Rogue & Deschutes) were founded in 1988. They’ll celebrate these three outstanding breweries.

5:00pm — MadTree Tap Takeover at Cock & Bull Mainstrasse
Beers will include PsycHOPathy, Gnarly Brown, Galaxy High and Axis Mundi.

6:00-8:00 pm — Meet the Listermann Brewers at Tap House Grill
Enjoy Oatmeal Stout, Peanut Butter Porter, IPA, and more.

6:00-10:00 pm — Rivertown Bock Night at Cock & Bull Glendale

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.)

The Better Beer Wife: The Next Chapter

We are proud to have Danielle Whalen back writing for us with the next installment on her life as a Better Beer Wife.

“Stick your head in this bucket and tell me what you smell.” Ah… the joys of being the wife of a home brewer. It has its ups and downs, but over all I couldn’t be more proud of my husband and his award winning beer.

I thought I should write an update since I can finally say I enjoy drinking beer. (Please hold all applause until the end.) After years of persuasion, persistence, and patience, my husband has turned me into a better beer consumer. Don’t get me wrong, I still lean toward a glass of wine on most occasions but I have to admit there have been quite a few times I’ve found myself with a glass of beer in my hand and thought “Wait, Jared’s not even home! What has he done to me?”

I’ve learned that I like hefeweizens or wheat beers. I also like sour beers and hard ciders. I’ve learned that I don’t enjoy very hoppy beers, but I can handle a little bit of bitterness. I’ve even been known to finish a porter or a stout, which I wouldn’t do more than smell in the beginning of this little adventure. However, I’ve also learned that after the second beer is gone, I really don’t care what it tastes like.

I so love the brew outs and other gatherings that we go to with the guys from the Northern Kentucky Home Brewers Guild. I love that everyone’s set up is so different and they’re all learning from and helping each other. We’ve met some great people that I’m proud to call friends.

So, I drink beer. It’s just something I do now. It’s nice that I can order a beer at a bar when that’s what everyone else is drinking. It’s a social thing; though most times I end up saying “Jared, which of these will I like?” In the end, I think he’s mostly proud of his accomplishment and partly kicking himself that the kegs empty twice as fast and the bill is always twice as much at beer dinners. Be careful what you wish for! I’m just getting started.

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)