This Week in Beer: Jan. 4 – 10, 2021

A quick reminder: To be included on our This Week in Beer listing, the event must be beer-focused. For example, a yoga session that just happens to be held in the brewery is not beer-focused. But a yoga session bundled with a pint of beer at a brewery is beer-focused. Many locations are still doing trivia, live music, and the like so check out their websites for more information on those types of events.

While in the past, we only listed events here that are unique for this coming week in beer, we will be listing weekly or monthly events until further notice. Also, remember to check hours before heading out. Many locations are taking days (or even the month) off after the holidays.

Monday, January 4th from 3:00-10:00 pm – All Day Happy Hour and Pizza Special at Darkness Brewing: $4 and $5 (normally $5 and $6) on all Darkness draft beers; starting at 5:00 pm, $10 for any 12″ specialty pizza from Newport Pizza Company delivered for free right to your seat.

New Tuesday, January 5th – Peanut Butter Amber draft release at March First Brewing

Wednesday, January 5th from 6:30-8:00 pm – Humble Hounds at Humble Monk Brewing: A weekly canine week-up with Cincinnati Animal Care to find permanent homes for rescues introduced each Wednesday. Bring your own pup or find out how you can foster a rescue. Pet items like treats and toys can be donated in the taproom collection box. $1 of every draft pint consumed at Humble Monk on Humble Hounds night is donated to Cincinnati Animal Care.

Thursday, January 7th from 5:00-10:00 pm – Beer-It-Forward Thursday at Dead Low Brewing: Pre-purchase a pint or growler for a future guest who is active military or a veteran or who is a first responder, healthcare worker, teacher, or service industry worker.

New Friday, January 8th – Astra Blue Snow Cone Seltzer draft release at March First Brewing

Hoperatives: This Week In Beer

Happy 12th Anniversary to Hoperatives (And the Return of a Favorite)

Carla: Happy New Year and Happy 12th Anniversary to Hoperatives, Tom!

Tom: Doesn’t the last year count as twelve years? Shouldn’t it be almost our 25th year of doing Hoperatives?

C: It just feels that way. Why don’t you tell folks what you’ve been working on?

T: Does ‘Animal Crossing’ count?

C: Let’s say ‘no.’

T: Where’d I leave my sad trombone?

C: I know where I’ll put it if you find it. People are waiting, Tom.

T: OK, OK. So the short answer is — not a lot. See, back in January of 2020, I was on a bit of a roll. I thought I had a good plan, but then I went and made it way too complicated.

C: You? Overcomplicate something?

T: I know, right? It never ….hey!

C: Please continue. I found the trombone.

T: Wow, this is getting dark. Anyway so after thrashing around for a month or so I finally decided to blow up what I’d been doing and start fresh.

C: When was this?

T: Early March.

C: Early March? But that’s when …

T: Yeah. It was. I think it was around the 10th or the 11th that I started a new codebase. Then everything stopped.

C: Lockdown.

T: Yeah. Maybe it’s a personal shortcoming, but I had a really hard time motivating myself to write an online app that tracked beer events around town when the only reason anyone left the house was to search for toilet paper. You were scrambling to keep the Brewing Science classes going at Cincinnati State and there for a bit I was kind of in a daze.

C: A bit?

T: March to December is a bit.

C: No. That’s a megabit.

T: Two to the sucking power of 2020.

C: So where does that leave us?

T: Well, the main thing is that for as bad as 2020 has been, I’ve been absolutely blown away by the Cincinnati brewing community. It’s been amazing. The hand sanitizer thing back at the beginning. Figuring out how to keep making beer and keep people safe. I feel corny saying it, but it’s been inspiring.

C: So what are you going to do with that inspiration?

T: Motivate me to get going, for one thing. The thing is, I do think this is going to be over. I didn’t believe that for a long time. But the vaccines are out there now. It’s going to take a few months probably, but I think the taprooms and bars and venues all around town are going to get back to being places for people to gather and be a community again. And instead of trying to be everything to all people, I want to start small. But not just start: finish what gets started. And we both know where we need to start.

C: This Week in Beer?

T: That’s the ticket. And I’ve talked enough. This Week in Beer has always been your baby, and that’s not changing. You’re the best person to talk about it.

C: Time after time, the feature that people mentioned most often when they found out we ran Hoperatives was our This Week in Beer post. So many people told us that they used to plan their week around it. But as the number of breweries and better beer venues exploded in the greater Cincinnati/NKY area, it became so much more work than it was when we started it over ten years ago. And creating and running the Cincinnati State Brewing Science department had to take precedence over everything else.

How about I make you a deal? I’ll start 2021 doing the This Week in Beer post by hand as I’ve done in the past… BUT with the understanding that you will code a way to do it automatically via your new fancy-schmancy database. Sound good?

T: Sounds good.

C: Should I give you a deadline?

T: No, but you do know where I keep my Nintendo Switch.

C: And I do have the trombone…


So watch here for the return of This Week in Beer starting this coming Hoperatives: This Week In BeerMonday, January 4th. It will most likely go up at 9:00 am, but like all things nowadays, that is subject to change.

A quick reminder: To be included on our This Week in Beer listing, the event must be beer-focused. For example, a yoga session that just happens to be held in the brewery is not beer-focused. But a yoga session bundled with a pint of beer at a brewery is beer-focused. If you have any questions, just let us know via the Contact page. And don’t be surprised if some beer news pops up from time to time. Once we get on a roll, anything is possible!

—Tom and Carla

Hoperatives Virtual Watch Fest (Baseball Edition)

Like many of you, we were really looking forward to Opening Day. We’ve never gone to the actual game. Instead, we typically watch it from a local brewery’s tap room and we were ready to do that again this year.

Since the MLB 2020 season has been postponed until at least the middle of May, we think area baseball fans would like a way to connect with like-minded people (and be distracted). So, on Thursday, March 26th at 7:00 pm, we’re proposing to host the Hoperatives Virtual Watch Fest.

According to, these films are the 25 best baseball movies of all time. The number one film is “Bull Durham” (with Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Cincinnati & NKU’s own Jenny Robertson as Millie) so it’s the logical choice.

We will set up a Facebook Watch Party (or something similar since Facebook seems to be having issues today). That way, we will all watch (or re-watch) Bull Durham together while we enjoy some of our favorite local beers. If you don’t have your own copy (we have two), you can stream it via IMDB TV (ads), The Roku Channel (ads), tubi (ads), VUDU (ads), Hoopla (subscription), DirecTV (subscription), or Starz/Amazon (subscription). You can also rent a digital copy for $2.99-$3.99 or purchase one for $13.99-14.99.

If this first event is popular enough, we schedule one each Thursday night until baseball is back. After the first movie, we will set up a poll to pick the next one to see during the watch party.

In the mean time, support your local breweries by getting their beer to-go or delivered. We are working every day to keep our list of local breweries with carry out or delivery options up-to-date at [PAGE IS NO LONGER ACTIVE].

Cheers and here’s to better beer (and wash your damn hands)!

Carla and Tom

Hoperatives Baseball Movie

How Can I Get My Local Beer During a Pandemic?

It’s St. Patrick’s Day Eve and all through the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area, better beer lovers are wondering how they can get their favorite local beers during a global pandemic.

Never fear! Hoperatives are here to the rescue! Here is a listing of all the local breweries and their status regarding carry-out, closed, etc.


Seriously, it’s been crazy lately. To go from the Cincy Winter Beerfest to Ohio (and then Kentucky) bars and restaurants having to do carry-out only in just over a week is nuts. But maybe some great local Cincinnati beer could help us all get by.

And hang on… because we will have another announcement coming tomorrow to help better beer lovers in the tri-state area.

Cheers and here’s to better beer (and wash your damn hands)!

Carla and Tom

Firehouse Grill Announces Brewery Grand Opening Weekend

Note: This is the first “real” post in a very long time. It seems appropriate that it’s announcing a brewery opening.  When we went into mothballs a couple years ago we had somewhere around 35-40 breweries in town.  Now we’re north of 60.  We seem to have missed a couple. Sorry about that.

Firehouse Grill & Brewery Logo It’s not that unusual for breweries in Cincinnati to open in historic locations. Throw a rock in OTR and you’ll likely hit an old brewery building that someone is thinking about putting a brewery in.  Don’t be throwing rocks in OTR (or anywhere else), though.   You could put someone’s eye out.

Blue Ash probably isn’t  where you’d expect to find a historic brewery building, though.  And you’d be justified if you expected the building to be more than 23 years old. This is craft beer history we’re talking about, here, so the time-scale is a bit … compressed.

Firehouse Grill has been operating since 2011 as a gastropub in the building at 4785 Lake Forest Drive in Blue Ash that was once home to Watson Brothers Brewing. That brewery, along with such places as Main Street, Barrelhouse, and Oldenburg, form a group that operated in the 1990s and are collectively remembered among the longtime Cincinnati beer community as “ahead of their time.”

There must be something about operating in a building that once housed a brewery that gets into the woodwork. Owners Molly & Bob Davis announced in late June of last year that they’d be adding a brewery to their operation and today they’ve announced their opening weekend:  February 20-23, 2020.

The addition of a brewery always seemed inevitable, to be honest.  Firehouse has long been one of the stalwarts in the local beer community. They’ve consistently sponsored events featuring local craft beer in creative ways. Last March, for example, they hosted an event called “New Brew Fest” that showcased many of the (then) newest breweries in town so people see the range of what the city and region offers.  Less than a year later, they’re one themselves. As Molly Davis put it in an email, “We’re the newest brewery in Cincinnati (until the next one opens!)”

Veteran Cincinnati brewer Justin Chaney (Swine City, Common, Brink)  is Head Brewer. He’s planning to have five Firehouse -produced beers available opening weekend:

  • Sycamore Blonde
  • Blue Ash Brown
  • Summit Saison
  • Aviator Amber
  • Flightpath IPA

With two more — a Belgian Wit and a Stout — on deck for later.  The balance of the 40 taps at the bar will continue to feature a mix of local, regional, and national beers.

Planned activities include a $8 keep-the-glass special, swag givaways, tours of the 4-barrel brewhouse, food specials incorporating their beers and probably more. You can check their website or Facebook page for specifics about hours and such.

There’s one more connection between the old and the new that deserves mention. The decision by Firehouse to name its beers after local Blue Ash landmarks and lore has precedent in the very name of the brewery that preceded it at that location. There were no Watsons involved in starting Watson Brothers Brewing.  The name came from aviators Hugh and Parks Watson who founded the airport that eventually became the Blue Ash Municipal Airport. It operated for 91 years before closing for good in 2012. (hat tip to the indispensable Gnarly Gnome for that last tidbit)

As a final note I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to saying “and you can check out our event listings for all the info,” instead of linking elsewhere, but, alas, I don’t think the new event calendar system will be up and running soon enough for this event. I’m working on it. Writing posts where I link to the evil Facebook is encouragement to get the darn thing done.

1  Attention Hamilton County health inspectors: That’s a metaphor!

Happy New Year!

Reboot in Progress…

Hoperatives was born 11 years ago today. We’ve been promising that we’d relaunch the site since roughly around the time the Earth cooled. It’s been a slow process. There are a lot of moving parts. Life has refused to become less complicated. In the post from a year ago (!) we said we wouldn’t promise a date, but it’d be in 2019. As the saying goes: if you want to make God laugh, go ahead and share your plans with her.

There have been many, many, many conversations over the last year about what we wanted Hoperatives to be — and what we didn’t want it to be. A lot of it goes back to that epic 3000 word post from sixteen months ago where Tom used a whole lot of words to say we needed a good beer events calendar in this town. If you read the post — and Tom urges you not to do that unless you’re having trouble sleeping — the implication was that Hoperatives was going to cease being a blog and this events calendar thing was going to replace it. It was a great plan except for one thing: we hated the idea of killing the blog.

Eleven years is a lot to throw away. We haven’t posted regular updates since September of 2017 (around the time the Brewing Sciences Program at Cincinnati State took over Carla’s life), but it still has its place. As Tom worked on trying to replace WordPress with the custom events app, he found himself essentially replicating what we already have. As a platform for event listings, WordPress leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s a very good blogging platform. So here’s the plan:

  • We’ve removed things that were horribly out of date and were unlikely to ever be updated. Most of them were listings of various sorts, events included.
  • We tweaked the underlying site template a bit. The tweaking will probably never really stop.
  • Despite the fact that updates have been sporadic at best, there are pages in the beer travel section that discuss beer at Disney resorts that get steady traffic. Those pages are being updated.
  • For technical reasons too tedious to discuss (really trying to keep this under 750 words) the dedicated event listing app and the WordPress installation can’t both exist at One of them has to have a different address, and the blog has 11 years seniority. When the time comes the as-yet-unamed event app will have a unique URL. You’ll be able to reach it without coming through here if you want and it will work offline. It’ll be updated by the event venues themselves and lightly curated for style and spelling. And it’s definitely going to happen. Still not going to say when, but code is being written every single day. Soon. Not a year.

It occurred to us not too long ago that the hop cone in the logo is a pretty good metaphor for what’s been going on with the site. It’s like an iceberg in a way: Some of it is visible, a lot is not and if you aren’t careful you can run into it, sink, and have Celine Dion singing songs about you. No one wants that. It’s a slow process, but it’s a process that’s really and truly underway and is going to be really nice when it’s done.

Something that we heard a lot from folks back when there were far fewer places to find better beer in Cincinnati was that people planned their weeks based on what we listed on Hoperatives. We want to bring that back. We’re going to bring that back. Just hang in there with us.

May this year bring you health and happiness. Cheers! And here’s to better beer!

–Carla and Tom

Hoppy Birthday Hoperatives!

Celebrating 10 years

Today marks the beginning of the second decade of Hoperatives. We can’t swear to it, but this may well be be the last new blog post that ever appears here. If it is, it’s a little bit of symmetry we never could have predicted at the beginning. We had no idea what Hoperatives was going to be when we started, and the world is quite a bit different than it was in 2009. But we’re still here. And, apparently, so are you.

This may be the last “official” blog post, but Hoperatives is not going away. It’s being rebuilt from the ground up. Literally. We’re moving off of WordPress and going to a custom piece of software that will do what we need it to do and nothing else. For those of you who care about such things, that’s not an editorial comment on WordPress. It’s a great blogging platform and it has a bright future. It’s just not what we need. What we need doesn’t really exist, so we’re making it ourselves. Which is how we started in the first place.

Stealing from our dear friends at MadTree, we’re going to say Hoperatives 1.0 is going away and Hoperatives 2.0 is coming. When? When it’s ready. Not before. It’ll be this year. It’s kind of like opening a brewery. Announcing a date is just a good way to make sure it doesn’t happen by that date.

So this isn’t an ending, it’s the beginning of something new. That’s what New Year’s Day is all about. That’s what birthdays are about.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

–Tom and Carla

The Future of Hoperatives

Hoperatives has a future. That’s the tl:dr. You can stop here if you like, though we hope we’ve piqued your interest and you want to know more. This is a long read. That happens when you only post twice in a year.

We’ve been on hiatus for just about a year now. “Hiatus” is apparently Latin for “what the heck do we going to do now?” During this time we’ve looked at each other at random times to say “So what are we going to do with Hoperatives?” We’ve seriously talked about shutting it down more than once. One of us would have enough reservations to convince the other to wait before pulling the trigger. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Hoperatives has changed our lives. Shutting it down would be like shutting down part of ourselves. We’ve chosen to interpret any doubt as a reason not to do it

If you go back to the post where we announced we we going on hiatus you’ll see a somewhat hand-waving reference to an idea we were thinking about. We also referenced the fact that the last couple of years have been, let’s say, a little busy for us. Health stuff.  Work stuff.  Family stuff. The trifecta, really. About six months ago we hit a decision point where we had to either move forward with the idea or not, and we decided to move forward. It’s been a slow process because all that other stuff has still been going on, but it’s all moving in the right direction. We’ve reached the point where we can talk about things in a little more detail. For it to make sense, a quick (we promise) visit to our history is necessary.

A visit to Hoperatives past …

Hoperatives turns 10 on January 1.  This is the 2,253rd post. It goes without saying that the world was quite different in 2009. We still had BarrelHouse Brewing then. Mt Carmel was about a month away from starting to package in something other than growlers. Boston Beer Company had just completed its purchase of the Hudepohl-Schoenling brewery plant. The first test post we put up was about a Little Kings ice bar down at the ice rink on Fountain Square.  It was there to promote the fact that Christian Moerlein had purchased the brand and finally put it back under the control of a Cincinnati-based company. It would be several years before Moerlein was able to brew here again, but we started right around the same time they’d started the journey back. Speaking of Fountain Square, Rock Bottom was getting ready to survive years of renovations of both the fountain and the Square. They embodied the tenacity it took to be into beer in Cincinnati in those days.

We had no idea what we were getting into when we started Hoperatives. We thought we did, but we didn’t.  It was right around this time of year we really committed to the idea of doing a beer blog. We didn’t have a name. We didn’t really know what we wanted to do with it, except we wanted it to be a place where people could go to find out what was happening in the beer scene in town. There was a vibrant and active beer scene in town, but you had to look for it. That was a big part of why we started this. We were finding  out more and more about what was going on in town, and this was height of the Great Social Media Outbreak of 2007-2010. Starting a blog is What One Did. So we started a blog.

The one thing we knew we wanted to do was be a clearinghouse for information  about beer events in town. For the most part that meant tastings at retailers and beer dinners at Rock Bottom and a few other restaurants like Dilly Deli (as it was called then), Teller’s and Arnold’s. That was pretty much it. We were meeting a lot of people and we asked some of them to write things for us, and they were kind enough to do it for nothing more than occasional swag and the experience of doing it.

We tried all kinds of things. We hosted events called “Hoperatives Happenings” that were a lot of fun, but an awful lot of work to put on. We even ran a blogging conference for a couple of years. We’re glad we did it. We’d never, ever want to do it again. We did whatever we could to fill in the gaps between our weekly “This Week in Beer” post that came out (most) Mondays and “Tastings and Tappings” that came out, oh let’s say, late in the week. It varied.

It’s not news to anyone that the beer scene exploded in Cincinnati in the time since we started. We were privileged to have a ringside seat for it. It has been amazing. The word ‘privilege’ is not chosen lightly. It’s been something to see.  Other blogs came along and have had their own trajectories over that time. Some have moved up.  Some have moved on. Some are still at it. The scene is so much more complex than it was. That’s not unique to Cincinnati. It’s true of a lot of places. Something else that we’ve been lucky enough to do is get to know people at all levels of the beer scene all over the U.S. and even beyond. There’s an ongoing global conversation that’s never really ended, even while Hoperatives has been on hold.

What’s funny is that in the metrics used to measure how well we performed as a blog, we were actually pretty much miserable failures. A couple thousand people looked at the site in a good week at its height, but no one stuck around very long on any single visit.  We weren’t “sticky,” and all the cool kids called said you had to be sticky to be a “real” blog. That was fine. We liked seeing that people found us useful every week. We had long ago accepted that, in our world, ‘cool’ was just the temperature we preferred our beer. We liked the fact that people who wanted to know something could come in, find what they needed, then go on with their lives. That was a win in our book.

There even came a point we quit referring to ourselves as a “blog” and started referring to it as an “informational website.” Carla spent uncountable hours scouring Facebook, Twitter and websites looking for events to feature in our “tentpole” weekly posts. We occasionally would be asked how a place could get their information listed, and we said “send us an email.” Some did. But not enough did to fill out “This Week in Beer” and the “Tastings and Tappings” post. There came a time that the two weekly posts were pretty much all there was on Hoperatives, but it was still a very labor-intensive process to get them done. As health, work, and family issues took more and more time, even they became too much of a commitment. Late last September we announced the hiatus. There has been one post on the site since then. We’ve maintained our Facebook presence and, by extension, our Twitter presence, but that’s it. That’s where we’ve been and where we are now.

…and back to its future

So what’s this big idea? It’s not a big idea, really. It’s a simple idea with a lot of moving parts. In a nutshell, we want to take Hoperatives back to its ultimate roots as a clearinghouse for beer events in the greater Cincinnati area. We want to be a reliable, low-risk, low-noise, and easy-to-use resource for information about beer-focused events in Cincinnati.

If you like going to events that feature beer, we want to be where you go to find out about them.  If you put on events that feature beer, we want to give you a place to tell people who are interested in them about yours. And we want to do it in such a way that it doesn’t take every waking moment of our lives to make that happen. That’s what Hoperatives is going to be. It’s going to be a events calendar that’s easy to use and useful in a number of different ways. The main place it will be meant to be useful is on your phone. You’ll be able to use on other devices, but it’s going to be a mobile-first web-based application. A “progressive web app” if that means anything to you. Don’t worry if it doesn’t.

What about all that stuff about being reliable, low-risk, low-noise, and easy-to-use? Those sound suspiciously like buzzwords, and buzzwords are evil. They do have particular meanings as they’re being used here, but we promise we’ll never say them around you again. We don’t want to ruin them.


The 900-lb gorilla of promoting local events is Facebook. You’ll notice there’s no link to them because, come on, you know what Facebook is. You may or may not come across this post via Facebook. And that’s the point, really:  “May or may not.”  At one time Facebook was a pretty good way to promote events on the cheap. At one time.  At one time being a buggy-whip manufacturer was a pretty good way to make a living, but I wouldn’t recommend it today if you’re into making good life choices.

You can effectively get the word out to people about your event on Facebook in direct proportion to the amount of money you want to pay Facebook to ensure people see it.  Pay Facebook enough money and you can show up unsolicited in someone’s feed right after the Amazon ad telling them about the great deal on a thermostat for a a dryer they’ve never owned. In theory you can learn a lot about who these people are and what their hopes, dreams, and desires are. Of course they know that so they lie whenever possible, and you’re really not that interested in their hopes dreams and desires, anyway.  You’re hoping they’re free next Thursday.

So how is Hoperatives going to be different? Well, for one thing you’ll be talking about your event on a website read by people who want to read a website about events that feature beer, not an endless progression of Fifty Ways You’re Doing it Wrong. And it’s not going to cost you — or them — anything. Souls or self-respect included.

We’ll be able to tell you how many people you’d be talking to. We’ll occasionally run surveys of readers to find out some demographic information.  We won’t collect names.  We won’t collect browsing histories. We’ll know very little about anyone’s hopes, dreams, and desires.  Truth be told, we’re not going to know who’s free next Thursday, either. If that’s a problem, you’re more than welcome to send money to Facebook. They won’t know either, but they’re always happy to have the money.


If you’re a reader, we’re really and truly not going to know anything more about you than you want to tell us.  And we don’t really want to know that much about you. Anything we ask you will be opt-in, not opt-out. The only advantage of even registering for an account is that some features will continue to work without a reliable network connection on your phone. You’ll always be able to use the site anonymously without having to log into anything as long as you have a good signal on your phone.  If you specifically tell us you want to sync your settings among multiple mobile devices, you’ll be able to do that, but we’ll have to save a little more information on our end.  We’ll tell you exactly what we do and don’t save on our end. It’s not much, but you’ll know what that is and be able to delete it forever whenever you like. And you’ll never be required to do tell us anything about yourself to use the site.

We’d say the same about people who post events, but it’s tough to promote events if you don’t know who’s putting them on. We can promise, however, that you’ll have control over what’s public and what’s not.


The idea here is for you to come to Hoperatives when you want to find events that focus on beer in your area, whatever “your area” means to you at a particular time. That can change from minute to minute.  You shouldn’t have to put up with scrolling through a bunch of events you’ll never care about in order to find a few you might be interested in. You shouldn’t have to jump around to multiple sites or Facebook pages in order to find events you’re interested in. Maybe you’re interested in events next week because you know you have a couple open evenings and anywhere on your side of town could work. Or maybe it’s been a lousy day and you want to find something within 20 minutes from your home. We want Hoperatives to be where you turn.

The idea is also that you come to Hoperatives if you are putting on an event that focuses on beer and want to list it as an option for a particular place and time. People plan ahead. People are spontaneous. Do you schedule your post about your event on your website or Facebook a week out?  The day before? Will people still be able to find it the day before?  Will they see it at all? With Hoperatives you’ll submit your event. It’ll list the same day and it’ll be there for people to discover any number of ways.

So what’s it mean when we say that we’re a place to list beer-focused events? An event is beer-focused if beer is a main point of the event.  No beer, no event. A beer dinner?  That’s an event that focuses on beer in a particular context. There are other kinds of beer pairing events that would also be appropriate. A tap takeover?  Yes, but only if a significant number of your available taps are being taken over and someone representing the beers are available for people who attend to speak with. A flight night? Sure, if it’s something out of the ordinary. It needs to be an event, not a menu item. It’s not an event if it’s not possible to miss it. It can be a free or paid event, but it needs to something that makes no sense if the beer were removed from it.

A happy hour is not a beer-focused event, even if beer is the only thing being discounted. The mere opportunity to buy beer by itself doesn’t make something a beer-focused event. We aren’t going to get too hung up on definitions.  Ultimately we’ll make the call as to whether we’ll list something or not. If you submit an event and we have questions. we’ll ask. What it boils down to is it’s not a beer-focused event if it would be possible to have the event without the beer. Family nights, whether there’s face-painting or not, are not beer-focused events. Even if there’s beer there.

Hoperatives:  Come for the beer-focused event listings.  Stay for the beer-focused event listings. Then leave the house and go to one.


Do you have tons of free time?  Neither do we.  No one does. Hoperatives is going to be built with that assumption at its core. We want it to be fast and simple to discover events.  We want to make it fast and easy to let us know what events you’re holding. It will be possible to accomplish anything you need to using your phone.  You won’t have to use your phone. Everything will work on a tablet or larger device, but phones are going to be first-class citizens. You’re not going to have to download anything.  Any current web browser will be enough, unless that current browser is Opera Mini.  If that’s what you’re using on your phone you’re already used to disappointment.

What’s all this going to cost me?

Hoperatives is going to be useful to you without you paying us any money at all. There aren’t any plans (or desire)  to charge anyone for the primary functionality of the site, which is listing events for interested people to see. The ability to connect people who want to go to beer-focused events to people putting on beer-focus events has always been what we’re about. It’s why we’re hanging around. It’s what we want to do. If we didn’t find it to be a good thing all by itself, we’d just shut it all down and be done with it. We’re perfectly willing to make the site useful for you for that without charging you for it. Not every good thing needs to have a price tag put on it.

Don’t get us wrong: We’re not opposed to people giving us money. Truth be told, we’re really rather fans of the idea. It will be possible to buy a very limited number of sponsorships that will appear within the site content.  They will be visible without making the site unusable and are meant for beer-related businesses that might not hold events that meet the normal criteria. There will also be a limited number of slots for featured events. These will be clearly marked as such and will possibly include a modest amount of information beyond what the standard free listing will include.

This is still a work-in-progress because we’re not interested in crippling the effectiveness of free listings in order to make featured ones more attractive. Part of what’s going to make a featured event “featured” is that there aren’t going to be too many of them. Sponsorships and promoted events will only have value if prominent placement has value over and above a standard listing. THAT can only happen if the standard listing is really useful for people who want to attend events and those who put them on. Some people paying us to get more prominent visibility would be very nice. It’s not the main measure of success. The main measure will always be the number of people who use the site. Everything will come from that.

What’s Next?

Hoperatives has always a self-hosted WordPress site and it will continue to be. WordPress has also changed a lot in the last 10 years, and it’s perfectly capable of doing what we need it to do. There’s some work to do under the hood to take our site from where it’s been to where it’s going. It’s not going to happen all at once.  The plan is to be done with the transition by January 1, the official 10th anniversary. We’ll certainly do something on that day as a big symbolic gesture, but the idea is that we’ll be fully open for business in our new form by then.  It’s not going to be a deal where we flip a switch and everything looks different. This is going to be a work-in-progress for the next four months. New features will roll out as they’re ready to be seen. We will probably do something a little special on January 1 because you only turn 10 once. Of course you only turn any age once, but there’s something about the one that end in zeroes.

The years of stuff in our database is a small part of the historical record of beer in Cincinnati. It will be maintained as such, and there will always be a way to search it if you have a reason to. A Monday “This Week in Beer” will return, though the content will be automatically generated from listed events. An end-of-the-week weekend planning post is also a possibility.

We’re going to put a lot of effort into making the event-posting process as easy and as fast as we possibly can. If you represent a brewery, retail establishment, bar, restaurant, or brewpub that hosts beer-focused events, we’re very interested in working with you to make sure we meet your needs. If you’re interested in possibly participating in the early stages of this, please reach out to us via our “Contact Us” form. The number of folks we’ll be able to work with early on will be extremely limited. If you are a Hoperatives reader, you’ll see new things appear at various times over the next few months.  You won’t have to do anything special. Let us know if what you see meets your needs and whether or not it worked the way you expected. If there’s something you want to see, this is a great time to let us know.

The one thing we can promise is that there will be no more 3000 word epics like this. But we’ll still be here.  Promise.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

Tom and Carla

MCI Brewing Science Flight Night

See? We told you we would be back. Still working on the complete overhaul of Hoperatives though, but we will definitely be still focusing on beer events. We’ll share some upcoming beer events now and then. This is one that is near and dear to us.


Spring is all about new beginnings and this April, the Summit is celebrating the first year of the Cincinnati State Brewing Science degree at a Flight Night on Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Come join us and try six different beers brewed by Cincinnati State students this semester. The faculty and students of the Brewing Science department will be pouring the beer and available to tell you more about this new program as well as the Brewing Sales and Marketing certificate.

Join the Summit’s Executive Chef, Alan Neace, Sous Chef Sharon Wiest and their team of Midwest Culinary Institute students plus the Cincinnati State Brewing Science faculty and students for a celebration of the first semester of brewing on campus. Appetizers will be served along with beer flights, and tours of our brewing lab will be available.

Flight Night will begin at 6:00 p.m. and runs until 9:00 pm. The cost is $25 per person in advance, plus tax & gratuity. If available, tickets can be purchased at the door for $30 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Click on the link below to make a reservation. For more information, please call the Summit at (513) 569-4980.


The Summit
The Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State

Beer Selection

Extra Special Bitter (ESB) – This classic English-style pale ale is known for being a well-balanced beer with medium to high hop bitterness.

Barley wine – The American strong ale has a caramel or toffee aroma and flavor. The malts are the star here. This is definitely a big beer.

Belgian Quad – The Belgian-style quadrupel is a strong, dark beer. Caramel, dark sugar, and malty sweetness dominate.

Saison – This most popular of the Belgian farmhouse ales has some yeast character and high carbonation. They are often a bit fruity and spicy.

A surprise beer to be revealed that night.


Exit at Hopple street and go east off the exit. Stay in right lane and follow the signs to Cincinnati State. You will make a right turn and onto Central Parkway.

Turn right into the Central Parking Garage and enter the ATLC building. Follow the signs to room 236 ATLC, Summit Restaurant.

We’re going on hiatus. Promise we’ll be back.

When Carla was teaching at the University of Tennessee at Martin, one of her colleagues had a saying that has become a standard at Casa de Hoperatives: “Life is too much with me.” As we’ve mentioned in earlier posts here, the last few months (years?) have been a whirlwind of both good and bad. But, mainly, life has been too much with us.

We’re going to take a short break, a hiatus if you will. We may even re-focus our efforts a bit. One thing that we plan on adding is the ability for better beer locations to submit their beer events directly for our calendar and This Week in Beer posts. [If you would be interested in being a beta tester for that project, email Tom at]

In the mean time, we will still keep posting and sharing interesting beer news and events on our Facebook page. Heck, we might even go back to posting on our Twitter and Instagram accounts more.

Feel free to drop us a line here or via email [] if you have an idea, comment, suggestion, or even a funny joke you heard and want to share.

We’ll be back. Just taking a break for now.

Cheers and here’s to better beer!

—- Tom and Carla