Arnold’s is Going Topless May 19th

Now that we have your attention, here’s more information on this event that both celebrates the remove of the cover of Arnold’s courtyard and the arrival of Rivertown beers. And, yes, we had something to do with that. Don’t forget to RSVP for our May Hoperatives Happening on May 24th too!

On Wednesday 5/19/10, celebrate the coming of summer with Arnold’s and Cincinnati’s newest beer producer, Rivertown Breweries. Arnold’s is removing the top in the Courtyard and letting their hair down for the summer. To coincide with the top coming down, Rivertown Breweries is having their Downtown kickoff party to celebrate Arnold’s being the first bar downtown to carry their brews. The brewers and owners will be in house all night to talk about their beers and they are tapping their Dunkel at 8pm. Arnold’s will also be carrying all 5 of their other brews in the bottle. The bottles will only be there for a short time but the Dunkel on draft (selected for Arnold’s by beer experts Carla and Tom from will remain. For the party on Wednesday all Rivertown Beers will be just 3.00, 16oz drafts and all of their bottles, all night. [Rivertown Breweries Beers include Helles Lager, Heffeweizen, Oatmeal Stout, Wit Beer, Hop Bomber Pale Ale and Dunkle.] Arnold’s is also infusing the beers with their specials menu. They will be having an entire menu consisting solely of items that are infused with each of the Rivertown brews. The specials menu will run through the weekend. To (un)top off the party, Arnold’s will be having local blues staple, John Redell on stage from 8-10 to help provide the setting for a perfect summer night. Live blues, downtown, outside, and with a great, cold beer in hand.

May Hoperatives Happening at Arnold’s!

We are proud to announce that our next Hoperatives Happening will be Monday, May 24th at 6:00 pm at the Cincinnati landmark that is Arnold’s Bar and Grill. Where else can you enjoy a better beer that has been around since 1861? Ronda’s going to be whipping up some complimentary appetizers for the event and Rivertown Brewing’s delicious Dunkel will be one of the great drafts available that night. If you’ve never been before, a Hoperatives Happening is a gathering of “believers in better beer” where we meet, discover new friends and drink great beer. By the night of the Happening, the top will be off the courtyard at Arnold’s and we’re crossing our fingers for great weather. We’ll also have some pint glasses and other goodies to give away.

Arnold’s Bar and Grill
210 East 8th St
Cincinnati, OH

As always, reservations are required and you can make your reservation by emailing . Please give your Hoperative number when making your reservation.

Hope to see many of you there!

–Tom and Carla

Opening Day Events

Since we moved to Cincinnati over a decade ago, we’ve learned that Opening Day is a city wide celebration. We’ve started compiling a list of “better beer” related events for that day, but please fill free to send us more to add!

Opening Day Eve – Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fries Cafe
Still pinning down the details on this one. We know the Rumpke Mountain Boys are supposed to be there!
We took a research trip to Fries last night and got the particulars. They open on 4:00 pm and all six taps will be Bell’s beers including a keg of Hopslam. Burgers, brats and metts will be available. The Rumple Mountain Boys are performing about 7:30.

Opening Day – Monday, April 5, 2010

Jake Speed and the Freddies will be performing a special baseball themed show from 9:30 am until noon. This is the official release of the Hudy Cincinnati Baseball Hall of Fame cans! WNKU will be broadcasting from the courtyard. Jeremy Dubin from the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will be performing “Casey at the Bat” and Jim Tarbell (dressed at “Peanut” Jim Shelton) will play his harmonica before heading over to the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. After the game, there will be a free hot dog buffet and free peanuts all day

Bistro JeanRo
Opening at 9:00 a.m. with their first annual Opening Day brunch with $3 drafts all day and an all-you-can-eat, full service for $20.10. Bell’s Oberon now on draft!

Hofbrauhaus Newport

Join us April 5th for our First Annual “Save 2nd Base”, benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Doors will open at 8:00 AM for breakfast, bier, and live entertainment. Auction and Raffles will be held throughout the day, including two opening day tickets, which will be raffled off at 11:30 AM. Special “Save 2nd Base” T-shirts will be available, while supplies last, to purchase for $12.00, with all proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. In addition, if you print out the attached charity card and turn in to your server when you dine with us, the Hofbrauhaus will donate 10% of your bill to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Rock Bottom Brewery
Open at 9 AM with a signature breakfast menu and the tapping of the Catcher in the Rye Ale.

St. Patrick’s Day Activities at Arnold’s

Two great St. Patrick’s Day events coming to Arnold’s this weekend!

Friday March 12th Official St Patty’s Parade Kickoff

Join Arnold’s Friday March 12th for the Mad Hatter party. Ridiculous hats completely encouraged. Prizes given away for best hats. Jameson and Guinness will be in house giving away free hats and shwag as well. Both are having a Big Prize Drawing. Jameson is giving away a free mountain bike and Guinness will be giving away a Giant Guinness mirror. Prize Drawing is promptly at 10pm. You must be present to win. Full Irish menu all weekend. Live music from The Catfish Evans Trio 6-8pm and The Tadcasters 9pm-1am. Party starts at 8pm.

Kegs & Eggs At Arnold’s
Saturday March 13th Official Pre-Parade Breakfast

Arnold’s is opening at a very early 6am, parade day, for the official Kegs and Eggs breakfast. Start St Patrick’s day off right with a Guinness, delicious home cooked breakfast, and Premier League Soccer Highlights on our Big Screen Projector all morning. Beer Specials from 6-8am on Guinness, 3.50 Imperial pints (20oz). Head on down to the Parade about ten and return to Arnold’s afterwards for live music all day from The Flock, The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and Magnolia Mountain. Arnold’s is a tradition for many on the day of the parade. Come be a part of it.

Additional info:

How to Survive Bockfest 2010

As the saying goes, some things are worth repeating. With Bockfest coming up this weekend, we wanted to remind everyone of some survival strategies for beer events like this.

Back in January, one of our contributors John Lavelle wrote a post in anticipation of the Cincy Winter Beerfest that weekend called “PSA: Surviving a Beer Festival” with lots of great tips. Read it again and apply many of them to Bockfest this weekend.

Ronda from Arnold’s echoes many of the tips John mentions in her post “My Idea Of The Perfect Bockfest Evening” on her blog Eating at Arnold’s and More. As she points out, you really need to pace yourself at Bockfest. We try to always make sure we have a large glass of water after each beer. You need to stay hydrated!

Have an iPhone? City Beat’s Bockfest Handbook is available for you at We’re also working on a text only version of our (Nearly) Complete Guide to Bockfest that we posted yesterday. We’ll let you know when it’s available.

If you need a cab ride home, remember you just need to call Fetch Taxi at 513-35-FETCH. They use a single telephone number that gets you connected with over eight different taxi companies that serve the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky region. We suggest you add that number to your cell phone’s directory right now. [Thanks to Monika from the (such a) RedKatBlonde blog for telling us about Fetch Taxi!]

If you really want to think ahead, get a hotel room downtown. This will be the second year we’re doing this. The closest one is the Garfield Suites Hotel. As of this writing, they have available for both Friday and Saturday nights. Rates start at $99 a night for a one bedroom condo suite. We loved how the staff asked if we were having a good time at Bockfest every time we returned to the hotel.

Bockfest is one of the great events that makes Cincinnati the city we love. Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful Bockfest!

Don’t Forget the VIP Brewery Tour Fundraiser at Arnold’s!

It’s not too late to make your reservations for this great event! We’re going to be there. Are you? Remember $80 of every ticket is tax-deductible and goes towards paying for the Bockfest parade and shuttles.

Arnold’s 1st VIP Brewery Tour Fundraiser
Presented by: The Over The Rhine Foundation In Conjunction With The Brewery District, Christian Moerlein, and Arnold’s Bar and Grill

Tuesday, February 16th celebrate V.I.P. style for what is sure to be the most comprehensive beer tour that the Queen City has ever seen. No red velvet rope for this V.I.P. event. Make sure to wear comfy shoes and clothes. You just might get dirty as you are one of the first to traverse the newly discovered tunnels that run beneath McMicken Ave. After the tour enjoy a five course wild game menu that will include a local (semi)celebrity speaking between each course. You will not find many people in Cincinnati that are more informed on our local brewing tradition than these guys – Bret Androski (Arnold’s history buff), Jim Tarbell (the man that knows more about Cincinnati than anyone), Greg Hardman (Owner of Christian Moerlein), Mike Morgan (Director of the Over The Rhine Foundation) and Steve Hampton (President of the Brewery District CURC). The event is from 5:30PM until 9:00PM, and will start and end at Arnold’s Bar and Grill (located at 210 East Eighth Street, Cincinnati). Be sure to get your tickets early, there are only 80 available and it will sell out.
Tickets are $95, and $80 of every ticket is tax-deductible and goes towards paying for the Bockfest parade and shuttles. Your dinner includes appetizers, dinner, beer, and VIP tour.
Purchase tickets online at or in person at Arnolds Bar and Grill.

Dinner info:
5 course wild game menu including beer pairings

Appetizers – Assorted Crustinis of Camel Sausage and Wild Mushroom Ragout

Soup – Spicy Pearl Barley Soup with Roasted Rabbit

Salad – Wild Field Greens with Smoked Duck Breast and candied ginger with Pistachio dressing

Entrée – Lamb Osso Bucco Served on a Bed of White Beans and Grits

Dessert – White Chocolate Wild Berry Bread Pudding with Bock infused Caramel Sauce

First VIP bus of 40 people will leave Arnold’s for a private tour of 2 Breweries at 5:30
Second VIP bus of 40 people leaves Arnold’s at 6:00
Appetizers will be started at 5:30 for the second bus. Appetizers for the 1st bus will be served while we are waiting on the second bus to return.

Tour Info:
We’ll start the tour at Arnold’s, where busses will take us to the former Kauffman Brewery, we’ll hear about Cincinnati’s beer barons and explore the massive subterranean lagering cellars under the building. A brief walk will take us to the former Crown Brewery (also known as the Schmidt Brothers Brewery). Here we’ll learn how Prohibition closed most of the Cincinnati breweries and dealt a devastating blow to Over-the-Rhine. This tour will include a visit to the recently rediscovered and reopened lagering cellars and tunnel underneath McMicken Avenue, which have been sealed off for 50 years and never before opened to the public. We’ll hop back on the bus to return to Arnold’s where owner Ronda Androski and her staff will present a five-course wild game dinner, including appetizers. During each course of wild game, each paired with a different beer and there will be a guest speaker talking about beer and Over-the-Rhine. Guest speakers will be Bret Androski (Arnold’s history buff), Jim Tarbell (the man that knows more about Cincinnati than anyone), Greg Hardman (Owner of Christian Moerlein), Mike Morgan (Director of the Over The Rhine Foundation) and Steve Hampton (President of the Brewery District CURC).

Upcoming Bockfest Events

Bockfest is coming! Bockfest is coming! Check out these upcoming Bockfest events. For more information, go to the Bockfest website at where we got much of this information. We’ll do another post with the events for Bockfest weekend later this month.

Bockfest Poster Signing – Feb. 11th

On Thursday February 11, 2010, Mr Pitiful’s will host the the Bockfest 2010 Poster Signing Happy Hour. Mr Pitiful’s is located at 1323 Main Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. From 6:00PM to 10:00PM, Bockfest 2010 posters signed by artist Jim Effler will be available for $10.00. Original Bockfest oil paintings as well as previous year’s Bockfest posters will also be available.

Bockfest Blow – Feb. 12th

The Fifth Annual BockFest Blow will take place at 6:30PM on Friday February 12, 2010 at the River City Works, 532 East 12th Street, in Over-the-Rhine’s Pendleton Art District. Blowers from the Art Academy will create a glass stein trophy, which will be the grand prize for the best parade entry. Arnold’s Bar and Grill will be providing food.

Bockfest Precipitation Retaliation Happy Hour – Feb. 28th

On Sunday February 28 from 4:00PM to 7:00PM, Miltons Prospect Hill Tavern at 301 Milton Street, will host a happy hour showcasing our unique response to 2008’s blizzard. If you remember, Old Man Winter decided to snow on our parade in 2008. We held it anyway, but the copius amounts of snow that fell rivaled the copius amounts of Bock Beer we had ready to drink. We felt a little retaliation was in order, so last year we set alight a snowman as a warning to the snow gods and were blessed with fantastic weather. So if it worked one year, we figured we’d do it again, so join us at 6:30PM as we set alight a snowman as a warning to the weather gods. Beer will always triumph over snow!

Sausage Queen Competition

On Saturday March 6 at 8:00 PM, Bockfest Hall will host the “Little Kings” Sausage Queen Finals. The competion will include the top two finalists from each of the preliminary rounds, held at the following locations:
Friday, February 12, 2010 at 9:00PM, held at The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio
Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 9:00PM, held at Arnold’s Bar and Grill, 210 East 8th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Friday, February 26, 2010 at 9:00PM, held at the Blue Bar, 266 Pike Street, Covington, Kentucky 41011
Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 9:00PM, held at Milton’s Prospect Hill Tavern, 301 Milton Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

More Upcoming Beer Events for January

Three more beer events have been announced for the month of January:

Friday, January 15th from 7:00 to 11:00 pm – Bier dinner at Mecklenburg Gardens
There will be a full buffet, live music featuring Alpen Echos and beer specials. The cost is $20.00 per person.

Saturday, January 16th from 5:00 to 11:00 pm – Christian Moerlein plus Jake Speed and the Freddies at Arnold’s
From the Christian Moerlein “Moerlein Mail”:

Join us at Arnold’s on January 16th for huge beer specials on Christian Moerlein/Hudepohl-Schoenling’s entire stable of Cincinnati beers including Moerlein Lager House, Moerlein OTR Ale, Hudy Delight, Hudy 14-K, Burger and Little Kings. Moerlein reps will be there all night to hand out free gear and to chat it up about all of their beers.
Arnold’s will be serving a special menu consisting solely of different foods made with each of the Moerlein beers.
Local favorites Jake Speed and The Freddies will be on hand singing about everything that is good in the city we love – Cincinnati.
For more details, contact Arnold’s at (513) 421-6234, or visit their website at

Thursday, January 21st from 5:00 to 7:00 pm – Christian Moerlein Tasting / Happy Hour at Teller’s
This tasting will feature 4-6 beer samples with cheese pairings for each. The cost will be $10 per person.

Notes from the Underground: Bockfest 2009 (Part I)

All week long there’s been this voice in my head nagging me to get up a post about Bockfest 2009.

“You’re a Cincinnati Beer Blog,” says the voice, “Bockfest is one of — if not THE — premier beer events in town.  It has it all: History.  Culture. A gathering of the tribe. Beer.  Remember beer? You posted like crazy before the event.  You go, you have a good — no, make that GREAT — time.  Then nothing.  Hardly a word. What’s wrong with you?”

“But we have real jobs and we have these awful colds and …”, I begin.

“SILENCE!”, says the voice, “I don’t want to hear any excuses! I want a post!”

I really hate that voice.

Even if it is just a cheesy gimmick to get going on this thing.

For Carla and me, Bockfest was an eye-opening experience. We’ve lived here for just a bit over a decade, but in many ways we felt like we were seeing the city for the first time.  That sounds kind of trite, I know, but it’s true. Part of the delay has been the fact that I’ve spent a good part of the week looking at stuff I’ve been driving by for years with entirely new eyes.

Well, not entirely new eyes.  I still need glasses.

This is the first of a series of posts on Bockfest 2009. I have no idea how many there will be.  We have video, We have pictures.  I’m going to tell the stories that go along with them.  When I’m done with the stories, I’ll stop with the posts.

A couple of things that need to be mentioned up front:

  • A sprawling event like Bockfest doesn’t happen without a lot of people trying to make it happen.  There are a lot of moving parts, and most everyone associated with it is a volunteer.  If you went to Bockfest and had a good time, you owe them a bit of thanks.  Better yet, volunteer next year (we are). It also wouldn’t happen without the sponsors.  Show them some love, they deserve it.
  • A big part of the reason we were able to spend as much time we did at Bockfest is that we stayed downtown at the Garfield Suites.  Turns out that one of the managers is a reader and beer lover and gave us a very nice upgrade.  That was very, very cool, but I have to say that I think we would have had just as good an experience if we wouldn’t have gotten the upgrade.  Nice place, nice people.  Loved Cafe Martin.  It’s where we’ll stay for Bockfest from here on out, at the very least.  Definitely consider it if you have folks coming in from out of town and you want them to have some room.  For what it’s worth.

So shut up, Cheesy Gimmick Voice.