The Holidays: A Dark Time of the Year. . . for Beer!

The calendar rolls past daylight savings and the collective joy of summer is snuffed. Awake in the dark, commute in the faint light of morning, return home from work just in time for the last rays of the day to taunt you from the horizon, and eat your final meal under a false fluorescent glow. The crisp glory that is fall weather becomes gray as the frigid air makes it’s annual descent from the great white north and the vibrant colors of fall have turned brown and clogged your gutters. Gone are the gentle refreshing rains, replaced by cold storms, snow, and ice. As we slog through the gloom of winter and the holidays approach, humanity is forced into retreat. We wrap trees and even our houses with lights in an effort to pierce the stagnant night and find our way home. Darkness has descended.

It’s in these darkest of times that we search for warmth and dare I say joy, and in these moments we find beer! Gloriously dark, rich, and full-bodied holiday beers provide a beacon for humanity! Bold flavors of chocolate, coffee, spices, and fruits not fit for warmer climes migrate home to roost for the winter in your fridge.

When all hope for natural light is gone and winter breathes an icy chill down your neck what beers do you enjoy roasting your chestnuts with?


A few of my favorites:

Great Lakes Christmas Ale – Cinnamon and ginger are the highlights of this winter warmer

Moerlein Christkindl – A subtly spicy and malty winter warmer

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale – Hoppy holiday goodness

Delirium Noel – Spicy, Fruity, and Roasty all rolled into a 10% ABV Belgian


The holidays are a great time of the year for beer but don’t forget that most of these are seasonal so get them while you can.

Add your favorites in the comments section!

Happy Holidays and Cheers!

– Jared


Last Minute New Year’s Eve Options

Still need plans for tonight? Never fear! Here’s the Hoperatives list of New Year’s Eve happenings at some of our favorite better beer locations. Be sure to let us know if we’re missing any you think should be added.

The Comet
4:00 pm December 31st to 2:30 am January 1st –

Champagne toast at midnight.

The Famous Neons Unplugged
4:00 pm December 31st to 2:00 am January 1st –

No Cover, No Pretensions! No gouging you on inflated drink prices! Ring in the new year with your friends at The Famous Neons Unplugged as we celebrate an incredible 2010 and look forward to even bigger and better things in 2011. Come join us out on the patio as we raise a flying pig from our bocce ball court to the top of our building. No cover charge, and the same low drink prices you’ve enjoyed year-round!

Fries Cafe
4:00 pm December 31st to 2:30 am January 1st –

Buffet by Jerry and Kurtis. Music by Shiny Old Soul. All kinds of bubbly.

Dilly Cafe
5:30 pm to 8:30 pm December 31st –

Help us put 2010 to rest with Steve and his own smooth, relaxing style of acoustic jazz.

Habits Cafe

Bring in the New Year at Habits Cafe! NO COVER CHARGE! Free champagne toast at midnight! Habits will also be open New Years Day. Celebrate 2011 with imported beer, potato rags and football! Have a safe and happy holiday!

And don’t forget tomorrow….

Arnold’s Bar and Grill
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm January 1st –
Arnold’s 150th Birthday Party and Arnold’s 1861 Porter Release – See our earlier post!
Please note! This event starts promptly at 6:00 pm, no earlier! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

A Brand New Bouncing Baby Blog

Welcome to Hoperatives, a place for believers in better beer.

What’s better beer?  It’s not just the beer you like, it’s the beer you love.  It’s the beer you’ll search for far and wide, the one you’ll drive long distances to sample and buy, the one you’ll  hoard for yourself or grudgingly share, but only with friends who get it.

That’s what this site is about.  It’s about the beer, the places that make the beer, the places that sell the beer, and the places that serve the beer.  Most importantly, it’s about the people.  The people who make the beer, and the people who love the beer.

This blog is centered on Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the world’s great beer towns. We’ll focus on the people, places, and events that make it great.  We’ll also look at happenings in the region, which we’re defining as anything within a five-hour driving range.  That takes us from the shores of Lake Erie to the north to the Tennessee River to the south, from somewhere in the middle of Illinois to the west, to somewhere in West Virginia to the east.

Hey, it’s about beer, not geography.

Finally, because the proprietors of this establishment like to take their love of beer on the road, we’ll venture beyond regional and national borders and report back on what we find.

There’s a reason a good beer bar is noisy.  It’s because people are talking.  That’s what this place is about.  It’s a place for believers in better beer to congregate and have a conversation.

It’s going to be fun.

Happy New Year!

Christian Moerlein Ice Bar on Fountain Square for New Year’s Eve

The (formerly?) local brewery Christian Moerlein celebrates New Year’s Eve in mega style with the construction of a 20 foot long, 12 foot high ice bar made out of about 15,000 pounds of ice. The taps were frozen inside the ice sculpture.

Christian Moerlein Ice Bar at Fountain Square
Photo courtesy of 5chw4r7z

Here’s the press release from 3CDC:

15,000 pounds of ice used to create elaborate bar

WHAT: Construction of the Christian Moerlein Ice Bar on the U.S. Bank Ice Rink on Fountain Square.

WHEN: Crews arrive around on the Square around 3:30pm today and start work around 4:30 pm. Workers will unload an additional 10-12 blocks of ice to complete the Ice Bar, made up of a total 15,000 pounds of ice.

WHERE: Northeast corner of the U.S. Bank Ice Rink

ICE BAR FEATURES: Faucets are frozen inside the bar so beer can be tapped from inside the ice sculptured bar, which is about 20 feet long, 12 feet deep and 10 feet high. In addition to beer, martini drinks will be sold.

ON-SITE CONTACT: Jeff Stahl, Arctic Diamond Handcrafted Ice Sculptures, 276-3341 (cell)

The Christian Moerlein Ice Bar is part of the Kroger 2009 Fountain Square New Year’s Eve Blast. Festivities begin at 8pm with free ice skating and skate rental, courtesy of Strauss & Troy, LLP, DJ Pillo, soft drinks and snacks and a countdown to midnight capped off by a fireworks show by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks.

Special thanks to our title sponsor Kroger and presenting sponsors Strauss & Troy and Christian Moerlein as well as U.S. Bank, sponsor of the 2008-2009 Fountain Square Ice Rink. For daily skating rink hours, visit The rink is open New Year’s Day from 2pm to 10pm.

New Year’s Eve parking is available in the Fountain Square Garage for $4. The 2009 Kroger New Year’s Eve Fountain Square Blast is produced by Fountain Square Management Group, a subsidiary of 3CDC.