This Week in Beer: Nov. 23 – 29, 2015

Check out our Better Beer Happy Hours, Etc. page for regularly scheduled specials on better beer. We are only list events here that are unique for this coming week in beer. As always, any edited listing will have UPDATE at the beginning of the listing.
NOTE: With Thanksgiving Eve being the busiest night of the year from most better beer locations, this is especially true this week.

Monday, Nov. 23rd at 5:00 pm – Rare Keg Monday at Ei8ht Ball Brewing
This week, it’s Dogfish Head Higher Math. The cost is $10 for a ten ounce snifter.

Monday, Nov. 23rd from 6:00-7:00 pm – Crazy Craisin Hour at Rock Bottom Cincinnati
Try their Cranberry Pumpkin Ale for $3 a pint.

UPDATE Tuesday, Nov. 24th at 6:00 pm – Celebratory Beer Tapping for the Cincinnati Street Car at Moerlein Lager House
“To celebrate the arrival of Cincinnati’s second streetcar, the Moerlein Lager House will be releasing its newest beer—a hoppy red ale named ‘Desire’. Streetcar supporters are invited to celebrate the tapping of Desire at 6pm at the Moerlein Lager House. Moerlein’s Desire is the second of five beers in the streetcar series.”

Wednesday, Nov. 5th from 4:00-8:00 pm – MadTree Pint Night at Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

Wednesday, Nov. 25th from 5:00-10:00 pm – First Ever TAPSgiving at the Growler House
From their Facebook page: “Join us for a festive sampling of all 30 taps! Buy a collectible “Tapsgiving” bencher glass and recieve $1.50 bencher pours and $7.50 flights of anything on tap all night long! We’ll also have a 2 for $20 growler fill special going for all of your Thanksgiving needs!”

Wednesday, Nov. 25th at 6:00 pm – Belukus Import Beer Tasting at Marty’s Hops & Vines
Five imported beers from the Belukus portfolio: C Wells Banana Bread Beer, C Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale, Youngs Double Chocolate Stout, Blanche de Bruxelles and McEwan’s Scotch Ale. They will also be pouring blends of these beers.

Wednesday, Nov. 25th at 6:00 pm – Barrel Aged Code 3 Tapping at Old Firehouse Brewery
Plus they will be auctioning off four of their tankard hooks. One per hour starting at 7:00 pm.

Wednesday, Nov. 25th from 6:00-10:00 pm – Mecklenburg’s Multi Brew Event at Mecklenburg’s Garden
From Facebook: “Mecklenburg’s is celebrating their 150th Anniversary – 5 Local Breweries, 5 Keg Tappings, 5 Food Tastings. Featured Breweries: Wiedemann’s, Bell’s, Listermann, MadTree and Rhinegeist. Entertainment by the Alpen Echos”

Wednesday, Nov. 25th from 9:00 pm – Hudepohl Downtown Hoedown at Arnold’s Bar & Grill
In addition to live old-time music and professional square dancers, Arnold’s will have “$2 Drafts of Hudepohl Pure Lager all night. Hudy reps will also be in the building handing out tons of free swag including Pint Glasses and T-shirts. Also at 9pm they will be tapping two extremely hard to get a hold of Kegs from Christian Moerlein. The first is their famed 11/162 Bourbon Barrel Ale. Possibly the last of it available anywhere in the city. The second is a Keg of their Shiver Chai Porter, to which only an extremely limited number of barrels were made.”

Wednesday, Nov. 25th from 9:00 pm-1:00 am – Alumni Club at Moerlein Lager House
$3 Hudepohl Pure Lager, $10 five-bottle buckets of Little Kings

Thursday, Nov. 26th – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

CHECK TOMORROW FOR OUR BLACK FRIDAY AND BEYOND BETTER BEER CALENDAR!

Hoperatives This Week in Beer

Thankful For the Better Beer in Cincinnati (and beyond, too)

Lo, the many years ago, when I first started writing for Hoperatives (that is, back in the fall of 2010, when I had way more free time and dinosaurs still roamed the Earth), one of the very first posts I rambled out in typical Puddin fashion was for Thanksgiving that year.  It related my experience from the turkey day the year prior, when I was appallingly inconsiderate to the point of offering my guests nothing but tasty craft beers for the day. Such gall I had! The cooler was conspicuously (and pointedly) free of anything I considered somewhat flavorless.

After all, it was my party, right? If you’re going to eat my turkey, then you should be prepared to drink my beer, too.

As likely comes as no surprise to the readers of this blog, the experiment was a smashing success. At the end of the day, the number of bottles remaining in my cooler equaled the number of complaints I’d received about having the audacity to skimp on the InBevMilloors options: ZERO.

The following year, then, in that first ever Hoperatives Thanksgiving post, I pondered what beers I should offer in the hopes of both making everyone a little happier while maybe taking things up a notch. You know, rolling everyone up to that fabled next level.

In the end, I came up with a solid list, one that I’d still proudly offer today.  But, of the five types of beer I iced down that day as the Detroit Lions were executing their annual march to NFL defeat, only two of them were local brews. And even those arguably strained the definition of “local”.

Finding myself now less than twenty-four hours away from having the whole fam damily over again for a day dedicated to turkey, football, each other, thankfulness, and (who am I kidding) pie and tasty brews, it’s time to settle on the beer list for this year.  As I contemplated that very question last night (yes, that likely explains the faint burning odor you thought you smelled), I realized something fairly important.

Oh, what a difference three years makes.

Because, this year, it’s not only feasible, but kind of favorable, to offer my guests beers brewed solely in the greater Cincinnati area. As anyone who’s been a Hoperatives reader for any length of time knows, today is glorious day to be a beer drinker in Cincinnati. While we’re not quite offering the volume that pre-Prohibition brewers did, we are still blessed with an embarrassing bounty of malty, hoppy riches, all produced in a twenty miles radius around downtown. I won’t name all the brewers and breweries again (the list is so long now!), but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I find the near-meteoric rise in our local brewing community a bit staggering.

Could I have cobbled together a local’s only list of brews three years ago? Sure, yes.  But my options would have been limited. Too many of the same labels all in the same ice bath. This year, though, there will be no repeats. I’ll be slipping the offerings of four or five different brewers into that ice, each one local, and each capable of going toe-to-toe with the brands and bottles of brewers hundreds of miles away.

Looking back to where this city was when I first starting writing for Hoperatives three years ago, I’d say that’s something to be damned proud of.

From all of us at Hoperatives, then, to all of our fellow believers in better beer out there, here’s to a full glass, a full plate, a full stomach, and a happy Thanksgiving all around!

Pud’n

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

@jrodwhalen