Thanks to a recent change in Ohio law, tap rooms have arrived in the Queen City. The concept is simple: Production breweries install a bar, a few stools, and some taps; a bearded guy explains the complex flavors of the latest seasonal brew; and craft beer lovers congregate to imbibe and bask in the sweet smell of hops and yeast. What are you waiting for?
Rivertown Brewing Company
If you can find Rivertown Brewing Company (it’s in a labyrinthine industrial park), your five bucks gets you a pint glass, a pint of beer, and an exhaustive tour of the facility led by co-owner Randy Schiltz. Rivertown’s Helles Lager is the rare craft beer that you can down more than a couple of without your stomach turning to stone. But our favorite is the Hop Bomber IPA, which packs just the right amount of punch.
Fri 5–10, Sat noon–10, Sun noon–6. 607 Shepherd Dr., Unit 6, Lockland, (513) 827-9280, rivertownbrewery.com
Listermann Brewing Company
Primarily a homebrew supply shop, Listermann has expanded its brewing operation and opened a tap room. They’ve brought in master brewer Kevin Moreland to produce beers under the Listermann name as well as the premium Triple Digit series and legacy Wiedemann’s brand. As Moreland tinkers with his recipes, “experimental batch” beers pop up among the ten taps, giving patrons a chance to taste varieties not yet mass produced. Plus, samples are only a buck.
Mon–Sat 10–6, 1621 Dana Ave., Evanston, (513) 731-1130, listermann.com
Mt. Carmel Brewing Company
The Mt. Carmel brewery is located in an old white farmhouse with a big front porch and a duck pond out back. You can smell beer in the air the minute you step out of your car. Compared to the spare setups at Rivertown and Listermann, this place looks more like a real pub, with high top tables and booths. Samples are $2; pints are $4; and growlers start at $8. That’s three of the best deals around.
Mon–Sat noon–4. 4362 Mt. Carmel Tobasco Rd., Mt. Carmel (513) 240-2739, mtcarmelbrewingcompany.com
Originally published in the November 2012 issue.
Photographs by William Manning.