When 50 West Brewing Company leapfrogged over its namesake road outside of Mariemont, ostensibly it expanded brewing capacity for its craft beers. “We were good at making beer, but not so good at math,” says cofounder Bobby Slattery. “We needed more capacity to keep up with demand from local bars and restaurants.” After setting up shop on the south side of Route 50, however, close proximity to the Little Miami River and its cherished bike trail—along with an unquenchable entrepreneurial spirit—encouraged Slattery to expand into outdoor activities. “We realized that craft beer enthusiasts and nature lovers both have a great sense of adventure,” he says. “It made sense to provide more outlets for that sort of active lifestyle mindset.” How crafty!
50 West acquired the shuttered Hahana Beach bar/restaurant in 2016, renaming it 50 West Production Works and installing four fermenters to bump up beer production capacity to 5,000 barrels annually. (It is now up to 12 fermenters total, meaning even more barrels of beer each year.) They inherited six sand volleyball courts and installed 16 taps of 50 West beers. “We were worried we might alienate the volleyball crowd because the former bar served your basic mass-produced national beers,” says Slattery. “But now they’re trying goses and other adventurous varieties.” Which proves that if you (overhand) serve it, they will come.
Details: League play dominates the courts Monday–Thursday, but it’s first-come, first-serve Friday–Sunday.
Extra fun: Reserve a court on the weekends if you bring a big crew.
Pairs well with: Coast to Coast IPA
50 West Cycling is the relatively new name of the venerated Oakley Cycles, which moved from Oakley Square after three decades. They do a brisk business in rentals but also have a full-service shop staffed by seasoned cyclists offering fittings, accessories, and repairs if you prefer to BYOB(ike).
Details: Daily rentals of road bikes ($30), hybrid bikes ($24), and child trailers ($20), as well as a new electric bike option ($40). Store is open daily; hours vary.
Extra fun: The monthly Bike ’n Movie Full Moon Ride pairs a bike-related film with a casual moonlit jaunt along the trail.
Pairs well with: Doom Pedal White Ale
Founded in 2013 by two avid paddlers, the erstwhile Mariemont Livery joined 50 West two summers ago. You can wend your way down the picturesque Little Miami via a two-mile tube float or a five- or 10-mile canoe, kayak, or raft trip. Back on dry land, relive every twist and turn over burgers and wings from Production Works Roadside Grill, which Slattery describes as a “gourmet snack shack.”
Details: Open daily through Labor Day. Reservations are recommended, especially for large groups and weekend excursions. Rental prices range from $18 (tubing) to $37 (10-mile kayak).
Extra fun: Happy Hour Paddles depart at 5:30 p.m. on the first and third Friday of the month; $25 gets you a kayak rental and beer ticket for Production Works.
Pairs well with: American Lager
“Craft beer lovers with a running problem” gather at Production Works on Thursday evenings for a recreational run along the trail. The path’s smooth surface and relatively flat topography make it a perfect spot for beginners without having to dodge cars, curbs, and sidewalk cracks. Wrapping up a run at the bar makes it easy to socialize with friends old and new.
Details: No fee. Water station at the 1.75 mile mark. Runs are led by 50 West staff. Typical turnout is 50–80 runners.
Extra fun: Twice a year, participants who have logged enough miles are invited to the 50-Mile Club party at Production Works.
Pairs well with: Ocean City Gose
Beat the weekend warrior crowds by squeezing in an early run or cycling session, then reward yourself with brunch (10 a.m.–2 p.m.) at the original 50 West Brewpub across the street. You’ll also find 24 beers on tap, including experimental, small-batch, and limited edition varieties. Quite fitting for a historic 1827 house that served as a speakeasy during Prohibition. fiftywestbrew.com