Wednesday, September 28, 2022

A Thought On High ABV Beers

One thing I often tend to notice is that there are a good amount of people that prefer to drink higher
ABV beers as we approach the colder months, beers like the Imperial stouts and barley wines start showing up and people start to enjoy them, especially at some of the fall and winter beer festivals. I, myself, tend to enjoy all types of beers year-round, even the larger ABV ones so I often find this interesting. Are people doing this because they just like these beers in colder months as they can add warmth or is it just because they have become trained to expect and drink these often at this time of year because this is when many of the breweries release them?

Having a space where I can store some of these bigger beers allows me to build a collection that I can enjoy year-round, but it has never been a seasonal thing for me. Now I am not saying I will crack a 15% ABV in the middle of a hot summer day, but sitting out on a summer night having a nice stout and stogie is a pleasant experience as well. At least, I think so. Beer shouldn't be just dictated by seasons, it should be more about the feel of enjoying it and being able to do so when the mood or setting is right. 

I guess all of this just came to mind as I am writing this during much of the initial Oktoberfest week here in the states which happens right before the turn for many into looking for some of these bigger beers, after pumpkin beers of course. Although pumpkin beers are a whole other thing as many now start releasing them in July which also goes to my point, people start scooping them up that look forward to those as well. There was a time when this used to be more in October but now that timeline has shifted, so if it can be for pumpkin beers then why not the high ABV ones?

We are pretty much two months out before the release of probably the most heralded imperial stout which is the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and its suite of variants. Maybe, this is why many look forward to really November being stout season as it is often referred to. We will see other breweries also release theirs like Epic Brewing and their Big Bad Baptist beers as well, and many others but beer is bigger than just one season. And if you have ever thought about starting a beer cellar then this is one of the best times of the year to do so because of the inventory that will be produced and available.

One of my favorite higher ABV beers to also enjoy year-round is New Holland Brewing and their Dragon's Milk series. Each year they often have some wonderful variants and their base version is also offered year-round as well, showing these beers do not have to just be enjoyed in one or two seasons. If you have not tried their beers then I definitely recommend them, and if you are a person that enjoys high ABV beers usually in the fall or winter then maybe keep some back as well. Pulling one of these out on a spring or summer evening when relaxing may just surprise you with how good it may be at that time as well. Just remember to drink responsibly as they can still sneak up on you if not careful, but free yourself of thinking these are just for a certain time of the year. They are for any time that you deem them so, Cheers!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

MadTree Releases Premium Vodka Soda Variety Pack With Two New Flavors

CINCINNATI (September 14, 2022) – A variety of ways to sway is coming soon. Sway by MadTree variety 8-packs will be available beginning Monday, September 19th in four delicious flavor combinations; Strawberry Guava, Grapefruit Ginger, Blackberry Hibiscus, and an exclusive to the variety pack -- Raspberry Lemon. One of the best selling ready-to-drink cocktails in the Greater Cincinnati area, customers will now be able to sway away with two additional artfully crafted products. The Blackberry Hibiscus flavor is also available for purchase in 4-packs.

“The overwhelming positive response to Sway by MadTree has blown us away,” said Brady Duncan, co-founder of MadTree. “Seeing people enjoying Sway by MadTree at our Taproom and Alcove, at FC Cincinnati matches, and other spots around town, that’s what it’s all about. It keeps us motivated each and every day.”

Born from their successful house-made cocktail program implemented a few years ago in their Oakley taproom, Sway by MadTree has been an exciting and innovative way to expand their consumer base beyond just beer drinkers while staying committed to crafting the best possible product. MadTree is excited for this brand to help them continue connecting people with each other and highlight their membership to 1% for the Planet, in which MadTree donates 1% of all sales to environmental non-profit organizations.

“We’re beyond excited to offer even more deliciously unique flavors as well as a variety pack for our Sway by MadTree brand,” said Duncan. “We launched just six months ago with only two flavors and to be able to double that already is pretty incredible. The new flavors were released in our Oakley taproom a few weeks ago and have quickly become fan favorites, especially the Blackberry Hibiscus.”

All Sway by MadTree flavors have a 4.5% alcohol by volume, 90 calories, one carb, zero sugar, and are gluten-free. Crafted with real, locally sourced vodka from Northside Distilling in 12-ounce sleek cans, look for Sway by MadTree variety 8-packs on store shelves beginning the week of September 19th throughout Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky.

About MadTree Brewing Company

MadTree puts purpose in every pour. Founded in 2013, MadTree has always been driven to craft great beer - but more importantly - to build something bigger than themselves and the high-quality beer they produce. Since the beginning, MadTree has cared deeply about creating meaningful connections with their communities. They embrace their namesake and work to celebrate and protect nature while reducing their impact on the environment. They are proud members of 1% for the Planet with a commitment to donate 1% of sales to non-profits focused on environmental sustainability. The craftspeople at MadTree wake up every day to connect people to nature and each other. MadTree. Inspiring Madness. Rooted in Purpose.

Ohio Pint Day Returns Tuesday, Sept. 27

Ohio Pint Day Returns for Third Year

More than 180 breweries offering collectible pint glasses to benefit brewing industry.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Craft Brewers Association is organizing the third annual Ohio Pint Day, to be held on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. That day, more than 180 breweries across the state will offer this year's limited edition, collectible pint glass in their taprooms to celebrate the occasion and raise funds for their industry trade association.

Ohio Pint Day has become a beloved annual tradition for the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, its member breweries and for fans of Ohio craft beer. Demand for the collectible Ohio Pint Day glass was so high each of the past two years that many breweries sold out on the day of the event. This year, approximately 13,000 glasses will be available at participating breweries all over the state.

In partnership with the participating breweries and glass manufacturer Boelter Beverage, $1 from every glass will be donated to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, the non-profit organization that represents and advocates for Ohio’s independently-owned craft breweries.

“We’re excited to see Pint Day promotions gain popularity not just here in Ohio, but across the country” said Ohio Craft Brewers Association executive director Mary MacDonald. “These unique art glasses not only draw people into their local breweries, but they also help non-profit brewers guilds like ours fund our mission to promote and protect the brewing industry at the state level.”

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association commissioned artist Juan Vergara to design this year’s Ohio Pint Day glass after admiring the artwork that lines the walls of his brewery, Pulpo Beer Company in Willoughby.

“My inspiration behind this year’s Ohio Pint Day design was Solidarity,” Vergara explains in his artist’s statement. “With every struggle the hospitality industry has been through in the past couple of years and as it continues to this day, we shall never forget that lending a helping hand between all of us and sharing our misfortunes and accomplishments we can all survive and overcome.

On Ohio Pint Day, craft beer fans can expect to find many different offers from participating breweries. Some breweries may sell the glass filled with the customer’s choice of beer, others may include the glass with a crowler or growler purchase to go, still others may sell the glass individually.

Users of the Ohio On Tap brewery passport app will be able to receive a bonus passport stamp by purchasing an Ohio Pint Day glass. Users will be able to submit selfies with their glass from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2 to receive the stamp.

A complete list and map of participating breweries can be found at

Founded in 2007, the Ohio Craft Brewers Association is a nonprofit guild that exists to promote, preserve and unify Ohio’s craft brewing industry. We aspire to be recognized as the industry leader at both state and national levels for preserving the art of making high-quality, unique craft beer; to serve as the unified voice for craft brewers across the state; to advocate on behalf of the Ohio craft beer industry; to contribute to systemic, local community development by driving economic and job growth, while creating experiences that bring people together; to promote safe, responsible enjoyment of Ohio craft beer; and to serve as a beacon for local production and manufacturing through craft beer, resulting in diverse choices for consumers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Oktoberfest One Of My Favorite Times To Drink Beer

 As I pondered over some of the things I thought about and discussed over the last week in beer, I was still left curious about what I wanted to write about this week for the blog. And then the light bulb went off or maybe since my focus is on beer, I should say the tap started pouting. Yes, I like that more. The tap started pouring and I was like, bang, it's the start of Oktoberfest all around the world. What could be better, and yes, the simplest things are sometimes those right in front of us as shown yet again.

I do really enjoy the Oktoberfest season which I really started to enjoy more over the more recent years. The great beers, the delicious foods, the fun people, and the always fun atmosphere tends to have me looking forward to it every year now. Although, for me, it is now settling in that this will be my first time outside of Cincinnati to look to enjoy.

Oktoberfest originated on October 12, 1810, as a festival of celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, later King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Wow, I am so glad my last name is Jones, imagine having to learn to spell that as a kid, ha. But from that great day, we are still reaping the honor of it and having great fun doing so.

Well, what many may not know is that Cincinnati had a large German heritage that settled the area, in fact, right across the river is Mainstrausse which was a settled area for many Germans and the effect can still be felt and enjoyed today. Places with great beer and food abound, and over in Newport, Kentucky, the first Hofbrauhaus in the states was actually created with ties to the family in Germany from what I have been told. Sidenote: If you haven't been to Cincinnati for a beer trip, you need to and that is all I am going to say about that.

But going back a couple of paragraphs, I mentioned that this is my first time to really enjoy it in other areas and see how it may be celebrated. I am curious to find out but I do miss the Weiner dog races, the watching of Joey Chestnut devouring some sausages as he cruises to another eating championship fun, the stein races, and some of all of the other pageantry. Now, I know I may see some of these types of things here and sure they will still be some fun times, but Cincinnati was the number 2 spot behind Munich for Oktoberfest festivals in the world. It was actually number 1 a couple of years ago thanks but not really thanks to Covid, and averages around 500,000 people that come to the event each year from all over the world and that was always one of the coolest things, enjoying beers with strangers over some good conversations. This is what really made it fun for me, and hopefully, this will continue for me in Baltimore as well. 

What do you enjoy about Oktoberfest? Let me know by leaving a comment and if you haven't been to one of the festivals then I recommend you do so. Nobody ever said, what a bad Oktoberfest that was, that I ever heard! 🍻

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