Monday, December 21, 2015

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

I had enjoyed this bottled beer at one of my local spots here in Kentucky. There wasn't much of a head that poured from the bottle and as expected with the pale ale style, it was highlighted by a golden haze. As for carbonation, not too much was happening as it was soft. The aroma was also a little faint and had notes that resembled a sourness. But how about the taste, in the end that's the most important factor.

The texture was watery and it provided both an okay mouthfeel and duration. But there was nothing that really stood out about it. The beer was decent enough, if you are looking for a beer that will be refreshing with some crispness on the finish. But, with so many pale ale choices, this is just not one that I would probably seek again. As a side note, it did provide some lacing as well.

ABV - 5.7%
IBU - 41



Boulder Beer Dragonhosen Beer Review

Thursday, December 17, 2015

New Belgium Rampant Beer Review

Lagunitas Lil Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale

Ah yes, a little sumpin' sumpin' is right. This hoppy pale wheat ale is a nice smooth ride of flavor. The aroma is wonderful and just crawls out of the glass with notes of citrus. With my experience, it easily poured out a nice two finger head and the appearance was an epitome of clarity. It is highlighted by a golden yellow color and goes down smooth as it flows down your throat. It walks a fine line of hoppiness for sure. Not too hoppy, but still providing some bitterness that even fans of wheat beers will enjoy this one.

As far as other highlights, the head provides a nice creaminess and leaves behind some nice lacing. The carbonation is perfect and works nicely with the balance between the hops and malts. And as for the texture, it is very nice and dry with a crisp finish that leaves no aftertaste and a wonderful mouthfeel. It is one of their best, no doubt, and one that I definitely would recommend.

ABV - 7.5%
IBU - 64

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Brew Kettle White Rajah

This one right here is a nice India Pale Ale to experience. It starts with a great appearance as it settles into a nice golden yellow color. The lacing is excellent as you drink it down the glass. A decent ABV of 6.8% accompanies this smooth beer. It also features a great mouthfeel and even at 70 IBU, the bitterness is not overpowering leaving it to be nice and moderate. The citrus aroma is also excellent as it just flows out of the glass and the finish on the taste is very nice and crisp which goes well with its dry texture.

If you haven't had it and enjoy the IPA style then I definitely recommend this one to try. - Rod J


Saturday, October 31, 2015

#137 Under 3 Video Beer Review - Sierra Nevada Kolsch


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#136 Under 3 Video Beer Review - BBC Bourbon Ale


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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Video Beer Review #135 - Victory Moving Parts (MP04): The Ever-Evolving IPA


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Video Beer Review #134 - Mt. Carmel India Pale Ale


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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Video Beer Review #132 - Sierra Nevada Kellerweis


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Video Beer Review #131 - Christian Moerlein Bay of Bengal


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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Video Beer Review #130 - Boulder Hazed Hoppy Session Ale


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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Video Beer Review #129 - Dark Horse Scotty Karate


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Video Beer Review #128 - Southern Tier Tangier


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Monday, October 19, 2015

Inside Look at the Urban Artifact Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio - Part 3


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Inside Look at the Urban Artifact Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio - Part 2


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Inside Look at the Urban Artifact Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio - Part 1


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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Video Beer Review #127 - World Brews Dieselpunk Double IPA


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Video Beer Review #126 Warsteiner Oktoberfest Special Edition


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Friday, October 16, 2015

Video Beer Review #125 - Avery Karma


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Video Beer Review #124 - Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA


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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Beer Review #123 Br. The Musketeers Troubadour Westkust Black Imperial IPA ( 9.2% ABV )


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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Beer Review #122 New Holland Oak Aged Hatter ( 7.12% ABV )


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Beer Review #121 Anchor Zymaster Series #6 Saaremaa Island Ale ( 6% ABV )


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Friday, October 2, 2015

Beer Review #120 Smuttynose Cluster's Last Stand ( 8.6% ABV )


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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Beer Review #119 Mt. Carmel Harvest Ale ( 8% ABV )


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Beer Review #119 Rivertown Pumpkin Autumnal Ale ( 5% ABV )


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Beer Review #118 Chimay Rouge ( 7% ABV )


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Monday, September 28, 2015

Beer Review #117 Chimay Blanche ( 8% ABV )


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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beer Review #116 Alltech Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale (10% ABV )


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Beer Review #115 Left Hand Widdershins Oak Aged Barleywine Ale ( 10.7% ABV )


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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Beer Review #114 Chimay Bleue ( 9% ABV )


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Beer Review #113 Left Hand Fade To Black, Vol 1 Foreign Stout ( 8.5% ABV )


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Friday, September 18, 2015

Out With The New and in With The Old - The Return to The Green Derby Kentucky Bistro

My more recent search through BeerMenus brought up the name of a location that I have not visited
in many years. Recently, it has undergone new management who have seem to bring their own flair to the establishment in the way of craft beers. But unlike many places, they have done so at a reasonable value that doesn't soak your wallet, which I like because I am all about the value. Anyway, this little establishment is what used to be The Green Derby and is now The Green Derby Kentucky Bistro. Same location but a little more updated as it will soon be heading toward its 70 year anniversary.

Now the last time I visited was many years ago, and I remember that throwback feel of the restaurant so I am glad to see that it has been updated. It seemed well received as well, as I heard other patrons also talking about the change. But the best thing here as it relates to the food is that it is all made fresh from scratch which is always nice. Too many chains and restaurants don't do that, and you can taste the difference. But away from the food and what I really came for was the beer. They have some very good selections with 15 taps on hand. I am not sure about the bottle or can selection, but I will be sure to check that out the next time that I visit.

So back to the beer, what did I drink? Well, since I was driving, I had to drink responsibly, so I limited myself to two. But, I opened with the Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA which was very pleasant. It offered a great mouthfeel and a nice citrus flavor along with a pine aroma. It went well with the potato skins. I then followed that up with  Rhinegeist Chester which is a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. And let me tell you something, it is one smooth ale for sure. I'm talking a starburst of flavor with a very nice hop experience. It is liquid candy and if you get a chance to try then I recommend that you should, These beers in other locations would probably cost you between $5 to $8 depending on location, but here, they were only $4. That my friend is a value and that is not a special deal or anything. That is the regular cost. The food itself was just as good in value as well, and together made a great deal for an evening dinner. If you have not revisited this gem then I am recommending for you to do so. I am sure you will find something to your liking.

Cheers!


Deschutes Chainbreaker 5.6% ABV
Rhinegeist Chester 4.5% ABV


Beer Review #112 Highland Brewing Gaelic Ale ( 5.6% ABV )


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What I Found Walking Around Downtown Cincinnati - Rusconi Pizza

Sometimes you never know what is around until you get out and walk the beat, so to speak. Have you ever had that feeling where you are hungry and you don't know what you want to eat? I know I did earlier, and it happens every so often. So I decided to get out and walk around downtown Cincinnati and see what may inspire me. And low and behold, I come across this little place called Rusconi Pizza. I thought, that looks new, so I decided to check it out for a bite to eat due to its lunch special that was being advertised.

Once inside, I was pleased with what I had found. As far as the pizza it was a nice and tasty, but as for the beer, they had a nice craft beer selection, although I was not able to fully partake. But now I know and I will be back at some point. This shows how it always pays to get out and visit your surroundings to see what may now be a part of the neighborhood. 

It also is a nice leisurely way to exercise. Cheers!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Beer Review #111 Rhinegeist Franz 5 4 ABV


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Beer Review #110 Goose Island Autumn Ale 6 7 ABV


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Beer Review #109 Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest - Brauhaus Riegele ( 6% ABV )


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Monday, September 14, 2015

Beer Review #108 West 6th DankeChain Oktoberfest ( 5.5% ABV )


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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beer Review #107 New Holland Michigan Awesome Hatter ( 5.8% )


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Beer Review #106 New Holland Black Hatter ( 5.5% ABV )


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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Beer Review #105 Smuttynose Barleywine Stye Ale ( 10.6% ABV )


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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Beer Review #104 New Holland Rye Hatter ( 6.12% ABV )


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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Beer Review #103 Lagunitas Sucks ( 8% ABV )


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Beer Review #102 Lagunitas Night Time Ale ( 7.9% ABV )


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Beer Review #101 Lagunitas Maximus ( 8.2% ABV )


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Beer Review #100 Lagunitas Lil Sumpin' Extra ( 8.5 % ABV )


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Friday, September 4, 2015

Beer Review #99 Dark Horse Crooked Tree IPA ( 6.5% ABV )


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Beer Review #98 Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale ( 7.5% ABV )


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Love a Bargain and New Beers to Review

It's always great when deals are stumbled upon unexpectedly. Earlier today, I was able to come across these beauties for some upcoming beer reviews. At $1.99 each, these were definitely a bargain and pretty much a steal from one of my local beer locations.

Now it's on to the fridge and to let them cool before I look to taste their glory. Make sure to visit my YouTube channel to catch my thoughts on these and the other beers that I have also reviewed previously.

http://www.youtube.com/c/RodJBeerVentures4U 




Beer Review #97 Goose Island Oktoberfest ( 6.4% ABV )


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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Beer Review #96 Great Lakes Oktoberfest ( 6.5% ABV )


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Beer Review #95 Anchor Summer Wheat ( 4.5% ABV )


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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Beer Review #94 Brooklyn Summer Ale ( 5% ABV )


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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Beer Review #93 New Belgium Long Table ( 6.2% ABV )


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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Beer Review #92 Samuel Adams OktoberFest ( 5.3% ABV )


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Friday, August 28, 2015

Beer Review #91 Rivertown Brewing Roebling ( 7 8% ABV )


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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Beer Review #90 MadTree Brewing Co. Psychopathy ( 6.9% ABV )


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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beer Review #89 Rhinegeist Truth ( 7.2% ABV )


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Rhinegeist is a brewery out of Cincinnati, Ohio, and this is one of their year-round offerings. A fine tasting India Pale Ale craft beer that will satisfy your taste buds for sure. If you are in the Cincinnati area or happen to find it during your beer travels, I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Watch the review here to see more!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Beer Review #74 Dark Horse Brewing Co Sapient Trip Ale ( 9.5% ABV )


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Proper Title...Maybe it is Crafty

Another thought from my last visit to Chicago was what do we do with breweries like Goose Island and their place? Many have looked to exclude them as craft beers since they had been purchased by AB InBev, but they still produce a fine quality craft beer. I have heard companies like this beginning to be described as 'crafty." What are your thoughts?
I can see the "crafty" title, but do they really mass produce all of their beers? Just because they are owned by a larger company, should they automatically be kicked from the ranks of craft beer? I can personally say that there is nothing macro about the "Sofie" or the "Matilda" which I had the opportunity to enjoy as well as the "Green Line." And of course, their "Bourbon County Stout" is still a top of the line beer. 

Maybe we should just accept this new category of beers as we see more of the craft breweries being purchased. Chances are that it won't stop anytime soon. So as long as they don't screw with the formula, then maybe, we will just be okay.




Beer Review #73 Boulder Beer Company Shake Chocolate Porter ( 5.9% ABV )


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Sunday, August 9, 2015

My Visit to The Exchequer Restaurant and Pub - Chicago

So when I visited Chicago last month, I had the opportunity to grab a bite to eat at the Exchequer Restaurant and Pub over on Wabash Avenue. I wasn't sure what to expect, but wanted to try a place that had some good Chicago culture, good food and of course, good beer. Needless to say, this spot did fit the bill.

There was a nice ambiance of a throwback restaurant with lots of Chicago items on the walls that included newer memorabilia as well as older going back to the days of prohibition. Even the music tended to be that of days of old which was nice for bringing back memories. But, how about the food and beer?

Well, let me say this first. If you are coming to Chicago looking for the deep dish pizza that has made the city famous, then this is a must stop. This past year, they were chosen by Chicago as #1 for their pizza. And after my sampling, I do concur that it is pretty damn good. I also on a separate occasion tried one of their sandwiches which also delivered a tasty experience. I was greatly impressed with the food, and as for the beer.

The restaurant featured 20 taps with a bottle list of 20 more. And, the beer selection was very good for what they had to offer. Chicago had just recently passed a law allowing Happy Hours during my time there. Yes, just recently, which would have been just a few weeks ago from the time of this post. But, the establishments were allowed to run drink specials which allowed them to offer a couple of decent specials to encourage the trying of some of their beers.


So, what did I enjoy while there in the way of beer during my visit?

* 5 Rabbit Gringolandia Super Pils ( 2.5 out of 5 )
* Goose Island Sofie ( 3.5 out of 5 )
* Anchor IPA (2.5 out of 5 )
* Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale ( 2.5 out of 5 )
* 5 Rabbit 5 Lizard Latin-Style Witbier ( 2.5 out of 5 )
* Great Lakes Sharpshooter Session Wheat IPA ( 3 out of 5 )

Not really a bad list of beers in my opinion, but just none tried that really knocked me back. But, that is part of the "beerventure" process. Not every visit will always end with big winners. You have to pan through a lot of muck when looking for gold, but these were all fine solid nuggets.

As for the staff and the management there, they were very pleasant nd helped to enhance the experience. I would love to go back again on another visit and if I am back in Chicago then  I will definitely do so. Have you been? If so, then I would be interested in your experience as well. Please leave some comments and also if you had the beers that were mentioned, then please feel free to comment on them as well. Cheers!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Visit to Miller's Pub...Chicago

Just over a week ago, I had the chance to shoot up to Chicago for a few days which is just about always a good time. A good thing about this trip was that I was not going for work, and it was all about just kicking back and having a little fun. And that my friends, meant a little time to eat some good food and drink some good beer which is always good for me.

While I was not fortunate to make it to some of the breweries, I did get a chance to visit a few of the key spots downtown that offered wonderful beer selections as well as great food for pairing nicely. Miller's Pub offered great ambiance and history and was one of the first places I visited, which happened to be for dinner. It seemed to be a favorite of many as well, as the restaurant seemed to fill up fast and consistently received patrons making their way into the establishment.

Miller's Pub really turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It was nice seeing some of the old photos and the heritage of the restaurant. In today's world, I always appreciate finding a place of character and this place has just that. As far as the beers, the list of offerings is not one of lacking. With 22 on draft, 16 Belgian bottled ales, 19 bottled or canned lagers, 34 bottled or canned ales, 5 hybrid styled beers and 2 cider offerings, anyone is sure to find something for their palate. And then there is the food, which is equally delicious from a wide variety and they are very generous on the portions. If there is anything where I could provide a knock, it may be with some of the beer prices versus what I see in Cincinnati, but it is Chicago. Just like New York, Miami and cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles, paying more is expected. So what beers did I try on my visit here?


  • Goose Island Matilda (7% ABV) - A very impressive Belgian Style Pale Ale fermented using wild yeast. It is a top notch beer and is very smooth.
  • Houblen Chouffe Dobbelin (9% ABV) - A Belgian IPA that is a blend of a strong IPA and a Belgian Tripel. It is unique and definitely worth a try.
  • Off Color Apex Predator (6.8% ABV) - A Farmhouse Ale that is a decent option. It does have a nice finish and mouthfeel and stands well on its merits, but it didn't knock me back.


Dobbelin
Matilda
Predator

Miller's Pub is definitely a must stop on any beer enthusiast's visit to Chicago and has my recommendation for sure. The service was also very friendly and courteous which also added to the experience. Here are some more pictures as well and I hope that if you are in the area that you definitely visit. I know that you will be pleased. Cheers until next time!





Monday, July 6, 2015

Going Back with Malt Liquor

Just hanging out tonight and chilling to the musical sounds of "The Boombox," which is channel 846 on Directv if interested. A nice throwback station to the old sounds of hip hop and with it comes visions of some of the fun we used to have back in the day and of course some of the beers we used to drink. Of course back then, we were limited to what we had on hand versus the versatility of the beer scene nowadays. In fact, in hindsight, it feels like it was ultra limited as I sit hear laughing. The beers were a lot more watered down back then so it seemed we often would have to turn it up by getting malt liquor. Oh yeah, the old 40's that we used to enjoy at the park. Man, those were some days, and some bad beers, lots of laughs. Now this going back a ways, I mean that I am going back a ways to the late 80's and early 90's when I was able to start to buying beer. Technically, I wasn't legally able until 1991, but I had my ways before then {wink wink}.
Sitting in one of my buddies backyards we used to laugh and just tell stories while drinking Mickey's Big Mouths. There would be a group of us and we would just clown on each other while getting our buzz on at the time. These little wide mouth bottles that would hold 12 ounces of beer but carry an abv of 5.6%. They were like little grenades to us, small in size but packing a punch of power. We were never much Budweiser guys in high school, in fact, I am still not much of one, unless it is an only choice. I don't know why that is, but they just never caught on for me as a beer of a choice. Anyway, Mickey's was a favorite especially in those later high school years. Chug them and go, and you were in your groove! Oh yes, just seeing the bottle takes me back to some good times.


Now, later on came along Schlitz and their Red Bull series and back then we only knew one size it seemed, the forty ounce. Although, later we found out you could get them in 16 oz cans, but we were more like go big or go home. If you never had the Red Bull, I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but just like the adrenaline drink, it too gave you wings. This one bolstered an abv of 5.9%, so a little bit more than Mickey's, but really negligible. However, back in day on the pedestals of malt liquors, it tended to hold a higher respect. Not sure why that was, but hey, like fashion, sometimes it's just what is chosen at the time and we just went along with it. Funny, looking back at these beers now, as I wouldn't pick up either, but we had to start somewhere. And these were, just two that put me on beer road long ago. It is a winding road, and sometimes comes with circles depending on the path you chose and how inebriated that you may be. What about you?

What are some of the beers from your past that were your firsts to wet your whistle?  Maybe like this, ones that you probably wouldn't go back to try but just became part of your experience. Let me know by leaving a few comments, if you like. I would love to hear some of the other stories out there.

Cheers!

***Malt Liquor is a North American term referring to a type of beer with high alcohol content. In legal statutes, the term often includes any alcoholic beverage with 5% or more alcohol by volume made with malted barley.

Brewery Tour and Review - Urban Artifact On Location


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Friday, July 3, 2015

Beer Tasting at BrewRiver Gastropub

Last Sunday, I took some time to make a visit down to the BrewRiver Gastropub, here in Cincinnati, which is nice little spot to chill and grab some new beers to try. The great thing is that they have an awesome Happy Hour on Saturday from 3pm to 5pm where just about all pours are $2.95 per glass. It really is a hidden gem. Located at 2062 Riverside Drive, I think many may easily tend to miss it. For years, I know that I did as I would pass it on the way to my softball games at the ballpark. Wow, how many beers have I missed...too many. But, I digress.

The establishment is pretty peaceful and tranquil, especially when you can just relax and chill in the
open courtyard. It proves to be a great place to gather thoughts, read a book or just have some pleasant conversation. The pub itself was from is a converted home, which is another reason that it may be missed as you drive by. The view from the courtyard shoots across the street and down to the Ohio river which can also create a nice relaxing feeling as you fixate on the flow of the river. The ambiance tends to remind me of my visits to New Orleans without the great music.


But away from all of that are the beers that make this place so awesome. With a wide selection available, there is no doubt that anyone will be able to find something fitting for whatever their thirst desires. Porters, Pale Ales, Stouts (which are really a strong Porters), Pilseners, Sour Ales, Quads and many others will be on hand for your perusing and hopefully drinking. I definitely recommend that if you are a beer enthusiast in Cincinnati that you pay them a visit and check out their offerings. And if you decide to stay and eat, well, you will be pleased there too. Well cheers, and I hope you get a chance to visit. Oh, by the way, below are some of the beers that I was able to enjoy as well as Eight Ball's Mick Czech and Nowhere in Particular's Hitting the Grit which are not pictured.

Deschutes The Stoic
Rhinegeist T-Rex
Ballast Point Victory at Sea

I will also be uploading a review on one of the beers so stay tuned and for more beer reviews make sure to check out my YouTube channel as well: Rod J Beer Ventures!


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