When people think craft beer, only bars and brewery taprooms come to mind; but there’s an unsung hero in the craft beer world -- your local bottle shop.
Bottle shops are a boon to craft beer collectors and newly minted fans of the industry.
The right shop can get you that special beer you’ve read so much about, or point you in the right direction toward a better selection.
A properly run shop will have a wide selection of local beers, regionals and hard-to-find brews. Often times the shops will highlight other crafty industries such as wine and cigars -- not to mention fine liquors.
These shops also often feature equipment or starter kits for homebrewers or vintners.
Some of the better-known examples of these are The Party Source or the Cork ‘n Bottle.
With winter finally (we hope) letting its grip on spring go, the #9beer bloggers and I have compiled a list of some of our favorite local bottle shops from across the Greater Cincinnati area for you to enjoy:
Queen City Drinks – Cappy’s Wine & Spirits
Queen City Fresh – Hyde Park Wine & Spirits
Beer Mumbo – Dutch’s Bar & Bottle Shop
Love Beer, Love Food – Market Wines
BeerQuest ABV – Root Cellar
BrewProf – Jeff’s Marathon
We’ll start the tour off in Northern Kentucky at Party Town in Florence.
This shop has recently expanded its efforts in the craft section to meet the growing craft beer fan base.
Toward the front of the store, Party Town features 18 taps to get your growlers filled with a wide range of beers available.
The shop also has a restaurant liquor license, so patrons can sip a pint or bottle while they peruse the shelves. Store managers said they plan on having more tasting and educational events too.
Party Town’s beer section is quite expansive, featuring a plethora of brands from across the country and around the world. I was particularly impressed by the amount of German beers on the shelves.
For those of you on the go, Party Town also has a back cooler rack with plenty of individual bottles up for grabs. If you want to do vertical or horizontal tastings, you can do mixer 6-packs or even cases.
The shop also has a section just for homebrewers with plenty of kits, equipment and ingredients for sale. While not as expansive as true homebrew shop, they have more than enough to get you started.
The shop is located at 6823 Burlington Pike in Florence, Ky.
You can find them online at: