CINCINNATI – One of the best parts of Cincinnati Beer Week is the creativity and collaborative spirit of participating local breweries, according to one of the organizers.
“We have terrific local breweries that work well together and really enjoy collaborating,” said Chris Nascimento, secretary for Cincinnati Beer Week's organizers.
During Beer Week, participating breweries team up to make collaboration beers, which are then served at various locations throughout the week. Here's a list of this year's offerings.
Local breweries and organizations have partnered to create many other collaborations over the years. Here are some of the most popular beer collaborations -- as well as some creative pairings we wish would get made.
Graeter’s and Braxton teamed up to make Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip Stout. The beer’s February release drew long lines at the Covington brewery, and cans of it sold out in stores within days.
Ice cream is definitely a “thing” in Cincinnati.
Rhinegeist Brewing took a different approach for its Tropical Truth collaboration with United Dairy Farmers. The Over-the-Rhine brewery turned its Truth IPA beer into an alcoholic ice cream, which is currently being hand dipped at UDF stores.
Rhinegeist also partnered with Northside’s Shake It Records in 2016 to create B Side, an IPA beer celebrating Record Store Day. Area bars served the beer for a limited time and it returned to taps for this year’s Record Store Day.
Listermann got a lot more “hip” when it brewed a New England-style IPA it dubbed Team Fiona. The brewery partnered with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden to raise money for the care of the zoo's beloved baby hippo Fiona. Listermann donated 25 percent of proceeds from sales of the cans to the zoo.
The Team Fiona IPA isn't the first time Listermann has partnered with a community organization for a good cause. In 2016, the Evanston brewery teamed with Blank Slate Brewing to create Roots Ginger Beer. Proceeds from Roots’ sales went to local arts support agency ArtsWave, which in turn helped brew the beer.
FCC Imperial Blood Orange IPA, a collaboration between Christian Moerlein and FC Cincinnati, has a real kick with 8.5 percent alcohol by volume. Moerlein and the soccer team released the beer in November. The Imperial IPA was the second collaboration between the organizations, which released another variant of the beer the previous summer.
Blank Slate Brewing had an instant hit when it infused a stout with the Bonbonerie’s signature Opera Cream flavored coffee in 2015. The beer was so popular during its initial release that Blank Slate sold out in two days.
Taft’s Ale House gave Cincinnati craft beer fans a special Christmas present in 2015. The Over-the-Rhine brewery teamed up with Maverick Chocolate, located in Findlay Market, for the release of Liquid Advent Chocolate Brown Porter. Basically, Taft infused its Liquid Advent porter with Maverick’s Fahrenheit 513 chocolate, which itself is infused with chilies, star anise and cinnamon.
We can dream, right?
Here are a few other Queen City staples that we think would make a great partner for a beer collaboration.
Doscher’s Candies Famous French Chew
Doscher's Candies has been a Cincinnati staple since 1871. The vanilla French Chew is perhaps the most famous year-round candy the company makes. Its vanilla profile infused in a porter or stout would be a guaranteed hit.
Taste of Belgium
How has a Taste of Belgium waffle-inspired beer not happened yet? Even if a waffle in a glass sounds a little over the top, a Belgian wheat beer inspired by the restaurant would be nice.
Queen City Sausage or Glier's Goetta
A Glier's Goetta ale may seem like a stretch, but is it? A brewer using the right blend of spices and hops could probably come up with a German-style beer that pays homage to the Tri-State's favorite breakfast food. If that order is too tall, then how about a locally brewed Bavarian Weizenbock, made with malted wheat, as the perfect mate for a Queen City brat?