Summer is a good time to be a craft beer fan in Greater Cincinnati. For the next two months, nearly every weekend will feature a beer festival (or three).
The hardest part won’t be finding your favorite brew and something to do. It will be choosing which event to attend.
Here are nine suggestions.
1. Rivertown is partnering with BB Riverboats every Friday in June for its Craft Beer & BBQ Cruise. The cruises will serve Jeanneke Blonde Ale, Roebling Vanilla Espresso Porter, Blueberry Lager and Soulless Flanders Style, and Rivertown’s Relationship Architects will be on hand to guide guests through the tasting. Purchase tickets at http://www.bbriverboats.com/CraftBeer-BBQ-Cruise.html.
2. Listermann Brewing hosts its 25th-anniversary party on June 11; however, the celebration will actually go on all week. There’s a "Beat the Brewers" version of trivia on Wednesday, followed by a special wing night Thursday. On Friday, there's the Norwood beer dinner, with five beer pairings, for $15. Courses will be made up of two wings in different sauces, two different sliders and a cake ball, paired with Listermann/Triple Digit beers. On Saturday, Listermann will offer 25th-anniversary bottle releases of Lemon Pound Cake and Strawberry Kiwi Tart in the morning, with the anniversary party running all day. For details, visit the event's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/496313820570782/.
3. Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield hosts its annual Beerfest from 7-10:30 p.m. June 17-18, featuring 400-plus beers from more than 100 breweries worldwide. Some exclusives will be available for members of their “Brew Crew”; register for free at www.junglejims.com/kiosk/. And there will be raffles throughout the festival, with proceeds benefiting Fairfield children's home, One Way Farm. Tickets run $60 for early admission and $50 for general admission. For more information, visit www.junglejims.com/beerfest.
4. Braxton hosts its summer block party June 18. It's a combination of beer and food, hosted in partnership with Big Green Egg, a producer of grills and smokers. Sample sliders from Flipdaddy’s Burgers, wings from Oak Tavern and wings and sausages from Wunderbar. Beers from around the area will be available for purchase, as well as releases from Braxton. This event will be held outside in the MadLot adjacent to Braxton. For updates, visit the event's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/1101183149954540/.
5. The second annual OTR Beerfest is June 24-25 at Washington Park. The best part of this event? It’s free. It also will include live music from acts such as DAAP Girls, Buzz Bin and the Turkeys; food trucks like Cuban Pete and C’est Cheese; and a special tent featuring strictly local beers. More than 100 canned craft beers will be available for purchase.
6. Rhinegeist Brewery hosts its third anniversary party at 1910 Elm St. on June 25 from noon until 2 a.m. There will be hourly beer releases, including a new addition to the regular Rhinegeist lineup. The party also will feature live music and DJs, activities, and benefit games and prizes for local nonprofits. This will be a good day to check out the new rooftop, as well as some rare releases.
7. Bad Tom Smith hosts its "Bad Ass" Beer Fest at the French House in French Park July 15-16. This event will showcase beers from Bad Tom, Blank Slate, Urban Artifact, Hoppin’ Frog, West Sixth and MadTree. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ohio Valley Chapter. Halfway to Hazard will provide music at the park, along with a variety of bands including The Cliftones, Go Go Buffalo and Zebras In Public. "Since music is sort of our brand, we wanted to help others out with it, so we booked all the bands except the headliner," said Scott Hand of Urban Artifact. For details or VIP tickets, go to www.badassbeerfest2016.com.
8. Ei8ht Ball Brewing plays host to the Second Annual Beer Olympics on July 23. Events will include a tricycle race, beer plinko, pin the tail on the keg, a barrel roll, cornhole and dunk the brewer. The event will run from noon to 4 p.m. and costs $25 per team of two to participate. (It should be fun to watch even if you don't compete.) The entry fee includes the first pint from participating breweries, such as Ei8ht Ball, New Belgium, MadTree, Braxton and Kentucky Ale, as well as complimentary food. For tickets, go to newriffdistilling.com/event/2nd-annual-beer-olympics-ei8ht-ball-brewing/.
9. Listermann hosts the Cincinnati Craft Breweries’ Volksfest on Aug. 5-6. Volksfest, the opposite of the Starkbier Fest that Listermann hosts in the spring, will feature light, sessionable beers as opposed to the darker, stronger brews of Starkbier Fest. Local brewers will be featured, including Blank Slate, Fifty West, Christian Moerlein, Rock Bottom, Rivertown, Mt. Carmel, MadTree, Cellar Dweller, Wiedemann, Quaff Bros, Rhinegeist, Triple Digit, Bad Tom Smith, Taft's Ale House, Urban Artifact, Dogberry, Tap and Screw, Ei8ht Ball, Braxton and, of course, Listermann. Some of these breweries are making beers solely for the event. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/1090565734336582/.