CINCINNATI -- Streetside Brewery in Columbia Tusculum, the latest addition to Cincinnati’s craft brew community, is scheduled to have its grand opening Friday.
The brewery, owned by Kathie and Brian Hickey, is located at 4003 Eastern Ave., in the space formerly occupied by East End Café. The building is brand new, with plenty of space in the brewhouse for future expansion.
Garrett Hickey, the couple’s son, is the head brewer, and Luke Shropshire is lead brewer. (Head brewer handles more administrative work, lead is more hands on.) Garrett Hickey, formerly of Rivertown, graduated from Brewlab in Sunderland, England, with high honors. Shropshire comes from Mt. Carmel Brewing Co. most recently, and both have extensive home brewing experience.
So what can patrons expect from this collaboration? A balance of creative and less common beers with styles and flavors, as well as traditional brews, according to brewers Hickey and Shropshire.
“We’re beer nerds, but we’re a business, so we have to appeal to everybody,” said Shropshire. “We want to do different styles at first, both from our desire to push the envelope and out of respect for our former employers. We don’t want to copy what they’re doing.”
Raspberry Beret, one of Streetside’s initial offerings, recently won King of Ohio (best in show) at the Ohio Craft Brew Festival. The beer is a raspberry-flavored Berliner Weisse, a low-ABV tart brew.
“The base Berliner Weisse tasted awesome,” Hickey said. “We didn’t expect anything other than feedback.”
Shropshire, who enjoys sour beers, said this beer was his first attempt at kettle souring on a large scale.
“It made me a little nervous,” he said. “We were checking on it, baby-sitting it – we nursed it. Garrett came in at midnight to check on it. In general, I like sour beers. When I home brew, I make beer for my family. My girlfriend went to Ohio University and asked for a Jackie O’s Razz Wheat beer – and I said, ‘What if I soured it?’”
Another style that will stand out in the Cincinnati area is a northeast or New England IPA. While one is not on tap just yet, it is on Streetside’s short list. The style finds balance between the hoppy bitterness of the more familiar IPAs and a juicy mouth feel and fruit flavor. It will make the mouth water in contrast to the dried-out feel of a northwest IPA.
“They are soft beers, really creamy and really high in hop aroma,” said Shropshire. “It tastes almost like juice – fruity and delicate.”
As far as flagship beers, those are still to be determined for Streetside.
“Some beers we’ll bring back, but we kind of want people to decide what they want,” said Shropshire. “We’ll wait for people to demand it.”
“Some of these beers on tap may come back a little differently,” Hickey said. “A lot of all the great hops are coming.”
During the brewery’s soft opening period, Streetside has been busy every night, Hickey said. The brewery is child-friendly and has a dog friendly patio. Streetside also has partnered with Gilpin’s and will have a menu of steamed food.
The ribbon-cutting for the grand opening is at 4 p.m. Oct. 7. Kathie Hickey said that Willow Branch Farms will be present to sell honey the following day, coinciding with the Queen Bee Half Marathon. Parking is available in a lot adjacent to the east, as well as on Eastern and McCulloch avenues.
Willow Branch also partnered with Streetside on the Tea Bags beer, a green tea blonde ale made with honey. It has been a very popular beer during the soft opening, Garrett Hickey said.
“We added the tea in the brite tank,” he said. “It’s Luke’s favorite beer right now.”
Streetside will be open every day except Tuesdays. It will open for business at 11 a.m. and serve hot and cold coffee, including Smooth Cincy’s cold nitro coffee.
“We want this to evolve into a community gathering space,” said Kathie Hickey. “There’s a lot going on in Columbia Tusculum right now, and we need a space like that.”
Opens 4 p.m. Oct. 7
4003 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum