Cincinnati Beer in Review- 2019
2019 was a banner year for Cincinnati craft beer. We are proud to partner with many of the great locations across the Tri-State that are offering world class beers and experiences. Here is a run-down of what happened in 2019 and what to look for in 2020:
Cincinnati’s reputation as a brewery town has prevailed for a couple hundred years and this may be the very best of those years since the days of Christian Moerlein in the 1880’s and 1890’s. Rhinegeist won Craft Brewer of the Year from Brewbound Magazine, with over 7000 breweries in the U.S. right now this is an incredible honor and a testament to their devotion to quality beers, great experiences, beautiful taproom and some of the hardest working folks in the business. In addition Rhinegeist was named one of the top 10 most influential craft brewers of the decade by Paste Magazine.
Brink Brewing was not far behind, once again winning best “Very Small Brewery” (under 2000 barrels of production a year) at the Great American Beer Festival making them the only brewery to ever win best of in back to back years. Couple that with multiple awards for their offerings, the small College Hill brewery continues to be a local powerhouse of beer quality.
Fifty West won the Rising Star award from Brewbound in 2019 as they continue to make great beers and expand their distribution footprint, also announcing a new taproom in Chillicothe Ohio to open in 2020.
Christian Moerlein Brewing won Brewery of the Year at the New York International Beer competition.
Municipal Brew Works won Fruity Brewery of the Year at the New York International Beer competition.
In addition to these amazing accomplishments many local stops took home awards at competitions for individual brands of their beer. Here are the breweries that won awards:
16Lots, Alexandria Brewing, Brink, Rhinegeist, Listermann, Narrow Path, Christian Moerlein, Fifty West, Fretboard, MadTree, Municipal Brewing, Sonder Brewing, Streetside, Swine City, Taft’s, Urban Artifact, March First (Cider).
New Locations that joined in on the fun in 2019:
Dead Low Brewing– Kellogg Avenue, California, OH
Big Ash Brewing-Beechmont Avenue, Turpin Hills (Anderson)
Cincy Brewing Company– Shepherd Drive, Lockland, OH
High Grain Brewing– Plainfield Rd, Silverton, OH
Humble Monk Brewing– Blue Rock, Northside (Cincinnati) Ohio
Off Track Brewing– Dunlap (tapped in Dunlap Café), Cincinnati, OH
We did lose a couple locations this year unfortunately:
The Queen City Brewing Company of Cincinnati– Blue Ash, OH
Old Firehouse Brewing Company– Williamsburg, OH
Breweries that expanded, acquired another brewery, or opened a new location:
Rhinegeist– Spring Grove Avenue- 7 Barrel Brew House (currently pilot batches only)
Fretboard– Main Street, Hamilton Ohio in collaboration with local restaurant group opened up Fretboard Public House
Braxton Barrel House– Opened up on Orphanage Rd in Ft. Mitchell Kentucky a new brewery and bourbon barrel aging facility (design your own bourbon barrel beers)
Bad Tom Smith opens up new location in Madisonville, OH
March First Brewing Company purchased Fig Leaf Brewing in Middletown Ohio
New Breweries 2020:
Cincinnati and Beer Brewing are like Bardstown and Bourbon Distilling. Brewing has been a proud tradition here for over two hundred years. 2019 was one of the very best years that Cincinnati has had yet, but momentum continues to carry us into 2020 where ware anticipating more growth. Here is who is slated to open in 2020:
Esoteric Brewing– Walnut Hills
Third Eye Brewing– Sharonville
Cartridge Brewing– Maineville
Firehouse Grill– Blue Ash
Rebel Metal Brewing- Downtown Cincinnati
2019 was incredible and is the year in the modern era that has put Cincinnati firmly in the discussion of great beer towns across the United States. Cincinnati has become a destination for Beer travelers and people searching for their next great pint. We at Cincy Brew Bus are excited to take these travelers and others to these celebrated locations. Cincinnati Brewery Tours have never been better or more exciting than right now. Happy New Years and Happy New Beers for 2020!