Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister

Lance McAlister covers everything in Cincinnati sports! Host of sports talk on Cincinnati News Radio 700WLW and ESPN 1530!Full Bio

 

63 breweries visited (and counting) within 50 miles of home

Photo: Getty Images/500px

UPDATE......Our brewery guide: 63 breweries....and counting within 50 miles of home

This started with a visit to Asheville, NC a few years ago. In October of 2020, we decided to start visiting breweries in Greater Cincinnati/NKY. We never intended to make this a quest or to even take notes. About 20 breweries into our journey we thought: 'Can we get to 50?' We ultimately settled on a 50 mile radius from our home in Northern Kentucky. We are at 63 breweries, and counting: 55 in Ohio, seven in Kentucky, one in Indiana.
We are more beer 'samplers' than beer drinkers. We like trying different styles. We'd usually try one flight each (usually four 4 ounce pours). If we got really wild and crazy we would split a third flight.


We've been asked to rank the breweries. That's impossible.

-We ARE NOT experts on beer.
-We never set out to rank the breweries. It was just a fun thing to do on the weekends.
-We judged our brewery experience based on beer, food, the establishment, staff/service, vibe, etc.
-We didn't take notes early on. I didn't discover the Untapped app until about a third of the way through our journey.
-I love IPA's, Kelly not so much. She is a big fan of sours. Me, not so much. We both came to really enjoy Kölsch/Hefeweizen.
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Here are the 63 breweries we've visited:

Alexandria Brewing Company​, Bad Tom Smith, Barleycorn's Brewhouse, Braxton/Braxton Barrel House, Big Ash​, Bircus, Brink, BrewDog​, Cartridge, Common Beer Company, Darkness, Dead Low​, DogBerry​, Esoteric, Fabled Brew Works, Fibonacci, Fifty West​, Figleaf, Firehouse Bar and Grill, Fretboard, GlendAlehouse Brewery, Grainworks, Great Crescent Brewing, Happy 2 Brewing, HighGrain​, Hi-Wire, Hofbrauhaus, Moerlein Lager House, Humble Monk, Listermann, Lebanon Brewing Company, Little Miami​, Mad Tree, March First, Moeller Brew Barn, Mt. Carmel​, MPH, Municipal Brew Works, Narrow Path, New Ales, Paradise/Paradise East, North High, Nine Giant, Northern Row, Knox Joseph Distillery & OTR Stillhouse, Rhinegeist​, Rebel Mettle​, Sam Adams Taproom, 16 Lots (Mason/Newport), Sonder​, Sons of Toil, Streetside, Swine City, Taft’s Ale House​, Third Eye, 13 Below, Urban Artifact, Warped Wing (Mason), Wiedemann's, West Side, Wandering Monsters, Woodburn, Wooden Cask, Voodoo Brewing.

Here are some general observations from our journey:

Distance:
Closest to home: Braxton Barrelhouse, Ft. Wright: 7.7 miles.....Furthest from home: New Ales 48.7 miles.

Triple Play Day:
Our record was three visits on one trip.....Warped Wing Mason, 16 Lots, The Common Beer Company.

Most unique spots:
-GlendAlehouse Brewery: Scott and Laura Morgan converted their home into a brewery and they make pizza! They brew in a backyard barn. They live upstairs.
-Bircus Brewing: Beer meets the circus. Bartenders juggle fire and do aerial silk dancing. Weekend shows by Circus Mojo.
We've seen music acts: Bronson Arroyo Band and Suzy Q. Attended their Flea Market.They have pickleball leagues and Vinyl Night.
-Big Ash Brewing: The only 'Pour-Your-Own' beer we visited. Easy. Loved it.
-Fibonacci Brewing: Backyard farm with goats, chickens and bees. Nice beer garden.
-Fabled Brew Works: Fantasy-folklore, storybook concept 

Best outdoor space:
-Fifty West: Volleyball, cornhole, pickleball, skating, you name it
-Sons of Toil: Great spot out in the middle of "nowhere" Back patio surrounded by trees. Covered patio area. Tented area.
-13 Below: Loved the front area, back patio and inside. Big space.
-Little Miami: What a view when seated on the side of the hill overlooking the river.
-Fibonacci: Outdoor stage, lights, beer garden, multiple firepits.
-Madtree: Spacious, wide age range, pet friendly, fantastic patio, feels like the place to be.
-Mt. Carmel Brewing: Large and really cool patio and pond area
-OTR Stillhouse/Knox Joseph Brewing: Multi-levels, picnic tables, field turf surface.
-Hi-Wire: The Factory 52 area is pretty cool.

Coolest looking bartop and light fixtures:
-Northern Row

Cheers: Friendly gathering spots where it seemed everyone knew everyone's name
-Paradise
-West Side
-DogBerry

Eddie Money spots: We wanna go back and experience again
-Fifty West: We've visited during the winter. We want to go back during the summer to get the full effect.
-Urban Artifact: We visited during Covid when you could only do takeout. Looks like a cool place inside.

Best food trucks we tried:

-Incline Smoke Shack at 13 Below: Pulled pork egg rolls. Dang! Smoked turkey sandwich, BBQ brisket quesadillas.
-Legasea East Coast Subs food truck at Grainworks: Chicken cheesesteak sub.
-Tasties on the Go at Municipal Brew Works: Quesadillas and wings.
-Steak It Eazy at West Side Brewing: Ribeye sandwich, steak tips/mac & cheese with side of sauteed vegetables.
-J's Fish Tacos Truck at Narrow Path. Bowls and shrimp tacos.
-Black Dog Grille at Streetside Brewery: Tacos.
-Taco Fuerte/Braxton Barrelhouse: Tacos, chips and salsa.

Best in-house food we tried:
-Alexandria Brewing Company: Smoke N Feathers flatbread and teriyaki cauliflower bites.
-Barleycorn's Brewhouse: Beer Batter Cod Sandwich
-Little Miami: BBQ Blitz pizza
-March First: Bourbon chicken pizza
-MPH: Wood fired spinach & bacon pizza. Appetizer: House made smoke barrel house chili chips and salsa.
-Nine Giant: Fried chicken and biscuit and hot Italian hoagie.
-North High: Excellent pizza...get the Nash Hot.
-Northern Row: Pot roast sandwich.
-Moeller Brew Barn: California Chicken Club w/teriyaki glazed chicken breast, Barn Smoked Wings w/ sweet Asian teriyaki.
-Mt. Carmel Brewing: Smoked wings.
-Taft's Ale House: Trip tip tacos, deep fried wings
-Warped Wing Mason: BBQ brisket quesadillas and smoked chicken sandwich.
-Third Eye: Chicken and sausage gumbo, burger (Mind Bender)
-Wooden Cask: Chicken quesadillas
-Wandering Monsters: Smoked turkey sandwich

Best in-house food partner we tried:
-Decibel Korean Chicken/Esoteric: Wings and tenders.
-Smoked Out Cincy/Fretboard: World class BBQ.
-Mad Monks/16 Lots: New Potato Caboose Pizza.
-Brewer River/Sonder: Wings, Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
-Catch-A-Fire-Pizza/MadTree: Shrimp and Grits, Crazy Potato Head pizza, Smile BBQ pizza

Best flight tray: *The sturdier the better for Kelly
-March First: A wooden board in the shape of Ohio.
-West Side Brewery: Circular two level tray
-Paradise East: Wooden box
-Lebanon Brewing Company: Wooden, deep holders
-Voodoo Brewing

Best beer boards: (Describes what we are getting)
-MadTree
-Third Eye
-HighGrain
-West Side
-Voodoo Brewing

Blackjack!
Casey turned 21 and we visited Taft's Ale House.

Bonus:
Fat Ben's Bakery did a pop-up shop the day we visited Streetside Brewery. Beer and take home brownies!

Pick-to-Click Bring It In recommendation:
-Brink and Humble Monk don't have food but they allow you to bring in outside food.
Stop at nearby Tortilleria Garcia and take into Brink. Grab burgers at Tickle Pickle and take into Humble Monk.

Nice to meet you: Big shots we met
-Paul Miller, owner of Bircus. Does everything from mopping up spilled drinks to balancing a ladder on his chin.
-Chad Powers, Chief of Brewing Operations, Narrow Path. Sat and talked beer with us.
-GM of MPH: He took time to answer questions about the menu, their preparation/ingredients and their relationship with Left Hand Brewery.
-Really enjoyed talking with GM Tim at Barleycorn's Brewhouse about the new set-up.
-Scott Morgan, co-owner GlendAlehouse Brewery. We sat at the bar and talked with him about the place while we enjoyed our flights.
Down to earth, really cool guy.

Bartenders/staff kudos
-The bartender at 16 Lots overhead us debating a beer we'd have to leave out of our flight of four pours. He poured it and brought it over to us.
-Esoteric bartender PK heard us talking about trying each of their beers. They had 11 and 5 beers per flight. He added the 11th and gave it to us.
-Listermann Brewing bartender Dillon was one of the best we encountered.
-Wiedemann and Sons of Toil: Loved talking beer with the staffs
-Humble Monk: Two bartenders greeted us warmly, explained they were new and asked what types of beers we liked and matched that to what they had.
They asked our names to remember us and write on our flight trays.
-The Swine City kitchen wasn't able to open during our visit so the bartender ordered several pizzas and put them on the bar top for everyone to enjoy.
-Server Liz at Barleycorn's Brewhouse was great with recommendations
-Big props to the staff at North High....we watched them work on a day they got slammed with parties and they didn't miss a beat.

Sight to See
I've never played Dungeons and Dragons, but we enjoyed watching the Sunday gathering of game players at Humble Monk.

Sorry to see you go
Rebel Mettel, North High (Hyde Park), Taft's Ale House and Firehouse Bar and Grille (brewery) have closed since we visited.
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Some of our favorite beers:

-Alexandria Brewing Company: Little Miss Scare All, Ale of Eris
-Bad Tom Smith Brewing: Wicked Sheryl's Blush, Jailbreak Churro
-Barleycorn's Brewhouse: Valhalla, Creamy Kitty
-Big Ash: Backbeat Coffee Blonde, Big Buck Nuts
-Braxton: Roadtrip, Tropical Flare
-BrewDog: Elvis Juice, Layer Cake
-Bircus: Irreguliner, Reguliner
-Brink: Damocles, Amarillo Armadillo, Father G's Bees
-Cartridge: Covert, Smokestack, Fuse Blackberry, Grounded, Hollow Point
-Darkness: Butterfly Nebula, Man on the Moo
-Dead Low: Circadian Detachment, Tripel Purgatory
-DogBerry: Bray's Brown, There it Gose, Blonde Lemon & Raspberry, Bullpen Session
-Esoteric: Strawberry Lime Chrysalis, Ethereal, Kallima Coffee, Nirvana, Celestial
-Fabled Brew Works: Loot, Witching Sour
-Fibonacci: Linalool, Tollhouse
-Fifty West: Punch You In The EyePA , Coffee Please
-FigLeaf: Maple Wee Easy, Heart Shaped Box, Peanut B. Amber, Blood Orange Iso-Trope, Zenith
-Firehouse Grill and Brewery: Summit Saison, Firehouse Amber Pecan, Sycamore Blonde
-Fretboard: Fugee, Reba, It's Your Thing, Bootsy, Vlad, Drummer Boy, Wah Wah.
-GlendAlehouse Brewery: Lake Parl Porter, Barn Cat Amber, Chai-Yotes in the Greenbelt,
-Grainworks: Orange Dream, Raspberry Pineapple, Rebel Yell
-Great Crescent: Cherry Ale, Blood Orange Blonde Ale, Espresso Coconut Porter
-Happy 2 Brewing: Cloudy Clough Pike, Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout, Also Amber
-High Grain: Super Trouper, Maul w/ Chai and Vanilla Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial
-Hi-Wire Hi-Pitch Mosaic IPA, Cherry Red Hot Sour Ale, Koji Quad, Strongman Coffee Milk Stout
-Hofbrauhaus: Hefe Weizen, Dunkel
-Humble Monk: Pancake Porter and Peaceful Park
-Knox Joseph Brewing/OTR Stillhouse: Very Cherry Cocoa Larry, OH Bee-have
-Lebanon Brewing Company: Raspberry Drizzle, Force Lightning, Hosscat, Deadbeat
-Listermann: Nutcase Porter and Maple Chickow, Godspeed Little Doodle
-Little Miami Brewing: Blackbird Fly, Pterodactyl
-Madtree: Churro Coffee Table, Peaches and MeMe, Cold Brew, Strata-Sphere, Appaloosa
-March First: Orange Cream, Lemonade Shandy, Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout, Juicy IPA, Solo
-Moeller Brew Barn: Blackberry Prairie Wheat, Blueberry Blonde, Salted Caramel Coffee Ale, Roasted Hazelnut Porter.
-Moerlein Lager House: Blueberry Vanilla Lager, OTR Amber Ale and Baltic Porter (Raspberry).
-Mount Carmel Brewing: Queen Bee
-MPH: Who's Your 'Nana, Napoleon's Revenge, Lunar Frog Black
-Municipal Brew Works: Orange Agave Blonde, True West
-Narrow Path: Rouge Infusion, El Sendero Guabanero, Partially Redacted, Flatwoods, Brews Traveler, Elf Magic.
-New Ales: Hop Chowduh, Starter Fluid
-North High: Five Pale Ale, Stardust to Stardust, Road , Falutin
-Northern Row: Preacher, Brambler, Tobogganer, Brawler, Crusher
-Nine Giant: Save Ferris, Popscene, Pass the Mic Amarillo
-Paradise: Blueberry Kolsch, You Vicious Brute, Pith Off
-Rhinegeist: Zango, Raspy Cat
-Sam Adams Taproom: American Kriek Wild Ale, Porch Rocker
-16 Lots: Fluffer Nutter, Lots in my Eye-PA Pineapple Upside Down
-Sonder: You Betcha! Otto, Invited To the Cookout, Chocolate Cherry Frosted, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Sunday Funday
-Sons of Toil: Mango Habanero, Mango Milkshake, Imperial Blackberry Stout, Margarita Gose
-Streetside: P.U.C It, Raspberry Beret
-Swine City: Strictly On Account, Life After Brunch
-Taft's Ale House: Gavel Banger, Nellie's Key Lime Ale, Strata-Sphere, Appaloosa
-The Common Beer Company: Abracasabro
-Third Eye: Jelly Brain V5, Gettin' Twisted, Killer Kandy, Beyond Sight, Space Toast Continuum.
-13 Below: Wedding Day, Rail & River, Submerged
-Urban Artifact: The Gadget, Skyglass, Pinwheel
-Warped Wing: Panama Red Smoked Red Lager, Rum Barrel Aged Flying Heads
-West Side: Blood Orange Common, Smoke German-Irish Lager, Tart Cherry Farmhouse, Barleywine
-Wiedemann: Mango Hefeweizen, Summertime Lime.
-Woodburn: Momotaro Peach, Valravn Chocolate Cherry Stout, Endcantado, Solo
-Wandering Monsters: Viator Obscura: Caramel and Chocolate
-Wooden Cask: Barrelled Breakfasts Red Ale-Imperial/Double, Corruption
-Voodoo Brewing: Banana Hammock and White Magik.

Please email us suggestions (lance@lancemcalister.com)


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