I was too busy checking in to Rhinegeist on 4Square to realize I had actually walked into the brewery so when I looked up from my phone I had to take a step back to take in the magnitude of Rhinegeist.  If you've been there then you know what I'm talking about.  The upstairs brewery on Elm St just north of Findlay Market in OTR is an enormous space that takes up an entire floor of an old warehouse--an old brewery to be exact.  

It has a feel of a cathedral without the extravagant ornamentation and instead of a crucifix, gleaming tanks filled with beer take center stage.  Here it's about the beer and creating a place where friends can and strangers can come together to have a good time. The rest of the space is occupied by art vendors, corn hole sets, and benches for folks to just relax and enjoy their brew.  

I was able to go on a tour with my homebrew club, Cincinnnati Malt Infusers, which is how I know that the beer in the fermentor below is a very happy barley wine due out later this month (this is the same fermentor being installed in the picture at top left some months earlier).  Right now Rhinegeist is brewing 4000 bbl a year with plans to double soon.  According to their head brewer, (Jim Matt was his name I think), they have capacity in their current building for 20,000 bbl a year.  I actually hope they move production offsite so as not to take too much space away from the common area.  They have a pretty standard brewing process; I did note that they don't mashout and they brew their beers for 90 minutes.

Last, but most importantly, the beers.  I had a "Dad" and an "Uncle" (I've had Truth before, an IPA, I highly recommend).  Dad is an American Amber (this one was a Xmas edition) that I thought was not exactly spectacular and maybe even a bit below average as far as ambers go.  I believe there is some rye malt in there but felt like it would be better with a sweeter malt backbone.  

Uncle is an English Mild that comes in under 4% ABV. It's not the easiest beer style to find so I thought I'd give it a try.  I gotta say this beer was fantastic and perfect for a long Saturday afternoon of beer drinking.  This is a literal example of a "liquid bread" beer.  The aroma and taste even have a biscuit like quality with a toasty finish. Little bitterness and purposefully little hop complexity here.  When I drank this beer I remember thinking that this is what I thought beer would taste like before I had my first drink.  The only shame is that it took me seven years of legally drinking to find it.

Beer: 8.5/10 (some nice selections and they're only getting started)
Passion: 8.5/10 (great tour, you can tell that beer is really important to them; I also like how they balance that with other cool events at their brewery that are not beer related)
Ambiance: 5/5 (such a cool, unique environment)
Location: 3/5 (tough call here, this could be a 1 or a 5 in a few years)
Pints ~$6.50



12/12/2013 3:47pm

Hi Brad,

Nice to discover your blog! I've been blogging about beer-by-bicycle in Seattle for a few years and now I'm doing the same here in Cincinnati.

I did a writeup of my visit to Rhinegeist several weeks ago. If you're a fan of theirs (which it looks like you are) you won't like my review.

A couple notes (given in good spirits):

1.) If you were walking into Rhinegeist busy on your phone, you're lucky you made it safely. I was too afraid to even pull my phone out of my pocket and snap a pic if the entrance for my blog. Or maybe you had a group of friends around you for protection.

2.) That <4% beer you liked does sound like it would be good for a long day of drinking – if each pint didn't cost $6!

Their beer named Mosaic did impress me though.

Thanks for your efforts. I'll keep reading you.

01/08/2014 10:02pm

Hey man, everyone has their own opinion. You bring up good points...

You're right about the location, it is a bit sketchy but things are turning around in OTR.

Good call on the pricing, that's something I'll incorporate in my ratings system.


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