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After recently visiting Cincinnati for a long weekend I can confidently say we had the best of Cincinnati (in beer form!) Cincinnati has more than one hundred breweries/taprooms and we weren’t able to visit them all. With the time we had, we were able to sample some great Cincinnati Ohio breweries!
With the help of a local craft beer girl group I’m confident that the craft breweries in Cincinnati we visited as well as a few that were on our list but we didn’t make it to are the best breweries in Cincinnati. I mean, Cincinnati was once recognized as the beer capital of the world so it only makes sense as a craft beer fanatic that I’d have to try some myself. (In the name of science and research of course!)
Across the United States (and the world!) craft beer is increasing in popularity and becoming more trendy in many places. I always visit breweries whether abroad in countries such as Italy, Croatia, and Germany for Oktoberfest.
Cincinnati however, has a long history of brewing and beer dating back over 200 years! The first commercial brewery in Cincinnati opened in 1812! You could say that beer and brewing has always been prominent in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. If you want to dive more into the history, follow the brewing heritage trail while visiting.
There are tours that will go over the history and even explore the historic underground cellars used around the time of Prohibition. Links included below:
But, let’s review the breweries, beers, and the details of the taprooms for the top breweries to visit in Cincinnati!
Streetside Brewery is a great taproom to hang out at! With both indoor and outdoor seating options, you’re sure to find a spot to drink some amazing beers.
The beers on tap were quite varied. From pastry stouts, to IPAs, milkshake IPAs (one of my favorites and hard to find!), sours, and lighter options such as lagers everyone is sure to find a beer that will tickle their fancy. They also offer liquor, wine, high noon seltzers, and premixed frozen drinks that rotate. (At the time they had a frose!)
A few of my favorite beers were Cereal Milk and Kid in a Candy Shop. I love using the Untapp’d app to check in my beers to help me keep track of beers I’ve tried. My username is Mrs_Cox, add me as a friend if you have it or download it so we can virtually cheers each other!
Another great selling point for this brewery is the fact that they have an onsite food truck. So you can add them to your list of Cincinnati breweries with food if that’s a prerequisite for you!
Craft Burger Bros offers really tasty bites to enjoy alongside your brews from Streetside. We enjoyed the Bacon Jam Burger, Southern Belle Burger, and some crinkle-cut fries.
Great beer and amazing onsite food definitely makes a brewery/taproom earn a rave review from me!
Out of all the breweries we visited in Cincinnati, Urban Artifact was the one I was most familiar with before visiting. They have a decently large distribution of some of their beers and they are a fairly well-known sour beer brewery in the craft beer community. They have a beer finder on their website so you can search to see if they distribute near you if you aren’t able to make it to the taproom.
My husband isn’t as big of a sour beer fan so this was probably his least favorite brewery we visited while in Cincinnati. They had a wide range of sour beers on tap including some small-batch brews we had a chance to sample. My absolute favorite was Keypunch Salsa. It is a unique beer made with lime, serrano peppers, green onion, and black peppercorn. So, a sour beer with more savory flavors.
The venue is located in a historic church called St. Patricks. Frequently offering live music and events onsite in addition to event space you can rent.
On our first day in Cincinnati, we spent the most time at Rhinegeist. Located in a historic district of Cincinnati, their space is a lot of fun! The large brewing facility and taproom combination (25,000 square feet!) was the former bottling plant of Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. A brewery that existed in Cincinnati before prohibition.
Rhinegeist offers a wide variety of beers from lagers, sours, IPAs, pale ales, and stouts. They even make seltzers as well as hard iced tea beverages! My favorite beer I tried was the barrel-aged stout.
Once you’ve selected what drinks or beers to enjoy there’s plenty of space to hang out in the main taproom area playing corn hole (bags), shuffleboard, and other games. Select days and times, tours are offered as well! If the weather is great, you can also head up to the rooftop bar.
The rooftop bar has taps but not everything they offer in the main taproom is also upstairs so keep that in mind! After playing games, we had one last beer on the rooftop as the sun was lowering down over the Cincinnati skyline.
MadTree Brewing has a few different locations, but we visited the Oakley Taproom. With an expansive space and dog friendly you can hang out with all of your favorites here!
MadTree is a well-known brewery in the Cincinnati area. It’s also one of the breweries in Cincinnati with food! They are a very family-friendly brewery. There’s both indoor and outdoor space for the whole family to play games and sit down to have a bite as you enjoy a brew or two.
The onsite restaurant offers woodfired pizza, wings, appetizers, and salads. While the beer list is extensive, there are many non-beer options as well. (Both alcoholic and nonalcoholic!) Alcoholic options include: Sway vodka sodas in cans, specialty cocktails, cider, and wine. Nonalcoholic beers, sodas, iced coffee, and lemonade were also all available.
Listermann Brewing and Brewing Supply store has been a long-standing craft beer location in the Cincinnati beer scene since 1991.
With 18 taps frequently rotating you’re sure to find something you like to sip on. However, their pastry stouts are so flavorful and complex that those were my favorites. The Smorty Smores beer was probably the best of all of them! Close runners-up included the Nutcase peanut butter porter and the Lunar Phase triple chile honey. They also had a few taps of mead that surprisingly weren’t too sweet that we were able to sample.
The taproom is very chill and the vibe is very low-key. Their patio is dog-friendly so if the weather is good, you can even bring your furry best friend with you!
Plus, I loved the Mario Brothers themed mural on the side of the building!
Taft’s Brewing Co.
With a few locations in the Cincinnati area, Taft’s has more of a taproom and another is a brewpub/restaurant. This long-standing brewery in the Cincinnati area, the beer has earned many awards!
From locals, this brewery and beer is a Cincy staple! Whether you visit the Brewporium or the Ale House, you’re sure to find a beer you love! I’m always a fan of great beer and a taproom but with great food offered as well. Many taprooms don’t offer food and allow you to bring it in but it’s just way more convenient (in my opinion) if it’s the full experience, brews and eats.
Sam Adams Cincinnati Taproom
Located right next to the Findlay market, sits Cincinnati’s Sam Adams taproom. While Sam Adams normally reminds you of Massachusetts and Boston, the experience in the Cincinnati space is worth the trip! Offering Sam Adams mainstay beers as well as smaller batch experimental beers you’ll definitely want to try.
If the weather is great, there’s ample room to sit outside in the patio area. Maybe have a bite to eat with the taproom menu of all your favorite bar snacks (including pizza.) They also offer tours and frequently have events. A popular event is the Oktoberfest party.
Braxton Brewing Company
With several locations (one including CVG airport!) you have no excuse to not visit Braxton Brewing Company. With a taproom in both Cincinnati and Covington, be sure to stop by for a pint. The original location is in Covington, so crossing the river is a good idea to check it out!
Both family and dog-friendly with 27 taps make it a great spot. There’s even a rooftop bar to check out and compare to Rheingeist’s.
Beers range from light lagers, hoppy IPAs, and imperial pastry stouts. The tap list changes so be sure to check the website for the current menu or Untapp’d if there was something specific you were hoping to try.
Due to the location of the original brewery in Kentucky, a unique offering would be difficult to do if you’re just visiting for a short time, but they offer a private barrel program. What this means is you get to choose and dream up a barrel-aged beer that they’ll brew and age to your specifications. Once it’s done, then it’s bottled and you can enjoy it to share with family and friends.
Nine Giant Brewpub & Fermentorium
Nine Giant has two separate locations. One, a brewpub focused on scratch made food as well as great craft beers. Whereas the other location the Fermentorium is focused on barrel-aged and small-batch experimental beers.
I absolutely love small batch and experimental beers! My motto about beer is the weirder it is the more I want to try it. Some of the weirdest beers I’ve tried are mustard beer, pizza beer, and hot wing beer but I digress. If you’re looking for something funky and unique check out the Fermentorium. Many of their beers are barrel-aged goodness but they make lighter beers, IPAs, and sours as well. BUT they also offer fun tropical tiki cocktails!
Fifty West is both a beer garden and a brew pub (two separate locations) in Cincinnati, Ohio. With a wide range of beers, you’re sure to find something you enjoy.
Fifty West is known for having many outdoor events such as pickle ball, corn hole and even running groups. This is a great way to meet some new craft beer friends!
Fibonacci Brewing is a unique brewing concept. A woman-owned nanobrewery operating on an urban farm within the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. The brewery also has an onsite air b n b if you want to stay on the urban farm after having some brews.
Their goal is to source much of the ingredients for their beers locally or produce them on the farm. Every first Sunday of the month, there is an onsite farmer’s market from spring to late fall (weather permitting.)
Third Eye Brewing Company
Third Eye Brewing Company has an onsite kitchen and doesn’t allow any outside food brought in. From sandwiches to tasty brew pub appetizers and tacos on Taco Tuesday grabbing a brew and some grub is a great option when visiting Third Eye.
Their beer offered is a wide range of styles, from trendy IPAs and fruity sours to even handcrafted cocktails. There’s sure to be something for everyone when visiting the taproom. Plus the can art is colorful and eye-catching!
Sonder Brewing is located at 8584 Duke Boulevard in Mason, OH which is making your way closer to Dayton, Ohio. But, especially for Oktoberfest festivities it is well worth the drive! This Taphaus and kitchen is expanding with another location in West Chester, Ohio it’s that popular.
With staple beers but yet unique twists such as cinnamon swirl blonde ale reminiscent of cinnamon rolls and peach tea ale that would go great with some barbecue, you’re sure to find something a little quirky or more standard that will excite your tastebuds.
Tips for visiting Cincinnati Breweries
- Be sure to check the hours in advance! Many breweries are closed on Mondays/Tuesdays or don’t open until the evening during the week. But, it’s different for each brewery and location. Do your research!
- Be realistic! You can’t visit them all in one day.
- Be smart! Don’t drink and drive. Use public transit or take Uber if you plan on drinking
- Bring a water bottle
- Be sure to eat before and after (even better, at a brewery too!)
- Have fun!
- Bring some home! If you aren’t able to visit them all, bring some cans home with you. Follow my Guide to Packing Beer in your Luggage to plan ahead!
More Cincinnati Beer Fun: Oktoberfest
Depending on when you visit, Cincinnati has a huge Oktoberfest every year. It’s coined “Zinzinnati”. Typically it’s a four day long event in mid to late September.
There are street closures as this event grows in size each year. With multiple stages, there is live music and entertainment for the event. It’s a big deal for Cincinnatians! (especially beer enthusiasts!)
Beyond Cincinnati Beer: Food
A few of the breweries visited had onsite food options such as Streetside and MadTree. However, you have to try a few Cincinnati staple food items when visiting!
A Cincinnati staple is their chili. Two of the main chains are Skyline Chili and Goldstar. The flavors of Skyline compared to Goldstar differ. Rumor is that Skyline chili actually has cacao in it and Goldstar has vanilla. Skyline Chili offers coneys and what they refer to as “ways”.
Coney’s are basically a chili dog. So a hotdog on a bun with chili, mustard, onions, and shredded cheddar cheese. Ways are spaghetti noodles with the chili on top. The three-way includes only those items. Where a four-way has all of the items in the three-way but adding either beans or onions. A five-way has everything. The noodles, chili, onions, cheddar cheese, and beans.
We tried the coneys and a four-way with onions. The chili tasted sweet rather than the savory forward and hearty chili that I’m used to. This was my first time ever eating chili over noodles!
Another Cincinnati local staple is Graeter’s ice cream. There are many locations throughout the Cincinnati area, but the ice cream is made in small batches with many chocolate chip flavors, sorbets, and classic flavors available. This ice cream shop ships throughout the US but if you visit while in Cincinnati you can have tasty bakery items or even a sundae to treat yourself.
FAQs: Cincinnati Breweries
How many breweries does Cincinnati have?
There are more than one hundred breweries located in the greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region. Cincinnati was a beer city before it was cool to be a beer city. In 1890 it was dubbed “The Beer Capital of the World” due to the amount of beer made and consumed here.
What is Cincinnati’s favorite beer?
The best selling beer in Cincinnati for craft beer is IPAs. Cincinnatians love to drink local IPAs. Rheingeist and MadTree IPAs are among the best sellers. But with new innovations and unique brews being made constantly in Cincinnati breweries, this could very well shift over time. Oktoberfest or Marzen beers are also very popular!
What city in Ohio has the most breweries?
Cincinnati has the most breweries compared to other areas throughout the state. Columbus and Cleveland have a considerable amount of breweries, but Cincinnati has the most. The number two and three biggest craft breweries in the state of Ohio are located in Cincinnati. Cincinnati has been on lists of the best beer cities in the United States.
Final Thoughts: Cincinnati Breweries
Do not miss out on visiting one (or all) of the great Cincinnati breweries I highlighted. There are many more in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area I couldn’t possibly visit them all or mention them all.
If your favorite wasn’t listed, let me know! I definitely have a running list of breweries I want to go back to and ones I haven’t been to yet and am always open to some great beer recommendations.
I hope this helped you to check out some awesome taprooms whether you’re in Cincinnati for a short trip or a longer amount of time. Drinking locally, no matter where you are is something I’m very passionate about! Cheers!