Home Food And Drinks These 24 Cincinnati Breweries Are Serving Up Drool-Worthy Eats 

These 24 Cincinnati Breweries Are Serving Up Drool-Worthy Eats 


Taft’s Ale House and Brewpourium

1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine; 4831 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village

Two breweries, same loyalties. Taft’s Brewing Co. renovated a historic church for its Ale House in OTR, which led to an impressive home base for the company; while the Brewpourium in an old streetcar warehouse feels more like a traditional brewpub. The beer in both is excellent, so when deciding which location to visit, ask yourself this: Would you rather have a tri-tip steak or pizza? Go to Taft’s Ale House for the former and the Brewpourium for the latter; the Brewpourium’s New Haven, Connecticut-style apizza is some of the best pizza in the city. New Haven “apizza” is a crispy and coal-fired “dirty” version of Neapolitan pizza the brewery chose to offer over other styles (e.g. New York, Chicago) because William Howard Taft — former president, Cincinnati native and brewery namesake — went to Yale in New Haven.

Photo: Hailey Bollinger
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Darkness Brewing

224 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue

What started as homebrewing experimentation between friends led to the opening of Darkness Brewing. The spirit of adventure is still quite alive in the Bellevue taproom, located just down the street from Party Source. Their specialty is dark beers, but they offer a variety of different brews ranging from pale ales to golden imperial stouts and session ales. Aside from their brews, Darkness has a food truck located right outside the building. Most recently, they have implemented a brunch menu with a beer-infused twist. For example, they now offer chicken and waffles with beer syrup. If you’re not a brunch kind of person, don’t fret; the food truck also serves everyone’s favorite comfort foods including tacos, burgers, brats and hot dogs.

Photo: Hailey Bollinger
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HighGrain Brewing Company

6860 Plainfield Road, Silverton

HighGrain offers a wide range of beer styles, brewed by Matthew Utter, a former head brewer for Christian Moerlein. Utter, who lived in Germany for a decade, takes notable inspiration from the country’s beers. The food menu at HighGrain ranges from tofu tenders with maple mustard to barramundi with plantain salsa and even a bologna sandwich with fried egg. It is a destination for the entire family, with a fenced-in biergarten, a kids food menu and ample parking.

Photo: Sean M. Peters

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Alexandria Brewing Company

7926 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria

Bridging Cincinnati’s heritage with Northern Kentucky’s tight-knit community, Alexandria Brewing Company is a family-friendly, Rock & Roll-themed brewery that places high importance on fun. Inside the taproom walls sits Four Mile Pig, which creates delicious small-batch barbecue. Their menu includes some savory lunch and dinner options like their Three Meat Combo (pulled pork, smoked brisket and dry rub chicken wings), smoked brisket sandwich platter and a few yummy sides to pick from like mac and cheese and baked beans.

Photo: Faceboook.com/AlexandriaBrewingCo

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Fifty West Brewing Company Brewpub

7668 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township

This brewery has an excellent kitchen to complement their line of beers and makes for a satisfying table experience. With their food menu, Fifty West offers both quality and quantity with salads, soups, appetizers and entrees such as jerk mahi mahi, a buffalo chicken sandwich, a seafood salad sandwich and more. If you’d like to stay on your feet while you enjoy a few pints, Fifty West has turned a stretch of Wooster Pike into a veritable outdoor recreation corridor. Across the street from the flagship brewpub sits Fifty West Canoe & Kayak, Fifty West Cycling and Fifty West Production Works (home to six sand volleyball courts). All are geared toward building community through shared experiences, which include drinking craft beer and getting outside: It’s all about an active lifestyle, says brewery co-owner Bobby Slattery.

Photo: Scott Dittgen
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1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine

Some out-of-towners might not even know there is a Cincinnati outside of Rhinegeist. This brewery has taken over the local beer scene in recent years thanks in part to their phenomenal branding and, overall, thanks to consistently solid beers. The taproom is like an adult playground with so much room for activities. If you get hungry, try a burger (or fries, or grilled cheese, or fresh pretzels or cured meats) from the downstairs Frenchish brasserie Sartre, delivered to you via pneumatic tube (just like The Jetsons). We live in a golden age of convenience.

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Listermann Brewing Company

1621 Dana Ave., Norwood

Originally a brewer supply store, this family-owned business recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as a microbrewery. On top of the excellent rotating beer list available in the taproom, Listermann is also home to Renegade Grille, a static location of the Renegade Street Eats food truck. Enjoy starters, wings, burgers and sandwiches alongside your suds. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take on their Renegade Wing Challenge where contestants have to eat six insanely hot wings in less than three and a half minutes. Winners get a T-shirt, the wings for free and their picture hung on the wall of fame. If you would like to eat at your own pace, Renegade Grille offers 12 different wing sauces to answer almost any appetite.

Photo: Megan Waddel
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Bircus Brewing Company

322 Elm St., Ludlow

Bircus beckons from the intersection of your subconscious that joins childlike wonder and affinity for ale. Ludlow’s first microbrewery is the product of two concepts you’d never expected to pair so well: the acrobatic surreality of trapeze performance and the full-flavored innovation of craft beer. Bircus Grille is open daily and serves Sunday brunch. They feature different food specials each day of the week: Taco Tuesday, Wiener Wednesday, Throwback Thursday and a more extensive menu — with hot dogs, burgers, grilled corn (seasonal) and grilled cheese — is available on Fridays and Saturdays.

Photo: Brittany Thornton
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Wiedemann’s Fine Beer

4811 Vine St., Saint Bernard

Betsy and Jon Newberry are responsible for reviving the Wiedemann’s brand and have converted a former funeral home in Saint Bernard into one of Cincinnati’s most charming brewery/taprooms. The full kitchen offers enough to encourage an entire day to be spent sampling their crushable, modernized interpretations of Wiedemann beer brewed since 1870. Their wide-ranging menu includes pub grub favorites like chicken wings to more localized flavors like the Goetta melt sandwich, plus pizzas, salads and grilled cheese.

Photo: Hailey Bollinger
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Fretboard Brewing Company

5800 Creek Road, Blue Ash

This Blue Ash brewery achieves the perfect marriage — music and beer — by providing creation spaces for local musicians to rattle off riffs while grabbing brews at the taproom. What could have simply been a traditional German-bier-inspired brewery was electrified into an incredibly active live music venue with a pro-grade sound system. Fretboard has partnered with Smoked Out Cincy to pair their beers with brewery eats. Enjoy a smoked pulled pork sandwich paired with Fretboard’s Crazy Train Copper Ale or go with the black bean burger paired with Fretboard’s Vlad Pilsner. Sandwiches not your thing? Enjoy some bar bites including smoked wings, mac and cheese rolls, barbecue pork fries and more.

Photo: Brittany Thornton
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Urban Artifact

1660 Blue Rock St., Northside

Ironically, there’s not much Irish-inspired beer being brewed by Best known for their blend of sours and ales, the brewers at Urban Artifact have a large variety of different beers for you to sample. Their live music program is excellent, hosting solid local and touring acts, and check out radioartifact.com for their very own radio programming. In addition to sips and sounds, Urban Artifact is the home base for Wildfire Pizza Kitchen. The self-proclaimed ::neo-Neapolitan:: pizza joint with an imported wood-burning oven serves pizza, calzones, appetizers, salads and more out of the taproom of Urban Artifact using housemade sauces, fresh toppings and handmade, cold-fermented dough. They also recently introduced Sunday brunch.

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Karrikin Spirits Company

3717 Jonlen Drive, Fairfax

Try the spirits, cocktails and more all made in house by Karrakin Spirits Company. The drinks are tasty and the names might give you a good laugh. Try the Grammy’s Yammies, with Karrikin’s Shuga Rum, sweet potato, PSL vermouth and pecan bitters, or the Un Poco Loco, with Karrikin’s agave-spirit Blaze, strawberry, fireplace jalapeno and coriander. For lunch, chow down on a Blackhawk Farms burger or the roasted cauliflower. The dinner menu has a bit of everything from grilled duck breast to plancha Spanish octopus. If you enjoyed their food you can even buy the kitchen a round of drinks to show the love.

Photo: Hailey Bollinger

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MadTree Brewing

3301 Madison Road, Oakley

With 32 MadTree-exclusive taps, ambient lighting and an industrial brick facade leftover from the building’s factory days, there’s more than enough space to accommodate all the beer-drinking, cornhole-playing, dog-loving humans that hang at the 10,000-square-foot outdoor beer garden on the regular. Not only do they serve a plethora of beer on tap, MadTree’s taproom also includes Catch-A-Fire’s wood-fired pizzas with several toppings, cheeses and sauces to choose from. Their menu also includes a variety of salads, appetizers and desserts.

Photo: Phil Heidenreich
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Little Miami Brewing Company

208 Mill St., Milford

Founded by brothers-in-law Dan Lynch and Joe Brenner, Milford’s Little Miami Brewing Company sits on the banks of its namesake river, pouring beers alongside a selection of brick-oven pizzas. The pizza selection includes everything from the classics, such as the margherita pizza all the way to daring and innovative options, such as the Lehr’s Earth Cookie Spicy Sausage Pizza. If pizza is not your thing, Little Miami Brewing Company also offers other laid-back eats such as nachos, pretzel sticks, chili and salad. The small-batch brewery offers 16 different brews on tap, from classics to experimentals and seasonals made with real fruit, like their Juicy Fruit IPA made with passion fruit.

Photo: Megan Waddel
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Streetside Brewery

4003 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum

Streetside Brewery is proud to be located in Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhood Columbia Tusculum. The Hickey family are residents of the neighborhood, and founded Streetside Brewery to share their talent with their community. Enjoy craft beer such as the Alpha and the GRL PWR, wine and guest taps. The Street Chef Brigade food truck is just outside serving Thai chicken tacos, the Street Chef burger, deviled eggs and more.

Photo: Scott Dittgen
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Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. and Moerlein Lager House

1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine; 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks

Christian Moerlein immigrated to the Queen City from Bavaria and launched his brewery in 1853. It closed for a while after Prohibition but was resurrected in 1981, and was the first American beer to pass the 16th-century Reinheitsgebot Bavarian Purity Law. You can visit their taproom in Over-the-Rhine for tours, tastings, pints and Wienerwurst Mike Frankfurtary (sausage, sandwiches and Bavarian pretzels). Or the Moerlein Lager House at The Banks, a bigger restaurant and brewpub that features over 100 craft brews, including Christian Moerlein beers brewed on-site. On the menu you can find everything from ribs to burgers to meat or cheese boards. Splurge on soups, salads and sides and finish off your meal with a sweet treat like the Black Cherry Forest Cake or the creme brûlée.

Photo: Provided
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16 Lots Brewing Company

753 Reading Road, Mason

The beers at this suburban brewery are inspired by traditional German style; brewmaster Jeff Cosgrove fastidiously adheres to the methods and recipes that made Old World lagers and pilsners so especially crushable and delicious. The brewery’s name is taken from a historic land purchase by Revolutionary War officer Major William Mason, who bought the 16 lots of land that later developed into modern day Mason. Just as their beer is steeped in historic tradition, their name also pays homage to the history of the city where they brew. The taproom houses Mad Monks Pizza, operated by the owner of Habanero in Clifton, so you can enjoy your brews with a slice.

Photo: Sean M. Peters
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Big Ash Brewing

5230 Beechmont Ave., Anderson Township

Self-described as a “fraternal craft brew co-op,” Big Ash Brewing was founded by 26 friends back in 2011. Starting out in a basement, Big Ash Brewing has quickly grown to be a staple of the community. Start with their drinks, which include 24 beers on self-service taps like their Big Ash Shipwreck IPA and the Big Ash Waves of Grain. The brewery also boasts a food menu. Try their signature pizza pies, such as their Meathead, Tree Hugger or Vampire Slayer. If none of their signature pies interest you, no worries! You can build your own.

Photo: Facebook.com/BigAshBrewing
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Sonder Brewing

8584 Duke Blvd., Mason

Sonder Brewing built its brewery and taproom on what was a vacant lot consisting of a 40-foot mound of dirt and a fire hydrant a few miles away from Kings Island. This new brewery not only boasts an impressive taproom and brew facility, but the quality of their beer is next-level considering the very young age of the company. That in and of itself makes it a destination well worth visiting. But in addition to beer, the East Side’s Creole eatery BrewRiver Creole Kitchen has brought their flavorful expertise to the Mason brewery, featuring bites like chicken and sausage gumbo, curried short rib poutine, Cajun loaded tater tots and even beer-infused soft serve ice cream.

Photo: Sean M. Peters
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Dead Low Brewing

5959 Kellogg Ave., California

The recently opened Dead Low Brewing features a tip-top kitchen, beer garden and, most importantly, beer cheesecake. Dead Low takes its name from the term for the minimum depth needed for a boat to traverse a body of water safely and because the brewery is located so close to the Ohio River. The taproom serves beer, cider and seltzer brewed on-site, as well as a from-scratch food menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, pizza, wings, salad and entrees like hangar steak and ribs; there’s also a dedicated kids menu and several vegetarian options. Many dishes utilize Dead Low brews, like in the beer-battered haddock sandwich.

Photo: Facebook.com/DeadLowBrewing
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Nine Giant Brewing

6095 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge

One of the goals of Nine Giant was to create “the ultimate taproom experience.:: The kitchen challenges nearby Gaslight Cafe for best burger in Pleasant Ridge and the beer, wine and cider selection has something for everyone. The ever-expanding menu at Nine Giant Brewery includes wings, spicy fresno smoked wings and a tuna melt with house-poached ahi tuna. Keep an eye out for their new development going in next door — the Fermentorium — where the brewers will experiment with aged brews in barrels sourced from spirit and wine production.

Photo: Facebook.com/NineGiant
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Rivertown Brewery and Barrel House

6550 Hamilton Lebanon Road, Middletown

Step into the Barrel House (aka the taproom) and two of the best things in the world are before you: retro arcade games and fresh, delicious beer. Rivertown also has a well-crafted menu that includes sides, appetizers and slow-smoked entrees like their Death-Injected Brisket and chicken wings. Vegan options are no afterthought here: Try their veg-friendly desserts, slow-smoked barbecue jackfruit and their own take on the Impossible Burger. Local beer pairs wonderfully with Tetris — and barbecue.

Photo: Provided
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