Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rhinegeist Brewery

Photos by OHventures

1910 Elm Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 381-1367

Rhinegeist is a brewery situated in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Over The Rhine in Cincinnati (which is located in Hamilton County). The name is in reference to The Rhine, which is a European River running in and along France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Early Cincinnati settlers believed that the Ohio River resembled The Rhine of Europe, and therefore named the neighborhood as such. 

The brewery's name "Rhinegeist" is German, and translates to mean "Ghost of the Rhine" in English. This was fitting, due to the fact that the large building in which the brewery is housed was once the Moerlin Bottling Plant, serving up beer from 1895 until prohibition in the 1920s. The new owners "resurrected" the building to make it once again a beer-making facility, in the skeleton of the former bottling plant. The first Rhinegeist beer was brewed in June 2013, and it has become one of the fastest growing breweries in the state.

The spooky name was also fitting due to the fact that we visited on Halloween day. The branding of the beer cans and bar taps has a ghostly/skeletal figure that makes it easily recognizable and memorable.

We learned about all of the history of Rhinegeist by taking a tour of the brewery. Free hour-long tours are offered at various times throughout the week. You can sign up online for priority placement, or sign up when you arrive at the tasting room. Typically, visitors have access to over 25,000 square feet of space, which composes only a fifth of the total square footage of Rhinegeist. The tour gave us an in-depth look into the other four-fifths of space in this gargantuan facility.

We were able to see some of the high-tech stainless steel tanks and other production aspects of the beer brewing process. There was also a great deal of office space (see the leather couch juxtaposed against the beer-making machinery above?), spacious events center, and some unfinished space that will soon be transformed to make Rhinegeist an even cooler spot to visit!

Stacks of barrel-aged beer lined the walls of the basement, right next to the new canning machine that will allow Rhinegeist to increase its production quantity. Down the hall from this was a gigantic freezer, which housed all of the canned beer, ready for distribution to local bars and stores. All Rhinegeist beer is self-distributed by their team so your beer will be fresher and tastier.

You can find these hop-filled cans at many locations in and around Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Kentucky (this list will soon grow). You can check out the Beer Finder to determine where you can get your hands (and lips) on some Rhinegeist for yourself!

We were able to bring glasses of Rhinegeist beer along with us on the tour, which was poured for us in the taproom. After the tour, we continued sipping and sampling the beers we had just learned about by ordering tasting flights. I opted to taste: Zen (a very balanced session pale ale), Homie (an American double imperial pale ale, on tap exclusively while we visited), Workhorse (my favorite of the day, a lager), and Panther (a chocolatey and robust porter).

Other featured beers include: Truth (IPA), Cougaer (blonde ale), Franz (Oktoberfest), Dad (a holiday beer that I have heard is amazing), Puma (pilsner), Pure Fury (hoppy pale ale), Hustle, and more. There are also "bombers" which are larger 22-ounce limited edition bottles. Two hard ciders are also available.

While you should definitely try finding the beers at a bar or store near you, nothing beats the atmosphere at Rhinegeist. The wide open interior is available to reserve for private events, or you can come anytime to play cornhole, ping pong, foosball, or watch a ball game - all while relaxing with some locally brewed booze. You are welcome to bring your own food in from other nearby restaurants, or (in warm months) head up to the brand new rooftop bar for amazing 360-degree views of Cincinnati in all of its glory.

Rhinegeist is waiting for you! 

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