First off I am required to give props to my wife for discovering this place via Facebook and pointing it out to me. BrewRiver is a brand new (As in 3 weeks old, they opened July 13th) gastropub about 10 minutes east of downtown Cinci on Riverside Dr. It’s built into what appears to be an old house with a nice large patio (likely the site of a former house) to the side, see:
Once you walk in, the door is on the side next to the patio, you are greeted with a great looking bar and plenty of taps! The taps are filled with a few house brews and loads of guest brews. They have a cool idea of rotating taps for specific breweries. Bells, Great Divide, Founders, Breckenridge and more all have dedicated tap handles that will rotate through different beers. They also have taps dedicated to certain styles: a nitro tap, a sour tap, a Belgian tap, and a “hoppy handle.” If that wasn’t enough beer to guarantee you visiting here then there is the plethora of guest bottles and cans they have as well! You can check out the full list on their excellent website over here.
Let’s get back to those house brews that I mentioned earlier. Now, simmer down folks don’t get too excited, as you can see from the first picture there isn’t enough room here for a brewery. None of the beers are actually brewed onsite, though the owners do plan on opening up a brewery to support the gastropub soon. Currently all of the house beers are brewed down river a bit in Aurora, Indiana. I am not familiar with other Great Crescent products but what they serve at BrewRiver gives me hope to try more Great Crescent products.
On to the beer tasting! They offer a flight of up to 6 brews for $2 per 4 ounce taster (or $2.50 for guest drafts). I decided to just go with 4 and picked the following to do a quick review on:
Island Queen Blonde Ale
Super cloudy wheat color. Taste is a bit maltier than I prefer, almost no hop bitterness.
Pretty clear with a bit of haze and a nice light yellow color. Very balanced malt/hop flavors. Nice and easily session able beer. Also interesting because Felsen has become somewhat of a rarer style.
Calliope India Pale Ale
Beautiful red amber color. Solid hop presence but not overpowering at all. Very nice and solid ipa.
Maker Scream & Stout
Pours a blackish brown. Nice warm bourbon taste with slight bite and lots of sweet malts
I’m not a “foodie” type of person so I’m going to slightly gloss over there food here. I had a great burger with a side of really amazing fries and home-made ketchup. Also the wife got a BLT packed with ultra thick home cured bacon, a slice of which I was lucky enough to get to try. I just want to say the food was amazing and I hope a real foodie type person heads out there soon and covers the gastro part of the gastropub.
So come on Cincinnati get out to this new restaurant for some great food and amazing beer! The sooner more people eat there the sooner they start brewing nearby!