A massive disturbance in the Cincinnati beer scene is going to begin at 11 am Saturday morning. At that time Ei8ht Ball will officially open it’s doors.
The Cincinnati area has had some great bars for a long time now. Dutch’s, Lackman, Japps, and Arnold’s are all fantastic places full of amazing beer. Ei8ht Ball is a different beast entirely. Oh yes, it serves beer but it also brews its own beer. Yes, it has tap handles… 42 of them! And those tap handles contain some of the best beer you can get anywhere, including many locals. They also have bottles, but there’s no Bud Light here just a little thing called Zombie Dust and another bit of nothing called Cantillon Classic Gueuze, but nobody likes either of those!
The other great thing Ei8ht Ball has going for it, and against my bank account, is that it’s located in The Party Source. You have to cross their entire craft beer section to get back to Ei8ht Ball. The Party Source has been one of the best bottle shops in town for years and now they’re adding Ei8ht Ball… oh, and a distillery will be opening there soon as well.
I keep mentioning that it’s a brewery so let’s talk about their beer. Ei8ht Ball is opening up with 2 brews, Prodigal Son and K-Hole. Prodigal Son is an American pale ale that really does justice to the style. Far too many APAs are light IPAs and that’s really not what the style is about. K-Hole is just plain nuts it’s an imperial stout but it’s got so much coffee it’s crazy. Both of these beers are amazing and are must tries as soon as you can get down there. Mitch Dougherty is heading up brewing operations there. Mitch was formerly the head brewer at Cincinnati’s Rock Bottom and won gold at the 2012 World Beer Cup in Wood and Barrel Aged Beer for Sarah’s Two Headed Buffalo so the guy has lots of experience making awesome beer.
What’s a great bar, brewery, or bottle shop without great people though? For all the awesomeness I’ve already discussed it would suck if the people there didn’t know their shit. Danny Gold has been the craft beer guy at The Party Source for a while now and has done a phenomenal job at it but he couldn’t take care of this whole bar/brewery by himself. He’s assembled the Cincinnati beer dream team, they came together and formed Voltron wielding a pint instead of a sword! I already talked about head brewer Mitch Dougherty but Danny has also brought in Peanut Khales, formerly with the Dilly Cafe and always with the best damn beard in town! Peanut has been packing huge amounts of craft beer knowledge since before I was born.
So they’ve got 2 guys with mad beer knowledge so what, well they also have 2 awesome women with mad beer knowledge. Natalie Phillips was the head beer maiden at Belmont Party Supply up in Dayton, which was and still is Dayton’s best bottle shop. Lastly but certainly not least is Andrea Besl who was tending bar at Rivertown’s tap room and has been involved on increasingly higher levels at almost ever Cincinnati beer fest for the past few years. I’ve seen a fair bit of complaining lately from craft beer nerds that a place may have great beer but your server doesn’t know anything about them. These 4 don’t just know beer, they love beer, and they live beer.
This has been a lot of hyperbole but I really am truly excited for Ei8ht Ball’s future. They’re opening big and I know they’re only going to grow and get better over time.
Now that you’ve read all this go check out Brew Prof’s excellent post he did on Why you need to visit Ei8ht Ball.