MadTree Creativity: Hoff-Stevens & #HeadbandFriday

On top of pumping out the great beers they’ve been known for MadTree has begun infusing beers courtesy of Hoff-Stevens and unleashing the madness of #HeadBandFriday.

Who is Hoff-Stevens?

Yes, I’ve been asked that at least 3 times. No, Hoff-Stevens is not a new brewer at MadTree. No, Hoff-Stevens is not a restaurant they are collaborating with. No, Hoff-Stevens is not a small Japanese woman. Hoff-Stevens is a type of keg, an older type of keg largely replaced by Sankey-style kegs. A type of keg that MadTree has begun to use to a highly creative extent!

Hoff-Stevens kegs are an evolution and enlargement of traditional casks which themselves are an evolution and miniaturization of barrels. I’m not going to get into the technical differences of casks vs. Hoff-Stevens kegs vs. Sankey-style kegs. The basic fact that you should know is that they’re different from normal kegs and the main difference is due to the bunghole. The Hoff-Stevens keg is the one in the background and you can clearly see the bunghole in the middle.

Hoff Stevens Keg
Bung is a fun word to say

But what do most of us really care about what style of keg MadTree is using. Hoff-Stevens, Sankey, whatever I just want tasty beer, right? Here’s the great thing about Hoff-Stevens, the bunghole! This allows MadTree to infuse their beers with a variety of things (read more on infusing here). Infusing allows them to add ingredients to a beer and turn PsycHOPathy into PyscHOPathy dry-hopped with Amarillo (currently on tap) or Mango/Habanero.

The Hoff-Stevens kegs allow MadTree to do this to just 1 keg or to as many kegs as they want. Allowing much more flexibility because it’s 1 1/2 barrel keg vs having to brew a full 15 barrel batch. This flexibility enables greater creativity and that is something MadTree has in folds.


Along with these exciting Hoff-Stevens keg infusions MadTree has continued to roll out new beers that are in the tap-room for a few days or go into cans for a full season, like the just released PumpCan. On top of all this they’ve taken a simple piece of headgear and turned it into brand marketing initiative with awesome results. Beyond a hashtag on Twitter that’s taken off somewhat they’ve also rolled it into a weekly album cover parody as seen below.

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From silly headbands to amazing beers this level of creativity and constant newness is what excites me most about MadTree. It’s hard enough to make great beer and start a brewery. Keeping things fresh on top of that is even harder. Luckily for Cincinnati MadTree is excelling at coming up with new beers and new reasons to stop back by the tap-room. Beyond the things already mentioned they’ve also got a new patio area (shown below) that has more improvements yet to come including a railing, TVs, and more!

new patio

Stop by the brewery to try a new Hoff-Stevens beer and pick up your own headband then follow MadTree on Facebook to see what album cover comes out next week!

2 thoughts on “MadTree Creativity: Hoff-Stevens & #HeadbandFriday”

  1. Thanks for a great post! I haven’t been going to MadTree as much lately, and so haven’t been able to ask what this Hoff-Stevens business is. Thanks for the info! I see an ashtray out there on the patio. Too bad.


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