I occasionally get asked how many craft breweries Cincinnati has. I keep a list and figured that enough people have asked me that I should share my list of local craft breweries. Before we begin, a few comments on counting. If you don’t care about my reasoning for my counting than feel free to scroll past this.
I have decided to take a more liberal approach to counting our number of craft breweries. The more breweries a city can claim the more popular a beercation travel destination it becomes. So, while some craft beer zealots may not include Rock Bottom or Hofbrauhaus, I am. While local diehards would discount Sam Adams, due to the lack of taproom or any other reason, I am not discounting them. BJ’s has two of their “brewhouses” in the area, but all the beer is made west of the Mississippi, so I’m not counting them.
Some may say that Christian Moerlein is only 1 brewery, despite their 2 locations. I choose to count them as 2. This also applies to Fifty West and soon MadTree, Rivertown, and Taft’s.
However, I do have some limits in my largesse and can’t see a way to count Listermann and Triple Digit as 2 breweries. Or adding Hudepohl, Beautiful View, Little Kings, or any other brands that may eventually come out of the Christian Moerlein Malt House. Yes, Weidemann has local ownership and brewing, but only on contract, so I think that’s an overly artificial inflation. That same logic applies to Quaff Brothers. And there is no way in hell I’m counting the MillerCoors brewery as a craft brewery in Trenton, if we scrub the requirement of being a craft brewery then it would add an extra number to my count.
What about the exurbs?
Where does “Cincinnati” end? Being inclusive I am choosing to include FigLeaf and Municipal. Before you jump up and shout that Middletown can’t be considered Greater Cincinnati, Cellar Dweller is often included as a Cincinnati brewery and is only 1 mile closer to the city than FigLeaf, 25 and 26 miles, respectively. Municipal is only 20 miles away. All distances measured from Fountain Square via Google Maps. And there’s no way I can see to stretch the “Greater Cincinnati Area” to include Crooked Handle in Springboro, that is most definitely part of the Dayton area and is over 35 miles from Fountain Square.
Ok, enough preamble, onto the numbers.
All of the following information is as of 1/24/18 and is in a roughly chronological order.
Active Tri-State Craft Brewers: 49
Cincinnati City Limits: 18
Boston Beer Company
Moerlein Lager House
Blank Slate (closed 8/8/17)
Bad Tom Smith
Christian Moerlein Malt House
Tap & Screw Brewery
Taft’s Ale House
Urban Artifact Brewing
The Woodburn Brewery & Taproom
Brink Brewing Company
West Side Brewing
Southwest Ohio: 23
Quarter Barrel Brewing (Oxford)
Fifty West Brew Pub
Old Firehouse Brewery
Fifty West Production Brewery
Municipal Brew Works
Narrow Path Brewing
Queen City Brewery of Cincinnati (in Blue Ash)
March First Manufacturing
Sons of Toil
Fretboard Brewing Company
Little Miami Brewing Company
Quarter Barrel Brewing (Hamilton)
Swine City Brewing
Northern Kentucky: 6
Ei8ht Ball (closed 4/1/17)
Mash Cult (Party Town)
Wooden Cask Brewery
Bircus Brewing Company
Southeast Indiana: 1
What About The Past?
Everything you’ve read up until this point is for active breweries. But what about everyone who has come before? Luckily, I’ve already handled that in another post from last year with my Historical Cincinnati Brewery Count. Now, somehow that count has gotten a little fudgy and I need to go back through it, but that’s a pain in the ass I don’t feel like getting into right now. So here’s a roughly accurate count of all the breweries in Cincinnati for the past 200 years.
5 thoughts on “How Many Craft Breweries Does Cincinnati Have?”
As a member of the GCBC@2015, we have sampled many of the offerings from the list above and I feel that the self expression of brewing individual beer flavors and a types is akin to painting, sculpture or other forms of art. As long as it is done as a personal expression of as a means to promote ones values and interpretations of what good beer should taste like, there will always be additional breweries that arise and various forms of “art” to evaluate against the versions that came before or exist at present. I for one welcome the opportunity to evaluate them…..
FYI that MadTree is technically inside the city limits of Cincinnati (Oakley neighborhood is in the City of Cincinnati … just like Pleasant Ridge where Nine Giant is).
Good catch, I haven’t updated MadTree’s location since they moved from 1.0 to 2.0. MadTree 1.0 was technically outside the city limits, by about a block lol.