Statement from Blank Slate's Scott LaFollette on Closing. Plus our thoughts and where to still find their beer!

Monday morning we noticed something was odd at Blank Slate. By Monday afternoon we knew that they had closed. Since then there has been much speculation and many varying assumptions about why they closed. But there have been no facts until now.


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Blank Slate: "Closed. Thanks For The Memories."

If you haven’t heard yet then it is my extreme displeasure to inform you that Blank Slate Brewing Company has closed, effective immediately.

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Catching Up With Blank Slate Brewing Company – Part 2

Blank Slate Brewing Company joined the Cincinnati brewing scene in Spring of 2012, and I sat down with him in the fall of that year. Realizing it’s been three years since then,  we sat down for another interview recently. Scott and I talked for a long time, this is a long post please bear with it, it’s worth it. What follows is part two of the interview, read on for Scott’s thought on the craft beer industry, going pro, Untappd, and more. For part one and everything old, new, and coming soon at Blank Slate, you can read part one here.

Continue reading “Catching Up With Blank Slate Brewing Company – Part 2”

Catching Up With Blank Slate Brewing Company

Blank Slate Brewing Company joined the Cincinnati brewing scene in Spring of 2012, and I sat down with him in the fall of that year. Realizing it’s been three years since then,  we sat down for another interview recently. Scott and I talked for a long time, this is a long post please bear with it, it’s worth it. Also, hang tight for later this week or next when I’ll post part 2. Today, though, it’s all about Blank Slate Brewing Company!

Continue reading “Catching Up With Blank Slate Brewing Company”

Ohio Brewery Awards

The following represents what my research was able to obtain from the internet on any medals or awards won by any brewery in Ohio. Please do not consider this list to be the end all be all of Ohio brewery awards as there are very likely mistakes or missing information. Please shoot me an email at with any corrections and I’ll make it as soon as possible.

GABF = Great American Beer Festival

WBC = World Beer Cup

IBF = International Beer Festival

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Guest Post: I Dream of Beer!

[Ed.: We’re always open to guest posts here on Queen City Drinks, if you want to do 1 or 100 just shoot me an email at with your ideas.]

Andy Melchers has been brewing for over 10 years and is a Bloatarian Brewing League member. He is a BJCP National Judge and has served as BBL Minister of Propaganda for way too long and was Event Director of Beer & Sweat from 2010-2012. This is the story HARK!:

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Know You Local Brewery: Quaff Bros

I stopped by The Party Source for a conversation with Quaff Bros co-founder Danny Gold and Quaff collaborators Scott LaFollette, head brewer at Blank Slate Brewing Company, and Jason Brewer, from Listermann’s/Triple Digit, about wandering breweries. That discussion evolved into a full history of Quaff Bros which you can learn about below.

Quaff Bros

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Learning about beer: Tax and Trade Bureau

“If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.”
-The Beatles

Events like the recent Cinci Beerfest may let us think that beer is all fun and games but there is a lot of work that goes into getting a beer to market. A lot of the talk about that work focuses on brewing. However, formula and label approval are a critical linchpin in the process. A linchpin that has become slightly unfastened and caused the delayed release of at least one local beer.

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5B & the do’s and don’t’s of beer blogging

The Believers in Better Beer, Bites, and Blogging conference (aka 5B) was this past weekend and it was a fantastic time. I want to thank all presenters and participants for really making it a great event. Scott LaFollette from Blank Slate Brewing Company and I did a presentation on beer reviews from the brewers and bloggers perspective. We kinda tweaked it a bit into a list of do’s and don’t’s of beer blogging. Scott was wise enough to print out copies of the list for folks but in case you couldn’t make it to 5B, didn’t get a copy, or lost your list at beerfest here it is again. These are just ideas that Scott and I came up with and should not be considered an all inclusive list or hard and fast rules. Also if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll realize I  need to do a better job of following a few of them. Bottom line is do what you enjoy, but here are some ideas to help.

  1. If you are going to use a rating system make sure everyone knows how the ratings work.  Just scoring a beer as an “85” and not mentioning that it’s a scale of 0-100 is meaningless.
  2. If you are using a rating system give insight as to why the beer gets the score it does. To say it’s an absolutely fantastic beer then score it a 4 out of 5 is not enough. Discuss what kept it from getting a perfect score.
  3. Be descriptive.  Describing the color of a brown ale as “brown” isn’t very exciting.  Don’t be afraid to use a thesaurus.  Try to paint a picture for the reader.  This will translate into more return readers.
  4. Be objective first, then opinionated:  talk about the brew as descriptively as possible first, then provide your opinion. Take the bud light challenge:  don’t tell your readers what you’re drinking ahead of time and objectively describe the beer to the greatest extent possible. Then provide your opinion and reveal that it’s Bud Light.
  5. Review based on the beer label not what you think it should be.
  6. If it’s a style you don’t personally like then don’t review it.  If you think sour ales are gross then don’t review one and say “it’s gross”.  Stick to what you know or else make it abundantly clear throughout the review it is not a style you usually like.  As a brewer it pains me to see things like “I generally hate stouts and this one is no exception – score 2 out of 5”.
  7. Know your flavors and off flavors.  This takes time and study, but the more knowledgeable you are in detecting and naming flaws the more thorough of a reviewer you will become.  If a beer has an obvious flaw that may not be brewery caused (light-struck, oxidized/stale etc.) then this should be taken into account in the review OR another sample should be procured before proceeding.  Make sure you are getting the best example you can for the review tasting.  Don’t pull a pilsner out of the clearance bin with an inch of dust on it and then review it.
  8. Since we’re all headed to a beer fest in a few hours we wanted to remind you that you shouldn’t review beers at beer fests. Check into them on Untappd and keep a list of what you really want to try again. Save your full review of the beer until you have a bottle of it at home.
  9. Try to use clean, appropriate glassware or at least glassware your readers are apt to have. This can have a profound impact on beer flavor perception.
  10. Proofread and spell check.  Twice.
  11. Do be critical.  Don’t be mean.
  12. Provide availability and location information. This can be difficult to get sometimes but telling your readers where they can buy a bottle or drink a pint can be more useful info then how much you liked it or not.
  13. Provide general information such as style and abv, then more if you want.  I’m currently trying to provide calorie information because I need to lose weight.  If the beer features crazy hops or special malts I try and mention those as well. Most of this stuff is easy to find, saves your reader from going somewhere else, and enriches your blog with information that others might not have.
  14. Know your reader and focus on what’s available for them. While it’s great fun to review Pliny the Elder, it’s not available in Cincinnati and that’s my target audience. So instead of running down the whole list of the internet’s bests focus on what you can buy at Kroger’s or drink at Arthur’s.
  15. Pictures and video. Personally I don’t like to use video in reviews but if you do then rock it!  But pictures are definitely a must.  Forget the whole “picture equals 1,000 words” cliche.  A picture of a bottle = your reader knowing exactly what to look for among hundreds of bottles on a shelf.
  16. Use a standard form or order for describing things.  For example, commit a few sentences to the appearance and then a few to the aroma and then flavor, body, artwork and whatever else you want to talk about.  Devise some kind of format that works for you (whether it’s the BJCP form or a list of things), but be consistent about it and have some kind of clear breakdown of it for your readers.  Humans are creatures of habit and like things to be the consistent.  Utilizing a standardized format will help with that.
  17. Tag everything plausible. Brewery, beer, style, abv, state, color, etc… More tags = more search results.  After coming up with all those tags re-read your draft and link to everything possible.  This makes it easier for your readers to find more info, brings more traffic to fellow bloggers or brewery sites, and hopefully your Facebook page or Twitter feed!
  18. In the end, have fun with it!  That’s a big part of what blogging is all about.  Right?

If you have any other suggestions to add to the list please leave a comment. If it’s good enough I’ll edit the post to update the list!

Listermann/Triple Digit/Blank Slate Cincinnati Beer Week Events

The good folks at Listermann/Triple Digit just passed the flyer for their Cincinnati Beer Week events. It looks like they’ll be up to no good (I kid, I kid) every day of the week, so make sure you get your butts to at least one of their events. I’m sure these will eventually be up on the Cincinnati Beer Week site (which now contains next to no information), but that day is apparently not yet here, so feast your eyes below.

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