Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bockfest 2013 in Cincinnati

On Saturday, Todd & I drove down to Cincinnati for Bockfest 2013, a big beer festival celebrating Bock beer.  One of my college roommates, Kelly, lives in Cincinnati and knew Todd enjoyed beer and had been emailing me for the past couple months about this big event in Over-the-Rhine, a neighborhood in Cincinnati, and so we decided to head down for the day. 

Bockfest sign stretched across the street

Since Todd didn't know a lot about the brewing history in Cincinnati, particularly in Over-the-Rhine,  he was interested in going on one of the tours offered.  We went on the Prohibition Resistance Tour, which was a 2.5 hour walking tour that explored Cincinnati's unique brewing history both above and below ground.  We started at Bockfest Hall (the main site of the festival located at the Christian Moerlein brewery) and then visited 3 different pre-Prohibition brewing sites.

Inside Bockfest Hall

A map of all the breweries in Over-the-Rhine before Prohibition

Our first stop was the site of the old Crown Brewery

Sign outside

We went 30 feet below ground to the old lagering cellar

Todd climbing up the 30 foot ladder from the lagering cellar

A look down

The second stop was Hudepohl Brewery

Outside of Hudepohl Brewery

They had 2 people dressed up as the original owners of the brewery to retell some of the history

Below ground, we saw some of the fermentation tanks 

The last stop was Kauffman Brewery

Outside of the brewery

Part of the lagering cellar below ground was still filled with dirt and debris

The tour was pretty interesting since many of these old breweries were just discovered and cleaned out within the past few years.  I had no idea Cincinnati had such a strong history in beer-making.  I know Todd really enjoyed the tour even though I thought it was about an hour too long and was bored towards the end (and cold since we were outside for part of it).

The tour ended at Bockfest Hall where we redeemed our tickets for free beer (part of the price of the tour) and met up Kelly.

Enjoying a soft pretzel stick and sauerkraut balls

Kelly & I

Kelly took us on a little tour of part of the revitalized area of Over-the-Rhine while we looked for a place to eat dinner.

We stopped at the site of one of the original Kroger stores...I'm never one to pass up a photo op with a historical marker

There were several restaurants we stopped in to eat at but the wait was over an hour so we finally settled on Mayberry, a gastropub that was part of the the Bockfest activities and had special beers on tap as well as a German themed menu.  More bock beer was consumed as well as sauerkraut potato cakes, German potato salad, beer cheese soup, and jagerschnitzel (still not 100% sure what it was but it was actually pretty tasty).  Todd & I drove back to Columbus after dinner while Kelly went back to Bockfest Hall to see the crowning of the Sausage Queen.  We had a fun day and we're hoping to make it back down again this summer for a Reds game.

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