CityBeat Blogs - Alcohol http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blogs-1-1-1-40-178.html <![CDATA[Taste of Belgium Clifton to Host World Cup Viewing]]>
The Clifton location of Taste of Belgium — Cincinnati's only Belgian-inspired eatery — will host a World Cup viewing party for the Team USA versus Belgium game on Tuesday, July 1. (The game begins at 4 p.m.)

The Clifton locale of TOB has seven HDTVs, one large HD projector screen, a big bar and a large beer selection. Afraid of who to cheer for in the Belgian bar? Owner Jean-François Flechet, a Cincinnati resident and Belgian native says, "What better place to come watch USA vs. Belgium than at Taste of Belgium? The entire staff and all our customers have cheered for both teams so far — we hope to see some good soccer."

“I’d be happy either way for either my homeland or my adoptive land to make it to the next round,” Flechet adds

TOB will also be giving away one official Belgian and one official American soccer jersey. Patrons can enter to win the American jersey by ordering a Budweiser and the Belgian jersey by ordering a Duvel. (Those under 21 can simply enter their names.)

Parking is behind Taste of Belgium by the corner of University and Vine streets. Taste of Belgium Clifton, 2845 Vine St., Corryville, 513-394-7105, authenticwaffle.com
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<![CDATA[Rhinegeist Zen Now Available in Cans]]>

Rhinegeist Brewery yesterday released its third canned beer, Zen Session Pale Ale. The brew is described as "like walking barefoot through a citrus grove in the morning. Earthy and orange zest hop character permeates this Session Pale."

The dry hopped brew promises to be a perfect summer companion with notes of grapefruit and pine. Zen features Golden Promise malt and Citra, Mosaic and Cascade hops with a 4.8 percent ABV, all making for a bright and drinkable ale.

You can find canned Zen, along with Cougar Golden Ale and Truth IPA (released in cans earlier this year), at several area retailers. Find one close to you here. Zen and other core and rotating beers are also available on tap at the Rhinegeist Brewery on Elm Street.

Rhinegeist brewed its first batch just under one year ago.

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<![CDATA[Hofbräuhaus Keg Tapping Tonight]]> Hofbräuhaus Newport taps their seasonal June selection tonight — their summer Marzen. The amber-colored beer offers a rich, malty character with a hint of hops and a 5.8 percent ABV. 

The beer will be paired with Ofenfrischer Leberkase, a grilled pork and beef loaf featuring Munich-style finely textured sausage topped with a sunny side up egg and served with German potato salad.

The evening's festivities kick off at 7 p.m. with a tapping followed by German entertainment, jugglers, magicians and a ceremonial keg tapping parade. 

Free. Hofbräuhaus Newport, 200 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., 859-491-7200, hofbrauhausnewport.com.


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<![CDATA[Fort Wright Izzy's Hosts Beer Dinner]]> Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Company is heading North to the Fort Wright, Ky., location of Izzy's (1965 Highland Park., izzys.com) for an evening of brews paired with the restaurant's famous corned beef at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 8.

The paired three-course beer dinner will include an appetizer (grilled bacon-wrapped onion rings with Sriracha dipping sauce), entree (Izzy's Mex corned beef with a potato pancake), and dessert (fried ice cream sandwich with raspberry drizzle) with SweetWater's LowRYEder rye IPA, 420 extra pale ale and SweetWater IPA. 

Cost is $25 per person and includes a complimentary beer glass. Reserve a spot by calling 859-331-4999 or emailing jjbent@izzys.com.
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<![CDATA[Tap That Brew Tour]]>

CityBeat hosts an afternoon of drinking and not driving. Start at one of the participating breweries — Rhinegeist, Listermann Brewing Company, Ei8ht Ball Brewing, Christian Moerlein or MadTree — and then hop on a shuttle to the next one. After you’ve visited each, hop back on the shuttle to be driven to your starting location. Tickets include beer at each brewery, a custom CityBeat Tap That growler, lunch from Tom+Chee and shuttle rides. 


Noon-6 p.m. $40. citybeat.com
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<![CDATA[HalfCut Beer Cafe Grand Opening Friday]]> HalfCut Beer Café invites beer lovers to take their taste buds on an explosive journey as they celebrate their opening to the public April 18th.

The cafe — on Walnut Street in Over-the-Rhine, attached to the new taco shop Gomez Salsa — will offer growlers to-go plus beers to sample and drink in-store. Customers walk up to the counter to chat with a knowledgeable beer-ista and then choose the style and flavor of beer they want to indulge in. Then, they have the option of choosing to enjoy their beverage either at the bar or to-go in one a HalfCut growlers. For those in a super hurry, they also have a to-go only window on 12th street.


The interior of the cafe was inspired by a cross-country road trip. HalfCut wants to instill a sense of adventure in its customers via wall artwork by local store Frameshop and a 20-foot mural stretching across their exposed brick wall by Neltner Small Batch that pays homage to beer and the beer-making process telling the story of how beer got from the farm to your hands.


1128 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, halfcut.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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<![CDATA[Arnold's Taps Great Lakes Cherry Vanilla Edmund Fitzgerald for Autism]]> Arnold’s has partnered with Great Lakes Brewing Company and Neltner Small Batch to host a fundraiser for autism, #BeerAutismHope. Great Lakes will be tapping a cask-conditioned firkin of their fabled, impossible-to-find and extremely delicious Cherry Vanilla Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. For each pint sold, a dollar will be donated to Lance’s Room, a charity to fund scholarships for people with autism. In addition to the beer, local artist Keith Neltner will be designing a limited edition, multi-layer Great Lakes Brewing Company art print, released exclusively for the event. A portion of those proceeds will also be donated to Lances’s Room. The Hot Magnolias will perform. 

9 p.m. Friday. Free. 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, 513-421-6234, arnoldsbarandgrill.com.

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<![CDATA[Upcoming Beer and Wine Dinners]]>
Here's a list of upcoming curated wine and beer dinners: 

Experience the Dynamic Flavors of Wines from Argentina at Blinker's Tavern: Robb Rapp of Cutting Edge Selections brings dynamic wines from Argentina to Blinker's Tavern for a four-course dinner. Reservations required. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20. $65 plus tax and gratuity. Blinker's Tavern, 318 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., 859-360-0840, blinkerstavern.com.

Summit Wine Dinner: Clay Shelton, wine educator and district manager of Excelsior Wines, will bring an informed selection of wine from Chile and Argentina to pair with a multi-course dinner. The Gran Reserva Serie Riberas and Trivento wines have been chosen to complement the five-course dinner prepared by Summit's executive chef Sean Kagy and his team of Midwest Culinary Institute students. The greeting course will feature Concha Y Toro Sauvignon Blanc with scallop, puff pastry, truffle and butter; the first course will pair Marques de Casa Concha Pinot Noir with potato-wrapped salmon, wilted greens and Pinot Noir sauce; the second course will pair Serie Riberas Gran Reserva Malbec with short rib empanadas and vegetable hash; the third course will pair Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere with lamb chops and sweet potato and rosemary demi-glace; and the fourth course pairs Concha y Toro Late Harvest with cheesecake and Apricots. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20. $60 per person plus gratuity. The Summit, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, 513-569-4980, cincinnatistate.edu.

Italian Food and Cocktail Pairing Event at Barresi's: Three courses of Italian food paired with vodkas from Columbus, Ohio's OYO vodka. First course pairs blue crab and gorgonzola fritters with spiced pecans, sugar-roasted pear and citrus-dressed field greens with a dirty martini. The second course pairs fingerling potatoes, fried pearl onions, fava beans, caramelized prosciutto and smoked sundried cherry demi glace with an OYO stonefruit vodka margarita. The final course pairs a chocolate pate with OYO vanilla bean vodka fresh espresso, brown sugar and simple syrup. Limited seating; reservations required. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20. Barresi's Italian Restaurant, 4111 Webster Ave., Deer Park, 513-793-2540, barresis.com

Vine & Dine at the Art of Entertaining: Vine & Dine is a new Friday event series at O'Bryonville's Art of Entertaining featuring food and wine pairings and live music. Michael and Jill Denton perform March 21 and 28; Burton Story on April 4; Tery Metcalf with special guest Kelly Richey on April 11; The Billy Rock band on April 25; and Burton Story again on May 2. Reservations are not required, but are recommended. No refunds or cancelations. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $30 for pre-registered guests; $35 at the door. Art of Entertaining, 2019 Madison Road, O'Bryonville, 513-871-5170, cincyartofentertaining.com.

Mad Tree Brewing Beer Dinner at Mecklenburg Gardens: Mecklenburg Gardens hosts local brewery Mad Tree Brewing for a bier dinner on Saturday, March 22. The evening starts at 6:30 p.m. with a Mad Tree keg tapping at 7 p.m. and continues with a German buffet featuring German sausages, sides, salad and dessert. There will also be live music from Alpen Echoes. 6:30 p.m. $20. Mecklenburg Gardens, 302 E. University Ave., Corryville, reservations at 513-221-5353.

The Wines of Jean Luc Columbo at 20 Brix: Ryan Oliver joins to discuss finer points of this South American producer. Pairings by Chef Paul. 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 22. $50. 20 Brix, 101 Main St., Milford, 513-831-2749, 20brix.com.

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<![CDATA[February Local Beer Events]]> Cincinnatians are swooning this February and no, not over candy hearts, roses and candlelit dinners for two, but for our utmost affection for beer. Cupid struck beer-lovers’ hearts this season, causing us to fall head-over-heels (literally) for craft beer celebrations.

With our rich German brewing history alive in Over-the-Rhine and beyond, it’s no surprise that we’re a recognized beer-drinking city. In 1890, as our drinking claim to fame, Cincinnati was the third-largest beer producer per capita in the U.S. After taking a hit from Prohibition, we have since lost that title, but over the past few years the city has revived its list of growing local micobreweries

One thing we do know for certain is that our fine Cincinnati residents sure can sip, chug and guzzle. The city is embracing its drinking title the first two weeks in February, by celebrating some of the most exciting beer events this year: Cincinnati Beer Week, Cincy Winter Beerfest, Hops Against Cancer. 

So come thirsty, pick straws for designated driver now and let beer warm your heart this winter (in case you get dumped before Valentines day).

Hops Against Cancer

To kick off the beer festivities, Tap House Grill will be serving 20 Cincinnati-brewed craft beers Feb. 2-15. The event will support not only local breweries but a charitable cause as well (and they say drinking too much is a bad thing.) One dollar for every beer sold will go toward The Jimmy V. Foundation for Cancer Research. Starting things off this Sunday, Tap House will host a Super Bowl Party with four styles of chili — Cincinnati style, vegetarian, venison and Tap House Stout — complimentary with each $10 purchase of food or beverages per person. During the dates of Cincinnati Beer Week (Feb. 6-13,) a variety of local brewers will be on hand to talk about their creations.

All donations to The Jimmy V. Foundation go toward cancer research, so don’t miss your chance for craft beers, food and charitable giving. More info: taphousecincy.com/events.

Cincinnati Beer Week

Cincinnati will unite for one week as our love for beer bonds us together. A variety of bars, restaurants and stores all over the city will participate in Cincinnati Beer Week. For eight consecutive days (because, let’s face it, seven just isn’t enough) select venues will hold special events like beer tasting, beer-pairing dinner and brewery nights. Celebrate well-crafted beer and try this year’s Cincinnati Beer Week feature collaboration beer, Hostivit, brewed at Christian Moerlein’s OTR production facility with 12 other local breweries. The festivities run Feb 6-13. Check for a full list of venues and events at cincinnatibeerweek.com.

Cincy Winter Beerfest

Pace yourselves these coming weeks, because no hangover is going to be worth missing the champion of beer events. As one of the top 10 craft-beer festivals in the nation, Cincy Winter Beerfest is the Holy Grail of beer selections. With more than 350 craft beers, this two-day event packs thousands of beer fanatics, satisfying food, live band performances and good ole’ drinking fun into Duke Energy Center. Cincy Winter Beerfest runs Feb. 14-15; regular, VIP and connoisseur packages available online. Non-drinking tickets are also available and special designated drivers tickets will be sold with an included $5 food and soda voucher (because we reward those who put up with our drunken foolishness while being responsible). Doors open at 7:30 p.m., early entry 6:30 p.m. for those with VIP and connoisseur tickets. Tickets and details: cincybeerfest.com.

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<![CDATA[The Bourbon Classic Returns to Louisville]]>

One of the nation's premier bourbon events is returning within driving distance of Cincinnati (... not that anyone should necessarily be driving after partaking in a bourbon event). The second annual Bourbon Classic comes to Louisville next weekend — Jan. 31-Feb. 1 — offering world-class culinary and bartending talent.

The event is open to bourbon enthusiasts from across the country and will feature forums addressing all aspects of bourbon ranging from its distillation to how to pair it with food and more, with information from leading bourbon distillers, writers, chefs, bartenders, experts and connoisseurs.

“This event is a natural progression in what we do to promote the bourbon lifestyle," says Seth Thompson, publisher of The Bourbon Review and co-founder of the Bourbon Classic, in a press release. "The craftsmanship, the authenticity, the traditions and marry that with the eclectic epicurean culture of Central Kentucky."  

The weekend program is split into two parts: Friday night's Cocktail Challenge and Saturday's Bourbon Classic University and Ultimate Bourbon Experience. 

The Cocktail Challenge will feature contemporary and classic cocktails plus small plates prepared by teams of chefs and master bartenders representing different distilleries. Cocktails and pairings will be judged by an expert panel including Jennifer Cole from Southern Living, Joy Perrine from Jack’s Lounge and chef Albert Schmid, author of The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook. Participating teams include the following: 

Angel's Envy
Bradley Hammond, Decca
Chef Terry French, winner of Food Network’s Extreme Chef 2012, Philadelphia

Blanton's
Chris Wilkins, Proof on Main
Chef Levon Wallace, Proof on Main

Buffalo Trace
Colin Shearn, El Camino
Chef Jonathan Lundy, Jonathan's at Gratz Park, Lexington

Jim Beam
Isaac Fox, Volare
Chef Josh Moore, Volare

Michter's
JR Schiavi, Jack Fry's
Chef Shawn Ward, Jack Fry's

Wild Turkey
Susie Hoyt, Silver Dollar
Chef Tyler Powell, Silver Dollar

Woodford Reserve
Jacquelyn Zykan, La Coop
Chef Bobby Benjamin, La Coop

The Saturday learning portion will focus on education, entertainment and tastings. 

The welcome session will feature master distillers and brand legends including Wes Henderson of Angel’s Envy, Fred Noe of Jim Beam, Harlen Wheatley of Buffalo Trace, Tom Bulleit of Bulleit Bourbon and more, discussing the rising popularity of bourbon and the effect it has on distilleries.

Following the welcome, the Bourbon Classic University will offer a variety of classes split into two learning sessions for ticket-holders to explore. The first session includes classes like "Entertaining with Bourbon Tastings" and the second offers "Bourbon & the Bean: What do Chocolate & American Whiskey Have in Common." (A full list of classes and a schedule is available online.)

After the university, participate in "the ultimate bourbon experience." Enjoy bourbon tastings from Bourbon Classic distillers, many of which will have representatives on hand to discuss what makes their product unique. As you imbibe, you'll also enjoy dishes that have been specially prepared to complement the bourbon as well as a unique marketplace full of bourbon-related products. 

7-10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31; 2:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2. Standard weekend packages for the Cocktail Challenge and University/Ultimate Bourbon Experience start at $249. Tickets available here. All events take place at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, 501 W. Main St., Louisville, Ky. For more information on the Bourbon Classic, visit bourbonclassic.com.


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<![CDATA[Hops for Hippos]]> The Cincinnati Zoo wanted a hippopotamus for Christmas, and while they didn't quite raise enough money yet, they're hoping to secure the total $7 million that it will take to finish their hippo pool through fundraising and donation efforts.


The hippo pool will be situated in the zoo's grassy-plained Africa exhibit, the most ambitious wildlife exhibit in zoo history. Currently home to cheetahs, a male lion and giraffes, among others, the next phase of building out the Africa exhibit will include the addition of an African wild dog, meerkat, gazelle, lesser kudu, impala, Ruppell’s vulture, crowned crane and kori bustard. The hippo exhibit will be the final piece of Africa. 


The zoo will be obtaining/borrowing their hippos — a unrelated male and female pair — from another zoo in order to breed them. The hippos will be what are referred to as Nile Hippopotamuses (not the little pygmy ones from "too cute" memes, although those would be adorable). They're the third largest land animal, weighing in around 4,000 pounds and getting as tall as five feet at the shoulder. So one can imagine building a healthy and suitable pool for them costs a pretty penny.

Well, Lexington, Ky.'s craft brewery West Sixth Brewing is stepping up to the plate for one of their "6th for a Cause" events at Taste of Belgium on Short Vine in Clifton Heights to benefit to zoo in a fundraising event they've dubbed "Hops for Hippos." The zoo gets hippos; you get beer. It's a win-win.

Held up until now at the brewery's headquarters in Lexington, this will be their first 6th for a Cause event and tap takeover in the area. According to a press email, "The partnership with Taste of Belgium, a business that has similar ideals, has allowed West Sixth to take this fundraising effort on the road and to begin to apply the brewery's mission to all communities where West Sixth beer is distributed."

At 6 p.m. on Feb. 6, West Sixth will take over the taps at Taste of Belgium, with their IPA, Amber, Pay it Forward Cocoa Porter and a traditional Belgian style ale that has never been released in Cincinnati, the Transylvania Tripel. Taste of Belgium will be donating 6 percent of the evening's sales and West Sixth will match that contribution to benefit the Cincinnati Zoo. 

Zoo director Thane Maynard, zoo COO Dave Jenike and other zoo representatives will be on hand to discuss their good work, help bartend and provide information for those who would like to get more involved. You can probably ask Thane all your hippo-related questions as well.

The evening will also include prize raffles and West Sixth commemorative glasses. 

Taste of Belgium is located at 2845 Vine St., Clifton Heights. For more information on the event, zoo or West Sixth visit their websites: authenticwaffle.comwestsixth.com or cincinnatizoo.org. You can also make a donation to support the zoo's hippo efforts here

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<![CDATA[Cooking with Beer! at the Betts House]]>

The Betts House, located in the Betts-Longworth Historic District in the West End, is the oldest surviving brick building in Cincinnati. Built in 1804, it opened to the public as a museum in 1996. And their current exhibit, Bricks, Barrel Vaults & Beer: The Architectural Legacy of Cincinnati Breweries, examines the tunnels, breweries, buildings and people that made Cincinnati one of the leaders of the 19th century brewing industry through photos, charts, narratives, technology and more. The show has been extended until March 27, and the house is featuring several beer-related events to close out its run.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Betts House will host a cooking class, Cooking with Beer! Join chef Stefan Skirtz from Findlay Market's S&J Bakery and Cafe as he demonstrates how to utilize beer in your cooking, particularly Christian Moerlein brews. 1:30-2:30 p.m. Free with museum entry ($2). The Betts House, 416 Clark St., West End, thebettshouse.org.

And then from 5-10 p.m. Feb. 7 and noon-8 p.m. Feb. 8, take a tour of the Listermann Brewing Company in Evanston (1621 Dana Ave., Evanston, listermannbrewing.com) to support the Betts House. Explore the inner-workings of the brewery, see some panels from the Bricks, Barrel Vaults & Beer display and support the mission of the house. Tour is $5 per person with proceeds going to the Betts House. More details here




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<![CDATA[Moerlein Lager House January Beer Dinner]]> The Moerlein Lager House (115 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, moerleinlagerhouse.com) is pairing with local craft brewery Triple Digit Brewing Company, a nano-brewery that shares space with the Listermann Brewing Company in Evanston, for a paired and plated dinner to complement a selection of their unique beers.

The January beer dinner will feature six beers from Triple Digit/Listermann: one of their IPAs; Cincinnatus, a stout aged in bourbon barrels; Jungle Honey, an American pale ale; Nutcase, a peanut butter porter; Aftermath, a Scottish wee heavy; and Colonel Plug, a Kentucky-style common ale. Dishes will be prepared by Moerlein Lager House Executive Chef Nate Whittington.

6 p.m. Jan. 15. $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Register by emailing PrivateDining@MoerleinLH.com.

Learn more about Triple Digit and Listermann, plus get taproom hours and what's currently pouring at the brewery, here.



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<![CDATA[Cincinnatians: Awesome at Drinking Beer Since at Least 1879]]> In 1879, the New York Times published an article titled: "How Cincinnati Beer is Drunk at Home: Some rather remarkable stories about the capacity of the Ohio stomach," which told amazing tales of expert Queen City beer drinkers and just how much an average Cincinnatian can drink in a day (several kegs).

The article starts with the tale of a "remarkable statement" that one of the former members of the Mohawk Fire Company could drink 12 glasses or beer on an ordinary work day between when the clock started and finished chiming noon (less than half a minute). According to several credible witnesses, the dude did this pretty frequently — enough that he got irritated with the amount of time it took to lift a glass to and from his lips so he just poured all the beer in a giant bowl and drank from the bowl.

This was followed by an awesome story about a man named Dr. Noeffler, who once drank a keg of beer in two hours at home of his friend, brewer J.G. Sohn. According to the article, "Dr. Noeffler is quite obese, but no more so than before he became a great beer-drinker. The only visible effect which his enormous consumption of beer has had upon him has been to seriously reduce him financially."

And the article goes on and on, including information about how much beer Cincinnati brewery workers were putting away in a day — up to 35 glasses each at the Kauffman brewery, 25 at the Moerlein brewery and only between 5 and 14 at the Jackson Brewery, which was "strictly regulating" employee beer consumption based on age, build and quality of work.

Read the whole story here. (Worth it.)


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<![CDATA[4EG Hosts Party for Their Four Roses Private Label Bourbon]]> 4EG entertainment group's bar Igby's (122 E. Sixth St., Downtown) is hosting a launch party for their very own Four Roses private label bourbon on Tuesday. 

Igby's and The Lackman (1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine) visited the Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky., on Sept. 10 of this year and specially select their very own barrel of Four Roses bourbon. The barrel, aged for eight years and four months, was bottled on Oct. 7. The private label bottle is now available for purchase ($55) at Igby's or The Lackman and to celebrate, the bars are hosting a party at Igby's with bourbon tastings and bottle signings by Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge, who has been with the distillery for almost 20 years.

The party kicks-off with a bottle signing at 6 p.m. followed by a "sip and learn" experience with Rutledge at 6:30 p.m. Four Roses bourbon flights will be available throughout the night for $10 and include a complimentary Four Roses glass. 

For more info, visit igbysbar.com


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<![CDATA[NKY Wine Festival Takes Over MainStrasse on Saturday]]>

Take a break from Oktoberfest brews with something a bit more grapey. 

Saturday, pour yourself a glass of wine (or two or three) as MainStrasse Village gives you the chance for a little weekend wining and dining. The festival features tastings from more than 15 local wineries — including Baker-Bird Winery, Elk Creek Vineyards, Purple Toad Winery and more — as well as food, artisans and live entertainment.

So whether you’re looking to sample some local wines, get a taste of perfectly paired food or just want a whole bottle of locally made wine for yourself, you can sip as much as you please. 

Rain or shine. 3-10 p.m. $10; admission includes a souvenir wine glass and sample tickets. MainStrasse Village, Sixth and Main streets, Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org.


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<![CDATA[Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Heist]]>

According to station WKYT in Frankfort, Ky., around 65 cases of rare, 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon have been stolen from the Buffalo Trace Distillery. 

The Frankfort-based distillery produces the coveted brand, bottling only about 7,000 cases per year of Pappy, which is the No.1-rated bourbon whiskey in the world (according to their website). The suggested retail price of a bottle of the 20-year is around $130, so the bourbon bandits made off with more than $25,000 worth of booze. They reportedly also stole some 13-year Pappy rye.  

When bourbon ages for such a long time, much of it evaporates as the "angel's share." "Many barrels often yield less than 20 gallons out of the original 53 gallons produced," Julian Van Winkle, president of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, according to a 2012 press release

Frankfort County sheriffs are consider the heist an inside job. And while the bottles may have been stolen over the past couple of months, their disappearance was noted on Tuesday. 

We imagine those who just got thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of the world's best bourbon for free will probably not be returning it, so way to make a rare brand even rarer, burglars. Can't wait to see how much bottles will going for on ebay (an empty bottle is on there now for $69.99).    




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<![CDATA[Cats and Humans Can Drink Together at Last]]> Wino cat ladies rejoice! The Japanese have finally done it; they've created the world's cutest, best, happiest happy hour where cats and their humans can finally partake in bacchanalian revelry together — each with their own adorable beverage.  

Japanese pet supplement provider B&H Lifes recently launched Nyan Nyan Nouveau (aka "meow Nouveau"), a bottled wine made specifically for cats — and apparently a pun on a beaujolais nouveau. And while the drink doesn't contain any actually alcohol, it does use cabernet grapes and catnip. And it's apparently great for those special times — cat birthdays, after work — when you just really want to unwind with your favorite feline. There's apparently only 1000 or so bottles of the cat wine in production. (More here if you read Japanese.)

And, Sanrio's Hello Kitty has finally made absolutely logical transition from keychains and tiny backpacks to booze. An Asian company has licensed and released fruit-flavored Hello Kitty brand beer. It's cute, it's alcoholic (only 2.5 percent) and comes in a variety of kitty-tastic flavors: banana, lemon-lime, passion fruit and peach. Brewed by the Long Chuan Beer Company in Taiwan, it's not available in the States, so start planning your mommy-kitty intercontinental trek now.  

Taiwan Tsing Beer Corporation

 

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<![CDATA[UC Grad Founds The Dayton Beer Company]]>

Cincinnati has a rich brewing history, plain and simple. And if you haven’t been living in a hole for the past couple of years you know that. So it should be of no surprise that someone would take a piece of that history back home with them.

That’s exactly what 25-year-old Daytonite and founder of The Dayton Beer Company, Peter Hilgeman, did. “I have always been interested in beer, but my interest really peaked when I worked at The Party Source during college,” Hilgeman says.

Hilgeman, a 2009 University of Cincinnati graduate, spent some of his time working across the river at The Party Source in Covington, which for many is considered to be the local mecca for beer and spirits.

“Living in Cincinnati definitely inspired me to brew beer and open up a brewery in my hometown of Dayton,” he says. “Cincinnati and Dayton have amazing brewing traditions and I truly love the history that both cities share with regards to their brewing.

“I really wanted to restore that brewing tradition not only for Dayton, but throughout Southwest Ohio."

Hilgeman also spent five months traveling throughout Europe honing his pallet for exceptional beers from around the world.

With names like Patterson Pale Ale, Inventors IPA and Hawthorn Hill Hefeweizen, Hilgeman wanted to make something that Dayton could call its own and the Queen City could also be proud of.

“My goal for The Dayton Beer Comapy is simple. I want to provide people with great-tasting beer that they really love drinking and to help them learn about the great brewing traditions Dayton and Cincinnati have to offer,” Hilgeman says. “I want to be thoroughly involved in the community and give back whenever and wherever possible."

Hilgeman plans to have his beer available in a few bar locations in Mount Adams. “I hope that the Queen City will be able to have a few Dayton Beer Company beers in the next month or two,” Hilgeman says. “ I also intend to expand throughout Ohio and eventually to other states as well, but with our roots firmly entrenched in Southwest Ohio.”

The Dayton Beer Co. is set to opens its doors at 912 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering, Thursday, May 17. The tasting room will be open Wednesday-Saturday until 10 p.m. Check out www.thedaytonbeerco.com for more information.

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<![CDATA[Food + Drink + Baseball]]>

It’s almost here, Cincinnatians — Opening Day 2012 takes place Thursday. The beginning of the Reds’ season is one of several cultural celebrations that the Queen City does bigger than most other places (is it really possible that another city gets down like our triumvirate of Opening Day-Taste of Cincinnati-Oktoberfest?). As such, downtown Cincinnati will be poppin’ off, as bars, restaurants and attractions attempt to engage some of the locals who might only visit the business district for such celebrations.

The Findlay Market Opening Day Parade starts at 1 p.m., followed by the game against the Miami Marlins at 4:05.

The following is a list of more than 40 downtown businesses offering food and drink specials for Opening Day, according to Downtown Cincinnati Inc., the non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting downtown businesses.

BAR DEALZ:

Blue Wisp: Located right on the parade route at the corner of Race and 7th streets, the newly relocated Jazz club/restaurant will have its kitchen open all day, with happy hour specials including $2 Red drafts. Four big TVs and live music after the game. 700 Race St., 513-241- WISP.

Holy Grail: One of the new restaurants in The Banks, the Holy Grail will host several live radio broadcasts before and after the game, along with its typical food and drink offerings. 161 Joe Nuxhall Way, 513-621-2222. 

In Between Tavern: Opens at 10 a.m. and offering $5 bottled beer. 307 Sycamore St., 513-621-7009.

The Lackman: Venture into Over-the-Rhine and taste the Gateway’s resurgence, or just a happy hour draft starting a 4 p.m. 1237 Vine St., 513-381-0741.

Lunar Lounge: This space-themed upscale lounge will open early and host DJs from Q102 and will have the game on its numerous TVs. 435 Elm St., 513-381-2573.

Mainstay Rock Bar: One of downtown’s best live music bars will offer happy hour deals from 4-9 p.m. 301 W. Fifth St., 513-721-7625.

Mynt Martini: Located on Fountain Square, Mynt will offer its new lunch menu starting a 9 a.m., along with plenty of TVs and live music. 513-621-6968. 

Penguin Dueling Piano Bar: Plenty of TVs, plus $2.50 well drinks and $3 domestic beers. $5 cover.  441 Vine St., 513-621-2800.

The Righteous Room: Open at 1 p.m. with half-price drinks from 4-8 p.m., along with TVs and a DJ spinning at 10 p.m. 641 Walnut St., 513-381-4408.

Scene: Another of downtown’s hot night spots, Scene will be opening early to offer the game on TV. 637 Walnut St., 513-381-4327. 

Tina’s: This corner bar will offer food and beer specials, starting at 8:30 a.m. 350 W. Fourth St., 513-621-3567.

Whisky Bar Cincinnati: The first 150 patrons will get a free Opening Day CD mix, and the bar will give away tickets to Opening Day before the game. $5 for a shot and beer, $3 Reds shots and more specials. 537 E. Pete Rose Way, 513-721-9227.

RESTAURANT AND BAKERY SPECIALS:

Abby Girl Sweets: “Reds” Velvet cupcakes and other flavors. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 41 W. 5th St., 513-335-0898.

Boi Na Braza: Ten percent off lunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and open for dinner from 5-10 p.m. 441 Vine St., 513-421-7111.

Café de Paris: This quaint sandwich shop offers a variety of coffee, cappucinos and lattes along with breakfast sandwiches and muffins, just around the corner from the parade’s route on Race Street. 17 Garfield Place, 513-651-1919.

Cincy’s on Sixth: Cincy’s will be celebrating its grand opening, with ticket giveways to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert and a Cincinnati Reds game. 9 a.m.-midnight. 41 W. Sixth St., 513-621-6200.  

Findlay’s at the Hyatt Regency:  “Make your own Bloody Mary” bar plus a breakfast buffet. 151 W. Fifth St., 513-579-1234.

Good Dog: $1 off Ballpark hot dog. 633 Main St., 513-381-2907.

Grecos: Opening Day tailgate with live music. $10 includes parking, cover and one free Grecos Signature Cincinnati Pork Green Chili Taco. Hamburgers, hotdogs and full lunch menu will be available throughout the day from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. 700 W. Pete Rose Way, 513-721-3663.

Greek to Me: Opening Day special “Buy a gyro, get a second gyro for $1.” 125 E. Court St., 513-422-4976.

It’s Just Crepes: Featuring "Go Reds" crepe with raspberries and vanilla cream for $3.99. 39 E. Court St., or 151 W. Fourth St.

J. Gumbos: Chicken Etouffee and Spinach Mushroom Etouffee is the $5 big bowl special. 425 Walnut St., 513-429-4549.

Johnny Rockets: Serving breakfast and regular menu before, during and after the game. 191 E. Freedom Way, 513-834-6110. 

Lucy Blue Pizza: Open at 11 a.m. with an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for $7.50 that includes fresh salad, homemade soup, soft drink or water, and all the pizza you want. Buffet open until 2 p.m. Open for business all day and night. 35 E. Seventh St., 513-381-7777.

McCormick & Schmick’s: Opening at 11 a.m. and featuring two happy hours from 4-6:30 p.m. and 9:30-11 p.m. featuring a range of appetizers from $1.95 to $4.95. 21 E. Fifth St., 513-721-9339.  

Moerlein Lager House: Hosting the Fuller Ford Opening Day Party from 11a.m.-4 p.m. with free music by the Naked Karate Girls. 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, 513-421-2337.  

Morton’s: Open at noon with a great view of the Opening Day parade from windows overlooking Fifth Street and Fountain Square. Offering full menu in the dining room and bar bites in Bar 12*21. 441 Vine St., 513-621-3111.  

Nada: Full patio set-up and ready for pre- and post-game goers. 600 Walnut St., 513-721-6232.  

Nicholson’s: $2 Bud and Bud Light bottles and "Red Leg Bombs" for $4. 625 Walnut St., 513-564-9111.  

Palomino: “The Big Red Flatbread” returns with four cheese spread, sliced hot Italian sausage links, roasted yellow peppers, dollops of bold smokey Ketchup and a sprinkling of fresh herbs, for $6. 505 Vine St., 513-381-1300.  

The Phoenix: Opening Day Ballpark Buffet with hotdogs, brats, metts, popcorn and peanuts from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. for $14.95. $2 domestic bottles and $4 imports. $4 call liquor and $6 premium. Also, parade seating will be available. 812 Race St., 513-721-8901.

Plum Street Café: Lunch service available until 5 p.m., with the bar remaining open late-night. Big TVs. 423 Plum St., 513-651-4341. 

Rock Bottom Brewery: Open at 9 a.m. and serving Donut Cheeseburgers on the patio. Located on Fountain Square. 513-621-1588.  

Senate: This OTR hotspot is open from 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. for lunch. Dinner begins at 4:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. serving Reds-related gourmet hot dogs. Full bar available. 1212 Vine St., 513-421-2020.  

Servatii’s: Open 6 a.m.-5 p.m. serving baseball decorated cookies at both downtown locations and passing out pretzel sticks at the Local 12 booth during the Reds Rally on Fountain Square. On Fountain Square and 41 E. Court St., 513-241-7500.  

Snappy Tomato Pizza: Free Busken cookie with purchase while supplies last. The buffet is $6 and includes all you can eat pizza, salad and drink, or a baby beast personal pizza pepperoni or plain cheese for $4.69. 330 Walnut St., 513-241-9888. 

The Squirrel: Free Busken cookie with purchase while supplies last, along with a sandwich, chips and drink special. 344 Walnut St., 513-721-1128.

Streetpops: This new popsicle shop will celebrate its grand opening this week. Open noon- 6 p.m. on Opening Day with 50 cents off all red popsicles. 1437 Main St., 513-446-7505.

Taste of Belgium: Open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch (Taste of Belgium) and 5-10 p.m. for dinner (Belgium Bistro). Outdoor seating with delicious Belgium waffles available. Offering Reds cookies and chocolate dipped mini-waffles on a stick. Happy hour from 5-7 p.m. 1133 Vine St., 513-381-4607.  

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill: Serving lunch and dinner all day in an American-themed space. 145 E. Second St., 513-721-8629.

Tot Dogs: Open 11 a.m. 634 Vine St., 513-345-3056.

Trattoria Roma: Free appetizer with the purchase of two main courses. Offering a full bar and a late night menu. 580 Walnut St., 513-723-0220.  

Walnut Street Grill: Open 11 a.m.-midnight. Enjoy a 3 Olives party downstairs and a Budweiser party upstairs. All drink specials will be effective all day and will include wine, beer and liquor specials, plus $2 pints of red beer. 631 Walnut St., 513-241-0707.  

Washington Platform: Open before and after the parade. 1000 Elm St., 513-421-0110.

Wicked-wich: "Reds home run combo" featuring red garlic tomato soup and quarter pound all beef Nathans dog for $7.79. 425 Sycamore St., 513-421-9424.  

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