A Guide to Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine Beer Scene

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A Guide to Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine Beer Scene
In its nineteenth-century heyday, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood was a boozy Bavarian boomtown of some three dozen breweries—the largest, Moerlein, sprawled three whole blocks. Although the number may not be as great today, there are still a number of local bars and breweries—like these three—worth a visit, especially on National Beer Day.
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    A Guide to Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine Beer Scene
    In its nineteenth-century heyday, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood was a boozy Bavarian boomtown of some three dozen breweries—the largest, Moerlein, sprawled three whole blocks. Although the number may not be as great today, there are still a number of local bars and breweries—like these three—worth a visit, especially on National Beer Day.

    Photo courtesy of Rhinegeist/Facebook
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    1. Lackman
    Grab a padded banquette seat or pull a stool up to the vintage bar for a small but well-picked mix of local-leaning craft beers, hip cocktails (try the barrel-aged Negroni), and bourbons from across the river. Fourteen taps and two-dozen-plus bottles and cans, all tucked inside—what else, in this booze-built town?—the former home of Cinci beer baron Herman Lackman’s eponymous saloon.

    Photo courtesy of Lackman 
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    2. Rhinegeist
    Traditions of clean, easy-drinking, blue-collar beers run deep here, but Rhinegeist—built inside Moerlein’s cathedral-like former bottling plant—adds a foamy head of innovation. Try Truth, an easy-drinking IPA with the syrup-sweet, fruit-cup hops that notes to rival any West Coaster, but with a leaner, grittier dry finish; or Peach Dodo, made with an old-school sour style called gose and added twist of peach. Just three years old, but already collaborating with industry bigshots like New Belgium, Rhinegeist is on track toward becoming the next incarnation of this town’s lordly beer barons.

    Photo courtesy of Rhinegeist/Facebook
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    3. Liberties Bar and Bottle
    Started by local wine- and food-industry vets, Liberties is a grown-up drinker’s heaven, from the angelic hand-painted mural to the half-century-old walnut bartop; it's a mellower, neighborhoody spot, guarded by a trio of cast-iron pigs on the sidewalk out front. The menu is a boozy balance, with beers and wines from near (Cinci-made Madtree’s easy-sipping PSA) and far (Brazilian Way Beer’s sour caju-fruit pale).

    Photo courtesy of Liberties Bar and Bottle/Facebook 
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