Best Of 2020

Best Funky IPA: Bootsy Brewski IPA

Blue Ash’s Fretboard Brewing marries music and beer by providing creation spaces for local musicians to rattle off riffs while grabbing brews at the taproom. What could have simply been a traditional German-bier-inspired brewery was electrified into an incredibly lively live music venue with a pro-grade sound system. Fretboard’s main stage hosts live performances nearly every night, putting an emphasis on the sort of tunes that are nearly synonymous with microbrewed beverages. So it made perfect sense that Fretboard was the place that debuted the funkiest brew of 2019: the Bootsy Brewski IPA, a beer honoring Cincinnati native and global music icon Bootsy Collins. Fretboard describes it as “front loaded with bright funky citrus and finishes crisp and dry and is approved by the grand funkmaster himself.” And the commercial video promoting the Bootsy Brewski calls it “the beer that sings, baba.” This collab, which was released in August and comes in cans, started as an experiment but has proven to have some staying power: the beer took home the gold at the 2019 US Open Beer Championship. A portion of all beer proceeds benefits the Bootsy Collins Foundation, a multi-pronged charity whose mission is “to inspired, educate and enrich the lives of individuals from all backgrounds.” Fretboard Brewing, 5800 Creek Road, Blue Ash, fretboardbrewing.com.