Best Of 2020

Best Overlooked Greater Cincinnati Brewery: Wooden Cask Brewing Company

Formerly home to an old bowling alley, the 1930s Flamingo Club and 1980s Punk Rock venue The Jockey Club, the Wooden Cask Brewing Company is located in the heart of Newport’s historic section. And the owners — Karen and Randy Schiltz (a co-founder of Rivertown Brewery) — have incorporated some of that past into their current taproom: The bar and some tabletops are handcrafted from the building’s reclaimed bowling lanes. And while the décor may be missing some of the cushy amenities found at bigger name breweries, Wooden Cask’s focus is on high-quality, highly drinkable beers. “We don’t rely on trends or gimmicks to influence the beers we do. Every beer we do is a good, drinkable beer,” said Karen in an interview for CityBeat’s Beer Issue. And she’s right. Traditional English, Irish and Scottish beers are the house specialty, though the draft list is no stranger to IPAs, wheats and blonde ales. If it’s your first time, opt for a flight from their 18 taps to sample their range. Go with something easy like the Girl Next Door blonde ale or a Tweed English mild and then set your tastebuds up for a real thrill with one of their seasonal bourbon-barrel-aged brews or small-batch collaborations with the on-site Drunken Hog BBQ. And if you don’t like beer, they also serve their own cider and wine and even some spirits. Wooden Cask Brewing Company, 629 York St., Newport, woodencask.com.