Look, we probably don’t need to do much to convince you to drink a beer (that is: if you do drink alcohol, don’t have a gluten intolerance, etc.). And our city is overflowing with local options. While it’s easy to toss back a six-pack at home, there’s nothing better than seeing where your beer was born with your own eyes and grabbing a fresh pint from the taproom bar.
Here is an almost comprehensive list of Greater Cincinnati breweries and taprooms to try, many of which offer more than just hops. Look for expanded bar menus featuring everything from wine and spirits to non-alcoholic housemade sodas, plus a large amount of pizza and barbecue food options.
3 Points Urban Brewery
Acting as a design-minded community hub, 3 Points Urban Brewery offers daytime coworking hours. As early as 9 a.m., you can shuffle in, get a pint of their Origami IPA — or an Urbana Cafe drip coffee if the only buzz you need is a caffeine one — and do your work in the chillest of settings. The taproom is spacious, covered in work by local artists and offers free WiFi, so you can stretch your legs before the happy hour hustle is in full swing. 331 E. 13th St., Pendleton, 3pointsbeer.com.
Named for its location 13 miles “below” Cincinnati, this brewery is right on the Ohio River. With a corner pub-vibe, their small-batch beers can be enjoyed with friends, family and dogs — or in the beer garden when the weather warms. The pub now serves Incline Smoke Shack Handcrafted BBQ, featuring “dry-rubbed and slow-smoked” meats with a secret blend of wood and spices, plus from-scratch sauces served on the side. 7391 Forbes Road, Sayler Park, 13belowbrewery.com.
Named after a historic land purchase by Revolutionary War officer Major William Mason, this warm and inviting family-friendly brewery crafts beers inspired by traditional German styles. The taproom also pours cider, wine, spirits and draft rootbeer. If you get hungry, order something from the in-house Mad Monks Pizza. Dogs are welcome on the patio. 753 Reading Road, Mason, 16lots.com.
Alexandria Brewing Company
Founded by head brewer and veteran Andy Reynolds, Alexandria Brewing Co. is a family-friendly, community-oriented spot that celebrates “rock and roll, fun and the best beers around.” The small-town brewery was built with the help of Kickstarter and features more than a dozen beers on draft, including “regulars” like Ann’s Sweet White Ale. For something different, try a beer cocktail like a Snakebite — your choice of cider layered with your choice of beer — or a housemade craft soda. The Ginger-licious is made with fresh ginger from Fairy Rose Farm. Four Mile Pig small-batch barbecue has a stand tucked within Alexandria’s taproom if you get hungry. 7926 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria, alexandriabrewingcompany.com.
Bad Tom Smith Brewing
It all started with the story of an infamous Kentucky outlaw: Bad Tom confessed to killing six men before meeting his maker at the scaffolds — “bad whiskey and bad women” were to blame, so he said. Today, Bad Tom Smith Brewing (founded by a distant relative) harkens back to that outlaw legacy with the motto of “Bad ass in a glass.” The brewery, recently relocated to a former Madisonville bank (complete with a 120-year-old vault), offers an open, saloon vibe, 18 taps and Bad Tom Smith Bourbon. 5900 Madison Road, Madisonville, badtomsmithbrewing.com.
Braxton Brewing Co.
Rooted in the ethos and innovation forged in a Midwestern garage — founder Evan Rouse started homebrewing when he was just 16, before he could even taste his creations — Braxton celebrated its fourth anniversary in July by re-upping its commitment to Northern Kentucky, investing $5 million in its flagship location, adding a 5,000-square-foot rooftop patio and increasing its annual production and reach. The taproom pours 30 plus Braxton creations, from the year-round classics — like its Storm cream ale — to toasty bourbon-barrel-aged brews and house brand (canned) Vive hard seltzers. 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, braxtonbrewing.com.
Braxton Barrel House
The Braxton Barrel House in Fort Mitchell has taken over the former Remke Market building on Dixie Highway and features a 20-tap taproom and a 2,000-square-foot patio on the former loading dock, plus 20,000 square feet of storage for housing bourbon barrels and other assorted barrels to age beers. The Braxton Private Barrel program allows companies or groups of friends to create and follow their own barrel-aged beer from creation to packaging, resulting in a barrel of one-of-a-kind brew. 5 Orphanage Road, Fort Mitchell, braxtonbrewing.com.
Braxton Labs features 40 taps dedicated to the brewery’s most innovative offerings, as well as brews from across the U.S. and around the world. It’s a destination for curious craft beer drinkers and offers something for everyone, including an outdoor beer garden with giant Connect Four. 95 Riviera Drive, Bellevue, braxtonbrewing.com.
Big Ash Brewing
This beer “co-op” was founded by a group of 25 homebrewing friends in an Anderson Township basement in 2011 and expanded to 52 friends by 2019. The group obtained the old El Rancho Grande restaurant space on Beechmont Avenue, gutted it and transformed it into Big Ash Brewing. Featuring a self-serve tap wall (with 28 taps), build-your-own-pizza and a spacious outdoor patio, Big Ash Brewing is an ideal spot for a casual night of eating, drinking and socializing. 5230 Beechmont Ave., Anderson Township, bigashbrewing.com.
Bircus Brewing Co.
Ludlow, Kentucky’s nonexistent craft beer scene sent in the clowns, leading to the launch of Bircus Brewing Co., a branch of an original concept from Ghent, Belgium. Pronounce it like “beer-cuss,” a hybrid of beer and circus, as the brew shares the limelight with carnival performances at the taproom. Performers can do everything from breathe fire to fly on the trapeze. 322 Elm St., Ludlow, bircus.com.
This Scotland-based brewery has expanded U.S. operations with a massive taproom in Pendleton. It’s the chain’s second-largest bar in America (with additional global spots in 60 countries including Germany, Spain, France and Finland, among others). The taproom features a large dining and bar area on the first floor, a game area on the loft-second floor and a rooftop patio. 316 Reading Road, Pendleton, brewdog.com/usa.
Brink Brewing Co.
College Hill’s Brink Brewing is a neighborhood gathering space loaded with interactive features including a 20-seater community table, reclaimed-wood bar and a gigantic Scrabble board that’s very popular with patrons after a few pints from the brewery’s wide-reaching tap list. Head to the bathroom to see more than three decades’ worth of collected beer labels. For the second year in a row, the brewery earned the title of Very Small Brewing Company of the Year at the Great American Beer Fest. 5905 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, brinkbrewing.com.
Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom
Enjoy a rich piece of Cincinnati’s brewing heritage at the Christian Moerlein craft brewery, taproom and tour center. Take a free tour of the production brewery and go inside the historic underground malt house from before Prohibition. Grab a beer from a prostmeister and a brat from Wienerwurst Mike’s Frankfurtary, serving up sausages, Bavarian pretzels and stuffed sandwiches. 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/christianmoerlein.
Cincy Brewing Co.
Filling a spot formerly long held by Rivertown Brewing Company (since relocated to Monroe), Cincy Brewing Co. is a place where locals can congregate, enjoy a casual atmosphere and drink a pint or three. Beers feature locally inspired names, like the Lincoln Heights IPA, and the taproom has cornhole, giant Jenga, board games and TVs. 607 Shepherd Drive, Lockland, facebook.com/cincybrewingco.
The Common Beer Co.
Beer is a common ground between many different kinds of people, so this brewery’s name encourages the idea that the taproom be treated like a common area, where anyone is welcome. Mark and Amy Lortz opened their taproom in downtown Mason as a local spot offering booze and a bite. Find wine, liquor, food trucks, a snack menu and their own beer on tap by the glass, flight or growler. 126 E. Main St., Mason, commonbeercompany.com.
The microbrewery focuses on the dark and unusual — stouts, porters and browns with ingredients like cacao nibs, lactose, coffee and roasted peppers. The Darkness Diner, a food truck parked in their front lot, prepares its own take on “fun comfort food recipes.” 224 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, darknessbrewing.beer.
Dead Low Brewing
Within walking distance of Coney Island and Riverbend Music Center, this brewery features a taproom, beer garden and kitchen. Dead Low serves beer, cider and seltzer brewed onsite, as well as a from-scratch food menu. Many dishes utilize Dead Low brews, like the beer-battered haddock sandwich and the beer cheesecake. 5959 Kellogg Ave., California, deadlowbrewing.com.
An ever-expanding nanobrewery helmed by two former scientists and passionate homebrewers, DogBerry’s taproom and brewhouse serves craft beer — made with fresh and regional ingredients whenever possible — and plays host to local food trucks. Check their Facebook for happy hour specials and various clubs, including those of the hot sauce, vinyl and mug variety. 9964 Crescent Park Drive, West Chester, dogberrybrewing.com.
Fibonacci is a nanobrewery and urban farm with a focus on science, math and nature and brewing non-traditional and hybrid beer styles. They frequently grow their own ingredients, forage them or source them from local farms; they even host their own farmers market. Fibonacci also makes wine, with varieties on tap and in bottles. 1445 Compton Road, Mount Healthy, fibbrew.com.
Fifty West Brewing Company
Located in a historic home, this craft brewery and taproom doubles as a restaurant with a focus on beer pairings. Find their signature orange VW bus, Penny, parked out front. Across the street, Fifty West Production Works is home to additional fermenters to produce thousands more barrels of Fifty West beer each year. The spot also has sand volleyball courts and is a hub for Fifty West’s canoe and kayak rentals. (Fifty West also has its own cyclery and bike rental just down the street off the Little Miami Scenic Trail.) 7668 Wooster Pike, 7605 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township, fiftywestbrew.com.
FigLeaf Brewing Company
Thousands of years ago, the Buddha achieved Nirvana under the Bodhi Tree, a large and sacred fig. But FigLeaf Brewing Co. seeks a different kind of enlightenment: one in the world of craft beer. To the brewery’s founders, the fig leaf is a symbol of trying uncommon techniques and diverse traditions. The brewery was recently acquired by March First and will undergo some taproom expansions. 3387 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, Middletown, figleafbrewing.com.
Fretboard Brewing Co.
Fretboard Brewing Company seeks the perfect marriage of 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 active 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 rootsy Blues tunes and Americana that are nearly synonymous with microbrewed beverages. 5800 Creek Road, Blue Ash, fretboardbrewing.com.
Grainworks Brewing Co.
This straightforward taproom sits you right next to the production facility so you can ponder exactly how many pints are in one of those gigantic tanks as you sip an undetermined fraction of its total volume. 7790 Service Center Drive, Suite B, West Chester, grainworks.beer.
HighGrain Brewing Co.
Located in the former Silverton Memorial Municipal Building, HighGrain Brewing features “old-world styles with a modern twist,” like their Monarch IPA, with citra and Idaho gem hops. The food menu from their in-house chef includes options for vegetarians, meat-eaters and kids. With a focus on sustainability, the brewery’s electricity is also 100-percent powered by wind, and at least one beer is carbon neutral. 6860 Plainfield Road, Silverton, highgrainbrewing.com.
Humble Monk Brewing Co.
Specializing in Belgian-style beers, the Northside taproom — connected to the Bertke Electrical Services & Testing building — pours a mix of traditional Old World recipes with a healthy dose of experimentation. 1641 Blue Rock St., Northside, humblemonkbrewing.com.
Karrikin Spirits Co.
Karrikin combines a distillery, brewery, bar and restaurant in a gigantic former warehouse in Fairfax. They distill everything from vodka and gin to rum, brandy and agave spirit and produce their own “sparkling spirit,” a sort of take on a hard seltzer. At the restaurant, sample one of the beers on tap: a Czech-style pilsner, citra IPA, El Dorado IPA or rotating draft. They also make their own craft sodas. 3717 Jonlen Drive, Fairfax, karrikinspirits.com.
Listermann Brewing Company
Handcrafted ales, a growler station and contagious enthusiasm for home brewing characterize this owner-operated brewing company. Listermann also offers frequent brewing classes, home-brewing supplies and wine-making ingredients and equipment, in addition to cult favorite beers. The in-house Renegade Grille makes awesome wings. 1621 Dana Ave., Norwood, listermannbrewing.com.
Little Miami Brewing Company
Started by two brothers-in-law and a brewmaster friend, Milford’s Little Miami Brewing Company sits on the banks of its namesake river, pouring its earthy beers alongside a selection of brick-oven pizzas. The small-batch brewery offers a range of taps, from classics to experimentals and seasonals made with real fruit, like their Blackbird Fly with blackberry puree. Claim an Adirondack chair around the fire pit for some excellent river views. 208 Mill St., Milford, littlemiamibrewing.com.
LOCOBA by Platform
The Cleveland-based Platform Beer Co.’s tasting room and coffee concept on Main Street serves brews, beans and bites. As the first Platform location not styled as a brewery, LOCOBA (which stands for “local coffee barrels”) serves cafe-style foods, Platform brews on tap and in cans and cocktails. It also features a full-service coffee and espresso bar with Ohio-roasted beans. 1201 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/locobaplatform.
MadTree Brewing Co.
Founded in 2013, MadTree’s taproom features a giant indoor and outdoor space. The main attraction is the big-ass beer garden, with 32 MadTree-exclusive taps, ambient lighting and an industrial brick faНade leftover from the building’s factory days, where there’s more than enough space to accommodate all the beer-drinking, cornhole-playing, dog-loving humans that hang at the brewery on the regular. MadTree also donates 1 percent of sales to nonprofits that work toward environmental sustainabilty. 3301 Madison Road, Oakley, madtreebrewing.com.
March First Brewing
With a taproom that opens directly to the brewery, guests get a front-row seat to daily operations and brewers are always ready to interact and answer questions. Though March First thrives on classic brews, like the popular craft lager or Denali IPA, it still finds room for experimentation in its taps. Turning three in March, the brewery also crafts ciders and hard seltzer and distills a line of whiskey, vodka and rum. The taproom also serves pizza. 7885 E. Kemper Road, Sycamore Township, marchfirstbrewing.com.
Mt. Carmel Brewing Company
Founders Mike and Kathleen Dewey started brewing out of their 1920s farmhouse storm cellar in 2005. As the oldest craft microbrewery in the area, they went from a two-vessel system to an 80 barrel facility. The public house features 20 taps, wine by the glass, craft beer cocktails and bourbon, plus trivia nights, Thursday dinners and live music on Fridays. 4362 Mount Carmel-Tobasco Road, Mount Carmel, mtcarmelbrewingcompany.com.
Municipal Brew Works
You’ll enter Municipal Brew Works through the garage door of a municipal building in Hamilton. Bring your friends, your dog (follow @dogsofmbw) or your whole family; this brewery has a place for everyone. It also has a brew for everyone. Play some cornhole or hang on the patio with your favorite food trucks. 20 High St., Hamilton, municipalbrewworks.com.
Narrow Path Brewing Co.
Located in downtown Loveland, Narrow Path is a beer garden meets bike trail. Bike or skate down the Loveland Bike Trail to have a seat at picnic tables in the yard. It’s a location that fosters a sense of community. The brewery also takes pride in supporting nonprofits — it wants to make the world a better place; a portion of sales are shared with charities. 106 Karl Brown Way, Loveland, narrowpathbrewing.com.
Nine Giant Brewing
A brewery and snackery (people really like their burgers) in the heart of Pleasant Ridge, Nine Giant is the stuff of legends. There are no flagship beers at Nine Giant — its 10 taps are subject to endless experimentation. You’ll find that general styles remain, but each batch offers an opportunity to swap out flavors and ingredients. 6095 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, ninegiant.com.
This large brewery and event space in historic Over-the-Rhine (housed in an old Moerlein bottling plant) produces hoppy and sessionable ales and Cidergeist, its line of crushable ciders. The seasonal deck is an excellent addition to the city’s rooftop bar scene. Climb on up for views of downtown, Mount Adams and the Elm Street streetcar line. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.
Rivertown Brewery and Barrel House
Part brewery, part lab experiment, Rivertown produces high-quality beers — both those with a traditional vibe and those that focus on spontaneous fermentation and fun flavors. The Monroe Barrel House offers 30 taps at the bar, 24 taps on the patio, guest brews, cocktails, wine and beer-infused, slow-smoked hickory barbecue, plus tours and free all-day-play on vintage arcade consoles. 6550 Hamilton Lebanon Road, Monroe, rivertownbrewery.com.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
A restaurant and brew pub that brews its own beer in the heart of downtown, right on Fountain Square. Rock Bottom offers more than 10 home-brewed styles and a lengthy food menu. 10 Fountain Square, Downtown, rockbottom.com.
Rolling Mill Brewing Company
Located in downtown Middletown, this brewery serves nothing but gluten-free items from the snacks to the beer taps making it safe from cross-contamination for those with celiac disease. Beers are made with base water from the Great Miami aquifer, hops, gluten-free malt and yeast. 916 First Ave., Middletown, rollingmillbc.com.
Samuel Adams Cincinnati Taproom
Located across from the Samuel Adams Cincinnati Brewery at the Film Center apartments adjacent to Findlay Market, the taproom, which features indoor and outdoor space, offers an array of unique beers brewed both on-site and at the Cincinnati brewery. These include fan favorites like the Cincinnati-inspired lager 513, Boston Lager and Summer Ale, and options made specifically for the taproom. 1727 Logan St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/samadamscincy.
Sonder Brewing built its brewery, taproom and beer garden on what was a vacant lot consisting of a 40-foot mound of dirt and a fire hydrant a few miles away from Kings Island. Sonder pours core and seasonal beers, plus boozy and barrel-aged options, in addition to wine and beer cocktails. The taproom also serves food from an outpost of the Creole-flavored BrewRiver. 8584 Duke Blvd., Mason, sonderbrewing.com.
Sons of Toil Brewing
Sons of Toil Brewing got its name from a passage in the History of Brown County honoring farmers, “the sons of toil,” who originally plotted Brown County and Green Township. Today, the brewery aims to keep that hard-working spirit alive by applying it to their in-house craft beers. Sons of Toil tries to source all of its ingredients locally and gives its wasted grain to local farmers as free feed. Beers run the gamut from a 9.2 percent ABV chocolate raspberry imperial stout to a light German Kolsch. 14090 Klein Road, Mount Orab, sonsoftoilbrewing.com.
From their taproom/brewery along Eastern Avenue in Columbia Tusculum, Streetside Brewery blends craft and community with wittily named beers. There’s The Wurst sausage amber, the I Drink Your Milkshake! strawberry/blueberry milkshake IPA and the P.U.C. It pineapple upside down cake Berliner, among other sweet and unique options. The taproom frequently hosts food trucks and programmed events. 4003 Eastern Ave., Columbia Tusculum, streetsidebrewery.com.
Swine City Brewing
Helmed by owners Dan and Debby Ebben, Swine City’s 5,000-square-foot open layout and acre-and-a-half of land are a family-friendly community space. The brewery frequently plays with sippable styles, so taproom selections vary from IPAs and stouts to sours and cream ales. 4614 Industry Drive, Fairfield, swinecitybrewing.com.
Taft’s Ale House
Located inside a former church, the building is an ode to Cincinnatian and former president William Howard Taft. The multi-floor brewpub maintains some of the sanctuary’s charm (like the bell tower) and serves a menu focused on tri-tip beef, complemented by creative brews, like the popular Nellie’s Keylime Caribbean Ale and Maverick chocolate Porter. 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, taftsbeer.com.
The Brewpourium is an extension of Over-the-Rhine’s Taft’s Ale House, fitted with all of Taft’s top beers, New Haven-style “apizza” and enough televisions to satisfy all of Cincinnati’s sports fans. 4831 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, taftsbeer.com.
This brewery, taproom and music venue, located in a historic church, crafts beers with a focus on locally caught wild yeast and bacteria and sour, tart brews. The brewery hosts events and live music basically nightly, including trivia, burlesque shows, stand-up sets and both local and traveling bands in genres ranging from Hip Hop to Experimental music. Its in-house indie radio station, Radio Artifact, features local music, local podcasts and local shows airing on WVXU’s HD2. 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, artifactbeer.com.
West Side Brewing
This community brewery and taproom in Westwood offers more than 20 traditional beers, each boasting a straightforward name so drinkers know exactly what to expect. There’s the Amber Ale, Hefeweizen, Gose and plenty more, including cider, wine, soda. The family-friendly spot offers live music, food trucks, trivia, dog-friendly nights on Wednesdays and a ton of TVs and games. 3044 Harrison Ave., Westwood, westsidebrewing.com.
Wiedemann’s Fine Beer
Cincinnatians who are at least twice the legal drinking age may remember the omnipresence of Wiedemann Bohemian Special Brew cans at every family gathering back in the day. Well, “back in the day” is back, so to speak, as Wiedemann has reopened under new owners with a new recipe book. Betsy and Jon Newberry are responsible for reviving the brand and have converted a former funeral home into one of Cincinnati’s most charming breweries/taprooms. 4811 Vine St., Saint Bernard, wiedemannsfinebeer.com.
This East Walnut Hills brewery offers a plethora of creative beers, from fruity ales made with produce grown at Krohn Conservatory to the Han Solo coffee-infused blonde ale and even old fashioned rootbeer on tap. Dogs are welcome to chill inside the taproom or outside on the renovated patio at Woodburn, where they will receive many pets. 2800 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, facebook.com/thewoodburnbrewery.
Wooden Cask Brewing Co.
Formerly the Flamingo and Jockey Club, the building’s history is relived through its taproom: The bar is hand-crafted from the building’s own reclaimed wood. Helmed by Karen Schlitz and her husband, Randy, Wooden Cask’s menu includes 18 crafts on tap, along with featured small-batch brews, seasonal barrel-aged selections, a cider and even wine. The in-house Drunken Hog BBQ smokes all their meat out back and offers a menu of sandwiches, ribs and sides. 629 York St., Newport, woodencask.com.
*A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Sweets & Meats was partnered with Bad Tom Smith