Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden to Open Hops Craft Beer Garden This Fall

Expect local brews from MadTree, Fifty West, Braxton, Three Points and HighGrain

click to enlarge Hops - Photo: Provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Photo: Provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is brewing up some exciting plans, set to take shape this fall. 

This October, the zoo is slated to open Hops, a 130-seat craft beer garden which will feature a handful of local brews, plus national beers and a variety of locally and sustainably sourced food items.

“Cincinnati is a beer town, and we’re thrilled to expand our partnerships to offer visitors some selections that are brewed locally,” said Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard in a press release. 

Hops will offer local beer from MadTree, Fifty West, Braxton, Three Points and HighGrain, as well as beers from other cities across the U.S., including breweries Goose Island, Breckenridge, Elysian and Golden Road. 

Hops will also have a strong focus on sustainability. 

“Our main restaurant, The Base Camp Café, has been named the Greenest Restaurant in America, and we’re going for a 4-star rating from the Green Restaurant Association for Hops," said Jordan Miller, general manager of Service Systems Associates in the same press release. "Food operation will be disposable free, with real silverware and plates instead of single-use plastics. We’ll grow our own herbs, and source produce, cheeses and meats locally.”

Hops' food menu will feature items like artisanal flatbread pizzas, oven-roasted meatballs and marinara, oven-fired chicken wings, caprese salad, roasted cauliflower and sharable pretzels and beer cheese. They will also offer grab-and-go items for hungry folks on a mission.

The project is a part of the zoo's More Home to Roam campaign, which is a "$150-million capital campaign with the goal to provide better homes for our animals and a better Zoo for you," according to their website. 

By next spring, visitors to Hops will be able to enjoy views of Roo Valley (a kangaroo walk-about), a penguin habitat and Klimb (a rope course), from the multi-tiered deck. 

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