Is It Bockfest Yet?

The March 4 kickoff includes the annual goat-led keg parade through Over-the-Rhine, culminating in a weekend of festivities celebrating Cincinnati’s German heritage, warm weather and Bock beer.

click to enlarge Last year’s post-parade party at Bockfest Hall
Last year’s post-parade party at Bockfest Hall

It’s almost time for Bockfest, which is a sure sign spring is on its way. The March 4 kickoff includes the annual goat-led keg parade through Over-the-Rhine, culminating in a weekend of festivities celebrating Cincinnati’s German heritage, warm weather and Bock beer.

Throughout the weekend, revelers will traverse the festive streets of OTR and downtown — in and around the Bockfest Hall and Festival Tent (the Christian Moerlein taproom, 1619 Moore St., OTR) — enjoying food and booze events at Arnold’s, MOTR Pub, HalfCut and others, each of which will have special bock beers on tap from local breweries. Expect to imbibe a Pinwheel Kumquat Gose from Urban Artifact, a Friar Bacon Smoked Bock from Listermann and Moerlein’s Emancipator Doppelbock Schoenling.

New Beers

• Gnarly Brown, one of MadTree’s flagship brews, is taking a break (stock up now if you’re a fan) and will return with a new name. In the meantime, they’re replacing it with PSA, a pale ale. You can currently get PSA on draft; cans will be distributed in early March.

The brewery is also jumping the gun on spring by releasing Vernal Beckoning, a Belgian-style pale ale described as having “tropical notes and estery aromatics.” Hops springs eternal.

Rhinegeist’s latest offering is a white IPA called Powder. It’s made with 30 percent wheat and has Lemondrop, Bravo and Centennial hops.

Blank Slate and ArtsWave collaborated on a ginger beer called Roots. The beer is already available on draft, and the second batch will be sold in bottles. Drink for a good cause: Proceeds benefit ArtsWave.

Blank Slate also just released Zesty, a key lime, margarita-inspired gose from beer competition winner Luke Shropshire.

• Jack’D Frost, Mt. Carmel’s latest, is an American dry stout, barrel-aged for seven months in a Jack Daniels barrel. It’s available in their taproom and for sale in bottles.


• Morrow’s Cellar Dweller celebrates its four-year anniversary with an all-day event on Feb. 27. The party kicks off at 9 a.m. with a Kegs and Eggs breakfast. The rest of the day will feature more food, tastings of their entire line of beers and a paired VIP Brew Masters Dinner.

• Taft’s Ale House is celebrating Bockfest early with the Karneval of Bock Beer. From 5 p.m.-midnight on March 3, there will be live music, German food, tappings of Taft’s Strudel Bock, brewed with McGlasson Farms apple cider and cin

namon, and beers from other local breweries.

• The March 3 Books on Tap at Braxton features a discussion of The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking by Olivia Laing. Even if you don’t read the book, you can participate by drinking at the event, which starts at 7 p.m.

• Get your beards ready for Rhinegeist’s Cincinnati Pints & Whiskers Beard and Mustache Competition. The brewery partnered with Dayton’s Whiskermen Beard Company for samples of beard oil and prizes for best beard, mustache and most creative lady beard (you can grow your own or just glue one on). The event takes place 4-7 p.m. March 5.

Triple Digit is turning 4, and they’re throwing a party at the brewery March 12. They plan on breaking out some rare stuff, including barrel-aged Maple Chickow!, Cranium Orange, cellared Aftermath and cellared Gravitator. 

Expansion News

• By July, Westwood’s Tap and Screw plans to open a facility in Oakley, inside a home that used to be a funeral parlor. They’ll have a beer garden and small-batch specialty beers brewed on premises.

• Williamsburg’s Old Firehouse Brewery purchased the building next door and plans to use it for canning/bottling. By spring, they’re looking to can Flash Point, Code 3, Pin Up Girl, Probie Porter and a raspberry blonde ale named Burning Bush.

CONTACT GARIN PIRNIA: [email protected]

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