What's The Hops: Beer Fests, Barbecue Buffets and New Brews

November is overflowing with brewery anniversary parties, Rare Beer Fest and a Friends Fest. These activities should help you ease into the winter days ahead.

click to enlarge Great Ohio Brew N' Que - Photo: Fifty West
Photo: Fifty West
Great Ohio Brew N' Que

Post-Halloween depression is about to set in, but don’t fret: November is overflowing with brewery anniversary parties, Rare Beer Fest and a Friends Fest. These activities should help you ease into the winter days ahead. 

On Nov. 8 and 9, celebrate Fretboard’s two-year anniversary with two nights of live music and the release of Drummer Boy Winter Warmer, available on draft and in cans. That same weekend, Newport’s Wooden Cask celebrates three years with special tappings and live music.

On Nov. 9, Mason’s Sonder Brewing celebrates its one-year anniversary with special tappings every hour, including a milkshake IPA with mangoes, fruit ale with raspberries and an American wild ale aged in a pomegranate liqueur spirit barrel. They’ll also release special bottles and cans from their collection. 

Rhinegeist’s annual Rare Beer Fest takes place Nov. 2 and is divided into two sessions: 1-5 p.m. or 6-10 p.m. More than 40 local and national breweries will descend on the taproom offering their rarest brews. Tickets range from $45 to $70 (VIP) and include 10 five-ounce samples for general admission and 10 samples plus four additional five-ounce samples for VIP.

On Nov. 9, MadTree hosts Friends Fest. Their friends, including Blackberry Farm, Jackie O’s and Creature Comforts, will offer special brews and even some collaborations. Tickets are $99 ($149 with a specialty bottle pack) for a commemorative mug, food, entertainment and access to rare and exclusive beers. Entry is capped at 300.


Nine Giant’s timely ImPeachMint peach-apricot-mint gose is back on draft. 

- Urban Artifact released the limited Bathysphere, a black raspberry Midwest fruit tart, and re-released Operation Plowshare, a throwback to a jelly donut. Both are on draft and in cans.  

Mt. Carmel just brought Raspberry Crush, a black-hued beer with a chocolate malt body, back on draft. 

West Side Brewing released Blue Line IPA on draft and in cans. A portion of sales will be donated to the Blue Line Foundation, an organization that offers resources and training to Cincinnati police. 

• Brink just released Libbynade, a lemonade blonde ale with cherries named after Brink fan Libby Houser Hodapp. 

March First has tapped Bomb Pop Seltzer, a hard seltzer that clocks in at 8 percent. They also released their collaboration with Doscher’s Candies under their house Voltage Vodka brand: a peppermint schnapps infused with Doscher’s candy cane flavoring. It’s available at the taproom.

• On Nov. 15, Wooden Cask will release a bourbon-barrel-aged Irish red ale called Breaking Red to celebrate Veterans Day. One dollar from every pint sold goes toward charity 22 Until Valhalla, a nonprofit that combats veteran suicide. 


• On Nov. 1, Bircus Brewing hosts a Haunted Steam Punk Ball. They’ll have a freak show, parlor games, vendors, tarot card readings and New Wave music. Admission ($10) includes a pint of beer, and VIP ($25) includes food, a view of the dance floor and a tarot reading. 

• On Nov. 2, Fifty West Production Works teams up with Great Lakes Brewing for the Great Ohio Brew N’ Que. For $40, you get an all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet (including vegetarian options) and eight beer tickets. Designated driver tickets ($20) include food but no alcohol. 

• On Nov. 4, LOCOBA by Platform and The Rhined collaborate on a beer and cheese pairing ($30). Sample four cheeses with four five-ounce pours of Platform beer, plus an additional full pint.  

• Get your goat yoga on Nov. 5 at Taft’s Brewpourium. For $19, let goats walk all over you for an hour. Bring your own mat. Participants will receive $1 off pints. 

• On Nov. 7, join 16 Lots for a beer tasting led by journalist and cicerone David Nilsen. He’ll explain the history behind six four-ounce pours of 16 Lots beer. The event is free for 16 Lots mug club members and $20 non-members. 

• If you need an excuse to avoid family on Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 27), attend GrainworksThanksgiving Eve party. Food trucks and a special beer will be available. 

• On Nov. 27, Urban Artifact hosts the Bon Vivant festival featuring dishes from eight local food trucks paired with the brewery’s food-infused Epicurean beers. For $55 pre-sale or $60 at the door, you get unlimited pairing samples, a glass and the opportunity to buy the beers to-go.

Contact Garin Pirnia: [email protected]

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