What's the Hops: Cincinnati Beer News and Events for March

Bockfest, Mardi Gras, Saint Patrick's Day and FCC's major league debut

click to enlarge The making of Listermann's 2018 International Women's Day beer - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The making of Listermann's 2018 International Women's Day beer

You know the saying “March comes in like a lion?” Well, prepare yourself for a fun-filled and busy month of Bockfest, Saint Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, FC Cincinnati’s major league debut, a brewery anniversary and the return of some favorite brews. 

The 27th annual Bockfest — a celebration that includes goats, a parade, sausages, German beers and maybe passing out in a gutter — takes place downtown and Over-the-Rhine March 1-3. Things kick off with a parade on March 1 that leaves from Arnold’s Bar & Grill at 6 p.m. and ends at Bockfest Hall in the Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom, the space around which the rest of the weekend’s Bock-tivities are centered. As part of the events on Saturday (March 2), the Bock Beer Experience offers up four-ounce pours of special bock beers from more than a dozen local breweries for $25. 

Also on March 2, Arnold’s will tap four rare and one-off bock beers from 5-9 p.m., including Braxton’s Peach Ignitor Maibock and Fifty West’s German Bee Sting Road Bock, infused with almonds and honey. 

Besides Bockfest, soccer returns on March 2 when FC Cincinnati’s season opener takes place against the Seattle Sounders. This will be their first game as part of Major League Soccer. Municipal Brew Works will host a watch party, and the first 20 people who show up wearing FC clothing will receive a special pint koozie. 

That same weekend — March 1-3 — March First Brewing will celebrate its second anniversary. The bash will include special tappings and can releases, such as Bourbon Barrel-Aged Red Raspberry Cider, Almond Cookie Imperial Stout, Irish Coffee Red and special infusions. 

New Beers

• On Feb. 22, March First released Black Lager with La Terza cold brew from the roaster’s Brazilian and Guatemalan cold brew blend. Try it at their taproom. 

• A couple of weeks ago, West Side Brewing welcomed back German Irish Lager, which is available on draft and in cans at the taproom. It’s a tribute to Cincy’s Irish and German immigrants.

• Last week Urban Artifact brought back The Gadget, a raspberry and blackberry Midwest Fruit Tart that’s brewed with more than 2,500 pounds of fruit. Try it on draft at the taproom or buy it in cans.

• On March 1, Braxton brings back baseball beer 1957, an English-style Mild. Get in on draft and in cans.


• Every month, Listermann introduces or reintroduces a beer, and on March 2 they’ll bring back Brass Monkey, a NE IPA. They’ll unveil Brass Monkey Junkie, a mango and guava version of the IPA, and Brew Force, another NE IPA. The beers will be available on draft and to purchase in four-packs. The next day, Listermann will pair four of their beers with four Girl Scout cookies for $10. No tickets are necessary but cookies may sell out. And then on March 8, Listermann will be releasing the beer local ladies brewed to celebrate International Women’s Day. Ceres, a pear and blackberry Berliner Weisse, will be available on draft and in four-pack cans featuring the work of four different local female artists. During the International Women’s Day tapping party, Listermann will be raising money for local nonprofit Women Helping Women.

Streetside wants you to wear your best lumbersexual apparel for a good cause. On March 2, they’ll host Channel Your Flannel, a benefit for the Save the Animals Foundation. They’ll give away free doggie bandanas, and there will be a raffle, a photobooth and a silent auction. 

• Did you know DAAP at the University of Cincinnati teaches a course in duct tape? From March 1-3, Rhinegeist will transform into an art gallery and have those students’ creations on display during “Duct Tape on Tap.” The cost to attend is free, but be sure not to get stuck. 

• Join Cincy Brew Bus on March 5 aka Fat Tuesday for a feast of beers and Cajun food at Mason’s three breweries: Sonder, the Common Beer Company and 16 Lots. Each stop during Mardi Gras in Mason includes beer and food pairings, like BrewRiver’s shrimp po’ boys and gumbo at Sonder or King Cake at Common. Tickets are $69.99 (or $35 for non-drinkers). 

• For more Fat Tuesday action, Braxton and neighbor Rich’s Proper Food & Drink are throwing a crawfish boil at the taproom. For $10, you get a half-pound plate of crawfish and a slice of king cake. If you find the weird plastic baby hidden inside the cake, don’t eat it. You might win a prize. 

• On International Women’s Day (March 8), Swine City will give ladies $2 off pints, Grainworks will offer $1 off pints and Taft’s Brewpourium will host classes for women taught by Women of Cincy. 

• On March 10, Fifty West is teaming up with Dayton brewery Branch & Bone for a boozy brunch. Tickets are $40 and include a three-course brunch, a can of Chasing Sunsets peach ale and six five-ounce beer pours. 

• Also on March 10, Christian Moerlein hosts the sixth Pints and Pitties event at its Malt House Taproom in Over-the-Rhine. The event — which doubles as a Saint Patrick’s Day party — benefits local Adore-A-Bull Rescue and features carnival-style games, vendors, raffles and beer. The brewery will donate $1 from all pints sold during the event. Tickets are $25-$35 and include swag and a beer ticket.

• On March 14, Grainworks will host a Pi Day event — because Pi is 3.14 and March 14 is 3/14 — with a pie-inspired beer and beer and pie pairings from Grist Bistro. 

• Because Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday, several breweries are doing pre-celebrations the day before, including March First. But Grainworks, 16 Lots and Swine City are hosting parties both Saturday and Sunday, with Swine City opening at 7 a.m. on Sunday for kegs and eggs with festivities continuing all day.  

Contact Garin Pirnia: [email protected]

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