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Cincinnati Craft Beer Fans Share Beers, Help Kids – plus your chance to help!

Cincinnati’s fans of well made beers assembled together to socialize, share, and support a cause to bring smiles to the faces of children.  Myself and the other local beer bloggers from BeerQuest ABV, Beer Mumbo, Hoperatives, Queen City Drinks, and Queen City Fresh organized a bottleshare party hosted by the generous Firehouse Grill in Blue Ash on Saturday, December 7th.  I hosted a similar party earlier this year that was overwhelming but this took it to a whole other level.

Good Karma

This was our first go at trying to turn our beer obsession into a force for positive outcomes.  We decided to host araffle to benefit Child’s Play, a charity that provides video games and systems to sick children confined to hospitals (specifically directed to patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center).  We often use great beer as a diversion from every day life so why not help these ill children take some time out of dealing with the unfortunate card they were dealt?  The generosity shown was pretty overwhelming.

I’d like to directly recognize Firehouse Grill for providing us a private room and a dedicated staff to ensure we had tons of ice to chill our beers, plenty of water to keep ushydrated, and plenty of delicious food to keep us on our feet.  There was never a moment of hesitation from Dan Shatto and his team to support this endeavor.  They are already HUGE supports of the local craft beer movement with all their dedicated taps and regular beer dinners with the brewers, but this went above and beyond.  Do yourself a favor and visit them soon for a meal and a drink.  You won’t be disappointed!

John_kimmich_noteWe were floored to have John Kimmich, owner and brewmaster, of the world famous The Alchemist Brewery donate four cans of Heady Topper along with four coozies.  Yeah,THAT Heady Topper – aka THE NUMBER ONE BEER IN AMERICA.  He even included a hand-written note (thanks Chris and friend!) about the donation – a class move!

We also received a ton of great brewery swag from the team at Cavalier Distributing.  If you don’t know who they are, you likely know the brands they represent – so check out their website and Facebook page to keep up with the latest releases.

Cappy’s Wine and Spirits in Loveland generously donated two $25 gift certificates.  If you haven’t been there, you need to do yourself a favor and pay them a visit.  There selection has exploded recently and promises to get even better in the coming months.

Blank Slate Brewing Company donated some awesome shirts and glassware.  Brewmaster Scott LaFollette hung out for a bit and also brought a sneak peak of the newest Triple Digit and Blank Slate collaboration, Fruition.  It was delicious!

Halfcut OTR brought in a great mixed six-pack from a recent brewery road trip that featured a lot of great beers, including bottles of Zombie Dust and Alpha King, among others.

Osborn Brewing donated a home-brew kit of the winner’s choosing – always a popular item with this crowd.

Beyond that, we had a number of donations from the general beer drinking community.  A couple bottles of the world-famous Westvelteren XII, John Kimmich autographed cans of Heady Topper, Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, Evil Twin Justin Blabaer, and more that I can’t even remember….

All of this generosity resulted in $475 raised!!! IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO DONATE! If you couldn’t make it and are interested in contributing some cash, please email me at to make arrangements.

The Beers

Enough of all the feel-good stuff.  Let’s talk about the bottle share itself!

But, first a quick introduction to the idea and mechanics behind a bottle share party.  This is when a group of like-minded craft beer fans get together to share the beers they love.  Essentially everyone brings a couple of bottles of beers to share with the group.  You generally see people bringing the hard to find, save-it-for-a-special-occasion beers.  This event was no exception but it also wasn’t the rule.  Folks brought what they liked and what they wanted to share with others.  It is also a great way to get introduced to new breweries or at least ones that don’t distribute in our area.  For example, I was able to try some tasty beers from a small brewery in Jacksonville, FLcalled Aardwolf Brewing Company.

The number of people in attendance was in excess of fifty and holy moly did the beers come out!  Heady Topper, Pliny the Elder, Citra DIPA, Cantillon, Bolt Cutter, Duet, Double Daisy Cutter, The Beast, Nemesis, 2008 Czar, Unicorn Galaxy, Grey Monday, BA Bois, Speedway Stout, DORIS and BORIS, and on and on and on and on.  At one point there were at five large bus tubs full of ice and beers.  Personally, I checked into 38 beers that day on Untappd and I know I missed a bunch.

We also had brewers from Blank Slate, Christian Moerlein, and Listermann/Triple Digit on hand to mix it up with folks.  Moerlein’s Richard Dube brought some excellent experimental beers including an Emanicpator bock blend with Brazilian coffee added that was absolutely phenomenal.

It was an excellent afternoon of beer geekery, socializing, fundraising, and folks are already asking that this become a regular event – we shall see… Here are some of the pictures I remembered to take before drifting into a craft beer haze.

Mike Stuart

Craft beer enthusiast and hombrew dabbler. Part-time writer, sometimes funny.

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