Ah, Cincinnati, a city that’s as rich in history as it is in its love for craft beer. I’ve spent countless evenings hopping from bar to bar, sampling what I firmly believe are some of the best brews the Queen City has to offer. And let me tell you, it’s been nothing short of a hoppy adventure.

From cozy taprooms tucked away in historic neighborhoods to bustling beer gardens that come alive under the city lights, Cincinnati’s craft beer scene is as diverse as it is delicious. It’s a place where the passion for brewing meets the joy of sharing, and I’m here to spill the hops on my favorite spots. So, if you’re looking to quench your thirst with some top-notch craft beer, you’re in for a treat.

Overlooked Gem: The Cozy Corner Taproom

As I continued my craft beer journey through Cincinnati, I stumbled upon a place that felt like it was tailored just for me, The Cozy Corner Taproom. Hidden away from the bustling city streets, this taproom is easy to miss if you’re not specifically looking for it, which might explain why it’s such an overlooked gem.

The moment I walked into The Cozy Corner Taproom, I was greeted with the warmth of dimly lit interiors, wooden furnishings, and a familiar hum of conversations filling the air. It felt like stepping into a friend’s living room, if said friend had an exceptional taste in craft beer and an impressive collection to showcase.

What sets The Cozy Corner Taproom apart from other bars I’ve visited in Cincinnati isn’t just its ambiance, but its impeccable selection of craft beers. They pride themselves on showcasing local breweries, offering a rotating selection of taps that ensure you’re always in for a new taste experience every time you visit. The staff’s knowledge about their offerings was impressive; they could match any preference or curiosity with the perfect pour.

Here are a few standout brews I’ve had at The Cozy Corner Taproom:

Beer Name Brewery Type Notes
Skyline Stout River’s Edge Stout Rich, with hints of coffee and chocolate
Queen City IPA BrewHaven IPA Crisp, with a fruity aroma
Amber Waves Old Mill Amber Ale Smooth, with a caramel finish

Besides the beer, what really makes this spot special are the people. Both staff and patrons were unbelievably welcoming, offering recommendations and sharing stories. It wasn’t long before I found myself engaged in lively discussions about Cincinnati’s beer scene, local legends, and hidden gems much like The Cozy Corner itself.

I’d recommend visiting on a weekday evening when it’s not too crowded. That way, you can truly soak in the atmosphere, perhaps catch an acoustic set by a local musician, and really understand why this place is an essential stop for anyone who loves craft beer with a side of coziness.

While The Cozy Corner Taproom might not have the widespread recognition of some of Cincinnati’s larger beer gardens or taprooms, it’s precisely this under-the-radar status that contributes to its charm.

Dive into History: Prohibition-Era Bars

Have you ever sipped a beer and wondered what it’d be like to drink in secret, away from prying eyes during the Prohibition era? Cincinnati’s got you covered with bars that are steeped in history, offering not just a pint but a plunge into the past. These places mix the thrill of the speakeasy with the best craft beers in town, and I can’t wait to share some of my favorites with you.

First up, The Timekeeper’s Tavern truly stands out. Nestled in an alleyway, its unassuming entrance might make you second-guess, but once inside, it’s like stepping back in time. With authentic Prohibition-era decor, dim lighting, and a password required for entry (which changes weekly), the drama of the era is palpable. They serve a variety of local craft beers, including the notorious Bootlegger’s Brew, a nod to the forbidden beverages of the 1920s. Add to this the live jazz on Friday nights, and you’ve got yourself an evening where history meets hops.

Another gem is Molly’s Moonshine Bar. It’s located in a historical building that once housed a real speakeasy. The walls are adorned with photographs and newspaper clippings from the Prohibition era, making it a mini-museum where you can enjoy a cold one. What’s fascinating about Molly’s is how they’ve managed to create a beer list that reflects the diversity of today’s craft scene while maintaining an old-world charm. Whether it’s the powerful Capone’s IPA or the smooth Flapper’s Delight, the names are as engaging as the flavors. And, if you’re lucky, you might just encounter a bartender who loves to share tales of the bar’s adventurous past.

If you’re a fan of history with your beer, these places aren’t just watering holes; they’re time capsules. Each visit offers a unique peek into a bygone era, blending the pleasure of discovering new brews with the excitement of uncovering old stories. Whether it’s The Timekeeper’s Tavern’s hidden charm or Molly’s rich history, Cincinnati’s Prohibition-era bars serve up unforgettable experiences that go beyond the glass.

Beer with a View: Rooftop Breweries

After diving into Cincinnati’s vibrant Prohibition-era bar scene and reveling in tales from the past at spots like Timekeeper’s Tavern and Molly’s Moonshine Bar, it’s time to elevate our beer-tasting journey—literally. Cincinnati isn’t just a city steeped in history; it’s a place where contemporary meets tradition, especially when it comes to enjoying craft beer. The trend of rooftop breweries has been taking off, and I’ve discovered a few that offer not just incredible brews but breathtaking views of the city skyline.

At the top of my list is Skyline Brews, a gem nestled atop one of downtown Cincinnati’s historic buildings. It’s the perfect spot for those warm summer evenings when all you want is a cold beer and a stunning sunset. They offer an impressive selection of local and regional craft beers, with the Urban IPA and Horizon Hefeweizen standing out as must-tries. The atmosphere here is unbeatable—chic urban decor complemented by lush greenery, all set against a backdrop of the city lights. It’s a sensory experience that pairs the taste of hops and barley with visual splendor.

Another favorite of mine is Cloud Nine Brewery. This place has a more laid-back vibe, with wooden bench seating and string lights creating a cozy ambiance. What sets Cloud Nine apart is their innovative brewing techniques, with seasonal offerings that capture the essence of Cincinnati’s diverse climate. Their Autumn Amber is a rich, malty delight in the fall, while the Spring Zest Saison brings a refreshing citrus note to the warmer months. And let’s not forget the view—perched on the edge of the Over-the-Rhine district, it offers a panoramic sight that’s hard to beat.

For those looking for a more eclectic beer list, The Terrace Tavern is the spot. It combines the thrill of discovery with the beauty of the great outdoors. The rotating taps ensure there’s always something new to try, from sour ales to stout wonders. The Barrel-Aged Bonanza was a revelation, with a depth and complexity that spoke to the tavern’s commitment to craft. Pair that with a view that stretches all the way to the Kentucky hills, and you’ve got a winning combination.

Each of these rooftop breweries brings something unique to the table, marrying the joy of beer tasting with awe-inspiring settings.

Hidden Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Taprooms

When I first ventured into Cincinnati’s beer scene, I was amazed by the well-known breweries that everyone told me about. But as I dove deeper, I discovered there’s a whole layer of hidden gems waiting to be explored. These off-the-beaten-path taprooms are where I’ve found some of my favorite craft beers in the city.

First up is Hops Haven, a quaint taproom nestled in an old, historic neighborhood. The exterior might not catch your eye, but once inside, it’s a different world. Hops Haven serves an incredible selection of local and regional brews, including their famous Midnight Stout, a must-try for dark beer lovers. The vibe here is cozy, almost like you’ve stumbled into a secret beer lover’s club.

Another favorite of mine is The Barrel Room, a small but mighty taproom located down an alley that you’d miss if you weren’t looking for it. They specialize in sour beers, with a constantly rotating tap list that showcases the best sour craft beers you can find in Cincinnati. Their Sour Cherry Fantasy has a cult following, and after one sip, I understood why. It’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet, making it dangerously easy to drink.

Underground Brews deserves a special mention too. True to its name, it’s located below street level in a space that feels like a speakeasy. The atmosphere is what I love the most, with low lighting and rustic décor that transports you back in time. Their beer selection is top-notch, focusing on experimental ales that push the boundaries of traditional flavors. The Hazy Adventure IPA is a standout, offering a juicy, hop-forward taste that IPA enthusiasts will appreciate.

As I continue to explore Cincinnati’s craft beer scene, I find that these hidden gems offer a unique experience that complements the city’s more prominent breweries. They prove that sometimes, the best places are the ones you discover serendipitously, away from the bustling streets and crowded taprooms. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, setting off on a quest to find these tucked-away taprooms can lead to some of the most memorable beer-tasting adventures you’ll ever have.

Local Favorites: Brewery Tours and Tastings

After discovering some hidden gems in Cincinnati’s craft beer scene, it’s time I share with you the local favorites for brewery tours and tastings that have not only captivated my taste buds but also provided a deeper appreciation for the craft. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or just dipping your toes into the vast world of craft beers, these stops are guaranteed to enhance your beer-tasting journey in Cincinnati.

First on my list is Rhinegeist Brewery. Nestled in the historic Over-The-Rhine district, this brewery stands out not just for its wide selection of craft beers but also for the unparalleled brewery tours it offers. The guided tours give you a fascinating glimpse into the brewing process, from the initial brewing stages to the final product, allowing visitors to witness the meticulous care and passion that goes into each brew. Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without a tasting session of their signature beers, such as the Truth IPA and the Cougar Blonde Ale.

Another must-visit is MadTree Brewing. What sets MadTree apart is its commitment to community and sustainability, alongside its exceptional range of craft beers. The taproom’s inviting atmosphere is perfect for a leisurely tasting session after the insightful brewery tour. Here, I’ve discovered some of the most innovative craft beers Cincinnati has to offer, including seasonal releases and experimental batches that you won’t find anywhere else.

For those interested in a more intimate and personalized experience, Fifty West Brewing Company is a fantastic choice. The brewery tours here are more than just a walk-through; they’re an educational journey into the heart of craft beer-making, led by passionate and knowledgeable guides who share fascinating stories behind their brews. The post-tour tasting sessions are incredibly rewarding, with a wide variety of styles on offer, from robust porters to crisp lagers.

Here’s a quick overview of the tours and tastings offered by these local favorites:

Brewery Tour Availability Notable Beers
Rhinegeist Brewery Daily Truth IPA, Cougar Blonde Ale
MadTree Brewing Weekends Seasonal & Experimental Batches
Fifty West Brewing Company By Appointment Wide Variety Including Porters & Lagers


Exploring Cincinnati’s craft beer scene has been an adventure I’ll never forget. From the historic vibes of Rhinegeist Brewery to the community spirit at MadTree Brewing and the intimate tours at Fifty West Brewing Company, there’s a flavor and story for everyone. These spots aren’t just about great beer; they’re about bringing people together and sharing the passion for craft brewing. If you’re ever in Cincinnati, make sure to check these places out. You won’t be disappointed. Cheers to discovering your next favorite beer!


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