The neighborhood bar. Is there any place more comforting, more welcoming, more a fixture of the urban lifestyle? It’s a place where you can go for a much-needed decompression drink after a long day at work, a place to lazily while away a hot Sunday afternoon, a place to spend quality time catching up with your best friends.
Rochester’s city neighborhoods have their fair share of neighborhood bars, some longtime, divey fixtures; some more polished and hipster-(or bro) serving. Though I tend to prefer those on the divier end of the spectrum, one of my favorite neighborhood watering holes is shiny and relatively new. And, while it could pass, I’ll confess that it’s not actually in a historic building. The oddball single story structure is actually a reconstruction, an exact replica of the historic building that stood there until a few years ago.
It’s called, for obvious reasons, the Half Pint Pub. And it’s adorable.
In Rochester, we have to maximize summer outdoor fun times. So it’s important to do all your summer drinking and dining outdoors. Aside from its adorably small size, the Half Pint provides plenty of sidewalk seating for my dogs and me.
It’s a perfect spot to sit for hours, observing the comings and goings of Park Ave. If you’ve been sucked into Pokemon Go, it also just so happens to be adjacent to a popular Pokestop, so you can sit, drink a beer, and collect a bunch of Pokemon without getting off your butt.
And one of my favorite–albeit gimicky–features of the place is that you can get two half-pints of beer instead of a traditional full pint. Ingenious! But seriously, there’s something appealing about drinking beer out of a half pint mug.
In Indiana, we’re spoiled, as we have no shortage of tasty local beer. Even better, many of the homegrown breweries have made their home in historic buildings throughout the state. Besides breweries, there is a plethora of cool beer bars and brewpubs too. Here are a few of my favorites…
The Tomlinson Tap Room is located on the second story of the Indianapolis City Market in the heart of downtown Indy. This place is a prime stop for beer lovers, especially if you’re visiting and don’t have time to make the rounds to all of the breweries in Indiana (we have over 120). They only serve Indiana beer (awesome) and there are plenty of local vendors to get a bite from downstairs. The tamale stand is the jam. The bar is a gorgeous period piece salvaged specifically for the tap room.
Located inside the 1893 Athenaeum on Mass Ave, the Rathskeller is an experience. The Rathskeller is an Indy favorite for the huge outdoor beer garden, but the interior is also very unique. This is not your hipster beer bar with a careful juxtaposition of industrial cool and wooden farm tables. It’s got an old school, almost Hogwarts-like vibe, transporting you to old Bavaria for a few hours. They serve German fare and beer, of course, but they have a small rotation of other craft beers as well.
One of my favorite Indiana breweries, 18th Street Brewery of Gary, Indiana, opened up their second brewpub in Hammond, Indiana earlier this year. Located in an old furniture warehouse, the brewery was able to grow their brewing capacity to approximately 7,000 bbls per year while offering a tasty menu featuring locally-sourced foods. While en route to Chicago, I stopped by the brewpub to grab a snack and a beer. The building is enormous with the brew house, kitchen, and tasting room on the ground floor. If you’re in Chicago or on your way there, make sure you stop at 18th Street. Get the chili rubbed chicharrónes and a walking taco.Doesn’t matter the beer; they’re all great.
Upland Brewing Co. is an Indiana institution with its headquarters located in downtown Bloomington, Indiana. They produce excellent ales and lagers and excel at unique sour ales like their Persimmon sour ale aged on whole Indiana persimmons. Upland is opening their latest pub in Columbus, Indiana inside the historic Columbus Pump House on July 1 and I can’t wait! The Pump House was built in the 1880s and was once home to the city’s water works and a hydroelectric plant. The brewery has spent many months renovating the interior adding a kitchen, stone fired pizza oven and an outdoor patio overlooking the river. It’s going to be the perfect place to grab a pint after the Columbus Architecture Tour.
Bio of the author: Raised in the South with a love of Spanish moss, craftsman bungalows and front porches, I am Emily Hines, writer, dreamer and beer drinker. You can find me strolling down a century old city block snapping iPhone photos of colorful facades and searching for flea market treasures. Check out more of Emily’s adventures at emsontheroad.com.
About a month ago you read a little about the Rochester YUPs’ WHERE THE #$@& AM I? Coaster Project. We’ve all been in a building at some point and thought “I wonder what this building used to be?” This is where our coaster project comes in–we research and talk to the owners of bars and restaurants housed in old spaces and create a website that can be accessed by a QR code, which we then print on bar coasters and give to the bar to spark their patrons’ interest in the space and to get people thinking about their city’s history. In May, to celebrate the addition of 4 bars and restaurants to our project we held a bar crawl through the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester.
We started the crawl at Tap and Mallet, a bar known for its impressive, frequently changing draft list, pub food and a laid back vibe. With 30 draft lines and a cask ale, it’s not hard to find something you’ll enjoy. Built in 1899, the building has a pretty boozy history, it was originally a saloon and at one point it was home to a grocery store. The last few decades it’s gone back to its roots, housing several bars and restaurants.
Despite, or maybe because of, Rochester’s tendency towards long, cold, snowy winters, Rochesterians live for their outdoor eating areas. And Tap and Mallet’s doesn’t disappoint with tables set up on the sidewalk in the summer and a patio in the back complete with overhanging trees, brick walls, and a mural.
Our second stop, just down the street, is tucked into the basement of the Historic German House. The German House was built in 1908 by St. Boniface Church, a Catholic church just across the street, to serve as their parish hall. In 1924 they sold it to the United German-American Societies of Rochester, hence the name. The German House is one of those places that’s been around for so long and housed so many things, everyone has been there at some point. Fun fact: Rohrbach Brewing Company, which was mentioned in Rochester’s last Brews on Tues post got its start in the German House. And since 2014, ButaPub has been a part of that almost 100 year history.
On our bar crawl, we were lucky enough to have the owner give us a backstage look at the building, literally. Most of the German House is taken up by the concert hall where the owners are working on uncovering and restoring some of the unique features of the building, including the original tin ceiling. After the tour it was back down to ButaPub’s swanky bar for drinks and a little relaxation before moving on.
After enjoying ButaPub’s lounge, it was just a quick stroll around the corner to Harry G’s, the youngest bar so far to be a part of our WHERE THE #&@% AM I? Project. Most Rochestarians know Harry G’s as a deli, which opened in 2012. When the space next door to them became available the owners decided to expand and opened a bar earlier this year. Harry G’s has some beautiful original brick walls, an emphasis on New York State beers and wine, and an entire deli just next door. If that doesn’t say great neighborhood bar, I don’t know what does.
Our final bar on the crawl, a few doors down from Harry G’s, was Lux Lounge. Lux is THE bar of the neighborhood, it’s a self-proclaimed dive bar that is so Lux it’s honestly hard to explain. In the summers the backyard is full of people and dogs alike and on Wednesdays you might be lucky enough to find your favorite cult classic playing. Your first visit to Lux isn’t complete until you’ve had their cheeseburger shot: a shot each of tequila, tomato juice, and pickle juice. On any night you might walk into craft night, free PB&J night or a DIY bloody mary bar. Lux has been a longtime focal point for us YUPs (serving as the HQ for our first two Bikes, Beer, & Buildings scavenger hunts) so it was only natural that we make them the grand finale to our WHERE THE #&@% AM I? Bar crawl. In the 1980s the building was home to the Snake Sisters Cafe, a lesbian bar, where Lux owner Karrie first happened upon the place and said that someday the space would be hers.
Although these four bars and restaurants serve different drinks, different food, and have very different atmospheres, the one thing they have in common is their love of their community. The South Wedge neighborhood they all call home is known for being slightly off kilter, a little gritty but dedicated to its inhabitants. And these four establishments are no different. Each of these places want their patrons to be comfortable in their space, to keep coming back until it’s the regular hangout. Whether they know it or not, using these old spaces jumpstarts that comfortable feeling. Walking in, you know a thousand feet have crossed that threshold before you and a thousand more will cross it after you. You’re not surprised to find a healthy selection of local beers on their draft list because these places all resonate with the love they have for their city and neighborhood. Those feelings can’t be mass produced, they can’t be bought. They only come from time and a lot of love. And the YUPs will always raise a glass to that.
By Sara Jenks – Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs)
In a new office park in the Rochester suburb of Victor, NY, sits one of the world’s largest beverage companies, in fact, the largest wine producer in the world. Historically, the Rochester drink scene has been dominated by its famed ice wines and prize winning rieslings from the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes Region. But like the Rust Belt young preservationists who have come Tuesdays prior and those who will come Tuesdays next, we Rochesterians have decided that we want our booze local, urban, and found in old buildings.
In 2014 the Young Urban Preservationists of The Landmark Society of Western New York (YUPs, for short) unveiled our WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ historic pub/bar coaster project. The Rohrbach Brewing Company Beer Hall and Black Button Distilling were in the coaster project’s inaugural class. These two establishments are located on Railroad St. in a factory building built for the Bantleon Brothers’ millwork door company in 1906. Since the door company, this building has housed a telephone warehouse, an auto parts company, and a flea market.
Jason Barret named his distillery Black Button to honor his family’s history of manufacturing buttons that “have closed suits worn by presidents, popes, kings, and businessmen the world over.” Colorblind, Jason grew up thinking every button was black. Black Button was Rochester’s first urban distillery since prohibition, and Rohrbach’s is deemed Rochester’s original craft brewery.
As the mid 20th century fades into the past, we YUPs can now embrace its architectural fruits. Swiftwater and ROC Brewing Company are modern in their decor and flavor. Located in a former car repair garage across from the Genesee River, Swiftwater stays true to theme with kayaks hanging on the walls. It’s a partcularly gratifying place to drink a beer after a subzero heart-bombing event.
At ROC Brewing, whether playing shuffleboard or Wednesday night trivia, you can enjoy unique brews like the jalapeno-tinted saison “Sassypants” or my favorite, the citrusy “WHOOPASS” imperial/double IPA. And you can usually catch a pretty fantastic sunset over the downtown skyline, with our lovely Inner Loop project in the foreground (a sunken highway/moat around downtown that’s currently being filled in to re-create a normal urban street…yay for undoing urban renewal!).
We are looking forward to the development of Split Batch Brewing, a combination coffee shop, craft brewery in one of downtown Rochester’s newest repurposed buildings, The Hive @ 155. Split Batch won the inaugural Retailent Rochester competition last year, offering free rent for a year and start-up assistance. Isn’t it the best when our two favorite activities of historic preservation and drinking local brews can go hand-in-hand?
One of the best activities of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists meetup in Pittsburgh was our a 2-hour tour of the Carrie Furnace Blast site on Sunday, April 10th. The Carrie site was an extensive complex of blast furnaces for the manufacture of iron for Andrew Carnegie’s Homestead Steel Works (more on Homestead later).
In 1995, as demolition was just beginning on the furnace, In 1996 the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area was created by Congress to preserve and interpret Pittsburgh’s steel industry. The site, which only has one remaining intact blast furnace, was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
An interesting characteristic of the Carrie Furnace site is the incorporation of public art. In the mid 1990’s, a group of artists snuck into the site and worked for almost a year on the beloved Carrie Furnace Deer. There is also extensive amounts of graffiti art throughout the site. Rivers of Steel has chosen to embrace previous artistic endeavors on the site, and has started the new program called Rivers of Steel Arts that supports the interpretation of local history and encourages the re-imagining of familiar places.
In addition to honoring our industrial heritage and local guerrilla art, Rivers of Steel is continuing the Pittsburgh tradition of stopping at a local pub for a beer after leaving a shift at the mill. It hosts an event called Happy Hours with Carrie on the first Wednesday of every month. A ticket purchased for $20 in advance gets you a 1-hour tour of the Furnace, and one beer at the featured bar after the tour. And the best news – tour guides will be on hand at the bars to have a pint with you! (Or perhaps Tom’s favorite – an Imp & Iron.)
Read on for more info on some of our favorite places that Rivers of Steel is partnering with for Happy Hour with Carrie!
Homestead, PA is located just outside the Pittsburgh City limits on the Monongahela River. The steel mill town is perhaps best known for the 1892 Homestead Strike, one of the most important events in the history of labor relations in the United States (This fun fact has been brought to you by Tour Guide Tom. Thanks, Tom!)
The Waterfront shopping mall replaced the Homestead Works on the Monongahela River in 1999, which has helped the borough regain a robust tax base after dwindling from a population of 20,000 people in 1920 to just 3,165 people in 2010. The outdoor shopping mall with national chain stores and restaurants and a large movie complex has attracted people from all over Pittsburgh to the area for almost two decades.
Despite the localized success of the Waterfront shopping mall, however, the development did little to attract people to the nearby Homestead business district, which is located just over a bordering railroad track from the shopping complex. Enter local businesses to the rescue! Some of these include the hugely successful (but now relocated) Smoke Barbecue Taqueria, Blue Dust Gastropub, and Voodoo Brewery.
Voodoo Brewery opened in early 2015. The Meadville-based brewery purchased a firehouse from the Borough just off its main drag that had been vacant for 25 years. The brew house not only serves thirsty shoppers from the Waterfront shopping mall, but is a big attraction for bicyclists from Pittsburgh. In fact, a bike ride from downtown Pittsburgh to Homestead is just 45 minutes along the Great Allegheny Passage. The Happy Hour with Carrie on August 3 will be held at Voodoo and is co-hosted by the Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh!
Braddock sits just outside the City of Pittsburgh in the Mon Valley. While Mon Valley towns like Braddock haven’t seen the kind of renaissance that has occurred in places within Pittsburgh city limits (read more about the sometimes disjointed development in Pittsburgh here), there is much potential for a resurgence. Businesses like the Brew Gentlemen and Studebaker Metals have chosen to locate their business along the main corridor, Braddock Avenue. There are many champions in the Braddock neighborhood, from the local block watch members up to Mayor Fetterman, who are all working to bring investment to Braddock while improving the lives of current residents.
Brew Gentlemen was founded by two graduating Carnegie Mellon University students who decided that since they weren’t really into their chosen majors, they’d pursue their other passion: brewing beer! (This fun fact has also been brought to you by Tour Guide Tom. Thanks, Tom!)
If you live near Pittsburgh or plan on traveling here this summer, be sure to drop in for a Happy Hour with Carrie.
May 4: Voodoo Brewery – Homestead
June 1: The Brew Gentleman Beer Company
July 6: Blue Dust
August 3: Voodoo Brewery Homestead (co-hosted with YPA Pgh)
Now, since this Coalition (and by extension, this blog) is focused on historic preservation, we’re going to stick to that topic. So whether it’s adaptive reuse of a historic structure or incorporating the neighborhood’s history into a brand, Pittsburghers take their history – and their booze – very seriously.
War Streets Brewery
One of the most exciting developments in the ‘Burgh’s beer scene, especially to Northsiders, is the soon-to-open War Streets Brewery. Housed in a 138-year-old firehouse in the historic Mexican War Streets neighborhood, the brewery is a phenomenal reuse of a vacant structure that will be a great addition to a dense, walkable neighborhood.
The War Streets Brewery, sadly, isn’t slated to open until Spring. But since we’re so very charismatic, we’ve conned convinced the owners to let us in for a sneak peek of their building and beer during the April meeting of the Rust Belt Coalition in Pittsburgh.
Arsenal Cider House
The Arsenal Cider House is another Pittsburgh institution that jumped from nothing to huge success in the seven years they’ve been in business. Arsenal, which operates out of a Victorian rowhouse in the Lawrenceville neighborhood, quickly grew from an unknown growler-fill-only operation to being tapped all through the city.
Why “Arsenal,” you might ask? Fun fact – Pittsburgh was a major supplier of munitions during the Civil War, and the enormous Allegheny Arsenal was the epicenter of it all. It was on the plot where Arsenal Park now resides, and you may be wondering where it is. Well, in 1862, it exploded. Boom. Gone. True story – look it up. There’s only a few original buildings still standing, but in that area there are many buildings and businesses named after the Arsenal, and the Cider House is one of the newest to honor the neighborhood’s history.
Seriously. Look it up.
Spring Hill Brewing
Not to return to the Northside, but we’re going to return to the Northside. Up in Spring Hill, a hundred-year-old social hall and nursery are going to be transformed into a self-contained farm-style brewery. At the site of the old Workingmens’ Beneficial Union Hall (which is a fantastic name…I can’t get over it), beer and grub grown, brewed, and cooked on-site will be served at Spring Hill Brewing.
There’s not a huge amount of info out there about this project yet, but it’s supposed to be up and running in the fall. Check out this article for a pretty good breakdown of the concept behind the project and where the founders envision it going. We’re excited!
Well, that’s just a sampling of some of the businesses in the Steel City getting in on the small-scale, local alcohol boom we’re finding ourselves in. And luckily for us preservationists, the owners of the breweries, distilleries, and cider houses in Pittsburgh tend to have a respect for and interest in our local history and preserving our buildings and neighborhoods.
We’ll definitely be showing more alcohol-related preservation successes during the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists meetup in April. And get excited – local brews from throughout the Rust Belt will be the centerpiece of our reception on Friday! We’re encouraging everyone to bring a six pack of beers from their respective metro to see who brews the best booze. See you then!
In 2015, Preserve Greater Indy kicked off Preservation Month with a whirlwind tour of Indiana craft breweries, highlighting how their commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization has transformed Indiana’s urban landscape and breathed new life into rural communities. Indiana craft beer is driven by a creative, dedicated, and collaborative group of small business owners who are, without a doubt, passionate about their trade as well as their impact on their local communities. Most importantly, they’re saving authentic places and revitalizing communities. Check out these examples that span our state from north to south and we think you’ll agree.
Crown Brewing – Crown Point
Crown Brewing takes its name and imagery from a regional brewery that called Crown Point home during pre-prohibition times. This craft brewery is located in the former Lake County Jail’s boiler and mechanical building (hence the smokestack). The jail, built in three separate stages, dates back to 1882. The site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes the former sheriff’s county residence, prisoner cell blocks, jail staff quarters, warden’s residence, prisoner cell blocks, and jail yard. One of the FBI’s most wanted gangsters, John Dillinger, escaped from this jail when he was jailed there in 1934. Crown Brewing has won numerous accolades, including two World Beer Cup awards, and hosts many annual events, including their Crown Beer Festival which attracts brewers and attendees from three states. Cheers to Crown Brewing for their dedication to preserving our past, community revitalization, and crafting outstanding local beer.
Indiana City Brewing Company – Indianapolis
During and after prohibition, Indiana (and America) lost a great number of breweries and brewery buildings. Indianapolis is lucky to have Indiana City Brewing Company, whose dedication to historic preservation led the team to repurpose this late 1880’s building, which was originally home to The Home Brewing Company. Owner Ray Kamstra was quoted as saying, “Opening Indiana City Brewing in The Home Brewing Co. Bottling House brought beer back to one of Indy’s few remaining pre-prohibition era brewery buildings and provides the best atmosphere for fulfilling our mission of adding to Indy’s craft beer culture by celebrating the creative community within.” This is a must-see preservation story and something we in Indianapolis are proud to call our own.
Tin Man Brewing Company – Evansville
Located in an 1869 beauty, Tin Man Brewing Company repurposed a historic building and revitalized an entire section of Franklin Street. Tin Man Brewing is known locally for their robot themed logo and canned beer, and credited nationally for their dedication to environmentally sound business practices and as the third brewery in the country to use a mash filter. This is an essential stop for anyone visiting Evansville.
Do you like our “Local Brews on Tues” series? Taste it for yourself! Join us on April 8th – 10th to taste the finest beers from around the Rust Belt. To kick off our weekend in PGH, we will be doing a “BYOB” Friday night opening event where everyone brings a six pack or growler of local beer with them. Thanks to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we will also be able to serve some of the finest Pittsburgh foods drink, talk and meet so many cool young preservationists from across the Rust Belt!!! YES, you heard that right. Regional. Beer. Potluck. #BYOBrustbeltbeerparty
Now, back to our regularly scheduled program….
If there is one thing that is even better than beer, it’s when breweries open and make good beer inside historic buildings. Buffalo just happens to do this extremely well.
Buffalo is known for many things including chicken wings, snow and our 4am bar closings. 4am bar closings? Yes you read that right! We know how to drink beer. A mayor once said “Stay inside, grab a six-pack and watch a good football game,” when a giant snowstorm was coming. We have a grain elevator wrapped to look like a six pack of beer and Labatt Blue moved their headquarters to Buffalo because we drank the their beer the most out of any area. I won’t even begin to talk about our awesome ability to kayak down a river filled with grain elevators and bar crawl at the same time! (Editor’s note: Bernice, don’t lie. You’re totally going to do that in a future post. You’re too excited about it not to.)
On top of that, it is no secret that BYP got its start by getting together to drink beers in local historic taverns and talking about preservation battles. Our happy hours are fairly infamous because they tend to attract 50 – 100 very passionate preservationists from around the area. Another reason why we love local taverns and breweries!
We have something we like to call “Beer Oriented Development” here in Buffalo, NY. Coined by Buffalo City Planner Chris Hawley, BOD is defined as “the ability of local craft brewing and distilling to attract people, dollars, and development.” Basically that means, when a brewery or cool craft tap house opens in a typically underserved area, it kickstarts attention and development in that area. BOD, much like TOD (transit oriented development), is a great way to help grow communities and increase the excitement needed to begin a rebound.
Let’s explore the brewing scene in Buffalo!
Pearl Street Brewery:
Perhaps our oldest brewery, Pearl Street opened in the late 80’s in Downtown Buffalo where saving buildings and drinking locally-made beer was pretty much unheard of. Pearl Street decided to set up shop downtown, saving an incredible set of brick row buildings from the wrecking ball for their brewery! Rumor has it that the owner of Pearl Street has some serious ties in Colorado with Breckenridge Brewery, which is a Denver staple. Try the Lighthouse or Trainwreck – two of Pearl Street’s classics!
This brewery decided to land inside one of Buffalo’s very few saw tooth buildings on the West Side of Buffalo. Resurgence is known for their Sponge Candy Stout, giant Jenga and their large patio. Before Resurgence, houses were selling for $1, if they dodged the demolition. Now? Two art galleries and a local fitness company have opened and a wood fired pizza place on the way.
Community Beer Works:
CBW wins the “first in” award. In 2012, these guys took the
plunge in Buffalo when very few would. They serve delicious unfiltered beer and do it very very well. They teamed up with Hydraulic Hearth to create a satellite brewery so Hydraulic could serve the freshest beer to their customers. CBW is nearing a big change – soon enough they will have a large tap room inside of a historic building located on the lower west side in an area that is ripe for BOD.
Big Ditch Brewing Co. :
Big Ditch Brewing Co. champions our Buffalo history all day, every day. “Strength, Pride and Ambition, the history of the Erie Canal” is a mural that looks over the brewery and happens to be one of the most highly instagrammed photos of 2015 in Buffalo. Well, Big Ditch took over a nondescript warehouse and turned it into an epic brewery equipped with meeting spaces, garage doors for the summer and a second floor. Located in Downtown Buffalo, Big Ditch helped to inspire others to invest in what now is known as “restaurant row” along Ellicott Street.
Gene McCarthy’s :
Perhaps my all-time favorite chicken wing spot is also a brewery! Gene’s has done a lot for the old first ward over the last 100 years. Despite the fact that it hasn’t changed much over the years, Just recently, there have been proposals for a new cafe and their first shipping container house. If you go here, order the McCarthy’s wings – they are delicious!!
And there’s so much more! Including Flying Bison, Ellicottville Brewing Co., 42 North and many others… I feel like I could write forever but luckily for us, someone already did! You can read this powerpoint equipped with some of the best beer quotes I’ve ever seen. And if you’re thirsty for more, click here for the official buffalo beer guide.
Craft breweries and distilleries have swept Ohio by storm. Many breweries are hoping to revitalize the state’s history as a beer capital, and many distilleries are using historical beverages to inspire their contemporary palates. Here are a few places you should try!
Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus – Columbus, Ohio
Both a popular bar and eye catching building in Columbus, Elevator Brewery’s history dates back to 1897. Located in the Bott Brothers’ Billiards building, this contemporary bar thrives on its historical elements—the billiards tables from the 1800s, stained glass entry, tile floors, decorative ceilings, and a well preserved bar. The Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Columbia Building. You can go to www.elevatorbrewing.com for more information.
Image source: elevatorbrewing.com
Rhinegeist – Cincinnati, Ohio*
Rhinegeist means “ghost of the Rhine”, and bringing a ghost back to life is exactly what this beer company did! Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine brewery district, Rhinegeist is revitalizing the beer industry, which, with the area, thrived in the late 1800s. Prohibition put 38 breweries out of business and left countless German immigrants unemployed. In the recent past, developers have been revitalizing the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, and Rhinegeist has sparked new life into Christian Moerling Brewing Company’s old bottling plant. Want to learn more about the building’s history and Rhinegeist? Take one of their guided tours. You can learn more at www.rhinegeist.com.
*Cincinnati is also home to underground brewery tours! This town’s beer history is deep!
Image source: rhinegeist.com
Homestead Beer Co – Licking County, Ohio
While the brewery is not in a historic building, Homestead Beer Co has its headquarters in the very historic community of Granville, and the name evokes wonderment of the original farm settlements, which created a thriving Licking County in the 1800s. Homestead Brewing does not use modern yeast strains, instead preferring yeast which could have been used by grandfathers of the past to brew. With brew names such as 1805, Five Points Irish, and Barnraiser, one knows the people behind Homestead use the past as inspiration to create contemporary drinks. Go to www.homesteadbeerco.com to learn more.
Image source: homesteadbeerco.com
E.S. Distillery – outside Fremont, Ohio
Located in a 120-year-old barn, the Ernesto Scarano distillery is also worth a visit. This craft distillery is supposedly the smallest legal whiskey distillery in America. Visit www.esdistillery.com for more information.
What are some of your favorite bars, breweries, or distilleries in Ohio with historic elements? Add your favorites to the list in the comments section below.