Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Brew River Gastropub

Recently, the wife and I had a nice surprise... We found a babysitter! What do we do with our new found freedom? Check out Cincinnati's newest Gastropub of course!

I had been really excited about checking out BrewRiver Gastropub for quite a while but, with a new baby it has been difficult to find time to get out of the house. We considered bringing her a couple of times but, we figured it would be irresponsible of us to sample beers and food with a 7 month old in tow...

Anyway, when we arrived at BrewRiver I was a bit worried that there would be a long wait (after seeing a list of what they had on tap I wasn't worried quite as much). I was pleasantly surprised to find a VERY helpful staff. They took our names quickly and promised to get us seated as soon as possible. I squeezed into a seat at the bar and ordered my wife and I a beer. I was curious about the "house beer" as they have a few "BrewRiver house beers".  I asked where they brewed the beer because there isn't a brewhouse located in the restaurant (because that would make it a brewpub right @QueenCityDrinks ?). Anyway I was informed that the beers are brewed in Aurora, IN. which means that the house beer is actually Great Crescent Brewery which, is fantastic because their brews are top notch. I cant remember what my sister ordered but, I can assume it was a heffeweizen because thats her favorite.

I ordered the coconut porter and my wife had the same. My buddy tried the DIPA by The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, OH upon my recommendation. He's not a beer nerd like the rest of us you see, and hoppy beers tend to frighten him a bit. But, you really can't go wrong with that brew and he loved it.

By the time our beers were poured we had a table, I paid the tab and we were shown to our table. I was surprised when we were lead upstairs (the bar area downstairs is rather small and I assumed that was why we were waiting). There is a second dining area upstairs where the kitchen is located. There is also an outside seating area upstairs with a deck and below outside the front entrance but, it was raining and a bit chilly. We were seated at a table near the kitchen which was actually pretty neat, as you can hear all of the ruckus that comes from a good kitchen.

Our server greeted us quickly and was VERY knowledgeable, almost TOO knowledgeable. A professional server/foodie was a bit intimidating and overwhelming. He described the specials in detail and gave us a bit of a history on the chef who, by the way was trained under the tutelage of Emril Lagasse BAM! It took him a while to get through the specials and he was a bit pushy with his recommendations which is my only complaint (and I guess really isnt a complaint at all. The guy REALLY knew his food).

We ordered drinks and my wife and I decided we wanted to try a beer flight. The server asked us what we liked and we were both feeling like we were in a stout/porter mood and he informed us he had made a flight of his favorite "darks" that BrewRiver has on tap and we agreed. I wish I could tell you what each of the beers were but, I didn't have the foresight to take notes. Anyway, he did a fine job the flight went from lowest ABV to highest as far as I could tell and it was delightful.

When it was time to place our order's my wife and I both chose the BLT, my buddy and my sister both ordered the Mac and cheese. I realize that at a Gastropub the idea is to sample the best they have to offer as the food and the beer will be top notch but, I love me some BLT's. Anyway, the food was absolutely excellent! Next time I promise Ill try something fancier than a BLT.

If you live in the area, I can't recommend BrewRiver Gastropub enough. I promise if you're a beer lover or a foodie, BrewRiver will not disappoint. Ill definitely be back.


BrewRiver Gastropub
2062 Riverside Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45202

UPDATE: The house beers at BrewRiver are now brewed locally by Listerman/Triple Digit!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Supprt your local bottle shop!

Okay, okay... I havent posted in a long time... And I'm sorry about that.... Having a 6 month old is hard work... JEEZ! I forgive you for being mad, you understand right? Good..

I want to tell you about Everything's D'vine downtown... They literally just opened their doors yesterday. If you follow me on the Twitter, you might remember me tweeting about this place a couple of months back. Well, I had been waiting for this place to open because I work downtown but, I couldnt remember what the open day was. So, out of boredumb (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose) on my lunch break today I went looking for it...

I knew from the blog posts that I had seen that it was on West 4th St. Downtown. I work on East 4th St. downtown so naturally I was excited when I heard about it. So, today on my lunch I thought I'd take a walk to the other side of town... Not that bad a walk actually, downtown isnt that big. Anyway, it was worth it!

As I made my trek, I kept my eyes peeled because even though I might have been one of they first to break the news on this place via twitter, I couldnt for the life of me remember what the name of the place was supposed to be. So, as I approached the end of 4th street I spotted a wine barrel in the window of what appeared to be a newly decorated store front. I was about to lose hope but, I figured I'd check it out...

I opened the door, and was happily greeted "What can I help you with?" I said "Whats your beer selection look like?" I was a bit discouraged upon first glance because I saw walls of wine. Dont get me wrong I'm a fan of a nice red but, not very often... I was very gladly directed around the corner to the beer area.

I wasn't dissappointed with the selection because they literally just opened yesterday but, the wine area looked much better than the beer area. I perused for a moment and suddenly I was asked "What's your favorite style?" I of course replied with the standard "Well, I like beer..." I quickly offered a very brief explanation of my beer knowledge and said "I guess I'm a bit of a craft beer hobbyist.." That sounds kind of cool right!?

Anyway, the gentlemen introduced himself, his name is Travis and he described the order in which he had the beer set up. "I dont have it set up by region or anything, Ive basically set it up by style..." I appreciated the fact that he appreciated that I was on the hunt for some good beer. Anyway, he described what he had, which were a lot of things I've had before. But, he also pointed out a few things I'd never had before. Of these brews he described them "This DIPA, has an IBV of blah blah and it will just hit you with hops..." Travis is a beer lover and, I appreciated that. I only left with a one bomber bottle but, Its a beer I've never tried...

Needless to say, I will definitely be back. Travis said his selection will increase as his customer base increases. He said he was expecting more brews literally as I shopped. He was expecting a delivery of Great Lakes Christmas ale...

So basically what I'm saying is, DRINK LOCAL BEER! But also, support your local beer provider! Everything's D'vine is downtown on West 4th St. Stop in and talk to Travis. He knows is beer...