Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Time of Year for Beer in Cincy

This time of year is big for craft brewers and craft brew lovers in Cincy.  
This very weekend, is Bockfest, that celebration of Spring, OTR, and bock beer.

ein bock --the goat
 Bock is tapped only in spring, made from grains harvested around October.  It's sweeter and more nutritive, and it sustained the clergy during their lenten fasts, during which some would only drink beer.  Cincinnati has a lengthy brewing (and drinking) history, which is now being reclaimed with old names like Christian Moerlein and Hudepohl.

Posters in Arnolds cataloging Bockfest history were a nice touch 
We own a copy of Over The Rhine, When Beer Was King.  It's pretty interesting (unpaid, unsolicited plug) to learn about not only Cincy's heritage, but also to understand how devastating Prohibition was to the City and the lives of the people who ran and operated its 32 breweries.  

Friday night one of our local favorites 46 Long played Arnolds.  We listened to some delta blues while we sampled and enjoyed the bocks on offer.

Bell's Consecrator Doppelbock
Triple Digit Gravitator Doppelbock
Rivertown Bock
Hudy Bock
Troeg's Troegenator Double bock

And we missed the parade, again, like every year.  This year we were actually inside Arnolds, eating kangaroo meat and boar bacon, while the parade left from right outside.
Maybe next year we'll be sitting even closer to the actual parade without seeing it.

Because Bock is sweeter and calorically dense, it's not for everyone or for all the time.  Personally I love the flavor, and I dislike the hoppier beers.  Not surprisingly, I'm one of a pretty populous fanbase for bock beers here in Cincy.  We were on-hand at Arnolds as they tapped a 1/4 barrel of Triple Digit Bourbon Barrel Gravitator Doppelbock at exactly 2pm on Saturday.  9 minutes later, they were sold out.  D got one of the last ones to be poured.  (It was surprisingly fruity and extremely amazing)

The King of Hudy.  Goat Man.  That hat.  That Friar.  The ex-pontiff was walking around too, and a man with tree branches strapped to his head like a headdress.  Good times, all to the music of Jake Speed, a truly entertaining bluegrass musician.  (He went on an hour late though, we were beginning to think he might not show at all, but he played an enjoyable show, so all is forgiven.)

Jake Speed and the Freddies
The great thing about Bockfest, is it feels like you are enjoying quality brews with your neighbors.  Mostly neighbors that you don't know, especially in our case.  But still, it never feels like a frat party or a hipster bar.  It's people who enjoy good beer and good times.  And amazing waffles.  Amazing.  Bockfest is a good time, and it gets better every year.  

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