A fantastic tradition in the Queen City is Memorial Day Weekend’s Taste of Cincinnati. It is an annual celebration of the region’s great restaurants, with some of their more famous dishes served in tasty sample sizes, for about a buck a bite. While this is a big party, the beer selection has always been lacking. For a festival that celebrates the tastes of the city, many of the regional and national craft breweries have been surprisingly absent. That is certainly starting to change with West 6th, Great Lakes, Alltech, and Bell’s all being represented. While all of the selections from those breweries were what you would expect; Christian Moerlein stepped up to the plate and had one booth with specialty brews. And best of all, keeping with the Taste of Cincinnati format, these beers were available in 5 ounce samples for $2. The fun little plastic mugs will come in handy for future tastings as well. I tried 5 of these and will post a brief description below.
Strawberry Pig: This is their Flying Pig cream ale with organic strawberry extract added. I found it very drinkable and not too sweet. My wife liked it so much, she went back an bought a full cup of it.
Repeater Pale Ale: I wasn’t sure how to say this, but by style, this is not a special beer. By taste, however, it is very special. This is an awesome Pale Ale, very hoppy with a great smooth maltiness. I certainly hope to get my hands on this again soon.
Coffee Bock: This is their popular Emancipator Doppelbock infused with local coffee. I have recently started appreciating coffee, and was excited to try this. The coffee was not overpowering. Despite what was expected, it was smooth and the nuances were subtle. I actually wanted it to be a little more bold.
Chili Zeppelin: This is their Zeppelin Bavarian Pale Ale infused with peppers. The peppers are roasted in the kitchen at Moerlein Lager House at The Banks. This was a very interesting beer. Its not a gimmick, they actually made a very drinkable beer (notice a theme?) with a little heat and the essence of the peppers (even green peppers surprisingly).
Oaked OTR: Moerlein’s flagship balanced ale aged in oak (new non-charred oak barrels I assume). I am a big fan of some barrel aged beers. This is certainly better than the non-oaked version, but it wasn’t as oaky as I was expecting, still smooth and tasty. If you are familiar with ModernThirst, you know that we would rather this be aged in bourbon barrels.
This was an enjoyable tasting session. Cheers to Moerline for getting a little creative. Taste of Cincinnati is a fantastic event that I hope will turn into both a food and beer festival some day.