Another of Cincinnati’s resident microbreweries, the Rivertown Brewing Company specializes in crafted beers with a decidedly German feel to them, as a nod to the heritage of much of the area’s residents. It’s pretty easy to pass by the brewery without spotting it, but anyone who frequents a beer aisle in southwest Ohio will definitely recognize the distinctive steamboat emblem. Rivertown is a real nod to what good craft beer is capable of; it’s got a very refined set of microbrews to attract the enthusiast. You’ll want to get a six pack the next time you’re at the store.
The flagship ales are an interesting local take on the classic German beer archetypes. Apparently the most popular beer, the Helles Lager, is moderately hoppy, full bodied and very distinct. I think my favorite beer they make here is the Roebling Imperial Robust Porter. It’s brewed with vanilla beans and espresso, and the result, according to the side of the bottle, is a “big, chewy, vanilla, coffee infused brownie.” That’s an accurate description. It’s very dark, and have an overriding flavor of chocolate to it. It’s a masterpiece.
There are also some seasonal flavors, such as the Pumpkin Ale, which really sold me. Pumpkin beers are so great, everyone makes them nowadays and yet every one still tastes different. Rivertown’s Pumpkin Ale has a slight kick to it, like the hint of a few spices thrown in for good measure. It doesn’t scream pumpkin, but it is refined. That seems to be the consistent thing across all of Rivertown’s brews: they’re heavy on the complex flavors. While the alcohol content on them appears to be about the norm, these are the kinds of beers that you enjoy slowly, a little at a time. I can’t wait to try the Winter Ale this season.
The company has a tasting room like many other breweries. Per state rules on microbreweries, it isn’t a full-bar, so it can’t be open late, but it does have hours on the weekends. It’s still got that pleasant feel of a small bar, with people socializing over a drink all over the place, and the central bar filled with beer fanatics trading advice on the best craft brands to try. Really, it’s an all-around good experience.
With so many new microbreweries popping up in Ohio lately, it can seem like a crowded field. In all that, though, Rivertown Brewing Company still manages to bring a very interesting unique signature to the table. It’s unquestionably worth a sampling.
- Get the beers to savor. These aren’t the kinds of drinks you’ll want to drink quickly or in large quantity.
- The popular flagship brews, like the Hop Bomber and the Helles Lager, will grab your attention, but I also suggest the seasonal items if you’re lucky enough to spot them.
- Also, pay a visit to the tasting room on a weekend if you get a chance.