50 West Brewing Co.
For a long time, it was a shame to see the historic home on Wooster Pike near Mariemont sit vacant. It used to be a restaurant that was well known in the Cincinnati dining world. Now, it’s open as 50 West Brewing Company, a craft beer shop that the owners have said is named not just for Route 50 where it’s located, but for the combining of ideas of east coast and west coast. The restaurant has a versatile, creative menu and a lot of really, really good beers.
Here are some of the brews on the menu:
- Shortcut Saison: This one has honey from Honing Haus, but still the flavor is a little spicy. It’s very light and has a clean finish.
- Penny’s Pilsner: A German-style beer, this one has a very light, almost floral taste to it and it’s notably a tad heavier than your average pils I’ve sampled.
- Thirty 37 Session Pale Ale: One of my favorites to be sure; it’s got a forward flavor almost a little bit spicy, and almost a flower-like aroma.
- Spoatie Pale Ale: This beer has a distinct flavor of apricot to it, and a little bit sweet. I like the aroma, it’s exactly the way the beer tastes.
- Coast to Coast IPA: True to popular form, this India Pale Ale is all hops; it’s got a bitter aroma, a bitter bit in the beginning and the finish retains a mix of a few flavors. The brewery says it uses a few hops I can’t distinguish.
- Coffee Please: My favorite drink to be sure, because Coffee Please in Maderia is one of my favorite coffee shops. The aroma of their distinctive coffee is apparent in the very gradual finish. Satisfying!
The food is also pretty good, there’s something to be said for a menu that is made entirely in-house. The vegetarian club sandwich is my personal favorite, it’s served on a 12-grain bread. It’s got a nice light mayo with a light Asian flare to really tie it all together. I also enjoyed the muffuletta; a classic meat sandwich with salami, ham, mortadella, and olive salad. Around Ohio it’s a rare thing to see, and definitely not suggested if you don’t like olives. Good with the beer, though.
The experience is good in the bar, which can quickly become crowded, and the service is decent. It’s service that’s used to handling crowded situations, I’d say, as opposed to the kind of service that likes to sit and chat about beer. Which makes sense. It also makes sense that the place is consistently popular and therefore sometimes there is a wait. I looked into common criticisms online and found they were generally not outside the normal challenges all popular restaurants face.
It’s a neat place, and it’s got a lot of potential to make a name for itself in Cincinnati, and maybe beyond it. Keep an eye out for 50 West beers and definitely give them a try.
- The spot has an outdoor patio and also allows for parties and large groups.
- For an interesting story ask the bartender about the story behind the name “Thirty 37″
- There are beer pairings on the menu, which might help guide what you sample when you’re here.