Moerlein Lager House

115 Joe Nuxhall Way
Cincinnati, OH 45202
websiteIMG_16265 stars

As The Banks in downtown Cincinnati has developed, the Queen City’s riverfront has become a hotspot for Reds fans, Bengals fans, and all-around, a place to get some of the best experiences the city has to offer. Of course, the riverfront isn’t just about the nightlife, though. Among the many appeals of downtown, Moerlein Lager House aims to be one of the most visible and iconinc breweries in the storied history of Cincinnati’s German brewing roots. If you’re from the area, it’s hard not to have heard the name.

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It isn’t just about the food of course, but the bar has an extensive menu of pub food, steaks and even some German cuisine. Among the good dishes to try:

  • Smoked stack BBQ: This unique sandwich is pulled pork, Moerlein’s signature smoked sausage and a chipotle sauce topped with haystack onions. It’s almost overwhelmingly good; smokey sausage, sweet barbecue, salty crispy onions. Everything you could want.
  • Fish & Chips: Simple as pub grup comes. Hudepohl beer-battered cod with a jalapeño tartar sauce that has a surprisingly mild heat. The classic dish is served with coleslaw and fries.
  • Steak frites: Sirloin steak chopped and dry-rubbed in a peppery mix and served with a herb butter. Tender. Delicious.
  • Pretzels: A staple of German food apps, the pretzels are extra thick with a slight salt. They come with a beer cheese, which is unusually thin and runny, and also a mayo with a kick.

And who am I to forget the place is a microbrewery. On tap are some great beers primarily in German traditional styles:

  • Fifth & Vine Oktoberfest: This seasonal has the classic golden color and that wonderful mid-body that makes it oh-so-satisfying as the seasons change.
  • Zeppelin Bavarian Pale Ale: Pale ales have that distinctive slight bitter but a light body.
  • Northern Liberties IPA: This IPA is hop-forward as the style tends to be, and there’s a bit of bitterness at the end.
  • Barbarossa Dunkel: I love the aroma on this beer, and its dark color. The flavor is malty with a sharp, almost crisp, finish.
  • Push Reel Pilsner: Light but with a sturdy body. Clean finish. A nice seasonal.
  • Purity Pils: One of the beers avaliable in a can. I like it though because it’s a very mild option as far as beers go.

The spacious interior of Morerlein’s prime real estate on the banks is cozy in the evenings and breathtakingly scenic during the days. It’s no wonder the place attracts such a huge crowd on the weekends; it’s a very comfortable place to grab a drink whether you’re celebrating a win from the nearby Reds or Bengals’ fields, or just out with a group of friends looking for good food. The prices are a bit higher, in keeping with The Banks in general, but the quality experience is there too.


  • There is parking in a garage beneath The Banks. As with much of the rest of the development though, that can cost you a bit.
  • Moerlein bottles its beers, so you should have an easy time finding them around the state, in particular at Kroger locations.
  • This is a good sports bar to bring a group, but you might want to make a reservation; it gets crowded and of course it’s prime gameday real estate.

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