Listermann Brewing Co.
1621 Dana Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45207
If your first impression of Listermann Brewing Company is that it doesn’t look like a “normal” microbrewery, you would be right. In fact, this spot predates many of the other craft beer options in Cincinnati by several years. First set up as a supply store for home-brewers, this spot joined the exploding craft taproom movement in 2008 with a small addition. Simple wood benches, florescent lighting and beer served in plastic cups doesn’t give this spot the feel of a bar. But it doesn’t need to stand on ceremony to make beers that blow you out of the water.
The beers here I’d call more along the experimental side; the most popular and exciting ones on the menu tend to be darker and with an overwhelming flavor of one unusual kind or another. All in all, I think they’re exciting though, especially for a person who might not be as interested in the style of beer and just wants to taste something cool. My favorites:
Friar Bacon Smoked Bock: The smoked beer is always a tricky thing, I think, because it’s an acquired taste, unless you really like craft beer. But this one has the delicious addition of bacon flavor, which reportedly comes from real bacon.
- Nutcase Peanut Butter Porter: Another heavy beer, and a porter at that, it comes with a full body and a strong forward and after taste of peanut butter. In fact, it’s got a sweetness to it, so it almost tastes like a peanut butter cup. I recommend having one of these — or even splitting one between several people. It’s delicious though.
- White Death Winter Warmer: This beer is made with cinnamon and bourbon barrel, and that’s going to me immediately clear when you give it a sniff. It’s got an almost honey-like aftertaste which I think is pleasant. That said, it’s a lot sweeter than many other beers of this variety. I like the sweetness, but a friend who is into darker beer made the point that this one can come off a little “like maple syrup.”
The beers are a little bit of an exaggerated flavor, especially when compared to many of their contemporaries. Many of them are very heavy, and one flavor overwhelms the rest of the beer’s other natural taste. Some very devout beer lovers might find that offensive, but I think it’s got an appeal. The spot strives and succeeds in being a unique experience.
This close to Xavier University, there are a ton of bars. It’s easy to become another forgettable one. Listermann, though, crafts an experience that is truly unique.
- This spot does a lot of darker beers with interesting flavors. It might not be the best spot for a beer snob, but I think people new to beer who want to try something interesting can get into it.
- The spot is a popular one on the brew bus tours around town.
- It also offers brew-your-own classes that teach the art of craft.