Rivertown ended their year with quite the ruckus here in Cincinnati. When they announced that they’d be building a production/brewpub facility up in Monroe to the tune of a big 32,000 square foot building with a 50bbl brewhouse pushing beer out to 40 taps, it was a welcome surprise to many of their fans here in the city, and an exciting development in what had already been an exciting year of changes and growth for the Lockland, Ohio brewery. Rivertown has seen a lot in the last couple years, from ownership changes to branding changes… a new logo… a remodeled taproom. It’s been one thing after another, and all to push Rivertown forward as the Cincinnati beer scene itself grows and changes with them.
One of the more exciting changes from a beer perspective was the launch of what they have called their ‘Liquid Ingenuity Series’.
The Liquid Ingenuity Series
One of the things that we as “beer geeks” really like in our taprooms is those fun, special tappings that they create for us. We love the rare offerings that a brewery makes in such small quantities that packaging is very limited or often even non-existent. Rivertown really kicked their special taproom series off last year with their Liquid Ingenuity Series, which had some great stuff like:
- Bourbon Chocolate Stout
- Honey Ginger IPA
- Sage On, Saison
But they aren’t done yet. They have decided to kick off 2016’s Liquid Ingenuity Series with a Chinook Black IPA. Deemed The Great Miami Hop Project: Episode 1 (We’ll get to that in a minute) the beer clocks in at 7.5% ABV with 55 tongue tingling IBUs. They loaded up the grain bill of the beer with American 2 Row, Spring Wheat Barley, Caramunich, Scottish Dark Crystal Malt and a duhusked roasted barley malt called Carafa.
They describe the beer like this:
Pouring an inky black into the glass with a sharp, resiny pine aroma, the flavor of this black IPA is rich, sweet, nutty and nicely balanced by the fresh herbal/pine flavor from the fresh, wet Chinook hops. We added 1/2 pound of hops per barrel directly into the fermentation tank, and allowed to mature for optimum hop flavor extraction and enjoyment.
So, if you’re a lover of Black IPAs like I am, this is probably sounding pretty exciting to you right now, but the fun part really lies in the hops that they used.
Great Miami Hops
Great Miami Hops is a new(er) hop farm located in Fairfield, Ohio… sort of right smack in between the current Lockland Rivertown, and the future Monroe Rivertown… The hop farm harvested these Chinook hops and sent them off to Rivertown for use in this beer. If you haven’t had a chance to try a wet hopped beer, yet… it’s certainly time you did. Wet hops lend a lot of flavors to a beer that their dried and palletized brethren can’t hope to achieve.
Great Miami hops had some of their wet hops make an appearance in one of Butler County’s 2 breweries this Summer for DogBerry Brewing’s wet hop IPA.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that you’re going to be seeing things from Great Miami hops not only in future Rivertown batches, but in some other local breweries offerings as well. It takes the whole ‘drink local’ concept another step forward into some really fun territory that I’d like to see explored even farther with some farm fresh ingredients.
This Tuesday, the beer is getting tapped at Rivertown’s Barrelhouse taproom. They open at 4pm and will have it on tap when the doors open… be there. This is a limited offering, and with an addition of wet hops, it’s not one that they can just make willy-nilly whenever the mood strikes, so don’t sit on this too long, or you’ll show up for a big glass of disappointment. There might also be some kegs of this making their way out into the Cincinnati/Dayton/NKY markets as well… so keep your eyes peeled on your favorite tap handles, and if you see it, please let me know!
Cheers! I’ll see you all Tuesday!