It’s hard to believe that it’s time to start celebrating an Urban Artifact Anniversary already. A year flys by faster than you think it’s going to when you’re enjoying some of the most unique beer that’s come out of Cincinnati’s already exciting beer scene. If my notes are correct, though, (and they usually are) on April 24th of last year this goofy brewery with a goofy concept that so many people said wouldn’t work opened up their doors to the public, changing a lot of people’s perceptions of what brewing beer has to mean.
Urban Artifact may not do things the “way you’re supposed to” – but their blatant disregarding of the rules is what has enabled them to put out the amazing stuff that they have so far. From thousands of pounds of whole fruit being used in the brewing process… Beers that taste like pickles… An incredibly inefficient Solera being set up (I’ll talk about that in the coming weeks) they’re doing things not because it’s trendy, or it’s what’s been done forever… They do this stuff because they are passionate about beer, and want to do things the way they want them…it’s amazing.
There’s a lot to talk about with this weekend’s party – so let’s dig in.
If you’re like me, this is the most important part – so I suppose we need to tackle this first.
You can get your palate ready for a lot of different beers…some fun favorites returning… some new stuff… and in a great move, Guest Taps! Keypunch, their Key Lime Gose is finally making its long awaited return, along with the debut of their Stein Club exclusive Stein Beer and the first release from their Solera, called Perpetuum.
- 12pm – Urban Artifact Hippodrome (2015 Vintage) Wild Double IPA
- 1pm – Jackie O’s Sweet Chocolate Love Chocolate Milk Stout
- 2pm – Urban Artifact Phrenology (Vintage Batch #1) Wild IPA
- 3pm – Ei8ht Ball Reintarnation BBA Aged Golden Strong Ale (GABF Winner)
- 4pm – Urban Artifact/Fibonacci Shiitake Calliope
- 5pm – Blank Slate Orchids Repose Stout with Cranberries
- 6pm – Urban Artifact Thoroughbred BBA Imperial Kentucky Common (2015 Vintage)
- 7pm – MadTree BBA Lift Kolsh Aged In Bourbon Barrels
Each of the special tappings are going to be $7, and there is some really exciting stuff here that you’re not going to see very much – that Shiitake Calliope (I’m calling it Shiitakope) or the BBA Lift? Sign me up for that. Vintage tappings of their Wild IPA and Wild DIPA are going to be really interesting to taste how the Brettanomyces has done it’s thing over time.
Music is a major part of any event here in Cincinnati…and Urban Artifact has become known for their amazing music program in their taproom. It’s left them with their own big shoes to fill for their anniversary party, so they’re going all out with the amount of music for the event. 10 hours worth of music? Hell yeah! Here’s what you can look forward to:
- 1:00 – Mike Moroski
- 3:00 – The Hot Magnolias
- 6:30 – Jim Trace & The Makers
- 8:00 – Cookin’ Hearts
- 9:15 – Gran Bel Fisher
- 10:00 – Fun Machine
- 10:45 – Maximon
- 11:30 – Coconut Milk
- 12:45 – Life Brother
There’s Food Too!
First off on their food front, there will be a food truck. Slice Slice Baby will be outside serving up their pizza in the beer garden while in taproom, there some great news as well.
It’s been rumored a bit, and we’re now going to finally see the launch of Urban Artifact’s food program. They decided to go with a slightly simpler approach than a lot of brewpubs might. They’ve teamed up with Gilpin’s Steamed Sandwiches to provide hot food on site. Each of the sandwiches that they offer are served on a pretzel bun with chips included.
- Steamed Grilled Cheese – 2 slices of sharp cheddar melted to perfection with crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos.
- Not Your Mama Mia’s Pizza – Hot Sriracha Marinara, Meatball, Fresh melted Provolone with a dash of oregano.
- Dorito’s, The Cincinnati Legend – Thinly sliced Turkey, steam melted aged cheddar, lettuce and crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos on top, finished with Parmesan peppercorn ranch honey mustard.
- Pull The Chicks – Steamed roasted pulled chicken, homemade basil pesto, green bell peppers with fresh melted provolone.
- Pride of Porkopolis – Smoked pulled pork layered with bacon and topped with BBQ Sriracha mayo, shredded lettuce and crushed BBQ chips on top.
They also have some really delicious cookies that they offer as well. If you’ve never tried Gilpin’s before, this is a great opportunity for you to do so…while enjoying some great beer as well. Gilpin’s has been voted for all kinds of awards here in town from Cincinnati Magazine, The Enquirer, City Beat and The New Record – if that means something to whether you should try it or not.
What’s Coming In Year Two?
Barrels. Bottles. These are the big things that people are clamoring for from Urban Artifact, and they’re closely tied to each other. The brewery is at the mercy of the barrels on this… as barrels of their traditional sours start to become available, you’ll start seeing bottle releases from the brewery. They aren’t going to push something out just to have something to release, and they’ve made that very clear. Doing things the right way, and the way that that want it done is more important than just having bottles out there in the world.
The brewery is really settling into their process, their beers are better than ever. I expect that in the next year you’re going to see the focus on their fruited beers (all with fresh fruit) becoming a big priority and an even bigger hit than they have been so far. I also expect a bigger push for local ingredients, from more fresh hops to some freshly grown fruit and vegetables making their way into their beers this year.