If you haven’t been to Listermann Brewing’s taproom in the last 6 months or so… you’re in for a surprise the next time you do.  Things certainly look quite a bit different there.  But the changes aren’t all as visible as the up-to-date taproom is.

gnarly-bachickowBest of Show

I don’t imagine that it’s easy to find right now on any shelves – but if you haven’t tried Triple Digit’s Barrel Aged Chickow!  You’re missing something pretty awesome.  Triple Digit (if you haven’t been paying attention) is the higher gravity side of Listermann, where you’ll find some local favorites like Chickow! or Cranium.  The big, sweet hazelnut double brown called Chickow! has an entire legion of fans supporting it here in town (and beyond) – heck… they even give the stuff its own holiday in the summer.

To me, though… it get’s infinitely better in its barrel aged form.

It seems like I’m not alone in my BA love of Chickow! The brewery entered it into this years FOBAB (Festival of Barrel Aged Beer) in Chicago.  I think hopes were high, after all, last year they took home a silver medal for the beer.  They blew away the judges and those who were lucky enough to snag some at the festival and not only took home a gold medal for the beer – but took home ‘Best In Show’, cementing BA Chickow! as the brewery’s most awarded beer to date.

I can’t recommend this beer enough, and you should probably read my tasting notes to see what you’re missing.

A New Brewer

You might remember reading a little bit about this during the summer, but after losing their former head brewer Patrick Gilroy, the brewery went on an exhaustive search literally across the country to find Jared Lewinski.

Although I have only met the guy once, and only got to talk to him for a little bit, he seems like he’s going to be a fantastic fit into what Listermann is doing, and if you haven’t been watching, it seems like he’s already putting his own stamp on things with some unique stuff coming out that the brewery hasn’t done before.  It’s incredibly fun taking a step back from it all and watching Listermann take a big step into their future with Jared at the help of the brewing.

What’s the point of new beer, and a new brewer, and new awards if there isn’t a good place to sit and drink it?  Well… no worries there, Listermann has you covered in that department as well.

taproomThe Taproom

The taproom is more than twice the size that you might remember it being.  In fact, it’s got a completely different vibe than you might remember from years past.  What used to be the taproom is now a massive bar, that stretches across the entire room, with a ‘snug’ tucked into one side of it. (a snug is like a private drinking booth… often found in traditional irish pubs)

The upper level of the taproom that used to house the store now houses the indoor biergarten.   It’s full of picnic tables, shuffleboard, giant Jenga – all the stuff that you would hope to find at even the best outdoor biergarten.  And currently under construction is a new standalone Renegade Street Eats kitchen, which means soon enough there will be food as well to keep the crowds from getting too hungry.

Other Stuff

The donut beer that got the Cincinnati beer community talking ‘562 Lateral – Gone Nuts’ was recently voted as the crowd favorite at Yelp’s Baked & Brewed event.  The beer was Listermann’s take on a Chocolate Coconut Donut.

The brewery has released two beers out of a new series that they’re calling ‘High Society’ – I’ll have more on this hopefully within the next week or so, but it’s a series of beers that just pull out some of the fun barrel aging products they have in back, and so far both of the releases have been pretty freaking delicious – so look out for those.

Bottle releases seem to be moving into 12oz bottles now as opposed to the 22oz bombers that they were in the past.  This makes it a little easier for you to snag a bottle (or two) to take home and try.  I think Listermann probably holds the award for the most packaged releases of any brewery in Cincinnati – so anything that makes it easier to get more of it is a welcome change for me.

Things are changing, and improving at Listermann at a breakneck speed.  Keep your eyes peeled as they do, so far it’s all been pretty exciting stuff, and I’ll do my best to try to keep you up to date on it all!

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