When Christian Moerlein announced that they’d be closing their taproom and production brewery back in December of 2020, I didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to write a post like this again – but here we are. The hype train has once again left the craft beer station, and at the helm of it, this time is none other than the Cincinnati Beverage Company – which if you weren’t aware is the ”new” name for Christian Moerlein.

Why I Love This

There are a few times in the story of Cincinnati craft beer that things line up, and craft beer has something that happens where a stick of dynamite is ignited. It’s hard enough to get craft beer geeks excited about beer these days, and it’s even harder to get non craft beer geeks fired up.

Think back to recent history – we’ve seen a few instances where EVERYONE lined up for a beer. Listermann released Fiona, Braxton, and their Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip Stout. It’s like catching lightning in a bottle. You can pay marketing firms as much money as you want and there is never a guarantee that things will catch on the way you think they will – it just happens.

What gets me really, really excited about craft beer right now is seeing everyone else pumped about it. I know that things are exciting. I know that we’ve got great beer being made by great people here in town. When things line up, though, and the “outside world’ – the muggles – when they get excited, too? Oh… that raises my pulse a lot.


Let’s take a quick trip back in history. All the way back to 1981, that is. The Hudepohl Brewing Company released cans of their local favorite 14-K lager to celebrate the Bengals making their Superbowl debut. They weren’t done, either… 1988… another Superbowl, and another release of 14-K cans.

I’m sure you’ve seen these cans… they’ve become a bit of a collector’s item – a staple of any Cincinnati beer (or Cincinnati football) fan’s collection.

Of course… there are also the bottles that were released back in 2015, too… we didn’t make the Superbowl that year, but we did win the division – and things were exciting. Seems good enough for this Bengals fan to get behind!

But now? It’s 2022 and Joe Burrow and our Bengals have proven that not only do we have a shot… we’re there. Superbowl bound. The Cincinnati Beverage Company (Christian Moerlein… Hudepohl) is releasing it again.

This Years Release

It already happened, before you go about asking me. Yesterday morning the brewery released a very limited amount of this year’s Hu-Dey cans… and the city went absolutely apeshit over it.

I went downtown to snag my six-pack and was met with traffic jams on every street that were unlike anything I think I’ve seen before. There were hundreds, if not thousands of orange-clad Bengals fans lined up for blocks waiting to do the same thing. And while I knew getting my hands on this beer was going to be tough – it felt really, really good.

These weren’t just crafted beer geeks, lining up for a new dry-hopped, skittle-infused, lactose-ridden, Unicorn Fart beer. These were Bengals fans, Cincinnati fans, Beer fans, Underdog story fans… they were all showing up on a Monday at lunchtime to be a part of this story.

I get that not everyone was able to get the beer… I also understand that there were a lot of hiccups with the process. I chalk that up to a brewery that isn’t used to trying to orchestrate this sort of thing. It was a LONG day for a lot of folks (including those in the brewery). But overall, I hope you walked away with the same feeling about it as I did.

What You Should Be Taking Away From This

This is a side of craft beer that we should be seeing more of. It brings craft beer into the faces (and hands) of people who aren’t craft beer drinkers. It creates excitement – it ties together ”normal life” with craft beer in a way that no delicious stout can ever hope to do on its own.

We should be embracing this much harder than I think any of us are.

That’s not to say that a better run release wouldn’t have improved things – I think that goes without saying. More beer to sell, and a better laid out plan of how to do it would have left people feeling a lot better about yesterday.

The outlook I have chosen to wake up today with is a good one. Cincinnati is fired up, beer fans are fired up. This is really, really cool stuff!

4 thoughts on “It Turns Out Hype Still Exists In Craft Beer – Just Ask Moerlein.”

    1. They did! They release it every year now – but nothing can compare to that excitement when they first did it, it was wild!

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