I have spent a lot of time on this blog post. I’ve been trying to find the right way to tell the story of Cartridge and their Motto Series. It’s such a simple story, but one that once you start to dive in unlocks a lot of things that tell you exactly who Cartridge is. It becomes a lot bigger, I guess.
Motto is a series of special releases from Cartridge. These barrel-aged beers are the result of time, dedication, and that little bit of extra magic that makes craft beer so freaking fun (and unpredictable). But the series is also about something much broader. It cuts a little deeper for the company too – and I don’t think I really understood that until just recently.
The brewery just wrapped up a wildly successful release. It sold out in just a couple of hours! While it was the third beer in the series, it was the first one that they bottled. The beer is called Motto: Rendevous With Destiny – a bourbon barrel-aged stout… 10.4% ABV. They say (and I’ll take their word for it… it sold out too fast for me to snag a bottle) that this one is big, bold, and drinkable. It’s designed to soak up the bourbon character from its Makers Mark barrels.
Sounds pretty freaking tasty, doesn’t it?
The label is graced with men from the 101st, and the name is from their Screaming Eagles’ motto – which is where this story gets a lot deeper.
Kyle Hackbarth is co-founder and COO of Cartridge Brewing Company, and his story is really important if you want to understand the Motto series. Kyle enlisted in the 101st following the events of 9/11 – and in more ways, than this little blog post could begin to explain – it shaped who he was, and who he is today.
I would go as far as to say that it shaped who Cartridge Brewing Company is, too. It’s by some sort of luck, or fate, or something that the brewery ends up being in an old abandoned ammunition factory. It brings it all together in a way that you can’t really manufacture.
The 101st is the only air assault division of the US Army, and it was founded in 1942. Their Screaming Eagles have become one of the most deployed and distinguished divisions in Army history. Their motto promises a ‘rendezvous with destiny’ which is sort of why this release is so perfect for Cartridge, who, only in their second year is really figuring out how to define themselves in this beer scene better than I could have ever predicted.
Where It Comes Together
You get where we’re at with this, right? Here’s a brewpub, built in an old abandoned ammunition factory – a project that a lot of folks said was too big to ever actually happen. The business was founded and is owned by a veteran who works hard to honor both the past and history of the military, the ground their space now occupies, as well as his own military service.
Why would this not be one of the most fitting bottle releases that this city has seen?
Where Does It All Go?
This series is just getting started. You’ll see plenty more barrel-aged products (and bottled products) from Cartridge as they keep growing. That’s not to say that it’s all you should know about them, though. This brewery is operating an amazing brewpub and also dedicating itself to becoming one of the big players in Cincinnati’s “lager revival” that I am thoroughly enjoying.
I think that it’s fairly safe to say that no matter what type of beer you find yourself gravitating towards, you’ll find something there that makes you happy.
As the Motto series keeps growing and continuing – I’ll have information about it right here on the blog (you can always find the latest news about Cartridge right here). I recommend, though, that if you’re as big of a fan of Cartridge as I think that you need to be, you should definitely be following them on social media, too.