Before we dive too deep into this beer release, can we take a minute to just soak this in? Fifty West has been open for more than 10 years at this point. Ten freaking years. I’m not sure how many of you can remember stepping foot in that brewpub when it first opened (I hope a lot of you). The beer scene in Cincinnati was very, very different. Things were still fresh, exciting, and open to the possibility of just about anything. We knew what craft beer looked like in different cities, but Cincinnati was clearly far behind the curve – and the whole future was spread out in front of us.

We are living in that future, and I (and Fifty West, also) think that it’s time to celebrate. Let’s celebrate beer, Cincinnati, Fifty West – all of it.

It’s time for a beer release!

The Remus’ Revenge Series

The Remus’ Revenge Series started with a beer called Ardad’s Advice. This beer was brewed in 2013 as the fiftieth batch of beer out of the brewpub (which… by the way… you should head over to YouTube and search for Fifty West’s Fiftieth Batch video. It might be one of my favorite videos any local brewery has ever made). The beer hit barrels soon after and in February of 2014, it kicked off a series of bottles.

The plan at the time was to see this series have a new release every few months, and for a while it did. As time rolled on, though, the releases became farther in between until they hit the point that we’re at now. Special occasions, fun projects… they’re rare.

That doesn’t mean the series isn’t still alive, because it is. In fact, to celebrate their 10th anniversary they’re rolling out the biggest Remus Revenge release that I think they’ve ever done, with five different bottles released in the brewery (and in one of their special retail partners).

The Tenth Anniversary Revenge Release

Look at it this way, if you’re going to release something for a tenth anniversary, you can’t just do things like normal. You really need to kick it up a notch or two. That’s why 50W is doing things in a massive way with this one. It starts on January 6th down at the Party Source.

Coffee Dipped Biscotti Method In Madness BBA Stout

This beer is going to be exclusive to The Party Source on 1/6 – so you’ll have to make it down to the store to snag your 12oz bottles (they’re limiting it to two per person). The beer is brewed with cacao nibs, vanilla, Deeper Roots ‘La Armonia Hermosa’ Guatemala Coffee, anise seed and toasted almond. It comes in at 15% ABV and there are only 16 cases of it available (they’ll go for $14 a piece).

Then, on the big day at Fifty West they’re releasing these four goodies:

The Pharmacologist, BBA Barleywine

In the words of the brewery “The empire that Remus built didn’t fall from the sky. Before the infamous bootlegger became an icon, he worked at his Uncle’s neighborhood pharmacy until the day he finally purchased it. His pharmacological know-how helped fuel an exploit he imposed to acquire alcohol during prohibition. With the confines of the strict Volstead Act was the ability to purchase alcohol when prescribed for medicinal purposes. What ails you, my friend?”

These 12oz bottles will sell for $12 a piece and the limit is three per person. Only 11 cases of them will be for sale. It comes in at 11.5% and I’d be lying if I said I’m not pretty excited to try it.

Method In Madness BBA Stout (Base)

A new stout from Fifty West? Sign me the heck up. In their words: “There was always a method in the madness. Prior to building his bootlegging empire, George Remus practiced law and was known to go to extreme measures in order to protect his clients. He famously created the “transitory insanity” defense to weasel criminals out of jail time. In fact, while on trial for the murder of his wife, Imogene, he represented himself and successfully convinced a jury that he was temporarily insane.”

The beer is a big 15% ABV and the 12oz bottles will be $12 apiece. There’s again a three-per-person limit and there are 12 cases that will be available.

Now, on to the two variants.

Maple Barrel Method In Madness BBA Stout

If you take the base version of Method In Madness and tuck it away in a bourbon barrel that also held maple syrup… you get this. It’s 15% ABV and will sell for $14 in its 12oz bottles. There are only 6 cases of this one for sale – and a strict 2 per person limit on them.

Coconut & Hazelnut Method In Madness BBA Stout

Again, take that base stout and this time add toasted coconut flakes and chopped hazelnuts to get this variant. Not just a little though – we’re talking about 25 lbs of coconut per barrel and 15 lbs per barrel of hazelnuts. This one should be pretty freaking tasty! There’s a limit of 2 per person, and they’re $14 for the 12oz bottles. Only 6 cases will be available like the Maple Barrel variant.

A Sign That Cincinnati Is Growing Up

I sat down for this upcoming week’s episode of Cincy Brewcast with Bobby and Max to talk about the reopening brewpub, as well as the tenth anniversary of Fifty West, and I was struck by a thought. I can remember sitting down at Mt. Carmel as they were celebrating their 10th anniversary and being awed by the fact that one of our little local craft breweries had made it 10 years.

That might not be as novel today to some of you… but it still is to me.

There are only 9 breweries in Cincy that can currently make that claim (though, that number climbs each year… and this year there are four more that will enter that club). I’m proud of these places. They have not only become spots that drinkers love to come to, to learn, to socialize, to eat, to gather… they’ve become an inspiration for the places that come along after them.

Would we have some of the places around town today if Fifty West hadn’t opened? What would some places look like, what would the beer be like? I might just be feeling a little nostalgic, but I’m proud to live in a city that has a place like this, and you should be too.

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