All About Rivertown

Rivertown was one of the ‘OG’ Cincinnati craft breweries, opening their doors in 2009 (they didn’t really open doors, as taprooms weren’t legal until 2012)  They were also one of the first breweries that gave me my first experiences with sour beer, and the palate expanding that comes along with the unique style.

Quickly outgrowing their original space in Lockland, they opened up their big production facility in Monroe in early 2017 giving them plenty of room to try to take Rivertown into the future of craft beer here in Cincinnati.

I could blame a lot of things… but after a few years in Monroe, the business took several big hits, and with the onset of the pandemic, Rivertown couldn’t survive anymore and was forced to permanently close its doors in the beginning of 2022.

What was Rivertown Like?

The Monroe Barrelhouse, as it was dubbed, was part brewery, part restaurant.  This brewpub concept was the idea for Rivertown from the get-go.  Their barbecue was delicious, and paired wonderfully with a tap lineup that varies greatly from easy-drinking lagers to barrel-aged sours that will twist your thoughts on what beer is “supposed to be”.  (You can find some beer notes about their packaged beer here.)

The restaurant space had another unique feature in its free-to-play arcade games surrounding the room.  Family friendliness was near the top of their priorities, and they nailed it.

The Complete Rivertown Timeline

  • 2008 – After winning the Sam Adams Longshot competition and losing his long-time job, Jason Roeper starts planning to open a brewery, teaming up with Randy Schiltz.
  • August 2008 – The lease is signed for Rivertown’s original location in Lockland.
  • December 2009 – The first batch of beer is brewed in the production facility.
  • 2010 – Rivertown is the first brewery since Hudepohl-Schoenling closed to distribute locally in 6 and 12 packs into grocery stores.
  • 2012 – The brewery kicks off their Brewmaster’s reserve series of “specialty beers” – the first series is themed after the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  They also opened their taproom as the laws finally changed to allow it.
  • September 2013 – Expansion begins when the brewery buys three new 30bbl fermenters and a 30bbl bright tank, bringing their production up from around 600bbls to 720bbls monthly.
  • March 2014 – The brewery installs its first 60bbl fermenter.
  • 2014 – Jason Roeper also buys out Randy, who moves on to start planning Wooden Cask Brewery.  The focus of Rivertown has shifted heavier into sour beer.
  • 2015 – Rivertown announces its significant expansion to Monroe with a massive production facility.
  • January 20, 2017 – Rivertown’s 27,000-square-foot production space opens in Monroe.
  • February 2022 – Announced via a note on their door – Rivertown permanently closes.