Updated: Jan 26, 2019
This is an archived copy of what was originally posted on Facebook.
The Great Brewery Tour was back in Cincinnati last night, playing at GAFB's 2018 Brewer of the Year Brink Brewing Co. Brink has been on a heck of a run lately, collecting numerous medals from all over the place (see photo), and as this was my first visit I was pretty psyched to try their goods.
The Brewery and taproom are in the North College Hill section of the city, right in the middle of the town, and if you can't find parking on the street there is a huge free parking lot hidden away behind the building (where there is also a sizable drinking patio, weather permitting). The taproom is sizable, with a variety of seating options, a good sized bar in the middle, and lots of nice woodwork as well as more rustic barrels, etc. throughout.
Brink Brewing Company - Cincinnati, OH
Beers available on tap and some via growlers.
Played: 11/9/18, 12/31/18, 1/18/19
The first brew to catch my eye was the Chocolate Milkshake IPA (6.5%). Normally I might save one of these for later in the night, but I hadn't had a milkshake variety in a while, so it called out to me. A hazy golden hue, and surprisingly not much of an aroma that I could detect, but the medium bodied and hopped IPA was well balanced, with just a hint of chocolate flavor throughout, especially evident on the backend. “Chocolate Milkshake” makes people think thick and heavy, but it actually drinks like an IPA. I enjoyed it.
My next pour was the La Guavanita NE IPA (7.6%). A New England style (read: hazy) IPA, very refreshing, with tropical fruity and floral flavors provided by the Eldorado hops. A very pleasurable and satisfying drink that goes down as easy as a session, but with a bit more body and flavor. I could could drink this one all night, but would need an Uber...
Next up was one of the GABF gold medal winners, the Moozie Milk Stout (6.2%). Fantastic for such a cold winter's night (first snow flurries of the season on my drive home), we're talking about a creamy milk stout with chocolate and coffee flavors throughout, with lactose and flakes oats adding to the body... this is hands down one of the best milk stouts you're ever going to find. I'm looking forward to a growler or two of this magic while curled up on the couch hiding from the snow. Fantastic!
I think I might have chosen poorly on my next beer. I switched back to an IPA, and boy what an IPA it was... the Riddled With Hops American IPA (6.7%) which weighed in at 102 IBU. Riddled With Hops is a good name, as Kicked Your Ass With Hops would also be, or Hopped You Right In the Face. MAN was this one hoppy beer! On another night, perhaps not following such a fantastic milk stout I might have enjoyed it more, but I found it to be just a bit silly in it's hoppiness. I mean, it was HOPPY. In fairness, I did drink it right after the Moozie, which I fell in love with, so I should probably try it again on it's own for a less biased critique... but regardless, this is a brew for people who like heavily hoppy beers.
Just before leaving for the night I had only a sip of another medal winner, the Hold the Reins English Mild Ale (4.6%). Slightly nutty, with a roasted element to it, I REALLY enjoyed the small sample I had, and regretted that I hadn't had a proper pint of it earlier. So there's another reason for me to return to Brink ASAP...
I must say Andy and the staff and partners I met were all great people, and they attract a great crowd. The place was busy all night (it was already packed when I got there, and was right up until close), and the people were extremely friendly and enthusiastic about both the beers and the music. Brink is definitely on my short list of favorite Cincinnati breweries, and I'd dare say puts out a better product than some of the currently more trendy or “bigger” local options. If you think you know Cincinnati breweries but haven't been to Brink yet, you're seriously missing the boat. This place is essential.