Buying a kegerator is a big investment into your love for beer. It is very important to research different brands and models before you buy. I have heard many horror stories about poorly constructed systems ruining the home draft experience. There are two basic options if you want draft beer at home. You either build one or buy one. I have done both and either option will work out just fine.
Make a list consisting of your budget, how much space you have for one, and how many taps you want. When you have laid out a wish list, check reviews on popular models and read about the good and the bad. Do your homework! This is an investment. Most kegerators last many years and pour many beers.
Here are the 10 top rated kegerators on Amazon Kegerators in 2015 according to price, number of reviews, and review scores. Some of these are even eligible for Amazon Prime.
Our Newest Versonel kegerator with Digital LCD Quick View front temperature display to keep your draft beer at optimal temperature at all times. Versonel Kegerators allow you to brew your own beer or purchase kegs from your local distributor for your enjoyment. Everyone knows draft tap beer from a keg tastes better than bottled. It will also save you money. Buying beer in a keg is always cheaper than buying bottled. If you brew your own beer or use a brewing house then it saves in most cases over half the price of the bottled beer equivalent! Versonel freestanding fridges are also used in various licensed venues (Bars/Cafes/Restaurants). The convenience, portability and aesthetics of this Kegerator make a great addition to anyone's home or venue. FEATURES: Front Panel - Quick View LCD Digital Temperature Display Temperature Adjustment - ranges from 34 degrees to mid 40's. Sleek black finish w/ stainless steel door Space Saver - CO2 tank stores conveniently inside the refrigerator, unit can be placed flush to wall Chrome guard rail to house tap and drip tray unit 4 removable Caster Wheels with locks for ease of movement Single Black Tap Tower and Chrome Tap Font w/ 'snap back' springs 2 Piece Stainless Steel top Drip Tray Easy installation instructions included Can convert easily to a standard 6cf bar fridge (2 internal wire shelves included) Note: Beer and Gas not included. Capacity: 6cf INCLUDED: All parts and accessories needed to install standard barrel kegs and 2 removable wire racks to convert to a standard bar fridge. CO2 tank must be filled and proprietary kegs may need custom taps installed. - Standard Keg coupler - Rubber choke - CO2 regulator - Beer tower tap - beer hose assembly: includes standard 5ft hose, fittings are included if longer hose is required - Beer tower washer - High pressure washer - Air hose - Drip pan top - Keg Protective base board (internal) - Beer Tower hole cover - CO2 tank - 2.5 lbs. - Guard rail - Beer tap wrench.
Serve you and your friends or family cold, refreshing draft beer with the EdgeStar Full Size Stainless Steel Dual Tap Kegerator & Draft Beer Dispenser (KC2000SSTWIN). This stainless steel beer kegerator represents excellent value, as it combines an inexpensive imported refrigerator with commercial-grade, NSF approved beer lines. You can store up to a full sized half shell Sankey standard keg, with limited exceptions (does not support use of Coors, Miller rubberized or other oversized kegs), which gives you the perfect amount of beer for large gatherings or parties. The double tap kegerator will also fit two (2) standard sixth barrels, or two (2) cornelius (homebrewed) kegs with an additional ball lock connector (sold separately). This Edgestar kegerator is UL listed and includes a 5 lb aluminum CO2 cylinder (supplied empty). With an easy set-up, this keg cooler is perfect for people who are unfamiliar with setting up a home draft beer system. We strongly recommend purchasing a cleaning kit with this kegerator- beer equipment should be cleaned after every keg. Fully Kitted Dual Tap Kegerator: Ships complete with all components needed to tap one keg or two sixth barrels. Integrated Casters: The casters that ship with the unit allow for easy movement. UL Listed: Approved by the most trusted source for product compliance in the world This dual tap kegerator will accept up to two standard sixth barrels, or two cornelius (homebrewed) kegs with an additional ball or pin lock connector (sold separately).
The EdgeStar KC2000 Draft Beer Dispenser offers you all the advantages of enjoying your favorite draft beer at the pub, in the comforts of your home. Holding just about any size keg shell, including the most common kege shells popular half and quarter shells, this economical and well crafted model comes with American made components including an American Sankey keg coupler to fit most of your favorite domestic beer kegs. Additional features include: caster wheels for easy portability, a movable drip tray and chrome railing. The sleek black cabinet with chrome tower will impress any beer aficionado. Our easy installation guide, which includes step by step installation with photos, will make setup a snap. You will be enjoying draft beer in no time. Other features include two removable wire coated shelves allowing easy conversion into an auto defrost refrigerator. Plus a metal floor plate to protect your refrigerator while it's being used as a beer dispenser. This unit also comes complete with a 5 lb. CO2 cylinder equipped with an easy to read pressure gauge that hides discretely on the back.
K309SS-2 Features: -All dispensing accessories are UL recognized components. -Digital temperature control keeps temperature in range of 32°F-75°F. -Deep Chill function to quickly cool down warm keg. -Easy roll casters for mobility. Generic Specifications: -Matte black cabinet and stainless steel door Stainless door has a protective film on it to prevent scratches during shipment. You can peel the film off once the kegerator is set up. Stainless steel interior floor mat for long lasting durability and easy glide of beer keg Plugs into standard home outlet Adjustable mechanical temperature control (easily accessed at the back of the unit) UL Listed 1 year parts and labor warranty, 5 years parts only warranty on compressor and sealed system. -Includes a brand new 5 lb. Aluminum Co2 Tank: This Tank is produced from high strength aluminum alloy 6061-T6. This is superior to a steel tank because it will not rust. The service pressure is up to 1800 PSI/124 BAR with a test pressure of 3000 PSI/207 BAR. These cyldiners are stamped with required U.S. Department of Transportation and Transport Canada Markings. The 320 Valves are CGA approved, and have a male thread for Co2 Regulators. Average fill good for 5-6 Kegs depending upon your fill. (5.5" diameter, 18.25" Height).. -Includes Single Gauge Co2 Regulator with Air Distributor: This Regulator works with any Co2 Tank with a CGA-320 valve. Comes with an air distributor. The single gauge measures PSI indicating how much Co2 pressure is inside the keg. Adjustable output pressure 0-60 psi. 3000 psig Max Primary Inlet. 60 psig Safety Relief Valve R82. Female CGA-320 connection. Ball valve outlet w/ 5/16" OD Hose Barb connection. Total ports = (2) Primary 1/4" FNPT ports, (2) Secondary 1/4" FNPT ports. UL Listed, Compressed Gas Regulator - for use w/ Air, Co2 and Inert Gases.. -Includes Two 5 feet lengths of 5/16 Inch I.D. Blue Air Line with 2 Snap Clamps each: The standard length is 5 feet of 5/16" I.D. Blue Air/Co2 Tubin
Style, convenience, and efficiency combine in this Kegco K309B-1 Beer Keg Dispenser. This kegerator has rolling casters that allow it to be easily moved from room to room, and a sleek black finish that will look great with any decor. Additional features like an easy-to-clean removable driptray and chrome safety guard prevent inconvenient messes, and a 25% more energy efficient design will save you money every month! Fan forced cooling circulates the air for even temperatures throughout unit. It features one of the coldest temperature ranges of any draft beer dispenser on the market, allowing it to be set as low as 32 degrees. Another convenient cooling feature on the K309B-1 is the Deep Chill Function, which forces the compressor to work continuously for 24 hours to quickly cool down a warm beer keg. This Keg Beer Cooler can accommodate any full size Keg (including Rubber kegs, Miller kegs, and Coors kegs) thanks to it's large interior. It can also fit up to two 5 Gallon D System Kegs or up to three 5 Gallon Cornelius Ball Lock Home-Brew Kegs. This keg refrigerator doesn't only hold kegs: when you're not using this versatile unit as a beer keg cooler, you can easily convert it into a regular refrigerator using the two wire shelves that are provided. These shelves can be placed far enough apart to allow you to store 2-liter soda jugs, gallon jugs, or even bottles of wine!K309B-1 Beer Keg Refrigerators from Kegco come complete with everything you will need to dispense a refreshing glass of your favorite cold draft beer. The Direct Draw Tap Kit includes a Keg Coupler, CO2 Tank and Regulator, One-Faucet Draft Tower, and air and beer lines. These parts can be customized to better fit your style and the types of kegs and beverages that you are going to dispense.
Serve up cold draft beer in the comfort of your own home using the EdgeStar Full Size Dual Tap Built-In Kegerator (KC7000SSTWIN). Built-In Capable: Because of its front ventilation, this kegerator can be undercounter built-in or used in a freestanding application Forced Air Refrigeration System: Due to a powerful forced air refrigeration system, cold air is evenly distributed throughout the kegerator to maintain your desired temperature, eliminating possible hot spots and guaranteeing the perfect pour with every dispense Air-Cooled Beer Tower: Cold air is directed up to and throughout the beer tower, preventing lost beer from a foaming first pour and ensuring that your brew stays cold from keg to glass Premium Draft Components: (1) 5 lb. Luxfer CO2 tank, (1) dual-gauge regulator, (2) D Sankey couplers, (2) NSF PVC beer lines, (2) red CO2 lines, (1) stainless steel dual tap beer tower, (2) 304 stainless steel faucets, & (2) black tap handles Durable Construction: Both the heavy-duty door and the professional towel bar handle are fully wrapped in sturdy stainless steel, providing you with a unit that is as durable as it is sleek Reinforced Floor: Due to its stainless steel reinforcement, the floor is able to withstand the wear and tear of the continuous changing and rotating of kegs Included Kegerator Accessories: In order to make beer dispensing hassle-free, this unit arrives with a stainless steel top cover, drip tray, guard rail, and four (4) mobility casters Electronic Control Panel: All of your unit settings are easily adjusted using the electronic control panel with push buttons and digital temperature display LED Interior Lighting: LED interior lighting illuminates your keg and components while consuming less energy and not emitting any heat, so the temperature of your kegs will remain uncompromised Reversible Door w/ Lock: You have the option of reversing the door swing Dimensions: 34 3/8" H x 23 13/16" W x 25 3/8" D
The Kegco K309B-3HB Triple Faucet Home Brew Kegerator with Black Matte Finish adds digital functionality and a wider available temperature range to one of the best kegerators you can find. This kegerator is big enough to hold three 5 gallon home brew ball lock cornelius kegs and comes with all the necessary draft beer equipment to dispense them. It still has all the features you've come to appreciate from other high quality Kegco models, such as attractive styling, a removable built-in drip tray that is easy to clean, a chrome guardrail that prevents glasses from sliding off the top and easy rolling casters. Now you have the ability to see your specific temperature setting and set it easily with the push of a button, in addition to having a wider available temperature range for more precise temperature control. The K309 has Fan-Forced cooling, giving it one of the coldest temperature ranges of any beer dispenser on the market today. The fan helps provide even cooling throughout the unit. Temperature can be set as low as 32 degrees to dispense ice cold beer. The interior of this keg beer cooler is spacious enough to easily hold any full size keg, including Miller kegs, Coors Kegs and rubber kegs. It comes with 2 adjustable shelves, allowing you to space them far enough apart to hold 2-liter bottles or gallon jugs. With the wide temperature range available in the K309, you can even use it to store wine!
Kegco's K209SS-2 Draft Beer Dispenser is a high-quality beer keg refrigerator with a stainless steel door that includes everything needed to dispense two 5 gallon store bought kegs of draft beer. It has all the necessary equipment to pour a cold, tasty glass of beer, and it can also easily be converted into a regular refrigerator with it's two adjustable storage shelves. This keg cooler boasts an interior big enough to easily accommodate two 5 gallon kegs along with the dispense system, or cases of your favorite cold beverages. The stainless steel interior floor plate provides durability by displacing the weight of the keg evenly over the floor of the cabinet, allowing you to slide the kegs in and out smoothly. The versatility of these beer dispensers make them an excellent choice for anyone wanting draft beer on tap at home all the time while also providing the optional storage space of an extra refrigerator.Kegco Full-Size Keg Beer Refrigerators are quiet and energy efficient for use in the home. Easy roll casters make moving this K209SS-2 Beer Cooler from your bar to your patio a breeze, and they lock to prevent the unit from rolling once you have it in position. This beer refrigerator has black sides and top with a stainless steel door that will look great dispensing beer in your home. It also has a recessed drip tray with a plastic grill that can easily be taken out and cleaned in the dishwasher, and an attractive chrome safety rail that helps to keep mugs and glasses from sliding off. This beer dispenser comes with everything you need except the kegs. The CO2 tank is shipped empty and will need to be filled locally.These keg beer coolers can fit one Full Size or Pony Keg, up to two Quarter Slim Kegs, two 5 gallon commercial kegs, or up to three 5 gallon Cornelius home-brew kegs.
This elegant and energy efficient freestanding K309SS-1 Digital Keg Beer Refrigerator from Kegco features the same high quality and attractive styling that you've come to expect from Kegco keg refrigerators, as well as digital temperature control that gives you a wider available temperature range and allows you to easily view your temperature setting in Fahrenheit or Celsius and adjust it up or down at the push of a button. These keg beer coolers also have convenient additions like a removable and easy-to-clean drip tray, easy rolling casters, and a chrome guard rail that prevents your glasses from sliding off the top of the kegerator.This Keg Cooler has a large interior that can accommodate any full-size keg, including Coors Kegs, Miller kegs, and rubber kegs. It can also fit up to two 5 Gallon D System Kegs or up to three 5 Gallon Cornelius Ball Lock Homebrew Kegs, giving you to option to dispense more than one beer at a time. When you're not using this versatile unit as a beer refrigerator, it can be converted into a regular refrigerator using the two included wire shelves, allowing you to store 2-liter soda jugs, gallon jugs, or even bottles of wine!The K309SS-1 Keg Dispenser uses Fan Forced Cooling, providing even cooling throughout the unit and giving it one of the coldest temperature ranges of any beer dispenser on the market. The temperature can be set as low as 32 degrees. These beer dispensers also have a Deep Chill Function that forces the compressor to work continuously for 24 hours to quickly cool down a warm beer keg. Kegco K309SS-1 Kegerators come with all of the draft beer dispense equipment required to pour a delicious glass of cold draft beer, including a Keg Coupler, CO2 Tank, Regulator, and air and beer lines. Beverage Factory lets you to customize your beer dispensing setup to fit your needs, including giving you the option to choose the keg coupler that will allow you to tap the kind of kegs you prefer!
The Kegco K309B-2 Two-Faucet Digital Beer Dispenser has all the features that you've come to appreciate from other high quality Kegco models, now with digital temperature controls, fan-forced cooling, and one of the widest available temperature ranges on the market. Standard features include an easy-to-clean removable built-in drip tray, a chrome guard-rail, easy-rolling casters, and a complete two-tap direct draw system that allows you to dispense up to two D System domestic kegs at a time. This beer keg refrigerator is designed for freestanding use and has a matte black finish on the sides and door.The internal temperature can be easily set and verified in Fahrenheit or Celsius using the digital temperature display and push button controls. Fan-Forced cooling provides even cooling throughout the unit and gives it one of the coldest temperature ranges of any beer cooler on the market today. The temperature can be set as low as 32 degrees to dispense delicious ice cold draft beer. The spacious interior can easily accommodate any full-size keg, including rubber kegs and Miller and Coors Kegs. It can also fit up to two 5 Gallon D System kegs or up to three 5 Gallon Cornelius Ball Lock Homebrew kegs, allowing you to dispense more than one keg of beer at a time. The Deep Chill Function forces the compressor to work continuously for 24 hours to quickly cool a warm keg. When your keg is cooled, press the Deep Chill button again to return your unit to it's normal operation. It can easily be converted into a regular refrigerator and used for extra storage with it's two adjustable shelves. Easy-roll casters make it easy to move your beer refrigerator from one room to another and they lock to prevent it from rolling until you want it to.
Hopefully, this list of the top rated kegerators on Amazon helped with your search! Cheer!
Most people have no idea what in the heck an eisbock beer is. I was one of those until I started exploring uncommon German beer styles in an effort to widen my palate. You are unlikely to find a bottle sitting at your favorite local bottle shop. They are costly to produce and need aging before being ready for consumption. Most breweries do not even bother with this style due to the commitment required and minimal fan base. Many brewers may not even know what the style is other than being a bock.
An eisbock is actually an “ice bock”. Yes, I said it is an ICE BEER. The German ice bock is brewed by lagering at 32° F or colder during the secondary fermentation process for an extended amount of time. The purpose is to freeze the water and create an ice coat that will later be removed. After removing the ice, a concentrated bock beer is revealed. Think of it as an extract of itself. By doing this, the malty flavors are trapped and the ABV generally goes up 5-8 percent.
The eisbock style was discovered by a mistake that could have cost an assistant brewer his job. It is said that some casks of doppelbock were left outside by accident and ended up freezing a layer of ice around the beer. After removing the ice, a potent bock was revealed with a flavor unlike anything before. The style would become one of the most desired in all of Germany. This original eisbock mishap can be credited to Kulmbacher Brauerei. It is still brewed in the original eisbock beer fashion and you can occasionally find it if you are lucky. They brew it once a year in August/September and it is traditionally opened at the Eisbock beer festival in March. If you have an opportunity to grab a Kulmbacher Eisbock, grab a few. You will not regret it when rewarded with the intense malt and fruity esters that hit your palate. I would compare it to the uniqueness of a Westvleteren 12. It is a fantastic beer and a perfect example of why this style is underrated.
There is nothing on the market like an eisbock. I promise.
According to ratebeer, the top five eisbocks in the world are:
This is a simple 5 gallon all grain recipe that is a supposedly a close hybrid of the Kulmbacher eisbock. This high gravity dopplebock will make a nice base for an eisbock. Depending on your efficiency, you should hit between 1.088 and 1.090.
Mash at 150° F for 60 min. Sparge at 168°.
Ferment at 45° F for 5 days. Bring tempurate up 5 degrees and ferment until you reach 1.028.
Cool the beer to 30° F until the beer forms an ice coating at the top and gravity is 1.010-1.014 (2-3 weeks). If fementation takes a halt, reactivate it with a small starter. After fermentation is complete, let it cold crash for another 5 days.
Remove 5-8 percent of the ice. If it is slightly slushy, you can use a sanitized strainer to get some of the ice out. How much your remove is up to you. You will want to remove the ice fairly quickly to avoid melting back into the concentrated eisbock.
Bottling shouldn’t require any priming sugars. However, adding a fresh packet of yeast before bottling would be a good idea.
Starting in 2015, Listermann Brewing Company will offer an exclusive membership to the The League of Extraordinary Chickow!s. Members will have access to 4 exclusive bottle releases next year. Those will be Maple Chickow!, Irish Cream Chickow!, A Bourbon Barrel Aged Chickow!, and one mystery Chickow! to be voted on by the league. Members will also receive a T-shirt and glass. Other benefits will be privledges to buy extra bottles of limited Chickow! releases and special growler fills. Yearly cost is only $100. Keep your eyes open for more details.
On January 17, 1920 the Eighteenth Amendment (XVIII) took effect in the United States. This made the production, transport, and sale of (though not the consumption or private possession of) alcohol illegal. The Volstead Act was a sidebar that actually defined which intoxicating liquors were prohibited. It today’s terms, it was the gray area. This act also brought forth exclusions, such as alcohol for medicinal and religious purposes.
Welcome the kingpin of bootlegging, George Remus. George was a successful lawyer in Chicago who moved to Cincinnati after prohibition started to capitalize on the saturation of distilleries surrounding the area. Being a lawyer, Remus was obsessed with the loopholes of the Volstead Act and immediately found fortune in the exploitation of the gray undefined areas.
George realized that he could legally sell bonded liquor to himself for medicinal purposes if he simply bought out distilleries and pharmacies in the region. He bought out many of America’s more famous distilleries and would hire his own employees to hijack the inventory. It would then be resold for a much higher profit as bootlegged booze. He is even mentioned multiple times in the show Boardwalk Empire. This guy made Nucky Thompson look like a amateur. Over a three year span, Remus made well over 40 million dollars. He was rumored to be the inspiration for Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby. Brilliant!
George Remus also owned one of the most spectacular homes to ever exist in Price Hill. He threw crazy parties and handed out lavish gifts to those of power in Cincinnati. This guy gave out cars to the ladies who attended! In 1919, the southwest section of Price Hill was actually called Elberon Heights. His Hermosa estate was built by Henry Lackman of the Lackman Brewery. The home had a carriage house, stable, greenhouse, Grecian swimming pool, and a baseball diamond for the neighborhood kids.
At the same time he acquired the Lackman mansion, George also bought the Dater Farm in Westwood. He made this purchase for a strategic reason. It was off the grid, not visable to traffic, and close to the core of Cincinnati.
It was here that his largest bootlegging operation would take place. As a matter of fact, the majority of booze that reached Cincinnati came from what he called “Death Valley Farm”. When his inventory was falsely hijacked, it was brought here for storage and distribution. George Remus actually hired a small group of 10-12 men to protect the property from hijackers and trespassers. If you crossed the property line, you would be greeted with a shotgun.
Death Valley had a shell that appeared to be a small farm with barns, chickens, and a home on the property. The truth was far beyond the cookie cutter appearance. The barns held the majority of the bootlegged liquor and even beer. The home was a centralized station for distribution logistics throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. Each barn had a cellar and there were a few tunnels that reached Queen City Ave. George strictly conducted cash transactions and it is rumored that some of his earnings were buried on the property in the event a raid would ever occur. It is also rumored that he has a hidden vault built between 1918-1923 to protect his millions of dollars. The vault could be somewhere in Cincinnati or in Newport, KY. His business partner Buck Brady, was likely the only other person to know where this safe was located. Find the property records and you just may find a vault.
Eventually, a regular Death Valley customer was flagged down in Indiana, and his fault led to a warrant on the property. George Remus was aware of the suspicious activity in the Cincinnati area and ordered his men to removed all booze from the farm. His men failed to remove the liquor in time. The Death Valley location was shut down due to a surprise Sunday raid. He was not concerned because his additional halfway houses in Hamilton, Reading, Glendale, Buffalo, Pennsylvania, California, New York, and New York City were thriving.
In 1925, George Remus was found guilty on multiple counts and sentenced to 2 years in prison on violations tied to the Volstead Act. While serving his prison sentence, he met an inmate by the name of Franklin Dodge. During his time spent with Franklin, he admitted that his wife had full control over his assets. He was telling this to an undercover agent positioned as a faux inmate. Dodge left prison after hearing this information and started a relationship with George’s wife (Imogene Remus). They liquidated everything leaving a couple hundred dollars to George.
When George Remus was released from prison, his wife immediately filed for divorce. On the day they were to attend a court hearing, George paid off a cab driver to run Imogene’s car off the road in Eden Park. It was in front of the Spring House Gazebo where she was fatally shot in the abdomen by George. It is said she still haunts the gazebo that overlooks the mirror lake.
George Remus was somehow found not guilty by reason of insanity and only served 6 months in an institution. He lived the remainder of his life in Covington off of the grid and supposedly lived very comfortably. That raises question about the rumored hidden vault. He died in 1952. He was in his seventies.
In Cincinnati, you now have two options to celebrate the legend of George Remus. There is George Remus Whiskey and Fifty West Death Valley Shootout Imperial Stout. They also have a version aged in Remus Whiskey barrels! Check out Fifty West’s other Remus inspired beers throughout the year.
Check out these very well produced and explained video guides to All Grain brewing by 4KingsBrewery on YouTube. If you are curious about the process and and equipment needed, watch the four videos below. I spend a lot of my time searching homebrew videos and tutorials to continue growing my knowledge base. There are a lot of good videos and a whole lot of bad videos out there.
He has put together videos covering his brewing equipment, the all grain brewing process, and kegging homebrew. I thought it was appropriate to give him a shout out for taking the time to make these nice videos. They are informative and can help those new to the hobby. Even if you are a veteran, it is nice to see how others brew and the equipment they use. Cheers!
Stepping your brew game up from extract to grain is a smart choice. Not only will you find it MUCH cheaper to brew a batch of beer, you will also find the beer tasting MUCH better too. After all, beer is a product from extracting grain. Buying a commercial mashing system can prove expensive and is not within the budget of your average home brewer. What is the solution? Bust out that old 50 quart cooler and make it into an efficient mash tun cooler! Total investment $40 if you already have a cooler and $100 if you do not. Savings? How about $10-$20 per 5 gallon batch of beer. You can also do this with a round cooler. Both work great!
Remove the drain plug and its components. It should be a simple threaded piece. Save the rings because you will need them.
Install the new ball valve and former fittings. Your cooler should look like the one below.
Now that you have the exit piece in place you need to put together the inside of your mash tun OR as I call it…the balls of the mash tun.
You have two options for this piece of your mash tun and both are considered efficient.
a. buy a stainless steel washer hose and snip both ends of the hose.
b. work the stainless steel coil off of the hard plastic hose on the inside. Be careful to not cut your hands doing this.
c. on the inside you will need a 1/2 “T” splitter with two 1/2 nipples. Go stainless if you can afford it. Brass will work though.
d. coil a copper wire small enough to fit inside of the washer hose and then connect to your T splitter
a. go with a 12 inch Bazooka Screen.
b. hook it up to the extension piece that is connected to your ball valve on the other side of the cooler. MUCH EASIER!
c. buy some rubber weather stripping and line your lid all the way around with it. This is much better at holding in heat than the plastic on plastic connection.
a. build a false bottom with copper tubing as seen here at Brewer’s Friend. All designs work just fine.
You are now ready for some ALL GRAIN beer brewing. Welcome to the world of brewing real beer! Cheap investment yet a good one!
The Ohio Senate has just passed SB 116 (31-0). This proposed law allows cities with a population greater than 35,000 the ability to designate “entertainment districts”. Within the districts, open containers laws would be lifted and visitors could carry beverages from one business to another. These districts would be be limited to 1/2 mile and at least 4 current liquor permit holders must exist. A similar bill is currently pending in the House, but will face a tougher path to passing.
SB 116 was backed by Sen. Eric Kearney in effort to revitalize certain entertainment districts and promote tourism to cites. There are already laws similar to this in effect if you have ever traveled to New Orleans or even Louisville.
To shed a little light on the impact of creating these districts, we need to take a look at New Orleans. According to the City of New Orleans, in 2013, the City of New Orleans had nearly 10 million visitors who spent $6.47 billion dollars. Of those visitors, 77.2% were there on vacation/pleasure and 57.5% were repeat visitors. These numbers are directly tied to the entertainment district and the excitement it creates. Cincinnati may never output those tourism statistics, but we can surely improve on or own while creating a unique experience.
What does this mean for Cincinnati?
With the addition of the streetcar, tourists would have the pleasure of visiting two potential districts in Cincinnati. Those candidates are likely to be OTR and The Banks. Over the Rhine has already started an epic resurgence of bars, shops, restaurants, breweries, and residential housing. Taft’s Ale House, Lachey’s Bar, and many other businesses are set to open in the coming months as well. Designating OTR as an entertainment district puts the bow on the package and a destination for more tourism is born. I would love to grab a beer at The Lackman on my way to eat at Pho Lang Thang.
The Banks would never be the same for Reds and Bengals games. Let’s be honest with ourselves, businesses have not thrived as the city had hoped. Designating The Banks as an entertainment district can potentially jumpstart business during the offseason. It can also increase business and elevate the atmosphere during sporting events. My only advice would be inclusion of more businesses and owners that are a representation of Cincinnati and not corporate America. We want people to experience Cincinnati and not a strip mall.
This is a good thing for Southwest Ohio. I know there are plenty of “what ifs” regarding potential issues that can arise, and it is understandable. Trust our city, the investors behind economic development projects underway, and the wonderful residents of Cincinnati. Tourism equals jobs. Jobs equal better quality of life. Lastly, who doesn’t want a beer while enjoying the scenery of our kick ass city?
If you have been to Downtown Cincinnati within the past couple of years, you have probably witnessed a group of people pedaling a giant oddity called a pedal wagon. By far, the Cincinnati Pedal Wagon is the most unique experience to share with a group of your closet friends/family/strangers. The crazy folks behind the pedal wagon have decided winter will not slow them down or block your opportunity for fun. They have launched “The Polar Bear Express” that comes with special winter pricing.
What are the special pricing deals?
Winter Pricing for all Tours except Progressive Dinners (Food & Labor costs) $16.50 per seat (this pricing includes Tavern Cruise, Globetrotter, Hair of the dog & Wanderung)
Enjoy all the holiday season has to offer with a 2 hour pub crawl including seasonal drink specials (hard cider, hot chocolate, eggnog etc.) at 4 of Cincinnati’s most eclectic bars, all aboard the abominably decorated Pedal Wagon that would be the envy of Clark Griswold.
Dressing up as Santa, Grinch, Buddy the Elf, The Abominable Snowman or wearing Ugly X-mas sweaters are all strongly recommended…
Pedal To The Jungle Description:
Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals? Football Season is upon us, and what better way to support our Cincinnati Bengals, than to embark on a 2 hour, pedal powered pub crawl? “Pedal to the Jungle” gives 15 die-hard Bengals fans an reason to enjoy some of Cincinnati’s great neighborhood sports bars. Rolling around town for both Home and Away games, your group meets at Rhinehaus, O’malley’s in the alley and Jefferson Social – 2 ½ hours before kickoff…
Climb aboard the Pedal Wagon for a culinary adventure unlike anything else in Cincinnati! This 3-hour showcase of our city’s “best kept secret” food spots is perfect for company outings, birthday’s, or just a night out on the town. The evening includes stops at Kaze (appetizer and drink), Arnold’s (entre and drink), Taste of Belgium (desert and drink), and drop-off at a location of your choice in the OTR neighborhood.
Hair Of The Dog: Very popular tour!
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, but lets be honest… if it wasn’t, we’d still be shamelessly enjoying America’s favorite past time: bar hopping. We’ve rounded up 4 of Cincinnati’s great drinking establishments all into one 2-hour pub crawl aboard the 15 passenger Pedal Wagon. They are: HalfCut, Knockback Nats, Lackman, and Rhinehaus
Support the Cincinnati Pedal Wagon and the locally owned businesses they support! It is a win, win, and a win.
Once a year, the seasons start to change from the therapeutic fall to the cold winter months that most of us dread. This is the time of the year when I usually tap into my cellar for those solo sipper beers. These are beers I pop open when I want to escape from reality and enjoy the quiet calmness tied to these months. Yes, I have kids. Founders Backwoods Bastard does that for me once a year for a very short time. However, the wait is so worth it! The artwork is subtle showing a bearded man from the backwoods holding a double bit axe as he roams through his claimed plot of land that sits deep in the forest. It is not aggressive polished turd labeling because there is a story to be told.
The availability of Founders Backwoods Bastard is extremely limited to one month out of the year and only to selected areas. KBS, Devil Dancer, and Harvest Ale are the only other limited release beers offered by Founders. I am sure you have heard about or tracked down one or more of these. They truly are worth the hype and Backwoods Bastard is worth more hype in my opinion. It is highly rated yet lacks the hype of KBS.
Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy – Aged in bourbon barrels
Expect lovely, warm smells of single malt scotch, oaky bourbon barrels, smoke, sweet caramel and roasted malts, a bit of earthy spice, and a scintilla of dark fruit. It’s a kick-back sipper made to excite the palate.
The beer pours a beautiful dark reddish brown with a finger sized tan head that dissipates rather quickly. The bubbles from the carbonation leave within a few minutes of pouring into the snifter.
The aroma is quite complicated. This complexity is consistent each year and really throws your nose for a loop. It immediately releases vanilla and dark fruits from a distance. After taking a strong whiff, the bourbon, oak, and sweet malts shine through. The aromatics rival any of the top rated beers in the world. You almost feel bad for drinking it because it smells that good.
The mouthfeel is a sweet medium body that almost disguises itself as thin from the sweetness. Sticky with medium carbonation. The bourbon finish lingers.
It is an intense beer full of sweetness and deep roasted chocolate thanks to the malts. It reminds me of figs or dark fruits that have been soaked in a fine bourbon. Backwoods Bastard is very malt forward and hides the bitterness from the hops behind complexity. If you asked me to describe it in 5 phrases or words I’d say: Dark Fruit, Bourbon, Vanilla, Cocoa, and Caramel. Founders has seriously done a perfect job with this beer. It is like bourbon soaked fruits and candy.
I highly recommend trying Backwoods Bastard. For the price of $14.99-$15.99, it is well worth the purchase. Cellar a bottle or two and enjoy with the 2015 release. Founders never fails to satisfy.
If you recall back in April, the Brew Professor brought us the exclusive on Braxton Brewing Company and their plan to open a brewery in Covington, KY. Since then, things have been fairly quiet with few updates via social media. However, the team at Braxton has been working around the clock and are ready to shift into overdrive. Today, I was given the opportunity to visit and chat with the Braxton team. Here are some updates you need to know about:
Construction will begin very soon. They have decided to go with a 20 BBL 4 Vessel brewhouse that can grow with the brewery. The brewing system is 100% customized and will be supplied by Quality Tank Solutions. The brew team is extremely excited about the toys they will be playing with in the near future. Some major enhancements will need to be made to the site, such as a creating more clearance for larger equipment down the road and creating a drive up loading area in the rear of the building. The construction is scheduled to be completed no later than January 1, 2015 with hopes of having beer at Cincy Winter Beerfest.
The taproom will be the face of the brewery, as it should be. Jake Rouse wants this to be a taproom of the future and his ideas support that goal. It will feature 20 taps behind the bar with a Pegas growler filling station. A special events room will feature metered taps and privacy to accommodate any group or function. The taproom will have free 1gb wifi for all guests. I am pretty sure they will have the fastest internet speed in any brewery. Food will not be sold in the taproom. They are committed to brewing beer and not making food. Multiple food trucks and local restaurants are currently being reviewed for partnerships. Do not worry, you will be drinking well and eating well at Braxton.
Part of building a taproom of the future requires insight and engagement from everyone. A kickstarter program will be launched September 30, 2014 dedicated to funding the taproom while launching an offer called Braxton Builders. I saw the campaign video and it had me sold within the first 30 seconds. The brewery is dedicated to community support and involvement. Stay tuned for more information on this.
They plan on having 20 different Braxton beers on tap at all times. I have no idea how they will pull this off. However, the concept is what we all want from our local breweries. Evan and Richard have committed to creating exciting beer. Utilizing ancient brewing methods was even brought up. I am very excited about the concoctions that will be available in the taproom.
Braxton will also have an extensive barrel aging program. They are currently sitting on three Pappy Van Winkle barrels. Expect to see an English Barleywine, A Russian Imperial Stout, and a Scottish Strong Ale thrown into these barrels at one point. Bourbon barrels are not all they plan on using. Wine barrels are on the agenda too. I am hopeful to see a west coast IPA aged in a reposado barrel (hint hint). Richard also mentioned plans for a robust sour program. Yes please!
Braxton Brewing Company will also have a standard line up of beers. They will start off with keg distribution only and eventually shift to canning as well. Here are the initial beer releases you can expect. The American IPA will be a 70IBU quaffable brew hopped with Simcoe, Chinook, and Citra. The Tropical Stout is one of a kind to the area with the addition of date syrup. The Cream Ale is one of Evan’s award winning homebrew recipes and will likely be their top selling beer. The saison will satisfy any Belgian beer addict. My prediction is cream ale and American IPA will be canned first. These are just soeculations since they haven’t brewed anything yet. You can also expect to see some special release bombers in the future once the barrel aging and sour programs take off.
I cannot express with words just how excited I am for Braxton Brewing. The planning, build out, and beers are being done right. The City of Covington will finally get the jumpstart it needs to revitalize a beautiful area. Keep your eyes peeled for social media updates on the progress and launch dates. Construction and permits are in process. Follow Braxton Brewing Company on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Listermann Brewing Company has made it known that slowing down is not an option in 2014. Over the past couple years, they have established themselves as one of the top rated breweries in the country. Beers like Listermann’s Nutcase and Triple Digit’s Chickow! are being demanded faster than they can be brewed. The expansion and additional equipment will help that gap close. Not a bad problem to have at all.
Here is one more secret planned for late Q3 of 2014…Cranium bottles. These will be the same screen printed bottles as Nutcase, Aftermath, and Chickow. They do not bottle a beer unless it is perfected. How great are the bottled beers at Listermann/Triple Digit?
Cranium may take the top spot from Chickow and will likely be in extremely high demand. It is an Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in bourbon barrels with vanilla and coffee. It also happens to show up to your palate at 11.5%.
Keep these dates on your calendar:
8/28/2014 – The fourth and final Audit Ale will be released at noon. They will also have all four version on tap.
10/10/2014 – 10/11/2014 – Oktoberfest is back! Expect more beer and a bigger turn out.
It has been a while since I last wrote a piece on the great guys/gals at Fifty West Brewing. They have been turning and burning beers for nearly two years now in addition to pulling together John’s killer food menu. I think Cincinnati has really taken the beer variety for granted because we know something new and exciting will be put on tap every week. Every time I visit, something innovative yet polished is being poured on tap. Blake Horsburgh takes a lot of pride in the beer before it reaches our gullets. He understands the importance of keeping consumers on their toes by constantly tapping new beers. Take note breweries, this is what we all want. Change. Variety. Quality. Recently, I paid 50W a visit and learned about some exciting things brewing up on the East Side. It is hard to excite a beer nerd and I am very excited.
Update #1 – Death Valley Shootout Russian Imperial Stout
They currently have a Russian Imperial Stout sitting in a fermenter that will likely chime in slightly under 12% ABV. It will be another tribute to George Remus called Death Valley Shootout. If you have read my write up about Remus, you will understand the historical significance of this location in Westwood. I tried it from the fermenter and immediately took chocolate to my nose and palate. No sign of the high ABV and it reminded me of a more well structured Darklord. That is not the best part! This beer will be aged in George Remus Bourbon Whiskey Barrels. I bet you had no idea a small batch bourbon whiskey in honor of Remus was being produced locally. From the sample that I had of both the beer and bourbon whiskey, it will be their best beer to date. I will bet you a pint on that claim. If you are trying to get some Remus Bourbon Whiskey, good luck, there is a demand 20 miles long for it right now.
Update #2 – An Enhancement To Some Beers
Expect to see some more unfiltered versions of their brews. I do not mean beer with floaters and chunks floating around. That is not what unfiltered means. As a matter of fact, most people will not be able to tell a difference in the appearance. When beers are sent through commercial grade filters, they are striped of hop aroma and flavors. Some will argue this. I have tried both versions and it is true. These losses are usually taken for the sole purpose of a clearer beer. Fat Head’s and many other breweries have started stepping away from these hardcore filters for a more natural filtering process and sometimes centrifuges. Thirty-37 Session Pale Ale and Punch You In The EyePA will start steering back to a more natural clarification process. I tried the Thirty-37 today and I was floored at the hop presence upgrade. The aroma and hop notes stick like glue. I was so impressed, I didn’t even recognize that I was drinking Thirty-37. It tasted like Citra heaven. The unfiltered Punch You will be out soon and will have the same effect. I believe they originally brewed Punch You without running it through the filter. This is a great move by Blake and a major improvement to beers that were already amazing. As displayed in the photo above, Blake puts his nose in every batch for quality control.
Update #3 – More Fifty Beer For You?
They are apparently searching for a location to establish a production facility. A specific location has not been identified and I am not sure how serious this endeavor is at the moment. However, it would only mean more beer for the Cincinnati market. I would expect a more industrial agenda with a taproom if I know these guys right. I really hope this to be true and approaching the final stages. The photo is a representation of what they should do. This would be a minimal cost of course.
Additional Items To Know
Tripa is the most pungent IPA to hit Cincinnati and I can assure you this will hold the title for eternity. I was a little skeptical about this beer because most 3x IPAs that I try remind me of barleywines instead of IPAs. Tripa has launched itself into an extremely rare club of super high ABV/super high IBU IPAs that go down like you could drink it from a can. It is 11% and 420 IBUs (read QCDs write up on IBUs). I am not sure how they pulled this off. Maybe locks of Bobby’s hair?
The recent collaboration #2 with Fat Head’s is a Chocolate Stout. Some Remus bourbon barrels also made their way up north and are probably awaiting this beer. I would expect to see a regular and barrel aged version of this beer in the coming weeks/months. What else would you expect from Fat Head’s and Fifty West Brewing?
Craft beer is growing at astronomical rates. So is the general interest in beer. It seems as if everyone is now an expert on beer. Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about beer. The BeerMumbo beer knowledge quiz will tell you where your knowledge stands…
I decided to dig up that old Camelbak and find a way to turn it into a beer bladder. Why I decided to make this cannot be discussed. Ok, I made it for cutting the grass. This Camelbak is getting much more use these days.
If you are not familiar with what a Camelbak is, they are used by runners, bikers, hikers, etc. At one point in my life, these activities were a possibility and the intended use for a Camelbak made sense. Now, I am a father of three kids and I only have time to work and drink craft beer.
So here is what I did. It is super easy and I am happy with the overall result of my impromptu beer bladder. The beer stayed fairly carbonated and of course other liquids can be added to the new beer bladder.
1 – This is a Camelbak. You wear these like a back pack and fill them with water to stay hydrated. They have a cap that you unscrew to fill them with water and a hose that runs up to your mouth. Generally, you have to use the mouth piece at the end like a straw.
2 – The Camelbak has a hose that comes down one of the shoulder straps. Detach the hose and remove the drinking valve at the end of the hose.
3 – Slice a small slit on the backside of the Camelbak and feed the hose back through here. This is needed to provide the gravity flow. Be careful that you do not slice too far and cut the inner wall of the Camelbak. That holds your booze.
4 – This is a picnic tap. You can get these very cheap. It has a release valve to ensure the gravity fed beer does not drain out. Remove the stock end piece and slide the hose on the picnic tap.
5 – Fill it up and wear it like a back pack. I usually hook the picnic tap to my belt loop.
In Final: Do not forget to strap it on and hide it. I hope this lame yet easy beer bladder tutorial has helped you find use for the Camelbak that you never use. Hydrate with water? Dumb! Hydrate with beer! Win!
Tucked away near Hartwell, is a craft beer gem called Country Fresh Market on Vine. They are not the new kid on the block at all. There is only one Donnie Wahlberg. As a matter of fact, CFM is one of the last businesses remaining in this area from my childhood 30 years ago. I remember going with my Grandma to get fresh produce when I was a kid. The location has pretty much stayed the same local fresh market since the 1980’s. Seriously though, they have kept the vintage local market vibe and that is something rarely experienced these days.
In March of 2014, the go ahead was given to expand the wine selection and create a craft beer smorgasbord. They acquired two adjacent retail spaces to the right and went absolutely bananas with the new floor space. After visiting hundreds of bottle shops throughout the country, it is very hard to impress me. I can honestly say, they did a kick ass job with every detail. It is organized. The beer is priced well. The selection is fantastic. The staff know what they are talking about.
Customers now have the one of the largest and most diverse build your own 6-pack selections in Cincinnati. Single bottles are everywhere and if you really want something singled out, they will do it for you. Most bottle shops will not do that for their customers. They also have hundreds of bomber bottles, 750ml bottles, and limited releases that are not easy to find. I was very excited to see some Jackie O’s bottles on the shelf.
If you are feeling the need for a growler, CFM on Vine has a spectacular tap line up with excellent prices. Bring your own growler or buy one of theirs. You cannot go wrong either way. I was able to sample some Death and the Fat Head/Jackie O’s collaboration known as After Hours Black IPA. The beer was cold and they have dialed down the draft lines to pour a perfect offering. If you need a growler, they are only $5.
I also noticed some great sales that blew my mind. Dogfish Head Noble Rot and Etrusca were half off. Where can you buy a 6 pack of Southern Tier anything for $5.99? That is cheaper than Natty Light! They would rather sell it for less than see it collect dust. That’s the way it should be and I have some serious respect for that.
Country Fresh Market on Vine is only 2 minutes off of Interstate 75 and worth the trip. This is a much appreciated addition to a historical business in Cincinnati. While you are spending your pay check on beer/wine, check out the fresh market too. I have always loved the fresh produce here and the hometown feel. It is something we should embrace and support.