Hosting a Bottle Share


I love bottle shares! What’s a bottle share? Great question. Let me explain. The concept is pretty easy. Gather a small group of people who like beer, have them bring a couple of bottles of random beer they haven’t tried yet and if everyone else follows suit and does the same thing you’ll have the opportunity to try a heck of a lot of different beer at once. Easy right?

The hardest part of having a bottle share is finding a host and picking a date, people are busy. Once we had someone volunteer their house as tribute and picked a date far out enough that everyone could plan accordingly we were ready to go! We used Facebook events to organize and communicate with those invited. It let us post what we’re bringing so we didn’t have a lot of duplicates, obviously because we want to try a lot of different beer from different breweries and places we don’t always have access to regularly. We definitely accomplished this.

Overall we only had about 10 people attend and over 60 beers to try this past fine Saturday. We had one guy buy a boatload of beer while he was in Florida a couple of weeks ago. He brought back a lot of beer for us, most notably beer from a brewery in Tampa this blog has mentioned before in Beer of the American . Cigar City Brewing is world famous and now I know why, the beer was amazing.

Of course, local bottle shops like Cappy’s and Jungle Jims are a great place to pick out a couple of bottles you’ve never seen before. They always have something new every time you go in to one of those places.

We had beer from everywhere though. Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Illinois, California and others were all represented.

We threw in a wrinkle to this share though. We wanted to do something a little different so we came up with the idea to award one beer a “Best in Show” for the day. We narrowed it down to 3 beers then voted on our favorite from the day.

We had too much beer for the small amount of people that showed up. Several of us had beer leftover to take home to enjoy at a later day. Here is our complete list:

We had a good time catching up with people we hadn’t seen for a while all while drinking some top notch beer.

Candidates for the “Best in Show”:

– The Awakening from Angry Chair Brewing a coffee milk stout with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs.

– 110K + OT Batch 6 from Cigar City Brewing. Cigar City is in Tampa, FL. This beer is no longer in production so I’m sure there’s only a finite amount left if the world. It’s an Imperial Russian stout with raspberries and aged in port barrels. It was outstanding and at 11% ABV you get a plenty from the barrel and the raspberry finish.

– Cape Good Hope IPA from Yards Brewing. Yards is located in Philadelphia, PA. It was the 2017 version of the Double IPA. IStrong enough to know you’re drinking but very smooth to keep you going. It checks in with an ABV of 9.7 and 76 in IBUs.

The Award went to

The Awakening from Angry Chair, a beer I gave a 5 on Untappd. Angry Chair Brewing is in Tampa, FL. The beer itself we had from a crowler. The brewery says its a coffee milk stout with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs and it is brewed with Buddy Brew Coffee. The roasted coffee beans really come through along with vanilla to make it an easy drinker. At 7.4% ABV you’ll know you’re drinking it sooner than later.

Overall, we had a great time and drank way too much but tried so many awesome beers. I even shed blood, but that’s another story for another time. There are already talks of another bottle share coming soon!

The Ever Growing Beer Scene

Cincinnati has a great craft beer scene. That isn’t news to anyone paying attention. With 35 breweries already in the tri-state area it’s hard to choose a favorite at this point. You have great experimentation and funky combinations coming out of Braxton Labs and Listermans. Rhinegeist is keeping you hopped up with a plethora of IPA options (among others). Places like Fibonacci, Dogberry, and Nine Giant among others make it so you’ll never have to travel too far from your neighborhood for a great beer.

Opening a new brewery isnt’ easy. First you need a great product, then a ton of capital to fund the venture and opening a new place requires a lot of up front costs. Trust me, I’ve looked into it, extensively. Finally, you need to be prepared to invest all the sweat equity you physically can into making it happen.

The list of breweries in the area is growing. There are at least 6 new breweries in the works right now. Places like Northside, Mason/Fields Ertle, and the West side are all gaining new places to check out soon.

Here are the latest groups applying for a brewing license with the state:

Happy 2 Brewing Co ( The same location of a current Mio’s Pizza) 8298 Clogh Pike, Cincinnati

Humble Monk Brewing Co. 1641 Blue Rock Rd Cincinnati

Off Track Brewing Co 227 Stark St. Cincinnati

Rebel Mettle Brewing 246 W McMicken Ave. Cincinnati – www.rebelmettlebrewing.com

Sounder Brewing 8584 Duke Blvd Mason – www.sounderbrewing.com

The Common Beer Co 126 E Main St. Mason – www.commonbeercompany.com

The list doesn’t include already established breweries adding second locations or ones from other cities moving into town.

Cincinnati Gets Untappd


If you’re a craft beer drinker odds are you’ve at least heard of Untappd. It’s an app for your mobile device that lets you keep tract of, rate, and share the beer you’re drinking as well as the place you’re drinking it. It’s great for beer drinkers everywhere. I’ve had it since 2014 you can find me there under @TheBeercat1 and I love it. For me it’s the best way to keep tract of the beer I’ve and and the beer I liked and the beer I wan to try. I mean what did we do before this, keep a spreadsheet? No thanks.

Recently Untappd decided to throw a party in 7 different cities that had the most check ins at an Untappd verified venue.

You would guess that cities like New York, LA, or Denver would dominate this type of contest and you’d be pretty pleasantly surprised by the Top 7 cities that won.

1. New York, NY

2. Chicago, IL

3. Tampa, FL

4. Anaheim, CA

5. Charlotte, NC

6. Cincinnati, OH

7. Portland, OR

You read that right. Cincinnati, the Queen City herself, made the cut with over 14,000 check ins. That’s pretty awesome when you think about how much the beer culture has grown around Cincinnati.

Some other cities that jumped out to me were Tampa coming in at #3 and Charlotte and #5. I’ve heard good things about the breweries in Tampa, and will get a better look at some up close later in April at a Bottle Share that I’m attending, and will be writing about later as well. So now I’m even more excited to check those out.

It’s been a little while since I’ve been to Charlotte but I might have to check it out soon.

The details for the Untappd event coming to Cincinnati has not been released yet, they just announced the winners today but it looks like Madtree Brewing is one of the most popular check in spots in the city so I’d guess they’re the early favorite. The only other detail that we know for sure right now is that Untappd Co-Founder Greg Avola will be at each event.

In light of recent events I can say Cincinnati doesn’t win a whole lot of things so I’ll take whatever W I can at this point.

Cheers!