Opening day in Cincinnati is quite special. If you live here you get it. I’ve yet to make it to a game on opening day and instead of fighting the crowds downtown I headed the other direction, to Maineville to checkout one of the newer breweries in the area, Cartridge. I’ve patiently awaited their opening for a while now. I lived in Maineville when they announced they would be converting the old powder factory into a brewery. I was ecstatic to hear the news and every time I’d ride my bike past the building I was always looking for updates or visual improvements. Opening Day seemed like as good of a day as any to check it out.
Cartridge Brewing is located at 1411 Grandin Rd. Maineville, OH 45039. There are several buildings that make up the powder factory campus along the Little Miami River and along the bike trail. Cartridge is housed in one just slightly off of the trail. Other buildings are or will be apartments and maybe even small retail shops. The renovations that had to take place to pull this off is nothing short of amazing. The buildings have set empty for a very long time but have now found a new lease on life with this awesome taproom.
The taproom is surrounded by large windows and a patio off to the side. Looking around the taproom I believe they did a great job of making new what needed to be renovated and keeping enough charm from the original building that the two features create a welcoming environment. There are seats at the bar, long high top tables in the main room with it and a large room that sits off to the side. The brewhouse just on the other side of the side room. We drove this time and parking really wasn’t an issue. You have to think they’ll get a lot of foot/bike traffic off of the trail.
I only came for beers on this trip but if you’re hungry they have you covered with an impressive food menu ranging from soups to wings to ribs to desserts. The wings looked like a must try on my next visit. Everyone around us was ordering food, it smelled amazing.
Cartridge has you covered even if you’re not a beer drinker. They have wine and a pretty impressive cocktail list to choose from. Of course, I was there for the beer. On my visit I had two flights. The first flight I let me server pick all four of them, the second one I chose the beers. I have to say he did a solid job of introducing me to Cartridge beers. From the eight beers that I tried that day here are the three that stood out for one reason or another.
3. Arrowhead – This hazy double IPA checks in at a solid 8.1% and 35 IBUs. It’s hazy, fruited, and juicy. I picked up a lot of passion fruit in this one. It’s a solid beer to satisfy the IPA drinker or anyone looking for something refreshing and fruity. 3.75/5
2. Ration – Ration is a chocolate brown ale which on its own is pretty unique. At 6.7% ABV and 22 IBUs the chocolate really stands out on this one and if you wanted to you could indulge in more than just one. 4/5
1. Bastonge – This Belgian Tripel is sneaky. It doesn’t drink like it’s 7.6% ABV. It’s light, fruity, and crisp with a nice clover characteristic to it that’s just sweet enough. This is one the server picked out for me, he made a solid choice.
Cartridge Brewing is set up for success. Their location is awesome. It offers a scenic view with solid beers and good food options. It’s worth a trip to Maineville to check out the history behind the building and it’s new purpose in housing this brewery. The entire staff that I interacted with were great and more than willing to give you a recommendation or talk about their great experience working at the brewery so far. With my in-laws still living in Maineville you can be sure I’ll be back sooner than later.