A brewery, like the beach, is a relaxing oasis that allows tired travelers to bask in golden hues, frolic in frothy spumes, and get in splash fights with siblings. Savor sudsy fun with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get two tickets to the Prohibition Resistance: Summer Lager Tour from the OTR Brewery District (a $30 value). The tour begins at 1 p.m. in Findlay Market on Saturdays and Sundays, starting May 21.
The two-hour Prohibition Resistance: Summer Lager Tour shepherds ale enthusiasts through several blocks of pre-Prohibition-era breweries in the historically German-populated Over-the-Rhine district. Knowledgeable guides embark from Findlay Market, a public bazaar in continuous operation since 1855, to delve into mid- to late-19th-century beer bubblers. Clyffside Brewery’s opulent high bays soar overhead, and Jackson Brewery’s cavernous lagering cellars delve deep enough to encounter fabled beer-breathing fish. Alongside decorative cornices and bull's-eye windows, tour takers investigate the social and political dimensions of hops hawking. Though the tour does not include beer tasting, tour-goers may visit the Over-the-Rhine Biergarten afterward to discover for themselves the origins of the German word: “bier,” meaning “beer,” and “garten,” meaning “to gargle voraciously.”
Over The Rhine Brewery District
The nearly 50 brewery buildings that make up Cincinnati's Brewery District range from Romanesque works of art to impressive brick industrial spaces. Many have stood on the same spots since long before Prohibition, outlasting neighboring structures that fell to the wrecking ball. If those buildings had faces, they'd use them to thank the Brewery District's redevelopment group. The band of residents, business owners, and developers helps protect and promote the rich history of this former German cultural hub and epicenter of the Cincinnati brewing industry.
As part of a long-term plan to redevelop the area, the organization welcomes visitors into diverse events such as seasonal beer festivals and a pop-up beer garden at the Findlay Market. But the most popular gatherings are the brewery tours that stop at pre-Prohibition breweries and explore the historic, secret barrel-transportation tunnels that run 40 feet below street level and directly into local refrigerators.
The nonprofit organization's key initiative is to create a world-class urban heritage trail in the district. The 2.3-mile Brewing Heritage Trail opens in 2017 and will lead visitors through the Over The Rhine, Pendleton, and Downtown neighborhoods and will feature both physical and virtual installations, as well as guided tours.