Thursday, May 1, 2014

A very short beer review.

It fucking sucks.

Its disgusting.

It tastes like Malt and hotdog water.

I mean, I drank it's a 12%. I'm not stupid.

Made in Lithuania.

Blank Slate Brewing Company | A quick inteview with founder Scott LaFollette

Blank Slate Brewing Company - Logo

Today I had the opportunity to speak with the founder of Blank Slate Brewing Company, Scott LaFollette. Their much anticipated tap room has been on my mind for quite a while now. I wanted to know if he would be willing to give me a quick update on how things are going.  Scott was kind enough to give me a minute of his time.

Scott - Taking a sample off the fermenter

So how are things coming along for you guys?
Things are going great its been a long and winding road. We ran into some crap with the city, but things are on track.  Just yesterday we took possession of the extra space we need for the new tap room.

This is really exciting for a lot of people, do you guys plan on having a grand opening event or a special brew for the occasion? I don't know if we will really plan anything big. We aren't too big on the whole pomp and circumstance. We will be brewing some different things. The plan is to have 8-10 taps and keep 2-3 of those taps for exclusive and experimental beers. As far as a grand opening, I don't see us doing anything like that. Just a small humble tap room where people can come and drink great beer. We will definitely get the word out to people.

Shroominous is one of the most unique beers that Cincinnati has to offer. Any plans to create beers that follow that idea? Absolutely. We haven't fully cracked that iceberg but we do have plans for some very unique beers. Those beers tend to be hard to push out into the market place. So, the tap room will give us an opportunity to get feed back on those beers. Its always been our M.O to stay away from the ultra traditional styles of beer. If you go to the store and there are ten different kinds of one specific style, and those breweries are doing them really well, what's the point in making it eleven?  We like to play between the lines of style. Shroominous was a culinary inspired brew and we have plans for many more culinary inspired beers.

What does your timeline look like for the opening of the tap room? We've still got a few months to go before everything will be ready. I don't really know which direction we will go in as far as d├ęcor or atmosphere. It'll probably be me finding things and just saying "Oh, I like that. Lets put that in there."

I really appreciate Scott taking the time to talk to me today. I've got a soft spot for the unassuming tap room and breweries. They feel much more intimate and creative. I don't know if you feel the same way, but I like walking into a brewery and having the chance to meet the people behind the beer I'm drinking. I like walking in a second time and having someone remember my name or face. I have a feeling Blank Slate is going to be a lot like that. It'll be a home away from home. If you get the chance to meet Scott, you'll notice he seems very laid back and relaxed, until you ask him about the beer they brew. The passion for his beer was pouring through the phone. The excitement in his voice when speaking about what is in store for Cincinnati beer drinkers makes you wonder what this man has up his sleeves. Some clever, unique and delicious beers no doubt.  Here's a quick beer list courtesy of their website.
Pitter Patter
Pitter Patter

Belgian Table Beer

ABV 4.2%
OG 1.043
IBU 20
SRM 11

The Lesser Path
The Lesser Path

India White Ale

ABV 6.5%
OG 1.060
IBU 70

Out and About
Out and About

Crisp Wheat Ale

ABV 5.4%
OG 1.050
IBU 26


Brown Ale with Shiitake Mushroom

ABV 8.0%
OG 1.074
IBU 52
SRM 18

The Awakening
The Awakening


ABV 7.4%
OG 1.062
IBU 18


Cherrywood Smoked Porter

ABV 5.4%
OG 1.053
IBU 33
SRM 21

Fork in the Road
Fork in the Road

India Amber Ale

ABV 6.8%
OG 1.065
IBU 70
SRM 15

RYEsing Up
RYEsing Up

Rye Saison with Peppercorn

ABV 8.0%
OG 1.067
IBU 27
SRM 4                                              

Movin' On
Movin' On
American Session Ale

ABV 4.2%
OG 1.044

IBU 45
SRM 11

Blank Slate has already contributed so much to the Cincinnati beer scene. They've earned their place amongst the greats and soon we'll  have a place where we can always have their beer on draft, get drunk, and get on Scott's nerves. It's all very exciting.

Stay Buzzed Cincinnati.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fifty West |Rum Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout | The Ghost of Imogene

Every once in a while a beer comes along that reminds you why you first fell in love with craft beer. Most of us probably remember the beer that set it all into motion. Despite having tried so many different beers, there will always be room for a beer that takes everything to another level.

Last night, that beer for me was a rum barrel aged Russian imperial stout called The Ghost of Imogene. 

Named after a woman who was shot in 1927, Imogene Remus was suppose to be watching after her husband's illegal whiskey distilleries while he was in jail. George Remus came home to find he had been betrayed by Imogene. With the help of a federal agent who was responsible for putting Remus behind bars, Imogene and Franklin Dodge sold all of Remus's belongings and distilleries. After leaving the court house to file for divorce, Imogene was shot by her revenge hungry husband. Remus went to the police station to turn himself in and claimed to have lost the gun he used in the murder of his wife. In early October, you can visit the ghost of Imogene. Rumor says she's been spotted several times in a long black dress.

I'm not entirely sure what came first, the beer, or the name. Either way, this beer has all the dark thick plot twists of the story behind its name. There is a romance between the sweet and oaky aromas. The first sip coats your entire mouth like silky dark chocolate. The heat and spice in your sinuses of the rum give this beer a shot of something to be taken vey seriously. Now that you respect the beer, it finishes by lingering in your mouth with oaky and dark fruit tones. I picked up notes of dark grape used in a very distinct red wine.
The label art is beautiful, intriguing and unique without being "trendy" or over done. That's something I think we can agree all Cincinnati breweries have done very well.
If you were lucky enough to score a bottle, let me know what you thought about it by leaving us a comment. This is a great conversation beer. I'm DYING to hear what other people have to say.
Sorry, Imogene. Too soon?
Rest in  peace, Imogene. That was kind of bitchy of you to sell all of your husbands whiskey distilleries, but I think your husband may have over reacted a bit.
I'll write short post about how the Whiskey aged version compares to this one.
Until then, Stay buzzed Cincinnati.

Friday, April 25, 2014

UPDATE | What are the Jerks up to now?

Happy Friday Everyone!

Warm weather is finally starting to creep into Cincinnati. With such a harsh winter behind us, it's not a far fetched assumption to make that this summer will be huge for our local breweries. Our beautiful city will be buzzing with events this season and there will be plenty of craft beer to help us chase a buzz.

No doubt that the Jerks are new to the scene. However, we have been drinking craft beer for years. A decent number of bloggers are already writing about the craft beer that Cincinnati has to offer and they're doing a great job. This doesn't mean that we are not going to write about the beers we drink. There is a lot of beer out there. We would hate for the other bloggers to feel pressured to try them all! We're here to help. :)

With that being said, we have big plans to fill a void that you didn't even know you had. I think that will be the key to a successful blog. The Jerks want to provide a fresh prospective and new ideas. Our plan is to bring more to this ongoing party here in Cincinnati. What if someone forgot dip for the chips?! Or we run out of ice?! Or those little sword tooth picks for the BBQ weenies?!

Anyway, it's Friday. You ain't got no job. You ain't got shit to do!

If you got that movie reference then we can be friends.

As we gear up to blow your mind, You can follow us on Twitter for sneak peeks, @Cincybrewjerk

On Instagram

And coming soon

Our Facebook page.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tap That Cincy Craft | Mad Tree taps Bourbon Barrel Aged Axis Mundi

Tonight at Mad Tree Brewing they will be tapping the Bourbon Barrel Aged Axis Mundi.

The Jerks are headed that way. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Night Shift Limousine

We mentioned in our previous post that we would be writing about a unique and totally kick ass way to tour Cincinnati breweries. We received a couple emails about the mention and promised to write sooner than later. It's a company called Night Shift Limousine. They give Brewery Tours, Winery Tours and special events. Now, this is not your typical limousine. Your tour will be guided in a 6 person, renovated Hearse. Yes, a Hearse. While visiting Bad Tom Brewing, we watched as six men stumbled into the tap room. They all had the same thing to say about their tour. Pure Awesome. They were having a great time. The hearse was loaded up with snacks and drinks. We walked outside to get a look at this strange ride. Brad, the driver and owner of Night Shift Limousine, met us and gave us a quick tour. One look inside and we decided...this is ABSOULTELY going on the Jerks list of things to do this summer.



 Brad explained the pricing and the different tours and told us business is going well. Personally, I think it would be exponentially kick ass to rent this baby for Halloween. Slap on some fake blood and have Brad drive us around so we can stumble through breweries? YES.

 I took some pricing information about the brewery tours straight off of the website.

513-685-LIMO (5466)

 (That champagne bottle can easily be replaced with a growler.)

The Craft Brewery Tour is available on Friday evenings starting between 5:00 -6:30PM, Saturdays at Noon and between 4:30 -6:30 PM, Sundays at 12:30 PM.  We spend approximately 45 minutes at each of the 3 breweries we visit. Each person gets an average of about a pint of beer at each brewery. The size and number of tastings varies with each brewery. For example, some breweries will be six - 3 ounce tastings, another might be four - 4 ounce tastings and another might be three - 5 ounce tastings or even four - 5 ounce tastings. All together each person willl get about 48 ounces of premium craft beer.
A group of six can visit 3 breweries for $54 per person.
Group of 6 for $324 - $54 per person
Group of 4 for $284 - $71 per person
One couple for $250 - $125 per person

The tour meets in the parking lot of the Anderson Town Center. Other locations for pickup and drop off can be arranged, simply call or email with the address and we will let you know if it is possible and if there is an additional charge. Certain restrictions may apply.
Breweries on the tour include:
Bad Tom Brewing, formerly Double Barrel Brewing
Mad Tree Brewing
Mt. Carmel Brewing Co.
Listermann and Triple Digit Brewing
Rivertown Brewing Co.
50 West Brewing


 I'm sure you can find 5 other friends who would spend $54 bucks to get driven around to breweries and get 48 ounces of delicious craft beer. You guys can pitch in and buy a growler, fill it, and drink it between breweries...and VOILA.. you're a hearse...with your buddies.

So call Brad and reserve a night. May is Chickow month at Triple Digit. I suggest going there on your tour. Load a growler up with your favorite Chickow and be on your way.

I said Chickow too many times and just got droll on my friggin keyboard.
513-658-LIMO (5466)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bad Tom Brewing


 The Jerks were down a man this weekend, but we didn't let that stop us from hitting up a couple breweries. From time to time, we will be using the blog as an excuse to go have a couple beers. Don't confuse the Brew Jerks with guys who just like to sample. We like to DRINK beer. So, don't be surprised if our plan is to stop into a couple breweries and we end up only visiting one.
We're probably drunk.
Hey, shit happens.
Our promise to bring you honest, detailed, and reliable information about Cincinnati breweries stands no matter how long it takes us to shake our hang overs.

On Saturday we ventured out and had our livers set on Bad Tom Brewing. The location is very unassuming. We passed it up the first time and went through a couple rounds of "Is that it?" "That one?" "Right there?"
 Yeah. That's the one.
As we first stepped in, there were only 4 or 5 other people sitting at the bar. A man named Sean greeted us and actually started a genuine conversation. (Something we really appreciate.) Sean placed out some laminated information about each beer on tap. That was really helpful. I don't much care for staring up at a chalk board with only the name and ABV written down. Each of their beers has a unique story behind it, with a unique brewing technique. They serve flights of four and six.. $10 for six?
Yeah, I'll have that.
As he poured each beer, he placed them on their corresponding info sheets.

The garage door was open and letting the warm sun shine in, the fresh air in our lungs, the beer glowing in the sun light, Sean's hair blowing in the wind.
I think the Jerks are in love.
With the beer.
Sorry, Sean.

Our flight starts with their flagship brew,

Bad Tom Ale :  6% abv
An Easy drinker. A classic well rounded American Brown Ale. It seems like everyone has found something they like about this beer. Its smooth, and not too heavy. If you are new to trying craft beer, this beer is perfect. Nothing too in your face. The story behind the name Bad Tom is not only bad ass, it gives you the feeling that you're throwing back a cold one with one of Kentucky's most notorious criminals. Cheers, Tom.


 Old Abe American Ale : 10% abv
Holy Strong Ale, Batman. This does not drink like a ten percent-er. Beautiful color. Mellow fruit up front, finishes clean, with a touch of berry. This will probably be my 4th of July beer. I will not be setting off any fireworks whilst drinking it, because my plan is to be partially inebriated by the time it gets dark enough to set them off.  Merica...
 Addlehead IPA : 6.6%
This beer can throw you for a loop. With IBU in the 90's, you'd think it would punch you in face with hops. Not the case here! This IPA is heavily malted and that's masking most of the hops. Another easy drinker, light, and still plenty of flavor.
 Kloppenburg Helles : 5.8% ABV
This beer is difficult to write about if you'll allow me to be completely honest with you. A bit of grassy taste. Soft carbonation, and a bittersweet finish. Poured beautifully and obviously a gorgeous color. There wasn't very much going on though, not our favorite here at Bad Toms.

Black Kettle Stout : 5.8%
 I could probably write an entire post about this stout. Ultra dark pour with beautiful, creamy, tan head. chocolate and vanilla nose. Then, BAM. First taste, a raw and almost spicy cinnamon. Finishes sweet with a thin mouthfeel. My fellow Brew Jerk said that this one had a bit too much going on in his opinion. I disagree. I think it's very well balanced and intriguing. I heard that Bad Tom's will be, or already has brewed some of this with peppermint tea infused. Either way, I need to get my hands on some of that beer.
...Mother of Christmas....

Brother Clementine Belgian Ale : 6.5%
Last, but not least. The Jerks agreed. This one is our favorite. Like I said before, maybe it was the warm weather, sunshine, and wind flowing through Sean's hair, but this brew hit the spot. They decided to replace Belgian wild yeast with American Yeast and combined with a three grain, two hop formula and brewed it with whole clementines. It's not a beer that the Jerks typically agree on. Most of us don't like citrus fruit forward beer. There are so many on the market that they all sort of taste the same now and I'm a little burnt out on the orange beer flavor. But this... This is so well done. A little yeasty and bitter. A sort of spicy and bitter citrus that ends with a bite. We took this one home in a growler. We buckled him in, drove him home, and shared him with our friends around a bon fire.

We decided to get a pint each before we left. I settled on the Clementine Belgian Ale, and my buddy got a pint of Old Abe. (Pictured above; left to right) We relaxed while Sean educated us on his Great Great Uncle, Bad Tom Smith.
Bad Tom Smith was hanged in 1895 for six murders to which he confessed before his execution. Sean tells the story much better than I could. Just another great reason to stop into the brewery. There is a DVD and a Book  right there at the brewery that tells Tom Smith's story. They also have T-shirts and growlers and pint glasses. All sporting Bad Tom and his killer mustache.
 ( No pun intended.)  
While we enjoy our beer and the company of friendly people starting to roll through the door, a Hearse pulls up and lets six men out of the back. A company called Night Shift Limousine gives brewery tours around Cincinnati. In a Hearse. We'll be doing a post about them soon, so stay tuned. Until then you can visit and book your brewery tour for you and five friends.



 The Jerks highly recommend visiting Bad Tom Brewing. Say hello to Sean for us and let him know that the Cincy Brew Jerks sent you. We'll end this post with a quote from Bad Tom Smith himself, moments before he was hanged.

"Friends, one and all, I want to talk to you a little before I die. My last words on earth to you are to take warning from my fate. Bad Whiskey and bad woman have brought me where I am. I hope you ladies will take no umbrage at this, for I have told you God's truth."