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.
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...
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.
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 NightShiftLimousine.com and book your brewery tour for you and five friends.
"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."