Tag Archives: madtree

Call for blog post topics from MadTree!

I’ve somehow talked the guys at MadTree into writing a guest blog post. Here’s the thing though, we can’t really decide what’d be best for them to write about. Due to our indecision we’re turning it over to you, our dear readers, to voice your opinion on what you’d like to read from them.

Just keep it beer or brewery related and we’ll take the idea that’s most popular or that we like the most. Leave a comment below, on the Queen City Drinks Facebook page, or shoot us a tweet. Here are some ideas that I had as well as that we’ve heard from folks on Twitter already:

  • strategies for acquiring tap handles and shelf space at bars and liquor stores
  • how they market themselves for the casual drinker vs the committed followers.
  • new seasonals, and marketing.
  • Suppose I’d like in-depth “why.” Obviously they love beer, but why the need to make it or people? also enjoy talk about branding/marketing. What’s the brewery’s unique voice? Why? How does it fill a hole as local biz?
  • Decision to go with cans instead of bottles and the process for actually canning the beer

Hopefully this guest post works out well for everyone and I can talk more local breweries into it later. But that will come then, for the time being you need to tell us what you want to read from MadTree!



Filed under Beer

King of the Cincinnati IPA

As previously teased one beer has been named the King of the Cincinnati IPA. Last Saturday a plethora of local beer bloggers expert tasters and myself got together to drink a bunch of free donated beer, hooray free beer! The full list of bloggers is:

The blind tasting was proctored by

If you don’t read these guys blogs and/or follow them on twitter I’d highly advise it. They’re all cool and knowledgeable dudes each covering Cincinnati beer in a slightly different way. Also we’re each blogging our thoughts on this whole event and covering everything slightly differently so you should spend a few minutes reading all their posts on the event.

But back to the King of the Cincinnati IPA competition. I’m not sure who’s idea this first was but over the course of ~200 some emails we set a date and a place and got all the local brewers to donate growlers of their IPAs. To ensure fairness Jack & Matt stepped in to randomize the growlers and take care of pouring the samples so we were blind to what beer was in what cup.

The city has some fantastic IPAs some like Mt. Carmel, Cellar Dwellers, and Moerlein are more classic IPAs while Rhinegeist and MadTree produce more over the top hop-focused IPAs that are currently the rage. Rivertown comes in with a session IPA aiming for plenty of flavor with less alcohol so you can drink it over an extended session, hence the name. Blank Slate brings in a very different kind of IPA, as it does for all it’s brews, with what it calls a White IPA. It’s described as a wheat IPA “containing two different wheat malts in addition to oats and honey malt meld with copious amounts of Columbus, Cascade and Nugget hops”.

With all these slightly different IPAs it was hard to pick 1 winner but alas we did, in fact we picked two! Rhinegeist’s Truth and Blank Slate’s Lesser Path tied for first in the initial scoring. We then did a final round with no scoring just a straight up preference pick and while I myself went with Rhinegeist on the basis of it being more a true IPA I was out voted 3 – 2 so Blank Slate’s The Lesser Path took the King of the Cincinnati IPA title.

King of the Cincinnati IPA

Since we crowned a king IPA for the Queen city folks may be anxious to give this a taste. If that’s you then the following list should help, but these places may have already sold out so call before you go!

•Allyn’s •Arnolds
•Bar Louie •Beer Sellar
•Dilly Deli •Firehouse Grill
•Flip Daddy’s – Mason •Liquor Box
•Mios Blue Ash •Northside Tavern
•Remke Hyde Park •The Comet
•Valley Wine & Spirits •Vito’s Cafe
•Washington Platform Saloon •Whole Foods – Mason
•Yard House

Since our winner is draft only I want to give a special mention to Christian Moerlein’s Northern Liberties which was the highest ranked packaged IPA we tasted. Now I’m also realizing that out of 10 beers we tried only 3, Mt. Carmel, MadTree, and Moerlein are available in non-draft forms.

I want to thank all the breweries for making such great beer and letting us try some, all the bloggers for helping throw this together, and the Brew Professor’s family for putting up with us all for a night! We all had such a great time that it’s agreed we’ll do something like this again. Perhaps another style of beer or perhaps tap rooms or perhaps some other idea we’ve yet to think of!


Filed under Beer

Tonic Tours – Cincinnati Brewery Tours

When I went to San Diego for a bachelor party earlier this year we were able to sign up for a local brewery tour which provided a bus, a driver, some water, and tours at each of 3 breweries of our choice (we picked Stone, Green Flash, and Lost Abbey). As soon as we were done with that tour my friends and I began debating and plotting away to do that same thing in Cincinnati.

Luckily someone else has already done that for us making Tonic Tours are the first local tour of breweries that I’m aware of. I’ll let you read Tonic Tours description of the event before we dive into my thoughts:

Tonic Tours is launching public microbrewery tours in Cincinnati. We start at Everything’s d’Vine for an introduction to beer tasting before we drive the van to Rivertown Brewing, Fifty West, and Mad Tree before ending back up downtown at Everything’s d’Vine. Food will be available at Fifty West and water and snacks will be provided along the way. You will learn a little about the past, present, and future of making beer in Cincinnati as well as getting to try some amazing local beer at each stop.

For $90 you get a van ride from Everything D’Vine to Rivertown to 50 West to Madtree and back to Everything D’Vine, a tour and tasting at each brewery, water and snacks in the van, a commemorative glass, and some light food at Fifty West as well. If you want dinner at 50 West (I suggest the C.A.B. sandwich) or more beer at any of the stops then that is extra. Just getting tasting and a tour at Rivertown, 50 West, and MadTree is pretty sweet in itself. If you’ve already been to those then hang tight as the schedule will rotate up every few months.

If you’ve lived here your entire live or are only in town for the weekend this is a great way to discover, or re-discover, Cincinnati’s local breweries! These tours will be running the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month for $90 a head, you can book your spot over on www.TonicTours.com.

Full Disclosure: I was invited on this tour by Ginny Tonic who comped the tour and all beer, I still paid for my own food. Ginny Tonic is a writer for this blog and I gave her some advice and suggestions to help plan this tour. I will not say that this has in no way impacted my review of the tour since it very well may have. However, I have done my best to be objective and non-biased in the above review. If anyone wants to provide me with things to review I only promise that I will review them and I will write a blog post about them. I do not, under any circumstance, promise a positive review.


Filed under Beer, Cincinnati

The Six-Pack Project

Bryan Roth over at This Is Why I’m Drunk has invited me to participate in his Six-Pack Project. The idea here is that 6 beer bloggers in 6 different states choose 6 beers to represent their state. I was busy when round 1 went by but you can head check out the results from North Carolina, South CarolinaVirginia/DC, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Besides us this round also features:

The hope that when you go to one of these states you’ll be able to pull up a quick list of what to get along the way. I know for sure I’ll be checking that North Carolina list when I head for the Outer Banks next month!

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Learning About Beer: Canning

In my quest to continue to shed light on the less glamorous or well known aspects of beer I’m moving onto an incredibly important one, essential the question of how this delicious liquid gets into containers to get transferred into our bellies!

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Filed under Beer, Informational

Some MadTree Brewing taproom photos

Last weekend I finally had a chance to get over to MadTree Brewing’s new taproom to try some of their stuff. Enough has been written about them that I’m not sure I need to add more in terms of a write-up or beer review, so I’ll just post a few pictures I took while I was there. I will note that I really liked the reuse of a lot of items in their taproom (doors turned into table tops, for instance). As for the beer, I had a sampler, all of which I enjoyed. I also got to talk briefly with Kenny for the first time I person and he filled me in on some things coming up.

My only gripe is that I would like to see the hop profile vary a tad between their beers. I understand going for a distinct profile across their brand, but the heavy use of Chinook and Cascade/Centennial made everything except the Gnarly Brown almost feel like a variation on the same beer. Overall, though, their initial lineup is a strong offering and with a tad more variety, I would put them among one of the better breweries in the Cincinnati area.

Lots O Cans

Lots O Cans


Can you tell these are new?


Bar profile from afar


Same bar, closer profile



What I came there for…


Sofie approves of the operation

Sofie approves of the operation

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Filed under Beer, Cincinnati, Places

Beer Review: MadTree Gnarly Brown

This review of MadTree’s Gnarly Brown brings my reviews of their current can lineup to an end, having previously discussed PsycHOPathy and Happy Amber. All 3 of these brews should be available across the entire greater Cincinnati area at better beer sellers and a variety of other places. I scored this Gnarly Brown at the Village Wine Cellar in Lebanon where they also had PsycHOPathy.

Description on the side of the can:

Specialty malts bring intimidations of brown sugar and vanilla which meld into the Gnarly’s character. Roasted coffee malt flavors and residual sweetness dance in harmony, obscuring the line between brown ale and porter.

Brewery: MadTree
Beer: Gnarly Brown
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 7%
Calories: ~200

Dark brown color that turns a beautiful dark amber-brown if you hold a LED light right up to it. Head is a decent size of dark tan bubbles.

Very malty aroma with roasted coffee and a mixture of chocolate and hints of caramel and nuts, kinda reminds of a snickers bar (which I love). Also picking up a bit of earthy hops to balance out the smell.

Complex flavor with brown sugar, nuts, coffee bitterness. Strongly reminds me of stouts and porters but with lighter flavors. Kinda like a stout-light or something.

Very carbonated mouth feel that coats everything with bubbles. Medium light body and slightly slick lingering feelings.

This is my least favorite MadTree so far, it’s not a “bad” beer by any means just not really my cup of tea. It’s interesting, complex, and enjoyable but not amazingly so in any means. While this the aroma, flavor, and body convey no sense of the alcohol I am beginning to feel a bit of it after finishing the can. I try to prioritize content over covers that said I do dig the can, the ring of text around the top is nice “Gnarly by nature, Gnarly by choice, Can you dig it?”

P.S. if you haven’t taken our survey please do https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1X3XGhfUWxJr0D_VPAPWwfFjU6FseLN7UuyBVityid58/viewform


Filed under Beer, Reviews

Fifty West and MadTree Brewing team up with Michael Makin in event benefiting Starfire U

The folks from MadTree Brewing brought to my attention an event they will be collaborating in with Fifty West and the nonprofit Starfire U. The event is being held at Fifty West’s taproom on June 5 and will benefit Starfire U. Tickets are already on sale and information on the event and Starfire can be found below. This looks like a great event from two of our newest local breweries and the ticket proceeds go to a fantastic cause. Get yourselves over there and drink some beer for charity!

Regarding the event:

The Brew Review hosted by Michael Makin and friends is a premiere event in collaboration with MadTree Brewery and Fifty West Brewing Company.

Tickets are on sale now! $30: http://brewreview.eventbrite.com/

The event features a commemorative glass, dinner by the bite, and craft beer tastings including a new custom brew brought to you by Michael Makin and friends, MadTree Brewery and Fifty West Brewing Company to be debuted night of the event.

Also available for purchase are custom growlers celebrating the event as well as basket raffles.

Stay tuned for updates and visit our webpage at:

About Starfire:

Starfire U is a four year community building experience for adults with disabilities, that was launched in 2008. With a focus on helping every member build their own social network, Starfire U works with members to pursue a future that is positive and possible. Through exploration, service, community immersion, and collaborative projects, every member has the opportunity to learn about themselves. Daily seminars are offered on topics such as communication, safety, transportation, health, citizenship, and technology. Each year has a particular focus that leads toward building connection in the community:

Year 1. Exploring people’s interests, abilities, and communities
Year 2. Discovering the path to a good life through PATH meetings
Year 3. Cultivating relationships outside of Starfire through personalized community placements
Year 4. Contributing to the community through projects and collaborations

Because the focus is on the person’s unique goals and dreams, by the end of Starfire U’s four years, no two experiences look alike. But every member will be encouraged to:

  • Contribute skills
  • Engage in a diverse community
  • Get to know neighbors
  • Access the gifts of others
  • Host events and co-create projects

For more information contact Kathy Forte at kathy@starfirecouncil.org or 513.281.2100 ext. 107

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Filed under Beer, Cincinnati, Events

Beer Review: MadTree Happy Amber

The second MadTree beer to hit the cans is their amber ale known as Happy Amber. It’s been around town in kegs for a few weeks now and before that you may have seen a MadTree beer called Batch One. Batch One was what would become the Happy Amber, but they called it Batch One as it was the very first batch on their production system. They’ve made quite a few batches since then and last week they canned a batch of it!

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Filed under Beer, Reviews

Arthur’s Cafe, MadTree Brewing, and Autism Awareness

This is and always will be a blog about beer, wine, spirits, and other drinks, as well as the places to drink them in Cincinnati. However, Autism has become an important part of my life as my wife has been a teacher for children with autism for over 8 years now. So when I saw that Arthur’s Cafe was doing a special charity event involving one of Cincinnati’s newest breweries, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to talk about Autism and beer! First I’ll let Arthur’s speak for themselves, via their Facebook page:

Since April is Autism Awareness month, we decided to team back up with the guys over at MadTree to do another charity event to help raise money for the cause. April 9th we will be having a Madtree Pint Nigt to benefit the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati. Like before, $1 from every MadTree beer sold will go to the cause. We will be featuring PsycHOPathy IPA, Happy Amber, Gnarly Brown, and Sprye! We will also be selling MadTree Pints and snifters for $5 ea. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to the charity. We hope to see you all here to help make a difference and enjoy some fantastic local beer at the same time!

We’ve talked a fair bit about MadTree in the past (all our articles on them) and our fellow local blogger Brew Prof did a great write up about their brewery and their cans. So I want to tell folks a bit more about Autism.

I am no expert. I’m only the husband of someone who passionately cares about autism. Also, as you’ve seen with beer, when I get interested in something, I do a fair bit of digging into the subject to learn more about it. First thing to know is that autism is a big spectrum of “pervasive developmental disorders”. People affected with Autism  vary widely in their ability to dress/feed themselves, talk, appropriate behavior, and getting social queues.  Which is to say that individuals may simply struggle making friends while other can’t/don’t talk and have to wear adult diapers. Some people with autism can be very successful, like Ari Ne’eman the Obama administration’s appointee to the National Council on Disability and co-founder of the Autsitic Self Advocacy Network, and a very small percentage are like Kim Peek (the real guy that Dustin Hoffman played in RainMan). A lot of people still need our help  with jobs, housing, and research money but also, perhaps most importantly, with acceptance.

Here are some sadly sobering statistics for Autism [provided by my wife]:

  • Autism affects every 1 out of 55 children (most recent statistic)
  • Austim Spectrum Disorder is 5 times more common to be diagnosed in boys than girls
  • Parents spend on average $3,000/per year more on medical expenses for autistic kids vs. typically developing kids
  • Intensive behavioral therapy costs an upward so of $40,000 dollars per year

This sounds like it’s gonna be a great night for a great charity. Arthur’s actually does a charity night like this almost every month and Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati is an excellent charity to be donating to that “is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those with autism and their families.” So please try to make it out to Arthur’s tomorrow night (4/9/13) and have a pint of MadTree with me! If you can’t make it please still think about donating to the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati or the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

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