posted by dave on Sunday, July 3, 2005 at 12:05 AM in category drink, entertainment, travel

(Refer to the earlier entry for pictures.)

You know, people are going to read this and start to worry about me. There's really no need.

I arrived in Cincinnati a little after 2:00 in the afternoon, and pretty much immediately grabbed a cab to Newport. I certainly could have driven there but I was a little confused by the street layouts.

I had the cab take me to the Hofbrauhaus. Looking at their beer list, I was not particularly fired up, but I did manage to choose two beers, and both were surprisingly good.

Hofbrauhaus Newport Altmunchner Dunkelgold

(draft) Not a thing wrong with this beer. Not a thing noteworthy about it either. A little nutty, a little malty, a little tasty. Not my favorite style, but one of my favorites in this style.

Hofbrauhaus Newport Munich Weizen

(draft) There aren't many hefeweizens that I can say I actually like. This one I like. Sweet and fruity, with none of the citrus that usually ruins this style for me. Yummy.

While I was drinking my beers, and eating my lunch, I talked with the bartender about other places for good beer in the area. One of the places that he said was a "must see" was The Beer Sellar on the river.

I walked the two or three blocks to the place, and it was indeed quite nice. When I first walked in it was hard NOT to notice the huge array of taps. My erection quickly dissipated, however, when I realized that about 2/3 of the draft selection consisted of watery lagers. I ended up having a Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and then I selected the following from the bottled list:

Belhaven St. Andrews Ale

(bottle) Nobody else has said it, so I will. This beer had a greenish tint to it. There, I've said it. Aside from the odd coloring, this was a pretty decent beer. The bar had it listed as a smoked beer, so I was a little disappointed to find an ESB instead, but it was quite decent. Actually reminded me more of a Alt than an ESB.

Okay, so after two beers at the Hofbrauhaus, and two fairly strong beers at the Beer Sellar, I was kind of glad that I hadn't actually driven to Newport. I walked across this purple bridge (very cool to walk across the Ohio river) and back to my hotel to grab my Reds ticket.

Not much to say about the game itself. The Reds suck, and they lost. I was a huge baseball fan when I lived in Seattle, but since I've moved back to Indiana this local club just hasn't fielded a team worth rooting for.

So after the game I walked up to the Rock Bottom brewpub and had a little sampler array.

Rock Bottom English Mild

(draft) Smelled pretty good. The flavor and mouthfeel brought creamy bananas to mind. A pretty strange beer, but decent.

Rock Bottom White Tiger Wheat

(draft) I'm convinced that this is the same wheat beer that Hofbrauhaus is selling. Quite a good beer in a style that I don't normally care for.

Rock Bottom Cincinnati Porter

(draft) No aroma. Very faint coffee flavor. Very fizzy mouthfeel. Not very good.

Rock Bottom Brown Bear Brown

(draft) More malty than sweet, so a little unbalanced. Good head and lacing. Pretty good.

At this point things got a little surreal.

I was walking around downtown Cincinnati, looking for this Nicholson's place that I'd heard about, and I was having no luck at all. This homeless guy - a black man about fifty or so, and carrying a large flowery PURSE, approached me.

The first thing this guy said to me was "I promise I'm not looking to rob you, but I could really use some money. I want to buy myself a beer."

So what I ended up doing was enlisting this guy to help me find this Nicholson's place. I promised him that I'd buy him a beer if he kept to his word and didn't rob me.

So we struck a deal. He'd lead me to beer, and not rob me, and I in turn would buy him a beer.

His name was Leroy, and he was actually a pretty cool guy. He kept saying that he knew where Nicholson's was, but it soon became apparent that he had no clue. He did remember this place called O'Malley's, so that's where we went.

I had myself a Guinness, and I bought Leroy a Bud Light.

It was a little scary. Not because I was hanging out with a street person, but because I'm pretty sure that Leroy was the first black man to set foot in O'Malley's since its founding. We got a lot of pretty strange looks.

Leroy's purse probably didn't help matters either.

The O'Malley's bartender gave me directions to Nicholson's and, after we'd finished our beers, Leroy and I parted company. He said that he was seriously grateful to me for trusting him. I guess that trust between whites and blacks hasn't been that common in Cincinnati lately.

So I walked up to Nicholson's. I had myself a couple pints of Smithwick's then I went back to the hotel and slept.

In the morning I drove home.

I had a good time on this trip. I've got some thoughts in my head as to why. Maybe I'll put those thoughts into words later this weekend.

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