Thanks for this, Cheeseboard. Wanted to provide a report-back since I received some solid recos from this forum (not sure why the other user deleted their post, though?).
Long story short, the Cincinnati Reds game, Taft’s Ale House, and the Roebling Suspension Bridge were three of the highlights of the trip. We were pleased to see that Great American Ball Park has excellent craft beer options. We hit the Fifty West Brewing stand and the Reds Brewery District beer bar, and were super impressed with the quality of beers on offer. Prices were reasonable, too.
Besides Taft’s and the Fifty West outlet, brewery highlights included Rhinegiest, Mad Tree’s Alcove location, and Sam Adams’ Cincinnati Taproom in Over-The-Rhine, and Moerlein Lager House Downtown. One of the themes of the trip was how early the breweries launch their Oktoberfests / Marzens. We were there in early August, and nearly every brewery and bar had a local O-Fest/Marzen on tap. In Canada, October is more the norm. But this was a welcomed change from the summer beers I had been drinking before our visit, and most of the beers ranged from good to outstanding.
Cincinnati also has a fantastic bar scene, with several bars that not only serve awesome craft beer but also solid wine options and respectable cocktail menus. This was appreciated by my wife, who likes tasty beer but is mostly a wine/cocktail drinker. Standouts here were Standard Beer, Liberty’s Bar & Bottle (wine bar with dope beer), The Loon (amazing paper planes), and Arnold’s Bar & Grill, which claims to be the oldest bar in Cincy.
In addition to beer/wine/cocktail spots, we tried to hit as many choice restaurants as possible, and fared decently given our limited time in the city. Favourites included Bakersfield OTR (taco joint with killer drink menu), The Eagle (fried chicken & craft beer), Dewey’s Pizza Clifton, Moxy and Coffee Emporium for morning coffee and a light breakfast, Graeter’s and Dojo Gelato for ice cream/gelato, Incline Public House, Skyline Chill for Cincinnati-style chill and cheese coneys, and Taste of Belgium for the most authentic “Euro cafe” experience I’ve had since visiting Brussels. Many of these places have been featured on the Food Network, the compass we used for navigating.
Beyond the Reds game/GABP and the Riverwalk/Roebling Suspension Bridge, we went to the Cincinnati Zoo, Findlay Market, and a Tripadvisor tour called the “Top 10 Sites + Top 5 Foods of Cincinnati” (2023 Top 10 Sites + Top 5 Foods of Cincinnati Morning Tour). All of these attractions were worthwhile and did not disappoint.
Overall, Cincinnati strikes me as a city on the rise. During our tour we learned that Cincy has experienced a major revival following two plus decades of redevelopment. A multi-billion dollar investment from 3CDC (3CDC), the recent success of the Bengals, Reds, and FC Cincinnati (Cincinnati sports fans welcome hot streaks by Reds, FC Cincy), and a burgeoning restaurant/bar scene (Cincinnati Food & Bars | Cincinnati Experience) seem to have fuelled an unlikely comeback (How Cincinnati Salvaged the Nation’s Most Dangerous Neighborhood - POLITICO Magazine). The longstanding German-American influence also appears to have made stellar beer a fixture in this Midwestern/Mid-South centre. The fact that you can explore Kentucky’s bourbon scene in nearby Newport, simply by crossing the bridge, is another huge plus.
I can’t say enough good things about the so-called “Queen City,” and for nearby Canucks, it’s definitely an attractive and convenient option for a long weekend/late summer getaway.