I’m going to assume that you, the reader, live close to Cincinnati ‘Proper’, and that if you are one of the people that live in the “far east” of what I consider Greater Cincinnati – you’ve already gotten to know Sons of Toil by heading out and having a beer or three. I’ve gotten asked a bunch in the last month or so if it’s worth a drive out to Mt. Orab to grab a beer at Cincinnati’s newest brewery (newest for about a week that is…). It’s not a simple answer… which is why I am dedicating a whole post to it. Let’s start with the simple part – if you live anywhere east of 275, or close to 32 – yeah… you should definitely visit without a second thought. If you don’t fall into that category – we need to do a little more work to explain why you might need to visit.
What Makes Sons of Toil Special?
We are in the middle of a city that right now (again… for about a week) has 44 breweries doing some really great things. Chances are if you are reading this, you have a brewery that is closer to you than Sons of Toil is. So… what makes them different?
They’re really far away for one. I know that seems like something that would make them move down your list of places to visit, but hear me out.
I hope that you’ve visited Mt. Carmel by now – so I’m going to assume when I describe the quiet, serene, atmosphere that they have captured there, you know what I’m talking about. Sons of Toil has done a fantastic job of using that same aesthetic in creating a taproom that feels like a quiet vacation away from the “normal” life that we seem to get caught up in thorough out the week. When Friday hits I can’t recommend any higher a trip “away”, even if that away is only an hour down the road to Sons of Toil.
What makes them special? It’s not the beer – I mean… you can get a good beer at almost any brewery you walk into these days. They don’t have a kitchen, so you’re not driving out there to get a fantastic meal. If you make the drive out to Mt. Orab to grab a drink, you’re doing it because you want to take a drive – and then you want to hang out at a place that reminds you that you aren’t sitting in your lazyboy drinking a beer.
Since I mentioned it – let’s talk about the beer too
Sons of Toil – The Beer
It’s hard to put a description on a tap lineup that the brewery takes pride in not categorizing. They try to brew to style (for the most part), but they also try really hard to keep a really wide variety of things on tap to help you find what you like. I had the chance to head out to Sons of Toil a little bit before their grand opening to see their space and try their beer, getting my hands on a few goodies:
- Dusty’s Pale Ale
- Horny Handed IPA
- Coffee Porter
- Pineapple Hefeweizen
- English Brown
- Green Chilie Pale Ale
- Belgian Witbier
You can see just by the lineup that I tried that they’re all over the place with what they’re doing on their small, nano, system. I think that’s part of what I love about a smaller brew system, you can always be putting out new things and keep those creative juices flowing. It also means if you drive out expecting to get a certain beer, you might be disappointed. So head out with an open mind, and be ready to try a few different things.
Here’s the biggest reason that my family and I will be back to Sons of Toil (aside from the fantastic people) – the space. I compared them to Mt. Carmel earlier… and while there are definite similarities to what I love about the outdoor spaces of each, the indoor taproom at Sons of Toil blows away the cramped (and soon to change) space of Mt. Carmel. They have a big open indoor space, with plenty of televisions for football and baseball games while you’re drinking – couple with something that I haven’t seen any of our local breweries their size attempt yet – a massive projector that is placed up on the big vaulted ceiling.
The indoor and outdoor spaces are wonderfully designed to create a place for you to spend time – family… friends… strangers… it doesn’t matter, it’s a perfect space for it.
The outdoor space features a big patio with lots of seating, overlooking a huge grassy space, with a wooded view and plenty of room for outdoor games, or picnics. I’m telling you 100%, right now their outdoor space is in the top five, easily of Cincinnati’s breweries. Go there for this alone and you’ll leave a happy drinker.
What To Do
It’s becoming more and more complicated when you’re deciding which place you want to grab a drink at on any given weekend. 44 breweries. There are more great beers being poured at any given moment than there have ever been in this city. It’s ok to be a promiscuous drinker… it’s ok to go to more than one place. In fact, it’s good.
When you find a place that you think your friends, or a family member would like – bring them. Especially if they aren’t a craft beer drinker yet. There are bits and pieces at every single one of our breweries that makes them unique, and fantastic in their own ways. Go places… go lots of places. Drink beer… drink lots of beer! This is the BEST time to be a beer drinker in Cincinnati – embrace it.