I love Little Kings, and not in an ironic “my Grandpa drank this” way, either. I love Little Kings because they are delicious, little green bottles of happiness. The beer has been around now for 60 years, and Christian Moerlein is planning a bunch of events not just help us Little King geeks celebrate our love – buy hopefully to help those of you who have yet to fall in love do so.
When Little Kings first showed up in Cincinnati, they were a solution to a problem. Back in 1958, Ted Gregory and his now-famous Montgomery Inn had a group of customers that really liked a shot of whiskey and a small beer. The restaurant’s draft system was broken, and customers were hesitant to buy a whole 12oz bottle of beer… the ratio was just off. They needed a small beer to sit next to their bourbon.
Schoenling came to the rescue and started packaging their cream ale in its now iconic little 7oz green bottles… While the marketing aspect of a small green bottle amidst a world of 12oz brown bottles is is big deal, fulfilling the needs of drinkers was the real birth of Little Kings.
In the years since – no brand has stuck around, being brewed as long. No other Cincinnati beer is as awarded at GABF as much our Little Kings has been. Most importantly, after years of being away from home, as of 2016 – they’re brewed right back here at home, again.
A Tour Fit For A King
How do you celebrate 60 years of one of Cincinnati’s most iconic brands? You go on a little mini tour around town for some events that showcase the different sides of the beer. From Montgomery Inn to Japps – each place that the tour stops will be worth your time!
Thursday, October 25th
- At 6 pm at Montgomery Inn Boathouse, the tour will take over the Bob Hope room for a four-course bourbon dinner and pairing with Little Kings. It’s an innovative family-style menu that will have a surprise dish fermented with Christian Moerlein craft beer. You’ll also enjoy a panel Q&A with Dean Gregory, Molly Wellmann, and Greg Hardman on the history of Little Kings. This should be a really unique event and a perfect way to show you what these little guys are capable of. Tickets are 60 and can be purchased by calling Montgomery Inn Boathouse at 513-721-7427
Wednesday, November 14th
- At 7 pm at Japps in OTR the tour is throwing an event all about the original Cincinnati Boilermaker. Molly Wellman will be having a bourbon tasting and pairing with Little Kings. Specially created flights of bourbons that pair perfectly with Little Kings will be available (or try another signature cocktail from the era where it all began).
Wednesday, November 21st
- This is a really unique one… the tour moves on to the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing company (Part of Christian Moerlein) at their OTR brewery on Moore Street. You can take one of the tours at 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 or 7:30 and watching as Little Kings are being bottled and packaged right where you stand. Even cooler? You can purchase a case of Kings right off the bottling line. The taproom will also have a Little Kings exhibit on display with collectibles from Lance Bakemeyer, the grandson of Edward Schoenling Jr. – The founder of The Schoenling Brewing Company and Little Kings Cream Ale.
Friday, November 23rd
- The celebration continues at the Moerlein Malt House taproom with a Little Kings memorabilia exhibit, including a special video presentation honoring Bob Shreve, host of the old Past Prime Playhouse show featuring Schoenling Brewery and Little Kings Cream Ale.
Tell Your Little Kings Story
One thing that is for certain, if you are from Cincinnati – everyone has their own Little Kings story to tell. Each stop along the tour will have a video booth set up for you to record 30-second clips that can be compiled into one video at the end of the tour. Don’t miss your chance to add your little piece to this historic piece of Cincinnati beer history!