The first year of business has been a great one for Grainworks. As a new brewery, you get to open your doors, introduce people to your brand and your beer, and you get to showcase why you should become their go-to spot (or at least one in the rotation of go-to spots). You get to try new things, learn from mistakes and fine tune what the experience of having a beer in the taproom is like.
As Grainworks settles into their second year and prepares for 2019, they get to dive into a new phase of being a brewery. Fine tuning gets a little more “big picture”, and you get to stretch out and show the bigger crowd exactly what makes you the favorite spot of so many of your fans. You get to start planning (and implementing) longer-term plans.
They’ve built a killer team already – with Anthony Russel and Steven Brock on the ownership side, Brian McGinnis brewing up the good stuff – and Amanda Hightower pushing for those tap handles on the sales side. They are poised to take on the world.
Oh… Hello, Danny Gold
If you’re a long time reader of this blog (or if you’re a long time beer drinker here in Cincinnati) you’ll likely know the name Danny Gold. I love this guy.
Back in “the day” when Cincinnati’s craft beer community was just a tiny little nugget of possibilities, Danny was the beer buyer at The Party Source. The store had unique access to some top-tier barrels that small breweries just couldn’t get their hands on otherwise. Bridging between the store and the breweries around it, Danny helped create Quaff Brothers.
On the surface when you look at it today, a group that comes together to brew beer and stash it in barrels, later releasing bottles doesn’t seem like much. But don’t miss the truth of it all – Danny is Gnarly. At the time, Cincinnati’s beer community was young, spread out and new. It needed something to pull it all together and create a community that it could live upon. Quaff Brothers was a critical piece of that. The brotherhood was important to setting the stage for what I think is a unique community that thrives today.
I could go on and on about Danny Gold… but if you remember, this is a post about Grainworks – so what’s ‘a’ got to do with ‘b’? In addition to being one of the Gnarliest dudes in Cincy – Danny is also brilliant at marketing and selling beer, which is exactly what he’s doing at Grainworks now. After the “dissolution” of Quaff Brothers as we knew it, Danny moved into a new career that has seen him leave town briefly – only to triumphantly return and become a new part of our community.
With him teaming up with Amanda Hightower – firing on all cylinders to get Grainworks beer out to the masses… you’re going to start seeing a lot more of it around town, and start hearing a lot more people talking about what they’re doing.
New Beers? From A Barrel?
If you’ve been in the Grainworks taproom lately, you’ve most likely seen that they’re kicking things into a different gear – with their NE IPA called #NoFilter taking over tap handles all across town – a Berliner with cherry and pineapple called ‘Pink Lemonade Stand’ – and a pilsner and a winter warmer that I’m hearing are LEGIT. So it goes without saying that you can start getting excited about what is coming too.
They’ve got a new batch of their Brewer’s Breakfast stout on the way, and some mystery beer being dubbed ‘55” Flat Screen TV’ that they’re being tight-lipped about. But what I’m starting to get really excited for? Packaging! Things are still in the “rumor” stage… but you know that I like to keep a close eye on the federal label approvals around town, and this week a couple goodies rolled through that I think you’ll dig.
First up is their ‘Bagpipes of Bardstown’ a Scotch Ale that is is aged in Kentucky Bourbon and Rye barrels. The brewery says that this one has notes of vanilla, oak and rye spice and it clocks in at a respectable 11.1% ABV.
Next through is their Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Motor Oil, which is a Russian Imperial Stout that is aged in Kentucky Bourbon and Rye Barrels. This one kicks it up another level, clocking in at 12.7% ABV.
Both of these labels are for bottles, 22oz bombers. Keep in mind that as always with label approvals, we don’t know officially when (or if) these will make their debut, but I can desperately cry out into the universe that “shit’s getting cold outside” and they’d help warm me up for sure…
UPDATE – we’ve got a release date for both of these beers! Mark your calendar for 12/15 starting at 11am. The bottles are $15 each or both for $28 – they’ll both be on tap that day, too so you can try them out before you buy!
That Taproom Experience
One of the most important pieces of a brewery for me is that taproom experience that sets the stage for how often and how long you spend your time in there drinking delicious beer. Grainworks has done a great job with food trucks this past year – but the rumors are looking to be true, they are adding a full-service food option to their taproom in the very near future.
I don’t know how much detail they want leaking out quite yet – but we’ll just say that it’s from a vendor that you know… that has done some amazing stuff with craft beer, and this ‘Bistro’ concept is looking like it’s going to kick their food up to a new level. It should open up a lot of doors with collaboration between the brewery and the food as well.
I’m excited about this, and you can be guaranteed that as more details are released you’ll read about it right here! The moral of this all is that Grainworks is looking like one of the top “breweries to watch” for 2019 – these guys are not slowing down.