I still have not yet expanded my beer travels into Ohio but when I do I am going to check out the beers of Christian Moerlein Co. There is a good story in the Chillicothe Gazette today on the brewery and the revival of its own tradition:
Hardman bought the 1853 Cincinnati beer label four years ago and has been steadily growing sales in the region. This summer he plans to begin the first phase of a national expansion by rolling out his handful of beer brands to Indianapolis, Columbus and Louisville, Ky. At the center of his company's expansion are the hearty beers that are throwbacks to another time and place. Many of the flavors were created in the late 1800s in breweries in the once heavily German Cincinnati neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine whose buildings are still standing.I have always liked the idea of reviving actual brews of the past but have come across (especially when made by people not named Ron Pattinson) too many poor excuses mirroring macro-brews as much as anything, the marketing men having had their way "ye olde tyme" themes while the brewers are asleep at the wheel or, worse, kept in their place. But this one in Cincinnati with their heritage brews may actually be the real thing if the B's and even A's that Moerlein is attracting over at BeerAdvocate are to be trusted. And if their B+ rated Vienna lager is actually $5.99 a six, it seems to be good value, too. You would think a real legacy brewing would be something that would attract the beer fan seeking out the authentic, especially if we are perhaps moving on from "extreme" as a branding theme. And revive the crock bottle look as Beau's has while you are at it, with cherubs and all. Click on the picture - wouldn't you buy that as a refillable growler?
A search via the beer blog search engine for the one word "Moerlein" tells me that not many have been writing about this brewery which has operated since 1853 - though Richard Lyke mentioned their efforts back in 2006. If anyone can advise as to the quality of these beers in the comments it would be greatly appreciated. I may swoop south of Lakes Erie and Ontario this fall on my way back from my pilgrimage to the Ann Arbor Michigan area and snag me some of these brews.