Written by Tyler Hooley

It’s big. It’s bad. It’s delicious. That’s right! It’s barleywine. One of the oldest beer styles still in existence, the first known recordings of a barleywine go all the way back to Ancient Armenia. Despite it’s Armenian roots, the barleywine flavor profile that we’ve come to know and love first emerged in 15th century England. The English aristocracy wanted an alternative to wine that offered the same alcoholic strength, and thus the English barleywine was born! The first iteration of a packaged barleywine, No. 1 Ale from Bass Brewing Company  hit shelves in 1870. Ranging from a golden hue to a dark amber, this style clocks in at around eight to twelve percent ABV, making it the perfect wintertime sipper. Packed with malty richness, dark dried fruit characteristics and caramel and molasses notes, it’s no wonder that barleywines have a cult-like following in the craft beer community. A perfect style for aging, after some time, these big beers take on a port-like flavor and vinous quality.

And while the English barleywine has been around for centuries, the American barleywine didn’t hit the scene until 1976, when Anchor Brewing Company first released Old Foghorn. The most widely produced and largely known barleywine, Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada, followed shortly in Old Foghorn’s footsteps, hitting shelves in 1983.  Like its English brethren, the American version also packs a punch at eight to twelve percent ABV. The biggest difference between the two versions is the assertive hop character that the American barleywines bring to the table. This balance of high alcohol and hoppy bitterness combine to leave a strong, long finish on the palate. Not as dark as the English version, the American barleywine ranges from light amber to a dull copper tone. Both styles make for great winter beers but the die-hard barleywine drinkers crack these open year-round, because, after all, #BarleywineIsLife.

Interested in dabbling in barleywines? Stop by and grab some the next time you’re in. We have plenty to choose from including:

Listermann’s Lavish Life

North Coast’s Old Stock Ale

Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot

JW Lees and Co. Harvest Ale

Great Divide’s Old Ruffian

Against the Grain’s London Balling

The Birth of a Hippo. The Birth of a Beer.

Written by Tyler Hooley

She came. She swam. She conquered the hearts of Cincinnati! Fiona Fever didn’t just catch on in Cincinnati but spread across the globe. People followed her story of survival and fell in love with the teeny little premature hippo born in our very own backyard. Born on January 24th, 2017, Fiona was the first Nile Hippopotamus born at the Cincinnati Zoo in the last 75 years. With the average hippo birth weight falling between 55 and 120 pounds, Fiona clocked in at just 29 pounds at birth. And as teams from the Cincinnati Zoo and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital worked closely to ensure that the six-week premature hippo became stable, we all watched in anticipation – cheering her on!  

Located just a few miles from the Cincinnati Zoo and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Listermann Brewing Company’s Taproom was often frequented by employees of both companies, many of which worked directly in providing support and care to Fiona. The Listermann Crew often received first-hand updates of Fiona’s progress over a post-work pint. And one day, at the Dana Ave. Taproom, over a few pints of beer, the question was asked, “How can we help with Fiona?”. The answer to that question is now delicious hazy IPA history. Team Fiona was born.

The Listermann Crew worked to conceptualize the Team Fiona beer and landed on a New England IPA for the project. New England IPAs, named for their region of origin, are an approachable and popular style due to their lack of bitterness – a perfect choice for the masses. Late addition hops and less bittering hops are the secret to that super juicy flavor and aroma without the hoppy bitterness. Wanting to do something easily repeatable, the brewers at Listermann landed on Citra and Centennial hops for the first iteration, released on June 10th, 2017. 25% of proceeds were donated directly to the Cincinnati Zoo. Over time, the project has expanded and led to other beers created in Listermann’s Zoo Babies Series.

Fast forward to 2019, it’s almost Fiona’s second birthday and she is weighing in at over 1,000 lbs! Listermann has brewed a number of Team Fiona beers including multiple variants for her First Birthday Bash. What has evolved since that question was first asked back in 2017? A lot. Team Fiona is now brewed and available year-round in Listermann’s taproom, mostly on draft and in crowlers, but more variants are on the horizon. Listermann just released cans of Key Lime Team Fiona on 1/17 in celebration of her second birthday as a continuation of their support for the animals and hard-working staff at the Cincinnati Zoo.

After speaking with Listermann’s General Manager, Jason Brewer, we think there’s much to be excited about Team Fiona and the entire Zoo Babies Series. In the words of Brewer “The fun thing with the Cincinnati Zoo is that there’s always something happening. Who knows what’s in store for our partnership in 2019, but I’m very much looking forward to it!”

Want to get in on the Team Fiona action? Cappy’s is partnering with Listermann to throw a birthday party for Fiona on Thursday, 1/24. We’ll be tapping a keg of Team Fiona, along with a special Strawberry Rhubarb Team Fiona that our friends at Listermann made just for us. We’ll have more on tap for the occasion from Listermann and will also be partaking in some #PhilanthropicBeerDrinking! We’re raffling off three gift baskets with 100% of raffle ticket sales going directly to The Cincinnati Zoo. Raffle tickets are $1 each and will be sold all day on Fiona’s second birthday, 1/24, with a drawing at 9 o’clock. You could win:

  • $50 gift certificate to Cincy Shirts and a Fiona plush
  • $50 gift certificate to Cappy’s Wine and Spirits and a Cappy’s Teku glass
  • Listermann Brewery Swag Bag

Brewery Feature: Fat Orange Cat

Written by Tyler Hooley

Cans from Fat Orange Cat keep rolling through our front door these days. Not knowing much about these guys,  we took it upon ourselves to do some light research on this East Coast brewery and we discovered a unique brewery, with a sense of humor, committed to sustainability. Here are some of our favorite highlights of what makes these guys unique in the craft beer industry.

As one of the newest breweries bursting onto the Connecticut beer scene, Fat Orange Cat has been making a big name for themselves since opening their doors in August of 2016. Named after their late “Brew Master” Billy–actually a large orange cat (hence the name)–this seasonal brewery, located on a farm, is pumping out high quality, small-batch recipes and focusing predominantly on New England IPAs.

Located in the Wetlands of the Salmon River Watershed of East Hampton, Connecticut, Fat Orange Cat has access to some of the highest quality water in the state. This allows them to brew those delicious NEIPAs with precision and little water manipulation. Head Brewer, Mike Klucznik got his start after his daughter gave him a homebrew kit for Christmas a few years ago. After winning multiple homebrew competitions Fat Orange Cat was born. He was later joined by Assistant Brewer, Carla Waclawski, who originally worked for the brewery as their Distribution Manager. Waclawski is also a freelance artist and medical illustrator.

On top of all the delicious beer being produced by Fat Orange Cat, the brewery also partners with the UCONN Agricultural Department. Together they’ve developed a waste management plan that allows their waste materials to be used both on site and also as goat feed for local farmers.

Not only do we find this brewery fascinating, but their beers are consistently delicious. Next type you’re at Cappy’s consider grabbing a four-pack or a sampling of some of their beers from our singles section. Current availability includes:

  • She Drives a Plymouth Satellite – New England Style IPA, 7.5%
  • She’s A Rainbow – New England Style IPA, 6.8%
  • Sweet Jane Blues – New England Style IPA, 7.3%
  • Living in Our Private Idaho – New England IPA, 7.5%
  • All Cats Are Gray in the Dark – White Stout, 7.4%
  • This Is Not My BeautifuL Beer, New England IPA, 7.1%

Brewery Spotlight: Old Nation

Old Nation Brewing is coming to Cincinnati and we are beyond excited to start pouring their beer and selling four-packs of these Michigan brewers who are killing the New England IPA game.

Owners Travis Fritts and Rick Ghersi didn’t always brew the NEIPA style of beers that has generated a cult following amongst craft beer drinkers. Back when they opened Old Nation in 2015 they were aiming to focus almost exclusively on classic German and Belgian style beers. But when the brewery initially struggled, Fritts and Ghersi knew they needed to look to their customers and craft beer drinkers to guide the evolution of their brewery. Fritts stumbled into a conversation on a Facebook group, of all places, about New England IPAs. The Facebook thread evolved into a meetup of craft beer drinkers at Old Nation, with Fritts by their side, brewing an experimental batch of the hazy, juicy beer of the moment. Feedback from the experimental brew led to the development of M-43 and the rest was history.

The fact that a couple brewers and a group of craft beer enthusiasts could join together to conceptualize and brew such a sought after beer is pretty remarkable. Since the birth of M-43, Old Nation has gone from brewing just 1,200 barrels per year to 20,000, the majority of which is M-43.

We love that these guys put customers first and aren’t afraid to adapt. Just as their customers have fallen in love with their beers, we think our customers will respond just as well as we share these juicy, hazy and completely delicious brews with you later this week!  

Coming soon to our tap line up: M-43 and Boss Tweed from Old Nation. For now we’ll have both, draft only–but don’t worry, we hear a rumor that package is in our near future as well.

Want to be one of the first to try these beers? We’re sending out an e-mail to our e-newsletter subscribers the minute our Old Nation kegs are tapped and beer is ready to pour. Not a subscriber yet? Join our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/dEzYvb

Two Days of Speedway Party with AleSmith Brewing


We’re practically giddy with anticipation as we approach our Two Days of Speedway Event on Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30.

We’ve been huge fans of Speedway Stout from AleSmith since they started distributing in Ohio and we can’t wait to host what we think will be one of the biggest Speedway Stout Variant parties to grace the region.

One of Ben’s personal favorite beers, we’ve always been proud of our practically permanent tap handle reserved for our Speedway Stout variants, but for the first time in Cappy’s history we’re tapping NINE Speedway Stout beers for one event.

Timed Tappings – Thursday, 11/29 at 4pm:
Barrel Aged Speedway Stout
Barrel Aged Cinnamon Vanilla Speedway Stout

Timed Tappings – Friday, 11/30 at 4pm:
Double Barrel Aged Speedway Stout

Other beers on tap from AleSmith:

Mokasida Speedway Stout
Thai Speedway Stout
Hawaiian Speedway Stout
Celestial Dawn/Modern Times Collaboration Speedway Stout
Jamaican Blue Mountain Speedway Stout
Speedway Stout
Wee Heavy
Old Numbskull
Mt. Crushmore
Alesmith IPA

But wait. There’s more! We’re releasing three incredibly hard to land AleSmith bottles for sale to the public on Thursday at 4pm:

2018 Barrel Aged Speedway Stout – Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout with a massive flavor profile of Ryan Bros. Coffee, chocolate, and roasted barley.

Mexican Speedway Stout – Tequila barrel-aged imperial stout with Mexican coffee, chocolate and cinnamon.

2017 Noble Empire – Brewed in celebration of AleSmith’s move to it’s second facility. Noble Empire is rich with chocolaty flavors derived from a variety of specialty malts. This beer has patiently found the delicate balance between sweet notes of vanilla and toast from the bourbon barrels.

Cappy’s Annual Black Friday Sale with Toys for Tots


It’s our favorite day of the year: Black Friday, Baby!

We’re bringing you some incredibly rare and limited bottles to add to your collection.

The catch? To buy the beer we’re asking you to pay it forward. Donate a toy to buy a beer. Donate five toys, buy five bottles of beer. Etc.

This day, for us, is all about good people, a good cause, and some damn good beverages.

Bottle Line Up for Cappy’s 2019 Black Friday Sale

Alesmith – ’17 Noble Empire
Alesmith – ’18 Mexican Speedway Stout
Alesmith – ’18 BA Speedway Stout
Avery – ’14 Uncle Jacob’s Stout
Bell’s – BBA Expedition Stout
Bell’s ’17 Black Note
Brouwerij Fonteinen – ’16 Oude Kriek
Crooked Stave – Batonnage
Fifty West – Marble Palace
Founders – ’17 CBS
Goose Island – ’18 BCBS
Hi-Wire – BA 10W-40
Hoppin Frog – B.O.R.I.S. Buff
Listermann – Operation Flintlock Double Chocolate
Listermann – Operation Flintlock Caramel
MadTree – Boysen the Wood
Revolution – ’13 Deth’s Tar
Revolution – ’16 Deth’s Tar
Revolution – ’14 Straight Jacket
Revolution – ’15 Straight Jacket
Terrapin – Moo-Tella
Terrapin – Raspberry Truffle Wake ‘n Bake
Terrapin – Tart Cherry Wake ‘n Bake
MYSTERY BEER – We’re not revealing this one until you show up on Friday, but trust us, you want a bottle!

Black Friday Wines:

Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Teso la Monja Almirez 2011
2014 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red
Joseph Phelps Insignia 2015
Dow’s 2016 Vintage Port
Frank Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016
J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling 2017
Krug Brut Rose 21st Edition
Sassetti Livio
Colle Argento Spumante Rosé
Quintessa 2015

Right On, Baby! Can Release

Introducing our first beer in the Cappy’s and Platform Cobbler-ation Series: Right On, Baby!

Right On, Baby!
Overfruited Blackberry Cobbler Slushee Sour
from Platform and Cappy’s Wine and Spirits

16 oz. Four Packs
Available for sale at both Cappy’s locations
Wednesday, 11/21 at 9am 

This Blackberry Cobbler Overfruited Slushee Sour was brewed with blackberry puree, vanilla, cinnamon, graham crackers and lactose. The first in a series of collaboration beers (or as we like to say, cobbler-ation beers) between Cappy’s and Platform, the brew was inspired by one of our favorite All-American desserts – the cobbler.

At Cappy’s we believe firmly in the glory of liquid dessert and we think this beer will pair perfectly not just with your Thanksgiving meal but with all the holiday get-togethers that come with this time of year.

Keep an eye out on our social media pages for more information from Ben and Colin with Platform about how this limited release beer came to fruition.

New This Black Friday – Wine!

This year, Mark, our Wine Jedi, is getting in on the Black Friday action!

NEW this year — Wine Sales benefiting Toys for Tots!

These rare wines will be available for purchase on Black Friday. You can take one home by donating a toy to Toys for Tots. Donate one toy, receive a voucher to purchase one bottle. Donate five toys, receive five vouchers.

Wines Available for Purchase:

Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Teso la Monja Almirez 2011
2014 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red
Joseph Phelps Insignia 2015
Dow’s 2016 Vintage Port
Frank Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016
J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling 2017
Krug Brut Rose 21st Edition
Sassetti Livio
Colle Argento Spumante Rosé
Quintessa 2015

Black Friday, Baby!

Our favorite day of the year is almost here! Black Friday, Baby!

We’re excited to announce just SOME of the many rare and limited bottles available this year to our customers via our Toys for Tots Drive. As we get closer to the event, we will add additional bottles that are in the works. Important disclaimer: not all beers listed are currently in house. Our lineup is always subject to change. We will send out a fully updated and final list on Monday, November 19th.

How do you land these sought after beers? By partaking in some #PhilanthropicBeerDrinking! Customers earn the opportunity to purchase a bottle by donating a toy to Toys for Tots. Donate one toy, receive a voucher allowing you to purchase one of our rare bottles. Donate five toys, receive five vouchers. Customers may only purchase one of each bottle – no multiples.

Bottles for Cappy’s 2018 Black Friday Sale:

Alesmith 2017 Noble Empire
Alesmith 2018 Mexican Speedway Stout
Alesmith 2018 BA Speedway Stout
Avery 2014 Uncle Jacob’s Stout
Bell’s 2017 Black Note
Bell’s 2018 BA Expedition Stout
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen 2016 Oude Kriek
Crooked Stave Batonnage (From Crooked Stave’s Cellar Reserve Member Series)
Founders 2017 CBS
Hi-Wire BA 10W-40
Hoppin Frog B.O.R.I.S. BUFF (From Hoppin Frog’s Rare Beer Club)
Listermann – Operation Flintlock Variant: Double Chocolate
Listermann – Operation Flintlock Variant: Caramel
MadTree Boysen the Wood
Revolution 2013 Deth’s Tar
Revolution 2016 Deth’s Tar
Revolution 2014 Straight Jacket
Revolution 2015 Straight Jacket
Terrapin Dark Chocolate Raspberry Wake ‘n Bake
Terrapin Tart Cherry Wake ‘n Bake
Terrapin Moo-Tella

We have more in the works that aren’t QUITE ready to be advertised, but stay tuned and be sure to check out next week’s e-newsletter for updates to our lineup and another exciting beer-related announcement for Black Friday!

ALSO, we’re adding WINE to our Black Friday Sale this year! Details about rare and limited wines that will be made available for purchase on Black Friday will be shared soon.

Why Teku Beer Glasses Matter

Aaah, the Teku glass. It’s the first glass to get snatched out of your kitchen cabinet for an impromptu bottle share for a reason. As far as beer drinking versatility goes, there’s nothing else quite like it.

Manufactured by Rastal in Germany, Teku glasses were originally developed specifically for Baladin Brewery, a world famous craft brewery located in Northern Italy. The name comes directly from the masterminds behind this beautiful piece of stemware: Matterino “Teo” Musso, owner and head brewer of Baladin Brewry, and Lorenzo Dabove “Kuaska,” a die-hard, Italian craft beer enthusiast. The shape and design became an immediate sensation and the Teku is now considered a must-have glass for any true craft beer enthusiast.

Developed specifically to amplify the multi-sensory experience that is craft beer, each line and angle was designed to heighten the flavor of the beer, but especially the aroma.

Why is aroma so important? Smell is so closely connected to taste that how a beer smells will undoubtedly influence the flavor of a beer. Don’t believe us?  A fun and easy at-home experiment for any beer drinker is to taste the same beer in different vessels. Crack open a can and divide up your beer into a juice glass, a snifter, and a teku. Be sure to keep some in the can for a full understanding of just how much your nose has control over your beer drinking experience.

A modernized version of the traditional tulip glass, Tekus function at their peak when enjoying an IPA, pale ale, saison, or sour. Though regardless of style, in our opinion, it’s one of your best options on the market for glassware. The secret of the Teku lies in the angled bowl, which traps the aroma in the glass, allowing you to get a full whiff each and every time you take a sip. The stem isn’t just there so you feel fancy, but also to keep your body temperature from prematurely warming your beer.

Now, while supplies last, pick up your very own #CAF Teku glass. Branded on one side with Cappy’s new logo and the other with our signature hashtag, these glasses were ordered in limited quantities and won’t be available for long. We’re serious about making sure our customers enjoy the best craft beer available, and that starts with proper glassware. #CAF Tekus are $15 each.