Our weekly arrivals.

Behind-the-Scenes at the Home of The Midwest Fruit Tart Ale

By Haley Manker

I think it’s well known in the store that if there is a sour on tap from Urban Artifact, it’s most likely going to be followed with “*Haley’s Pick*”. I’m a dedicated fan girl of the Midwest Fruit Tart and I have absolutely stocked my fridge full of Urban Artifact’s amazing brews (I need all of the Squeezebox, forever). When the idea of taking a ‘field trip’ to Urban Artifact came about in conversation, you know I immediately was on board and ready to go.

Urban Artifact made their home in the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in 2014 and began serving their funk and ‘gossip-worthy’ brews in 2015. The taproom is located in the basement, the brewery is located next door in the old gymnasium, and the reliquary is used for events and larger musical acts. It is clear that they have a special talent for making tart, wild, balanced, and heavily fruited beers and Cincinnati is a major fan of what they’re doing. When taking over the historic space, they made sure that the rustic features of the building stood strong and were incorporated within the design of each portion of their establishment. The iconic copper handles seen to pour each beer are made from upcycled copper pulled from the building. Parts of the gymnasium floor are used to aid in soundproofing the music/stage area within the taproom and you can see parts of the gymnasium flooring peeking through behind the chalkboard tap list.  The reliquary still features the original confession booths and if you look toward the front of the space, you can see the stained glass window that inspired the Urban Artifact logo. While on our tour we were told that Urban Artifact was granted State Historic Tax Credits that will help renovate the spaces Urban Artifact occupies, including a focus on the reliquary. Renovations pertaining to the reliquary will include repairing the iconic stained glass window, adding a working elevator, adding and further soundproofing to accommodate more local and national musical guests. The magic doesn’t stop with just the gorgeous historical church, the real magic happens next door in the brewery.

Across the courtyard is the old gymnasium that houses the brewery. When you walk into the building, you see a wall of stickers from various beers that have been produced next to the stairs. As you enter you are welcomed by all of the gorgeous can art and beers that are currently in distribution. There is a shelf to the side where long-lost and heavily loved beer labels rest, reminding us of all the thousands of barrels of beer that have been drank. When you walk into the other section of the brewery, you are greeted by two massive 120 BBL fermenters and several other smaller fermenters where the magic truly happens. To one side of the room there is a smaller micro-brewing station where experimentation happens. There are about 450 barrels on site that hold secret and not-so-secret beers. The secrets held within the barrels and fermenters will be forthcoming, but you can absolutely prepare yourself for can releases of Keypunch and Pickle in the near future. I know I’m going to be stocking my refrigerator with all of the possible amazing, tart, wild, and balanced beers that Urban Artifact continues to produce.

And if you’re salivating just reading this, join us for our Celebration of Sours on May 9th starting at 5pm. We’re tapping Tapestry, a barrel aged midwest fruit tart with peach and passionfruit, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and more from Urban Artifact! Click here to get more information!

An Interview with Josh Wilson: Fifty West’s Original Haze Boi

Written by Tyler Hooley

It seems like the “Is This Really My Job? Moments” keep coming in full force these last few months. And the “assignment” that came with writing this blog post was no exception. Recently, I was able to sit down with the lead brewer at 50 West Brewing Company, Josh Wilson, to talk beer.

Josh has been brewing with 50 West for the last 3 years. Originally working in their distribution department, he set out to learn about brewing and logged over 250 volunteer hours brewing Fifty West beers. Now Josh works as lead brewer for Fifty West’s Production Works.

After talking brew day specifics, beer sales, and general shit shootin’, we turned our conversation to beer styles. Although Josh’s favorite style to drink is barleywine, (Good taste.  #BIL.), he loves to brew witbiers. Doom Pedal, over the years, has become his baby. Named as a tribute to their late employee, Alan White, who hated Belgian beers, Doom Pedal got its name from Doom Metal. And the brewery worked tirelessly perfecting the beer, making every iteration just a tad different than the previous batch, tweaking until the beer was exactly where they wanted it to be.

So what exactly is a witbier? Also known as white ale, the witbier was the dominant style back in 18th century Brussels. Wits must contain 50% wheat and spices – traditionally coriander and orange peel. Witbiers were the power house of their time and drastically different in look and taste from the other styles of beer available. The use of wheat and sometimes oats gave it a hazy appearance while every other beer was clear, I suppose you could call it the original hazy brew. In the 1960s, however, the beer almost met its demise. The pale lager came onto the scene and crushed the witbier in popularity. Along came Pierre Celis, the savior of the witbier. A loyal drinker of the style, Celis opened his own brewery, De Kluis (The Cloister) and used it as an opportunity to revitalize the style. He then expanded his operations by opening Celis Brewery in Austin, Texas in 1992.

With the resurgence in popularity of witbiers, we saw the birth of many great beers including Allagash White and Avery’s White Rascal entering the scene. And now we have one of the best witbiers right here in Cincinnati. Josh’s best compliment came from Adam Avery himself who said he “loved Doom Pedal”. Now Doom Pedal serves as Josh’s personal playground. He’s currently working on a number of variations, including a wine barrel aged sour Doom Pedal that may or may not have soured off one of his beard hairs. Looks like a little bit of the brewer really does make it into every batch.

Spring Into Day Drinking

by Haley Manker

It’s no surprise: I’m probably as much of a morning person as a morning person can get. It will also come as no surprise that I’m a total brunch fanatic. This typically means that this time of year I get way too excited when daylight saving time rolls around. An extra hour of daylight means an extra hour of activities, and day drinking happens to be one of my favorite activities. Of course I’m going to miss all the long winter nights filled with robust, rich, and satisfying stouts, but it’s time for a change.

At Cappy’s, no matter your tastes, you’re going to find something you enjoy in our aisles. And with our staff’’s diverse tastes and preferences in alcohol, we know you’ll walk away happy, whether you’re looking for liquor, wine, beer, or mead. We love making suggestions to customers. So, in the spirit of daylight saving time and day drinking in general, here are just some of the things  we’re sippin’ on when day drinking calls:

  • Rekordelig Cider – Mixed Berry – 4.5%
  • Cigar City Brewing – Guayabera – Citra Pale Ale – 5.5%
  • Coronado Brewing – Weekend Vibes – IPA -6.8 %
  • Clown Shoes – Mangö – American Kolsch – 5.5%
  • Urban Artifact – Squeezebox – Strawberry Midwest Fruit Tart Ale -8.6 %
  • Farnese Fantini Swarovski Gran Cuvee Spumante Rose – Sparkling Rose – 12% Alc Vol
  • Karrikin Shuga Rum – 40% Alc Vol | 80 Proof
  • Watershed Guild Gin – 44% Alc Vol

I’m going to go ahead and share one of my personal favorite cocktails for day drinking. It’s floral, it’s fruity, it’s balanced, and it’s boozy. The Gilded Squeezebox is going to be a staple in my home and is the perfect way to spring into daylight saving on the right foot:

  • 1 ½ fl oz of Watershed Guild Gin
  • ½ fl oz of lime juice
  • 8 fl oz of Urban Artifact Squeezebox

Combine the gin and lime juice in a shaker with ice, shake for thirty seconds, strain into a chilled pint glass filled with the beer.

You’ve got another hour of daylight, which means another hour of sun to head to Cappy’s and grab some libations to enjoy on our patio or in the comfort of your home.

No Invitation: A Fan-Girl Reflection on our Next Collaboration Beer with Platform Beer Co.

By Kira Hinkle

I’ve been a die-hard Cappy’s customer and craft beer drinker for years, but I’m a total rookie in the beer industry and find myself repeatedly having what I refer to as “pinch-me moments” where I ask myself, “Is this REALLY my job?!”

These happen a couple times a week, but I have to say they KEEP happening, again and again, whenever Platform enters the picture.

I will admit, this is an Ohio brewery that I didn’t know much about prior to working at Cappy’s. I had visited their brewpub on a trip to Cleveland a couple years ago when they first opened, but I hadn’t tried many of their beers since then and it wasn’t a brewery that I encountered much in Cincinnati.

Week one of my Cappy’s gig – Ben told me we had a meeting scheduled and it was one we were going to “take in the back room.” I’d been told that back room meetings aren’t typically a good thing and so I approached it with hesitation. Was this when Ben the Tyrant would reveal himself? Nope. Instead I had what was the first of many, many pinch-me moments specific to Platform. Ben pitched the concept of an ongoing series of collaboration beers – released in can and draft – exclusive to Cappy’s and a handful of other key accounts in Ohio. We would take the wishes, requests and suggestions that our customers often feed us across the counter as they sip pints in our store, and the guys at Platform would turn them into a reality. We left the meeting with plans for a trip to Cleveland to meet the owners and finalize a plan.

Pinch me. Is this really my job?!

Flash forward a couple months and we’re standing on the roof of Platform’s Phunkenship at sunset on a warm September day looking over the city of Cleveland. No, I’m not romanticizing this, it really was at sunset and it really was as badass as it sounds. Pinch me. Is this really my job?! Paul Benner, co-owner of Platform, had just taken us through the facility that was still under construction, walking through empty spaces, talking about the design plans for a tasting room focused on sours, and making statements like, “Imagine this as a whole wall of barrels.”

Later that month, Colin Warren, Cincinnati’s director of sales for Platform, and I exchanged about twenty emails in a single day attempting to find a “Ben-ism” that wasn’t already claimed by another brewery. At the end of the day we landed on “Right On, Baby!” and thus our first collaboration beer with Platform was finalized.

Flash forward to the day before Thanksgiving and Justin, our then-delivery guy and current Platform rep, wheels in a stack of shiny new cans displaying our logo. Brian and I quickly rush to crack a can in the fifteen minutes before our doors open and can sales begin. We take a sip.

Pinch me. Is this really my job?!  

Two weeks ago I found myself back in Cleveland, this time with Nick, Tyler, and Jeff. Our motley crew actually showed up ON TIME, (yes, really) for a 6:30 a.m. brew session. This time we were up for Brew Day for Platform’s next Cappy’s collaboration: No Invitation. Brewed with citra cryo, mosaic cryo, and simcoe cryo, we wanted this one to be (in Ben’s words), “Dank, dank, dank, dank, dank! I mean, you know what I mean?!” The super juicy, super bitter, and super hoppy IPA was inspired by our regulars, many of whom overwhelmingly gravitate towards IPAs.

Paul took time out of his day to show us around the production facility and took as back to Phunkenship. The empty rooms are no longer empty. The tap room is coming together (and is seriously beautiful, people. When it opens, GO). The storage rooms are filling up with beers aging and waiting for their moment to be pulled, blended and bottled. And this time Paul pulled some nails and let us try beers directly from the barrels. As Paul and Jeff huddled around a barrel collecting a nut brown aged in a bourbon barrel, Nick looked over at me, wide-eyed, and remarked, “Is this really my job?!”  

So, when’s my next pinch-me moment coming from Platform? I’m guessing March 21. We’re tapping our first keg of No Invitation, releasing cans of the beer, and pouring additional brews from our friends in Cleveland. We’re also taking the opportunity for you to make some suggestions about what should come next from our collaboration series and one lucky pint night attendee will have the opportunity to win a trip to Cleveland to brew the next one in our series.

Consider it our way of spreading that pinch-me feeling to the people who make it all possible: You.

Mixed Fermentation Beers: A Spotlight on Jackie O’s

By Haley Manker

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Jackie O’s! And while they get a ton of attention for their barrel aged stouts, we think their mixed fermentation beers deserve just as much praise!

Grab some of these complex and thought provoking beers the next time you’re at Cappy’s in Loveland!

Elle – Foudre Aged Saison Style Mixed Fermentation Ale
Elle begins as a saison fermented in stainless steel with classic saison strains, bacteria, and wild yeast.

Distant Corners- Oak Wine Barrel Saison Style Mixed Fermentation Ale
Distant Corners is a collaboration beer with Great Leap in China. The beer’s fermented in oak wine barrels and brewed with rice, Szechuan peppercorns, and oolong tea. Light peppercorn flavors combine flawlessly with tart and floral notes.

Off the Beaten Path 2- Mixed Fermentation Saison Style Ale
Off the Beaten Path 2 was brewed with a rye varietal from Riverbend Malt House. This beer was fermented in stainless steel and bottle conditioned with Jackie O’s trademarked mixed Saison culture. The beer has notes of earthy and subtly spicy peppercorn alongside tart and fresh lemon zest.

Babbling Brook, Vin Santo Cask Aged Saison Style Mixed Fermentation Ale
A wonderfully blended mixed-fermentation style beer inspired by ciders and chablis. The base of this beer contains classic saison strains with funky notes that come from post-fermentation aging.

Primary- Wine Barrel Aged Saison Style Mixed Fermentation Ale
A true exploration in beer- a cocktail of wild yeast, classing brewing yeasts, and beer souring bacteria work to create this complex brew. This saison is then aged in wine barrels for a full year.

MXD FRM- Stainless Steel Fermented Mixed Culture Saison Style Ale
Like Primary, the wort for MXD FRM is cast from the brew house, blended with saison yeasts, various wild yeasts, and souring bacteria. The blended strains mingle for two months to create a truly tart, dry, and well-rounded mixed fermented saison.

Chili and Beer: The Perfect Match

By Haley Manker

As the Winter months continue to pass, a few things have stayed consistent: the need for a hearty chili and the need for a good beer.

Our staff weren’t eligible to enter last Saturday’s chili cook off, but we’ve decided to share our own tips, tricks, and recommendations for some tasty beer-infused chili.

Porter – Founders Brewing Company
This robust porter features a smooth finish that serves as the perfect backdrop for building spice profiles.

Oro Negro – Jackie O’s
In Cincinnati we believe that chocolate and cinnamon DO in fact have a place in chili. We also believe that beers with chocolate and cinnamon should have a place in chili, so this imperial stout is the secret ingredient. The beer’s flavors from oak staves and habanero help to create a rich and full-bodied chili.

Spencer Trappist Stout – Spencer Brewery
A bold and roasted beer with dark stone fruit flavors and coffee and caramel noes. These alluring traits will only enhance the savory and succulent profiles that come from homemade chili.

The Real H.R. Frederiksen – Evil Twin Brewing
A collaboration brew — this is exactly what you need for a complex and fantastic chili. The char profile accompanying cinnamon, peppers, and roasted nuts aid beautifully in making a warm and nourishing chili.

Bell’s Amber Ale – Bell’s Brewery
With toasty malt flavors and a slight hop bite on the back end, Bell’s Amber is a wonderful compliment to a spicy chili. The smoke, heat, sweetness, and bitterness all deliver a flavorsome punch that any chili aficionado can appreciate.

Psychopathy – Madtree Brewing Company 
An IPA can be a tasty but unexpected addition to homemade chili. The bitterness of the hops (we recommend sticking between 50 and 75 IBUs) mingle flawlessly with the peppers. To take your chili to the next level, soak shallots in an IPA overnight and then garnish when serving.

Finally, congratulations to this year’s #ChiliAF Champions:

First Place – Dave Burig, Second Place – Jason Doepke, Third Place – Mike Carpenter,
People’s Choice – Del Hall

Thanks to all who entered, our judges, and those that came down to Cappy’s and crushed some chili! Cheers!


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