Get your beer here! Untappd's 'Next Exit' travel show highlights three Cincinnati breweries
The YouTube series visits Fifty West, Rhinegeist and Esoteric breweries and tours an Over-the-Rhine lager tunnel.
Pittsburgh native Kenny Gould wasn't sure he'd like what he'd find in Cincinnati, but he headed west to Fifty West — and two other local breweries — for Untappd's Next Exit beer and travel show.
He liked what he saw. And drank.
"Cincinnati doesn't only have a unique beer scene that mixed old world styles with modern attitudes and techniques, but the city is beautiful," says Gould, beer writer for Hop Culture magazine and host of the YouTube series.
Gould and Brian Hatheway, host of the Brews Less Traveled podcast, rolled into Cincinnati for the first season finale of the show produced by Untappd, the social networking app for craft beer fans.
In the intro taped outside the Elm Street entrance to Rhinegeist, Hatheway says he suggested the Queen City because "Cincinnati has over 80 breweries here, the rich beer history dating back to the 1800s and there's chili." (Cincinnati's chili-on-pasta habit is a running gag in the show, which ends with the duo eating Skyline Chili.)
Beer lovers around the globe will learn plenty about Cincinnati breweries in the 17-minute video shot at Rhinegeist in Over-the Rhine, Esoteric Brewing in Walnut Hills and Fifty West in the Plainville area of Columbia Township east of Mariemont.
They learn how beer was made in underground lagering cellars in the 1850s at the old Jackson Brewing Co. (named after President Andrew Jackson) at Elm and Mohawk Streets; how Rhinegeist opened in 2013 in an old pre-prohibition Christian Moerlein brewery packaging room in Over-The Rhine; and how Fifty West on the east side of Cincinnati got its name.
"Route 50 goes across the country. There was an old bootlegger in Cincinnati named George Remus, and he used to say he'd get alcohol on 50 and take it west. And that was, like, part of his business plan," Max Fram, Fifty West Brewing Co. vice president, explains on the show.
This show is not just about the beer. The guys play cornhole at Reingeist; tour the Jackson Brewery underground tunnels with Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail Executive Director Steve Hampton; watch pickleball and volleyball games at Fifty West; and check out the Fifty West burger bar.
"We've become this family destination in Cincinnati. Dads and moms can drink beers, and the kids can get milkshakes, and everyone walks away happy," says Bobby Slattery, Fifty West Brewing Co. founder. Some even enjoy the Ohio burger, topped with Cincinnati chili, grated cheese, onions and mustard.
That sets up the guys' final visit, to tap into some Skyline Chili. Hatheway, the beer podcaster, was totally impressed. "Cincinnati rules," he said while eating a cheese coney.
"As a native of Pittsburgh, I wasn't expecting to love another Midwestern city. But color me converted," Gould says on the show. "They might call their pasta sauce chili, but that's hardly something to complain about."
In the first season, Gould toured Brooklyn, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, in addition to Cincinnati. Plans for a second season are in the works, Gould says.
"Last year, when we released the pilot episode, we heard from thousands of people telling us about their favorite bar in Athens or their favorite brewery in Oslo," Gould said in a media release for the show. "If you’ve got a cool place, or a favorite drinking city, we want to hear about it. That’s how we find the most interesting places to visit.”
To suggest a destination for Season 2, contact him through kennygould.com or on Instagram at @hopcultureken.