— Rhinegeist (@rhinegeist) August 26, 2016
I grew up in Western Hills, so naturally my first beer was a warm Hudepohl. That was the progressive craft movement of Cincinnati back in the 1980s, and looking back, maybe it was pretty progressive. Cincinnati has always been a mini epicenter for local-brewed beer. The city and its Northern Kentucky neighbor were home to 36 breweries in the mid-1800s, producing more than 30 million gallons of brew juice and digging underground cellars and tunnels that can still be toured today. In fact, Cincinnati’s old Brewery District is home to one of the largest collections of pre-Prohibition brewery architecture in the country.
Today, that rich beer business culture is coming back to Cincy. While Hudepohl Brewing Co. operated for 114 years before closing in 1999, today the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing brands are a wholly owned subsidiary of Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. (an awesome Cincinnati craft beer company). In fact, there are over 25 local-focused craft breweries operating in the greater Cincinnati area today, which is just remarkable. Out of all those, Rhinegeist is one of the top local attractions.
I got the opportunity to visit the brewery and rooftop patio this summer and was surprised at how big, busy and popular the brand was. Only opening in 2013, Rhinegeist has had a meteoric rise, backed by great beer, standout branding and an epic beer destination located at the former Christian Moerlein bottling plant in the city’s historic Over the Rhine neighborhood. Rumors have been swirling for some time about the company selling to some big buyers. Well, this weekend Rhinegeist put a stop to all the gossip, posting this message on Facebook.
The founders here at Rhinegeist wanted to take a bit of social media space to stomp out what seems to be a rampant rumor mill. We will not be selling to AB, MillerCoors, private equity, or anyone else. We have refused the meetings that have been offered and will continue to do so. We value our employees and the unique, contagious culture they’ve created far more than dollars, and if we ever sell the company to anyone, it will be to these outstanding people who have busted their respective asses to build this brewery. So, an enormous thank you to our incredible team and to the community for embracing our historic space and tasty suds over the past 3 years. It’s an amazing feeling to be a small part of bringing Cincy’s brewing Geist back to life, and we intend on continuing that journey as a locally owned and operated company for many years to come. TRUTH.
Truth is Rhinegeist’s popular IPA, which I’m raising proudly in a congratulatory toast. To those rare moments of truth and to the resurgence of an independent Cincinnati craft beer community! Cheers.