Well, it’s been an age or so. Since I last posted anything on this blog, I birthed a child who is nearly three years old now, and my family moved from Oakland to Cleveland, and of course, a global pandemic changed everything. One thing that didn’t change, though, was how much the fella and I love craft beer. Much like when we moved to California in 2017, we have used brewery visits as a way to explore our new home. Ohio is a top-five beer-producing state and is home to over 350 breweries! It may not be lauded as a beer destination in the way that California is, but there’s a lot going on here, and there’s a lot more variety here, in my opinion. (Read between the lines: not every brewery has to have 10 different IPAs.)
So I thought I’d begin my return to this blog by starting with a brewery visit from earlier in the summer. The fella and I had a delightful time when we stopped in at MadTree Brewing in Cincinnati. We were driving home from a work event in Alabama, we were exhausted, and it had been raining off and on since we left Louisville that morning, sometimes quite heavily. The traffic was bad, and I typed in “brewery” on Google Maps, and discovered that we were one exit away from MadTree. We’d had a couple of their beers before, the reviews said that they had good pizza, and it took zero convincing to get the fella to detour off the highway.
The space is really large, but we were there on a weekday around lunchtime, and there was a ton of space. We’d just spent a week in the south at an event with more people than we’d seen in the same place in a year, and we were relieved to find an open, airy space. We were feeling good and vaccinated (this was earlier in the summer, when covid case counts were still fairly low), so we grabbed seats at the bar and were treated to edifying beer-themed conversation with the knowledgeable bartenders. We also LOVE sitting at the bar when we’re sans kiddo (she was staying with grandma while we worked), since it’s awkward at best to sit at a bar with a small child, and straight-up illegal in some places.
MadTree is known for their hoppy IPAs, but I was pleasantly surprised by the WIDE variety they had available. The bartenders didn’t turn up their noses at me when I said that I didn’t like licking hop trees, and recommended several beers that were perfect for my palate. I liked the strawberry/lightly funky <b>Jacob’s the Amish Way</b> enough to take a four-pack home, and the fella loved <b>Galaxy High</b> Imperial IPA and <b>Summer Camp Haze</b> Hazy IPA. I also really liked the Baby B Stout, available on nitro, and the Dream Freeze, which was like a creamsicle. I did not care for their Passion(ate), which was chock-full of passion fruit, but if passion fruit is your thing, then you might want this beer. They can a lot of their beers and have a pretty extensive to-go/merch section in one of the corners.
We were escaping some heavy rain, so the beer garden wasn’t an option that day, but I popped outside after the rain to check out their space. They have a huge, really well-designed beer garden with an outdoor bar that’s directly behind the indoor bar, so the bartenders can access both spaces easily. It’s a really smart design for slower times, when the same bartenders can work both spaces.
Other important stuff: the bathrooms were very clean and spacious! I’m out of practice and didn’t make a note, but I believe they had changing tables. Not sure about high chairs; as I mentioned above, we didn’t have our little one with us.
Overall, MadTree’s space has an industrial vibe that I love, but with a nod to nature in their logo, the decor, and their philanthropy. They commit to invest 1% of their profits for initiatives that benefit the planet, they literally donate trees for reforesting, and they recycle the ubiquitous plastic 4- and 6-pack handles for cans. Plus they seem to employ decent folks, so we’ll certainly hit them up again next time we’re in town.
<b>Visit MadTree Brewing:</b>
3301 Madison Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45209
lots of free parking
Open weekdays at 11am, weekends at 10am
Closes most nights at 11pm, Fri and Sat at midnight
Pizza kitchen within the taproom (kind of separate)