Cincinnati's first beer festival

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX10) - Beer taps are open and flowing in downtown Cincinnati all weekend, celebrating the city's long-standing beer brewing tradition.

FOX19 takes a look at the first-ever, "BeerFest."

Blame the bull, not the beer, as a man takes a tumble from a mechanical bull at the event. Organizers of this very first beer festival said they are encouraging people to sample responsibly.

Each of the 35 tickets you get, once you're in the front door, are good for one, two to three-ounce pour.

"You're a big guy like me you could probably use a couple more samples," said BeerFest Co-Founder, Mike Rabiner. "They're 5 for 5 dollars."

Rabiner said he and his college roommate cooked-up the idea.

They got their inspiration from another beer festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"And he brought the idea to me and I said hey, that'd be a great idea, ya know," said Rabiner. "I love Cincinnati, we've got a great brewing tradition."

Rabiner said with all the pride in his hometown, the great food and great beer, it was worth the gamble.

"I've been very anxious for it," Rabiner said. "I've been awaiting this day probably for the past 5 months."

The festival features more than 130 different beers, some local, some from all over the world.

"Smoked bock, beer and bacon," said one beer taster. "What's better in life than beer and bacon?"

Then there was local brewer Dan Listermann.

"It's liquid bread," Listermann said. "It's a meal in a bottle, it's your bread and butter, yes it's my bread and butter."

"I didn't really like beer at first," said Stacy Chambers. "But I didn't realize there were so many different types of beer it's just like wine ya know?"

What is it that makes them all different? "There's beers that taste so light they taste like water and there's beers that are so dark they taste like motor oil," said Jeff Broders.

And there is everything in-between.

"Believe it or not chocolate and beer go very good together," Broders said.

Yes, chocolatey and fruity beers are very big this year.

What are you sampling there? "It's the oatmeal stout," a taster named Jana said. It has kind of a coffee, chocolatey finish, what'd ya' think when you took your first sip there? "It was very good," she said.

The BeerFest runs from 5pm til 9pm on Saturday and 1pm to 5pm on Sunday. A portion of the proceeds from this event benefit the Freestore Food Bank.

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