Last year, Cincinnati saw a bunch of new breweries open up. One of those was West Side Brewing.
As the name suggests, it is on the West side of Cincinnati. This part of the city hasn’t seen as much love from the craft beer industry as other parts. So it’s great to see that start to change.
Let’s learn more about this new piece to the Cincinnati craft beer scene.
This brewery is owned by 4 people – Brian Willett, Kurtis Remmel, Jim Remmel, and Joe Mumper. Their head brewer is Colin Foy.
They have a strong home brewing background and truly love the craft beer community.
Colin has 11 years experience brewing for Yazoo Brewing (Nashville) and Sam Adam’s (Cincinnati). He even won the Sam Adam’s Longshot competition with a Flanders Red Ale.
With a desire to meet the craft beer needs of the West side of Cincinnati, the owners of West Side Brewing had their community in mind from the very beginning.
In fact, the neighborhood that they are in, Westwood, was on the rise but they desperately needed some additional business to push progress forward. Specifically, a coffee shop and brewery were on the list of needs.
West Side Brewing opened on June 30, 2017 so they are still brand new to the area but have been welcomed with open arms and are already showing signs that they are in the right spot.
They are located in the old Wullenweber auto dealership which has been a landmark of this area for decades. It also made an excellent choice for a brewery because of the high ceilings in the back of the building that originally provided space for car lifts. Now that area houses the brewing equipment.
What To Expect
We had both wanted to try it and I’d heard they were family friendly – even offering specials on Sundays to help promote bringing the entire family.
So we made our way to West Side Brewing around lunch time on a Sunday. We stopped and got pizza on the way there.
If you are traveling Northwest on Harrison Ave, you’ll see the large West Side Brewing painted on the south side of their building. Traveling Southeast, you’ll see the word BEER on the North side. The building is dark gray and hard to miss.
Turning onto the side street, Ruehlman, will lead you to some street parking as well as additional parking behind the funeral home next door. There are signs letting you know you can park there.
The left features tables, darts and a ton of TVs. The right side has additional seating, giant jenga and corn hole. This side also has a private event space in the back and you can see into the brewing area as well.
The taproom is large and spacious. They were quite busy but it wasn’t hard for us to find a place to sit.
It’s impossible to deny that it can be quite loud but they’ve added some sound dampening panels to the ceiling to help. Within a few minutes, I was adjusted to the sound level.
The setup encourages grabbing a drink and sitting at a table with friends and family. Their bar is very nice but doesn’t offer a lot of space to sit there. But that seems intentional as they want their guests to gather with friends and family.
More Than A Brewery
We often discuss how craft beer is about more than the beer. It’s about the people, the community and connecting to each other.
At West Side Brewing, I think they get that. Yes, they focus on making high quality craft beer. But they also put a lot of effort into finding ways to bring the community into their taproom in meaningful ways.
For example, every Sunday is Family Funday. They offer free root beer for the kids, $1 root beer floats and $3 stout floats. They know families value their weekend time and are giving them a great option to spend time with each other.
And for those with dogs, they know you want quality time with your pet and other pet owners. So they make their brewery dog friendly every Wednesday.
They host Jazzercise classes, support local charities, conduct trivia nights and much more. All of this in a taproom large enough to handle it.
It’s easy to dismiss this as a business strategy but I see few breweries with a calendar as full as West Side Brewing so I think it’s also just part of who they are.
While you are there, check out the enormous calendar on the wall to the left of the bar. It’s got something on every day of the week.
Or see the digital version on their website. It’s even color coded so you can easily find what you are looking for.
Related Post: Building Community At The Neighborhood Brewery
The taproom and brewing area are adjacent but you could easily visit without seeing where they brew.
Placed in the back half of the building, West Side Brewing has the following equipment:
- 15 bbl Brewhouse
- 5 Fermenters
- 2 bbl Pilot System Including Fermenter & Brite Tank
The pilot system allows them to continue to expand their offerings and test out new ideas.
For now, all of their beer is draft only with some kegs going out to local bars and restaurants. However, they do have plans to can in the future so keep your eyes open for that.
I recently wrote about a Schlafly beer and commented how their marketing was simple and direct. West Side Brewing is very similar.
Their name, West Side Brewing, tells you where you can find them. Their logo is a compass pointing West. And they do not use crazy names for their beer. Instead, the beer name is the beer style.
I think the logo and branding are really good and that’s the beauty of simplicity. They are not pretentious but rather straight forward and approachable – much like the culture of Cincinnati’s West side.
In addition, most of their beers are under 6%. This is intentional as they want to provide beer that you can enjoy without impairment. However, there are a few on the menu that are near 9%.
Here’s some of what you can expect to find on tap during your visit:
- Common Ale
- Amber Ale
- Pale Ale
- Session IPA
- Double IPA
- Scottish Ale
And as I promised, the names are the beer styles. I think this makes ordering beer very easy for those that are new to craft beer.
In addition, they offer a wide variety of styles. So you should easily be able to find something you enjoy.
I tried quite a few of what they offer by sharing flights with family but I also indulged with a few pints.
My favorites were the Double IPA and Hefeweizen. Both had lots of flavor and finished nicely.
And on top of their own beer, they offer a guest beer, ciders, wine and some liquor options. There’s something for everyone here.
Related Article: Pint Or A Flight?
What To Eat When You Visit
As I mentioned earlier, I picked up some pizza on the way to West Side Brewing.
In addition to allowing outside food, they frequently have food trucks. The truck parks right outside the side door so it’s very easy to access. Their online calendar includes info on food trucks.
On top of all that, they do offer some in-house options for food. They partner with local businesses to do this. They have sub sandwiches from Bridgetown Meats as well as chips and salsa from Avocados. I also noticed cookies for sale while I was there.
Bottom line, is even if you don’t bring food with you, there will be something for you to enjoy while you are there.
(513) 661-BEER (2337)
Monday 4 pm – 11 pm Tuesday 4 pm – 11 pm
Wednesday 4 pm – 11 pm Thursday 4 pm – 12 am
Friday 12 pm – 1 am Saturday 12 pm – 1 am Sunday 12 pm – 10 pm
Connect With West Side Brewing
It’s what makes the craft beer world so much fun; each brewery has a personality. And part of that personality is the taproom.
West Side Brewing has done a great job providing a space that meets the needs of a ton of different customers.
I’m confident that when you visit you’ll find beer that you enjoy as well as atmosphere that’s great for spending an afternoon or evening getting to know your family and friends better.