Think being a beer journalist is easy? It's just drinking beer all day for free and getting paid for it, right? Not so. I spent an exhausting few days touring the Cincinnati craft beer scene for an upcoming travel article in Beer Advocate magazine.
Here's a rundown by the numbers:
49 -- Actual hours spent in Cincinnati.
11 -- Brewery taprooms visited. (Cellar Dweller, Double Barrel, Ei8ht Ball, 50 West, Listermann/Triple Digit, MadTree, Moerlein Lager House, the Moerlein taproom at the production brewery, Mt. Carmel, Rhinegeist and Rivertown.)
10 -- Craft beer bars visited. (Allyns, Arnold's, Arthur's, Brass Tap, Comet, Dilly, Dutch's, Flipdaddy's, The Lackman and The Famous Neons Unplugged.)
1 -- Casino visited.
$40 -- Money lost at the Horseshoe Casino playing video poker. I came so close to a royal flush more than a few times. It's almost like they do that on purpose to keep you playing. Insert sarcasm here. (My high point was $47.25.)
$41 -- Money spent at The Party Source in Bellevue, Ky., on four beers that I don't think you can buy in Ohio. (Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Jack D'Or; Evil Twin Brewing Imperial Biscotti Break; Brouwerij de Molen Bommen & Granaten; and Øl and Mikkeller Walk on Water.)
2 -- Hamburgers consumed. Both outstanding at Arthur's and Terry's Turf Club.
2 -- Bananas consumed.
4 -- Six-packs that came home with me from MadTree and Mt. Carmel.
4 -- Bottles of Triple Digit Cranium, Listermann Nutcase Peanut Butter Porter, Listermann Friar Bacon Smoked Bock and Listermann Colonel Plug that came home with me.
2 -- Times I ran into the bearded Brady Duncan, one of the owners of MadTree. Once at the MadTree tasting room and once at Neons.
1 -- Bottle of Christian Moerlein Christkindl Winter Warmer pulled right off the bottling line at the Moerlein production brewery in Over-the-Rhine. There's nothing like a fresh beer off the bottling line.
?? -- Beers consumed on Wednesday night and Thursday. I plain lost track.
1 1/2 -- Beers consumed on Friday. You can't drive back to Akron drunk.
2 -- Beers that made me want to stop my touring and settle in for the night. 50 West's Mooving Violation, a chocolate milk stout, is something special. I'm a sucker for a good chocolate beer. And Rivertown Lil' SIPA is an enjoyable low-alcohol IPA.
1 -- Times my jaw dropped. The Rhinegeist space in Over-the-Rhine is impressive. Photos almost do that building justice, but not quite. It's like you're having a beer in an abandoned, concrete warehouse -- and you are sorta.
1 -- Sincere, laugh out loud moments. Brass Tap operating partner Mic Foster offers an impressive 80 beers on tap, including 25 local drafts. Oh, and 260 bottles. I asked if he offered any macro-brands. He does sell Bud Light -- for $6 a bottle. "I'm trying to make a point," he said about the high price. So does he sell any? "Unfortunately, we do," he said.
2 -- Times I sat down to chat with beer blogger Chris Stevens of Queen City Fresh. (At the Mt. Carmel on Friday morning and Rivertown on Friday night.)
2 -- Places visited with beer blogger Tom Aguero of Queen City Drinks. (Dutch's and MadTree.)
13 -- Beer-related business cards added to my collection.
621 -- Miles traveled. (Includes miles from Akron to Cincinnati and back.)