Beer blogs and websites are a dime a dozen nowadays. Everybody, and I mean everybody, has one. Especially in Cincinnati, where local hospitals must hand out web addresses and WordPress accounts to all newborns.
As a full-time newspaper reporter who writes about the beer industry and the Ohio scene in particular, I keep an eye on beer blogs, specifically ones here in Ohio. It’s a way to spot burgeoning trends and see what’s on the minds of passionate craft beer drinkers.
I gravitate more toward beer blogs that share news about a brand or a brewery or a city’s beer culture. I want to be educated. Blogs that focus on beer reviews or rehash festivals are wasted on me.
That said, here are my five favorite Ohio beer blogs and websites, which skew toward newsy, in alphabetical order:
Most beer blogs are utilitarian. Headline. Words. Most likely a crummy picture. A couple of flashing advertisements. Not the Artful Pint. It’s the Louvre of beer blogs. Clean. Plenty of elegant white space. And crisp logos. The man behind it, Bob Lesher of Cleveland, focuses on Ohio beer news and has one of the best rundowns of Ohio breweries available. He updates regularly and has proven to be an entertaining writer, injecting his personality and attitude into his posts.
There are boatloads upon boatloads of good beer blogs in Cincinnati. But there’s something special about the Brew Professor. Perhaps it’s the fact that editor Mike Stuart posts items about new breweries opening. Or that he updates readers on what’s new in local beers. Or that he keeps an eye on the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau website so he can post new beer labels from local breweries before they hit the market. In other words, he shares a lot of worthwhile Cincy beer news.
Drink Up Columbus celebrated its three-year anniversary earlier this year. That’s like being 8,974 years old in the blog world. Beer blogs come and go, but Drink Up Columbus and founder Cheryl Harrison keep going strong. It’s a solid go-to source for all beer, wine and liquor news in Central Ohio. The blog, which features a variety of writers, mixes in news with reviews and travel pieces. It’s also updated regularly.
The Ohio Beercast is part blog, part podcast. It focuses on Ohio beer news, attempting to share everything from new breweries opening to promoting beer festivals around the state. The weekly podcast also has featured interviews with brewers. Co-founders Darrell Williams, Kevin Yania, Mark Driscoll and Ron Tulley also launched the entertaining Ohio Fantasy Beer League competition last year. It allows readers to vote for their favorite Ohio-made beer.
WCPO (Channel 9) is the ABC-TV affiliate in Cincinnati. Web editor Jesse Folk has crafted a section of the television’s website into a go-to source for Queen City beer news. The site features not only interesting beer stories from wire services such as The Associated Press, but Folk also writes regularly about local beer news, recently recommending locally brewed summer beers. The station has inked deals with many local Cincinnati beer bloggers to carry their content. So you can find write-ups by the Brew Professor, Queen City Drinks and LoveBeerLoveFood. Folk also created a Facebook page #9Beer dedicated to local beer news.
Is that it? Are those the only worthy blogs and beer websites in Ohio? Heck no. Here are many more worthy of a read, and apologies if I left out your favorite:
• Arlo’s Craft Beer Guide: It focuses on all things beer, ranging from beer reviews to profiles to recipes.
• Beer Mumbo: It focuses on the Cincinnati beer scene. Blogger Danny Spears gained fame by trying to chug a 25-year-old can of HuDey earlier this year. He failed.
• The Brew Crew Review: A couple of Toledo-area teachers review brews and mix in some news.
• Cleveland Craft Beer Community: An engaging site talking about all things beer, with a focus on Cleveland.
•Cleveland Plain Dealer: It’s a mix of news and reviews about the Cleveland market.
• Dayton Daily News: Mark Fisher covers the Dayton beer scene — among his 89,547 other duties.
• Hoperatives: Want to know about a beer tasting or event in Greater Cincinnati? This is the site to watch.
• Love Beer, Love Food: As the name implies, there are beer stories. And there are food stories.
• Ohio Beer Guide: Muse of Brews Karen Bujak covers the Ohio market for the Great Lakes Brewing News.
• Ohio Craft Beer: A rather stagnant, but visually appealing beer site.
• #9Beer: A new site talking about all things beer, with a focus on Cincinnati.
• Queen City Drinks: Cincinnati blogger Tom Aguero really digs in and researches his topics.
• Queen City Fresh: A nice roundup of Cincinnati beer happenings.