Christian Moerlein Brewing Company - Over-The-Rhine Ale
- ABV: 5.1%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 28
- Serving Temperature: 42-47° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2 Row Pale, Amber, Crystal
- Hops: Galena, Fuggle
Light- to medium-amber in the glass, with crystal clarity, OTR produced quite an impressive head for us with an aggressive pour. On the nose, look for some fruity, juicy notes, almost like apple juice spiked with brown sugar, with ample ripe red apple notes, pears, a touch of Belgian-beer-like sweetness, fresh barley grains, a hint of alcohol, and grassy, earthy and somewhat woody hop notes that lean more toward citrus as the beer warms. Expect this beer to come at the palate quite sweet initially, with an orange-rind tone. But there's a tongue-coating dryness from the hops that quickly dries things out and holds on for a lengthy, citrusy, grassy hop finish, with barley grains peaking late in the fade. Try pairing with a snack of pub cheeses like Cheddar and Cotswold accompanied by a few Calimyrna figs. Cheers!
There’s a rich brewing tradition in and around Cincinnati, OH. In fact, at its peak Cincinnati was home to at least 36 operational breweries, with many not surprisingly located in the German “Over-the-Rhine” district. One of the individuals who were key to establishing the city as a brewing hub was Christian Moerlein, a blacksmith and apprentice brewer from Bavaria who came to America in 1841 and settled in Cincinnati a year later. In 1853 he founded the Christian Moerlein (pronounced like “more-line”) Brewery, which grew to become the most well-known in the city and was ranked among the top ten nationally. Moerlein’s beer was sold across the U.S. and, quite remarkably for the era, internationally as well – which made Moerlein unique among Cincinnati’s breweries. Though the brewery carried on after Christian Moerlein’s passing in 1897, Prohibition in 1920 caused the brewery to close its doors. Luckily, though, our story continues.
Hudepohl, another of Cincinnati’s famous German-brewed beer companies (dating back to 1885), brought the Christian Moerlein brand back from extinction and reintroduced their beer as a high-end offering in 1981. This put the Moerlein brand on the forefront of the U.S. beer renaissance which was just beginning to take shape. Eventually, however, the Hudepohl Brewing Company fell on hard times and was purchased by the Snyder International Brewing Group which kept the Moerlein brand going, although just barely. Production of these Ohio-centric beers shifted to Maryland until 2004, when Cincinnati area resident and beer business veteran Greg Hardman bought the Moerlein name and beer recipes in order to rebuild the brand back home in Cincinnati – which he has done with great success in the past several years we might add. For more information about the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company and their ‘Moerlein Lager House’ restaurant and brewery that opened in Riverfront Park in early 2012, check out www.christianmoerlein.com.
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