Ale to the Queen City

Aaron Epple Contributing Writer 11:14 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016
Just when you thought the craft beer craze might have peaked, along comes another local craft beer festival, this one courtesy of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Rich Walburg, director of communications for the Chamber, is aware of the crowded field, but said the Chambers hopes that Ale to the Queen City will become an annual event.
?We think ours is the best,? he said. ?It?s designed to reach our residents. We?ll have limited-edition beers. With the Chamber having the background producing Taste of Cincinnati and Oktoberfest, we expect it to be a world-class event.?
Ale to the Queen City, being held on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-26, is a component of the Home Festival, a broader, Chamber-produced event running throughout Thanksgiving week. The Home Festival is designed to appeal to former Cincinnati residents returning home for the holidays. In addition to museum exhibits, tours, free concerts and current Broadway shows, the Home Festival offers ?passports? to the various restaurants, bars, retailers, and entertainment venues of downtown Cincinnati. Walburg said t he inspiration for the Home Festival and Ale to the Queen City was the ?brain drain? that Cincinnati has struggled to contain for two decades.
?Our member businesses tell us they have trouble finding qualified people to fill their positions,? Walburg said. ?Many people who used to live here haven?t seen the transformation and modern renaissance Cincinnati has undergone. We?d like to bring some of these people back home.?
Indeed, Ale to the Queen City almost exclusively promotes Cincinnati craft breweries. Among them are familiar titles such as Rhinegeist, Christian Moerlein, Mt. Carmel, MadTree and Rivertown.
Besides the beers, the live music by popular local acts such as The Menus and The Naked Karate Girls, and food by LaRosa?s and Glier?s, there?s a portion of the festival called Tales & Ales, where local brewers will talk about the history of Cincinnati brewing and give advice on homebrewing.
?The brewers worked with the Chamber?s director to come up with topics the brewers were well versed in but were also popular,? Walburg said.
Walburg also said there was a specific strategy behind holding the festival on Moehring Way near the Roebling Bridge.
?With the sun going down a little earlier, we thought the bridge would make a nice backdrop,? he said. ?We also liked the idea of an outdoor festival at the end of November. There?ll be heaters, tents, coffee, chocolate and beer made with coffee and chocolate.?
Walburg said he?s optimistic both about the festival?s potential.
?We?re expecting 5,000-10,000 people,? he said. ?Being the first time, we want to sell out the beer we have. If it?s successful, we?ll do it again.?
Given its scope and mission statement, the Home Festival?s fate might be somewhat different.
?The Home Festival is designed for just this year,? he said. ?But we?ll also gauge its popularity and see if it might become more of a regular event. We?ll be doing some research during that week to try and pinpoint who came home.?
How to go
What: Ale to the Queen City
Where: Mehring Way, between the Roeblign Bridge and Elm Street, Cincinnati
When: 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-26
Cost: No admission cost; beer tickets are $1 per sample, $5 per full beer
More info: Call 513-579-3111 or go online to
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