Sam Adams Opens a Taproom in Cincinnati—the Brand’s First Outside of Boston
Brewery taprooms have become a growing part of the beer landscape. Back in April, I even asked, “Are Breweries the New Bars?” Once the province of brewpubs, taprooms have emerged as a way for breweries of all sizes to connect with drinkers and show off their wares – and for some brewers, they’ve even become the only way to score many of their products. Brands have also been using these facilities as a form of regional outreach. Sure, you can ship your beers to another state, but opening a taproom allows brewers to connect more personally with the locals.
This concept has become so prevalent that even the Boston Beer Company – producers of Sam Adams and one of the largest craft beer companies in the country – has jumped on the bandwagon. This week, Sam Adams opened a taproom in Cincinnati – the brand’s second taproom and its first outside of the Boston area.
Interestingly, Sam Adams was a bit late to the idea of taprooms in general. The brand has long given brewery tours in Boston, but it didn’t have an official taproom where people could go a grab a drink until a year ago. Along those lines, the new Cincinnati taproom isn’t the brand signaling plans to drop Sam Adams’ outposts coast-to-coast. Instead, though the beer is most associated with the Boston area, Cincinnati has actually been home to a Sam Adams brewery since 1997 when the Boston Beer Company snatched up the city’s Hudepohl-Schoenling brewery.
“My family has been a part of Cincinnati’s brewing heritage for almost 100 years,” explained Boston Beer Founder Jim Koch, a Cincinnati native, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier. “Maintaining the continuity of Cincinnati’s brewing heritage by keeping open the last brewery in Cincinnati was really important to me and to my dad, who was apprenticed at that brewery when he was co-oping at UC in the early 1940s.”
The taproom, which is across the street from the brewery, serves 12 Sam Adams beers which patrons can drink while lounging around in the 9,000-square-foot facility with both indoor and outdoor seating. Koch said the site, which includes a small brewery of its own, will also feature Sam Adams beers you won’t find elsewhere. “We can do experimental beers; we can do new beers,” he was quoted as saying. “It’ll show people all the fun stuff you can do with the fermentation model.”