A Cincinnati Craft Beer Brand Will Celebrate – Wait For It… One Hundred And Sixty-Three Years

christian moerlein craft beer anniversary release

And they’re releasing a brandy barrel-aged Belgian Quad to commemorate.

Christian Moerlein founded his brewery 163 years ago in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, a city that once laid claim to the beer brewing capital of America. Today, Cincinnati is again brewing powerhouse, home to over 20 craft beer breweries, a production facility for the Boston Beer Company and the 12-years reborn Moerlein brand. To honor the memory of Christian Moerlein and the birth of Cincinnati craft beer (courtesy of modern-day beer baron Greg Hardman), the Moerlein brewery is throwing a party and releasing a beer.

The party starts this Saturday at the Moerlein Malt House Taproom (1621 Moore St.) at 4 p.m. The event will feature the launch of a limited-edition Belgian Quad, Twelve/163. Only 480 bottles from the total production run of Twelve/163 have been set aside for sale in the taproom. During the anniversary party last year, Eleven/162 Wee Heavy Ale sold out in less than 15 minutes.

The new Twelve/163 is a complex, aromatic Belgian Quad that aged for four months in brandy barrels. It features notes of dark fruit with a subtle clove flavor that is accented by undertones of brandy and a warmth that quickly settles in over your palate. This dark amber brew weighs in at 11 percent ABV. It is perfect to enjoy now or age it in your cellar and see how that complexity grows.

The label reads:

“Founded 163 years ago, Cincinnati’s Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. was brought to life in the historic Brewery District by Beer Baron Christian Moerlein himself. Twelve years ago, modern-day Beer Baron Greg Hardman brought the brewery back to renew the city’s brewing traditions. To dedicate those events, we present to you our Twelve/163 Anniversary Ale. This Belgian Quad was made using arcane brewing methods and features a full body tasting of dark fruit and clove as the warmth of the brandy washes over your palate. This complex beer is a testament to our brewing history. – Head Brewer Tom Hull”

Twelve/163 is a traditional Belgian Quad ale that was made using an experimental mash used at the Weinstephan Brewing School in Germany for Hefeweizens. Head Brewer Tom Hull used this arcane practice to allow the beer to ferment at a lower temperature, thereby diffusing some of the alcohol burn that would normally be present in such a strong craft beer while still allowing for the full fruit character the brewers wanted.

“The brandy barrels were chosen because the flavors present accent the fruit qualities of the beer in a very pleasant way, as opposed to bourbon, which would have created a jumble of flavors that would have confused the palate,” Head Brewer Tom Hull said.

The beer will be sold in 22 oz. (750ml) “bomber” style bottles at the taproom and at fine craft beer establishments throughout Greater Cincinnati for $9.99 per bottle. The first 163 bottles will be hand-numbered in commemoration of the event. There is a limit of two per customer at the taproom. Fans who attend the release party can purchase a special gift set of 2 bottles that come with a Moerlein-branded snifter glass as well for $25.

Starting at 4 p.m. there will be a ceremonial tapping of Twelve/163 from a special keg. There will also be a slew of specialty beers on tap at the Malt House including:

  • Eleven/162 Bourbon Barrel-Aged Wee Heavy (Now fully 1-year-old!)
  • Twelve/163 Brandy Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad
  • “Jess” Belgian Quad (9.5% ABV base Quad for Twelve/163)
  • Chocolate Vanilla Emancipator
  • Purity Pils
  • Third Wave IPA
  • Little Jack Plum Wheat Ale
  • Big Piney Northwest IPA
  • Hudepohl Pure Lager

During the party you can sample a host of taproom favorites courtesy of Wienerwurst Mike’s Frankfurtary. Wienerwurst Mike’s will have a special sausage pairing from Avril-Bleh to offer. Brewery tours will also be available for interested participants.

Click here for more information on the Malt House Taproom.

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