Visited around dinner time on a Thursday. Located in a very industrial area, in a long light industrial building, around the corner of what appears to be a chop shop. Barrel House is split into two rooms, one that is open and part of the brewery and the second, which is closed (and air conditioned) that has a number of arcade games and pinball machines. No food available, though I saw some folks had ordered Marcos pizza in. Beer selection is 14 house beers with a good variety of styles. Friendly, engaging service. Growlers and a couple of limited release 22 oz bottles to go.
76 = ★★★ (Worth the visit, must for locals, and visitors with time)
I only use the total score, not the component parts.
March 14, 2014: The place is kind of hard to find. It’s kind of an industrial park, in an odd part of Cincinnati. The brewery taproom itself is not too snazzy, but kind of quaint and cozy. It’s especially nice during nice weather, when they can open the windows... Otherwise it gets a little hot during the summer. The people working the tap room are always very nice and extremely accommodating. They sometimes have one-offs on tap, though not too many. The bottled beers I’ve had from this brewery can be hit or miss, but they’ve been getting better, and the draft stuff I’ve tried has been consistently good. Prices were reasonably from what I remember. Overall, a solid place, fun to go to, but not worth going out of your way for if you’re just in town for a short bit.
Update, 7/17/15: Since my last visit, the brewery has undergone a rebrand, with more of a focus on sours. They’ve made an effort to spruce the tap room up a bit, notably with nicer ambient lighting (vs the bright warehouse lights from before). Food trucks often outside. Most pours priced at $5, some at $6. Scores unchanged.
Been a couple years, so unless they’ve changed things, little tap room right smack dab in the front of the brewery. Decent tap selection of all Rivertown beers. Great tour where $5 gets you a free pint glass (filled, of course.) Was really impressed when I asked about the BA Pumpkin Ale the owner/brewer who did the tour (can’t remember his name; not Jason, the other guy) took the regular Pumpkin Ale off and put the BA version on so we could try it. Very cool experience.
Popped in on our way into town for a weekend getaway. Warehouse district, warehouse brewery. They were running tours and multiple beer buses were in - so it was kind of crazy. That said, the bartenders were attentive and cool. I somehow got six new ticks even though we get a fair number of theirs up in Columbus. Think I read somewhere that they are focusing on sours and they did have three on tap. Add that to a couple of nice ipa’s and we were set. Keep up the good work - will be checking back in any chance.
Full-fledged brewery with an entrance room that has a 10 seat bar and a few tables. Ambiance is compromised by the sterile environment. The beer tour is fun and informative, and ten brews are available on tap, as well as some bottles. Good place to check out.
Rivertown is in an industrial area of Lockland, not exactly the nicest pocket of the Cincinnati metro. The operation inhabits three middle segments of a long shell warehouse, with the tasting room at the front of the middle one. Actually bigger than I’d expected and didn’t feel empty. As for atmosphere, they did the best they could; it suffers from being an existing production-only brewery allowed to open a tasting room when the law changed in 2012. They had about 9 of their own beers on tap, mostly standards and 2 seasonals. Six-packs for sale to go for $9-$11, along with the Hop Baron 4-pack for $12 and a mixed 12-pack option for $16. They had a visiting food stand set up in the middle of the room behind the bar area. For $5, you can get a glass, pint of beer, and tour. One of the owners led our tour. Beer is served in plastic cups, though, and tour glasses are just a souvenir. Definitely not a place that had visitors in mind when it opened but based on the crowd and friendly staff, they’re learning their way. Worth a stop if you have time on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
Small and not the best ambience, but the service was great, the woman pouring drafts was fun to talk with, and the selection was decent. FYI, the Roebling on nitro is a completely different beer; the creaminess marries the other flavors together wonderfully. I’ll be keeping an eye on this place, as I expect it’s on its way up.