Beer not Weak. Beer Week.

Taps at Zip's CafeOne response to a request to name 212 things that first appeared in 1926 would be Zip’s Cafe and 211* US Highways. One of the routes designated when the US Highway System was adopted was US 50 from which Fifty West Brewing Company gets its name. When Zip’s and Fifty West collaborated on a beer to become the restaurant’s house brew, the name 1926 Amber Ale was chosen as something that had meaning to both. The “official” tapping took place on Thursday, the first day of Cincinnati Beer Week.

This post appears very near the mid-point of Cincinnati Beer Week which, like all good weeks since 1964, is eight days long. Cincinnati Beer Week is immediately followed by, but not connected with, the Cincy Beerfest. The Beerfest is a great place to sample a large number of beers though I personally don’t find big events of that sort nearly as enjoyable as I once did. Fortunately, the appearance of “rotating taps” in a large number of taverns lines up well with my own proclivities and allows me to sample a variety of beers over time from the comfort of a bar stool.

So, while I encourage others to do so, I won’t be attending the Beerfest this year nor, for similar reasons, will I be going to the bigger Beer Week events. At least not during their peak periods. The event that started my Beer Week, the Brewer’s Choice for Charity at Arthur’s Cafe, is a big event that packs the place in the evening but I was there early in the afternoon. Arthur’s was the first (if not only) area bar to switch all of their draft beer taps to local brands. For this event, each of the eight taps pours something from a different brewery and each brewery picks a charity to receive a dollar for each pint sold. The restaurant then matches the amount earned by the top selling brew. I beat the crowd while scoring a buck apiece for Madtree and Blank Slate.

Zip's entrance in snowThen I headed on over to Zip’s and even snapped a photo of the entrance with a fair amount of snow covering the curbside area out front. I feared that the tapping at Zip’s might be something of a frenzy but, even though the place was quite busy, it wasn’t crazy. There was not a big ceremony and the new beer started flowing well before the clock struck 5:00. I suspect the introduction was even less formal at the brewery itself, which had several representatives on hand.

At least one of the Fifty West people used to work at Jackie O’s in Athens, Ohio, and there is still a connection of sorts. On this evening, four of the eight taps at Zip’s were devoted to Jackie O’s products and the other four (in the top picture) to Fifty West. While waiting for the 1926 Amber Ale, I stayed hydrated with a standard Fifty West brew, the Thirty-37 Pale Ale.

Zipburger and 1926 Amber AleFifty West 1926 Amber Ale’26, as I heard one of the brewery guys call it, struck me as a pleasant middle of the road brew that should fill the role of restaurant house beer quite nicely. My own timing was no more precise than the new brew tapping and my glass of 1926 Amber Ale was half gone when my Zipburger arrived. They still still make a lovely pair.

* There are many ways to count the number of “routes” covered by the adoption of a national numbering system on November 11, 1926. 211 is the number of entries in the list provided here by Robert V. Droz.

Feedly Fumble: Two weeks ago, this website switched hosting companies. On the morning of January 26, a blog entry titled “Moving Day” was posted from the old server. Toward the end of the day, when the move was essentially complete, an entry titled “Meet the New Host” was posted from the new server. The actual RSS feed and most accesses behaved as expected with the morning post disappearing to be replaced by the evening post in due time. The Feedly reader, which I use and generally like, has been the exception. To date, it continues to show the early post rather than the later one and no flushing, resubscribing, or incense burning has helped. If you use Feedly and fear there is something you’ve missed, the first blog entry from the new host is here. Feedly has performed just fine with subsequent posts.

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