By Stephanie Wilks
March 27, 2012
Welcome to our new digs — the Christian Moerlein Lager House (at The Banks). With a great location on Joe Nuxall Way, this restaurant/beer garden is sure to be one of 2012′s hottest summer hangouts. Want to root-root-root for the home team? Done. Want to enjoy a signature beer? Done. Want to take in a beautiful view of the Ohio River? Done. So don’t be surprised when you start getting texts from your friends asking you to meet at the Lager House. It’s that kind of place.
Now to the beer, most of the brewskis on tap are Moerlein brand, and you’d be hard pressed not to see the logo less than 10 times on your way to the table. You can’t help but get the impression that Christian Moerlein, and his lager, are a big deal. Which begs the question: who exactly is Christian Moerlein?
A historical timeline in the lobby tells us that Moerlein was a renowned local brewer of hearty, European beers in the latter 1800’s. The Bavarian immigrant opened a brewery in Over-the-Rhine in 1853, which until prohibition, exported high-quality beer all over the world. The craftsmanship and reputation of Christian Moerlein beers was so highly regarded, the brewery was revived in the 1980’s. Cincinnati resident and beer baron Greg Hardman now owns the label and The Moerlein Lager House.
Now while I’m far from being a beer connoisseur, I must say Moerlein’s signature beers are the best I’ve tasted in Cincinnati. Upon the bartender’s recommendation, I ordered “the flight,” which are four 4 oz. glasses of Moerlein’s signature beverages. In order from lightest to darkest I experienced the Original Golden Helles, the Over-the-Rhine Ale, the Northern Liberties India Pale Ale, and the Barbarossa Double Dark Lager.
The Original Golden Helles was my personal favorite, and it’s no wonder why. As the first American beer to pass the strict Reinheitsgebot Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, this means the Golden Helles only uses water, barley, and hops. This gives the beer a very smooth and organic taste.
Unfortunately Moerlein’s food left much to be desired. My table ordered about 15 items from the German-influenced menu, and for the sake of accurate iSPYCINCY research, I tried all of them. In everything I sampled, my best recommendation would be the greasy and cheesy, a short rib grilled cheese sandwich. While scrumptious, let’s just say it doesn’t bode well for someone on a strict diet, but then again, neither does the beer. Good thing we don’t judge.
cheese and meat board
Opening Day 2012 is only nine days away, so you know what that means — your favorite new brew and a seat to watch the game are waiting. Take me out to the ball game, it’s time to crack open a cold one.to top ↑