Based on the positive feedback I received from my Champagne Velvet Review, I decided to give this another go. This time, we will take a look at another regional beer: Moerlein’s Over the Rhine Ale from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Those of you who are members of AR15.com and Ingunowners.com may remember that I recently moved to Ohio. Among the chaos of moving and beginning my job, I decided to relax and get a feel for some of the local beers. Having been a Cincinnati Reds fan my entire life, I always try to make it to a few games each year. In recent trips to Great American Ballpark, I have wanted to try the Moerlein Lager House, but due to logistical difficulties and a general lack of time have never made it to the restaurant. Fortunately, Moerlein sells its beers in local groceries, such as Kroger.
Touted as an “early settlers’ ale”, Moerlein O.T.R. Ale pours a dark amber color with a creamy head not unlike some of the Belgian sour beers or red ales that continue to gain popularity in the American market. Though dark, the beer is very clear and light can easily be seen through a full glass. The ale possesses a distinctly hoppy aroma reminiscent of an IPA.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the O.T.R. Ale is its flavor. Based solely on the color and foamy head, I was expecting a red ale sort of flavor on par with a Smithwicks or a New Castle. To my surprise, the beer tastes much more like an IPA. The extra hops in this beer cannot be missed and serve to give the beer a nice amount of bitterness that is similar, but not quite as strong as the Schlafly APA for those of you familiar with that brew. The mouth feel is what I would consider medium-bodied. It is not as light as your average lager or even most IPAs, but nowhere near as heavy as a stout or porter. Perhaps from a feel standpoint, the beer is most similar to a Yuengling Lager.
Overall, Moerlein’s Over the Rhine Ale is a quality craft beer that has me wanting to try more of Moerlein’s offerings. Surprisingly hoppy, the beer offers a great, but not overwhelming flavor that will certainly appeal to the growing numbers of IPA fans.