Over 100 years ago, the building at 1910 Elm Street in Cincinnati, Ohio, was the bottling plant for Christian Moerlein. At that time, Moerlein was one of the top beer producers in the nation, and the area surrounding the brewery was alive with the culture of beer. Then prohibition forced the brewery to close, causing the culture and the neighborhood to fall apart. Fast-forward to 2019, and craft beer is once again an agent for restoration in this neighborhood. But this time, Rhinegeist Brewing is the name on the building at 1910 Elm Street.
While there are more than 100 years separating these great Cincinnati brands, both stand for nearly the same thing—quality beer and a strong beer culture.
Yes, the beer being brewed is quite different. And you can’t deny that the world and the people inhabiting it are quite different. But regardless of the era, people still long for connection. 100 years hasn’t changed the fact that we want a strong community; and for many, beer is at the center of their community and their relationships.
That is the beauty behind what Rhinegeist has been able to accomplish over the past five years. They’ve developed a brand that stands for community and quality beer, just like the great beer brands that came before them. And now they are bringing their tasty brews to Nashville.
How did Rhinegeist go from being a newbie in a booming craft beer industry to the 28th largest brewery in the nation? The short answer is intentionally.
Having a background in beer, the founders believed they knew the elements needed to build a successful brewery. It would require that the beer quality be just as important as the quality of the people they hired. It would also mean trusting that quality and consistency would provide a path for success.
They were intentional about providing consumers with what they wanted, which means hoppy beers. It was and still is the driving force in craft beer. And with a flagship IPA as good as Truth, they were able to scale very quickly as they became known for Pale Ales and IPAs.
However, not everyone is a fan of modern hopped beers; and that’s recognized in their core lineup, which includes a fruited tart ale and a lager. In addition, they’ve been building out a portfolio of beers that includes sour ales and dark beers as well as a barrel program and whatever trend the beer world embraces next.
And yes, they were very intentional about their branding. Rhinegeist (Ghost Of The Rhine) speaks directly to their neighborhood of Over The Rhine. The packaging is classic and easy to recognize, and they are amazing when it comes to sharing their culture via their marketing.
So what’s brought them to Nashville? Intentionality is also evident in the manner in which they’ve expanded. As a cultural hub of the south, Nashville is already in tune with craft beer. It’s a city that knows and respects quality beer. And Rhinegeist also really loves how the city has many neighborhoods with unique identities, as this is very similar to their hometown of Cincinnati.
These simple truths gave Rhinegeist the motivation to bring their beer to a city that would appreciate all that they had done in Cincinnati.
Craft beer drinkers of Nashville can expect to see Rhinegeist’s core beers during the initial phase of coming to their city. This includes Truth, Bubbles, and Cheetah. As the brand is established, more styles and more beers will make their way south. This could include their barrel-aged stouts and sours as well as seasonal beers. While most of their beers will fall into the “crushable pale ale” category, they are always brewing up special batches to keep it interesting.
Just as Rhinegeist has been a catalyst to rebuild the beer culture in Cincinnati, they also aim to bring that same vibe to the great city of Nashville.