Each year, Cincinnati’s Christian Moerlein Brewing releases an anniversary beer. The brewery itself is now 164 years old. Established in 1853 by Christian Moerlein, a German immigrant who lived in the Cincinnati area, the brewery was one of the first in the United States. After a small hiatus, in 2004 the brewery reopened under the Christian Moerlein name once again, making it now 13.
Each year the brewery creates a special barrel-aged beer to celebrate its anniversary. This year’s celebratory beer is aptly named Thirteen/164, celebrating both the brewery’s original birthday as well as its rebirthday, when it was reopened under the same name. This year’s brew is a bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout with cherries. Clocking in at a hefty 13.2%, the brew was aged on dark cherries in charred oak barrels.
Christian Moerlein officially unveiled the brew at an anniversary celebration on March 11, but we managed to get to try it a few weeks early. The cherries give the malty stout a delicious sweetness, while the bourbon gives it a nice balance, without being overpowering. It’s really a beautiful beer, certainly worthy of celebrating a double birthday.
If you happen to find yourself in Cinncinatti over the next few weeks, this is one you’re definitely going to want to check out.
Brewery: Christian Moerlein Brewing
City: Cincinnati, Ohio
Availability: Limited. Draft, and 22 oz. bottles