What’s Brewing in Warren County?
Blog by Scott Hutchinson
Once enjoyed primarily by niche audiences of culinary craftsmen and self-professed beer snobs, craft brewing (and the drinking of craft beer) has officially spread its roots nationwide. Here in Southwest Ohio - an area steeped in German heritage and proud of its unique, regional flavors - it’s no surprise that the tasty trend of micro-brewing has received an especially warm welcome. Now home to more than 40 unique breweries, the area has taken the craft brew craze and run with it, quickly becoming a hotbed for all things hoppy. Want to try a local pour next time you’re in town? Warren County is home to seven terrific breweries, and has even more the way! Here’s an in-depth look at what’s brewing in Ohio’s Largest Playground.
16 Lots Brewing Company | Mason, Ohio
At the turn of the 19th century, Revolutionary War officer Major William Mason moved to Southwest Ohio and purchased 16 lots of land that would one day become the City of Mason. Many, many years later, two beer-loving locals paid homage to Major Mason with the opening of his namesake city’s first craft brewery. Located just minutes from several of Warren County’s most popular attractions, 16 Lots Brewing Company serves up nine flagship beers, as well as a number of seasonal brews. Whether you opt for something on the lighter side like its LuLu Blonde Ale or go darker with a Schwarzbier Black Lager, you're sure to find something you'll love. Not in the mood for a brew at all? 16 Lots also offers a rotating selection of wines, ciders and non-alcoholic draft root beer for those looking for something different. And did I mention the pizza? Mad Monks, 16 Lots’ in-house kitchen, serves up tasty pies, appetizers and salads that always hit the spot.
The Common Beer Co. | Mason, Ohio
When Downtown Mason’s Common Beer Co. opened its doors for business in the late summer of 2018, its owners aimed to serve not only tasty drinks, but memorable moments as well. Good beer, they say, brings people together, and Common Beer has five good beers on tap that do just that. Always available are an English-style extra special bitter, a blonde cream ale, a black IPA, a lemon wheat hefeweizen and a gose sour. Want something savory to soak up those suds? Soft pretzels with a homemade beer cheese, parmesan garlic Saratoga chips, salads, sliders and personal pizzas are always on the menu at this family-friendly neighborhood hideaway.
Crooked Handle Brewing Co. | Springboro, Ohio
Further north in Warren County, Springboro’s Crooked Handle Brewing Co. treats its craft-craving guests to an equally impressive lineup of flagship micro-brews and experimental pours. Looking for something refreshing? The aptly named Boro Blonde tips its cap to Springboro with refreshing notes of citrus hops, while the Peachy Kreem pairs smooth cream ale with the summery taste of real peaches. Ready for something a little more out-there? Don’t miss Crooked Handle’s Peanut Butter Porter or its Wee Bit O Trouble, a malty scotch ale. Not a beer fan to begin with ? Not to worry! The Springboro startup also serves a wide selection of spirits and wines, as well as meat and cheese plates to enjoy alongside them.
Sonder Brewing | Mason, Ohio
The latest spot to join Warren County’s brewery scene, Sonder Brewing in Mason operates out of a gorgeous industrial-style building just seconds from Kings Island, Great Wolf Lodge and a number of other Warren County hotspots. Home to both a 30-barrel brew house and a 2,000-square-foot taproom, Sonder features seven staples on its beer menu, ranging from a clean, crisp kolsch to a coffee and chocolate infused tiramisu stout. Its in-house kitchen, BrewRiver, keeps hungry guests happy with everything from classics like burgers and chicken sandwiches to more unique offerings like gumbo and green curry short rib poutine. Don’t stuff yourself too much, though! Sonder also boasts an awesome outdoor patio area with all sorts of exciting games and activities.
Valley Vineyards Winery & Brewery | Morrow, Ohio
When the founders of Valley Vineyards planted the first seeds of what is now Ohio’s second largest vineyard in 1969 they had their sights set solely on producing delicious wines. In recent years, however, as Ohioan’s taste buds have been turned on to small-batch beer, the vineyard’s award-winning artisans have brought something new to the table. Cellar Dweller, a delicious line of craft beer produced by Valley Vineyards’ master craftsmen, offers suds-savvy visitors several varieties of brew, each with its own unique spin. From more familiar flavors like its Cellar Blues Blonde Ale to bolder brews like its Nitro Eye Opener Hazelnut Coffee Stout, the vineyard’s brew masters leave no flavor unexplored. Want to keep your options open? Try a beer tasting tray to sample 10 different types, and pair it with a homemade pizza or an order of fresh-baked pretzels to cleanse the palate between sips!
Warped Wing Barrel Room & Smokery | Springboro, Ohio
A longstanding favorite in nearby Dayton, Ohio, Warped Wing Brewing Co. opened its latest location in the heart of historic Springboro in the summer of 2020. The 20,000-square-foot establishment features a tap room, restaurant, an outdoor biergarten-style patio, a large space for barrel-aging beers, a test-pilot brewery, a distribution hub and event space.
The newest addition to Warren County's craft brew scene, Cartridge Brewing is housed in a historic, once long-abandoned powder factory along the banks of the Little Miami Scenic River. Opened in the fall of 2020, Cartridge serves up not only a terrific variety of unique craft beers, but delicious eats as well!
Ready to raise a glass? Plan your brew tasting tour, and all of your Warren County fun, today at OhiosLargestPlayground.com!