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The Year of Beer: Volume 3 (Quarantine Edition)

A lot has changed in the last month. Four weeks ago, I was galavanting around town trying to find some great spots in your neighborhood to have a beer. But now, I’m sequestered in my home. And so are you. How do we survive in times like these? One positive: the numerous ways for you to still enjoy your favorite adult beverages in the safety of your own home. Many local breweries are offering home delivery or curbside pick up. Party Source remains open and is also offering curbside pick up. So, I’ve spent the last few weeks at home trying to both entertain myself and enjoy some local brews while doing it.

Here’s how I’ve been handling all of this and what I’ve been drinking to help me handle it.

Plainville

50 West Brewing Company
7668 Wooster Pike (45227)

I started my quarantine off right but rushing to Party Source to get the proper materials. Now, I’d suggest you opt for the curbside pick up if you need a drink, just to be safe. But, while inside, they were taking some proper precautions, like a sign in each check out aisle reminding customers to stay six feet apart. On my way back home, I went through Frisch’s drive-thru and headed home to eat my Big Boy and fries while washing it down with the deliciously hoppy Punch You in the Eye PA from 50 West Brewing Company. I don’t normally get to have a beer with my Big Boy, but I do recommend it. Trying times lead to some of the best creations.

As I finished my food, I became desperate for some social interaction, so I stood on my Bellevue porch and raised a glass to the neighbors as they left their houses to brave the world as I had hours before.

Spring Grove Village

Taft’s Brewing Company (Taft's Brewpourium)
4831 Spring Grove Avenue (45232)

One of my favorite local breweries is Taft’s and I especially love their Brewpourium in Spring Grove Village. They have delicious pizza, great weekly comedy shows put on by Bombs Away! Comedy, and, of course, Taft’s refreshing beer. To make up for missing Taft’s, I was able to do a quick curbside pick up at their Brewpourium. It was easy and painless, and I didn’t even get out of my car. Since it was getting warmer on this particular day, I decided I’d go with the Hazy Colada Hazy Sabro IPA. It was light and sweet with some slight hoppiness. I definitely recommend it for some porch-sitting. So, I did just that. I went in my backyard, made a fire, and drank my Hazy Colada safely and alone while dreaming of the next time I’ll drink it again—hopefully while enjoying pizza and comedy at the Brewpourium next time.

Westwood

West Side Brewery
3044 Harrison Avenue (45211)

At this point, I was starting to get stir crazy. I can only stream so many movies before I need to talk to a real person. Because we’re in a time of physical distancing, I decided I was still going to communicate with the people I love. So I wrote a letter. To my mom. On a typewriter. It’s a great way to communicate and gives the recipient something exciting to find in their mailbox for once. I figured the best beverage for letter-writing was something dark, and I was luckily able to snag West Side Brewery’s Stout. It goes down smooth, so it’s perfect for expressing just how much I miss my mom.

Norwood

Listermann Brewery
1621 Dana Avenue (45207)

Another great spot to grab carry out is Listermann Brewery in Norwood. When I went, it was totally empty besides the bartender, so physical distancing wasn’t hard. I was able to grab a four-pack of Listermeme, which is a milkshake double IPA. This thing will definitely bring you out of any funk you might find yourself in while cooped up in your house. When I got home, I drank my Listermeme while hopping on a video chat with folks to finally get some social interaction the best way we can right now. Then, I ended the night by having an existential crisis staring at myself in the mirror and wondering if I could trick my mind into believing the reflection of me was a different person. It didn’t work this time, but maybe a little more Listermeme will help next time.

I know this is a trying time for many of us. Humans are social creatures. We need each other and we’re realizing that now more than maybe ever before. This is why, I think, so many are afraid of realizing the consequences of failing to do the physical distancing. We miss one another. And that’s good for us to acknowledge. It’s good for us to celebrate how much our communities mean to us.

One way we can continue to have hope in desperate times is through supporting local establishments that do carry out. They’re working to innovate how they do business because they have to, but also because they love what they do and they don’t want to lose it. The owners and employees of these businesses are our neighbors, our friends, and our family. We can all be responsible for one another in times like these.

I, for one, am looking forward to getting back on the trail for the Year of Beer, meeting new folks who are holed up at the bar, and supporting these businesses once again.

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Missed the first two volumes? You can read them here (Volume 1) and here (Volume 2). Come back in April to see the next four neighborhood beers I'll drink for Volume 4! We'll get back to the bars as soon as the pandemic is through.

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