Meeple Blog > February Brewer’s Spotlight – Rhinegeist

February Brewer’s Spotlight – Rhinegeist

February Brewer’s Spotlight – Rhinegeist


One of the things we are passionate about here at Ravenwood Castle and the Malted Meeple is craft beer. We pride ourselves on having an excellent assortment of craft beers for the enjoyment of our guests. In our monthly Brewer’s Spotlight feature we raise our pints to the men and women who dedicate themselves to the brewing craft.

This month, we raise our pints to our friends from Rhinegeist Brewery – a brewery that brews their beer right here in Ohio! In fact each and every can, bottle, and tap handle proudly declares that they are “Cincy-Made!”

Rhinegeist means “Ghost of the Rhine” and takes its name from the historic Brewery District located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, a neighborhood that Rhinegeist proudly calls home.

The story of Rhinegeist actually begins in 1895. At the turn of the century, Over-the-Rhine was a bustling district, which included 38 breweries, and was home to a large population of Americans of German descent. The largest brewery at the time was Christian Moerlein Brewing Company which covered three city blocks and produced 300,000 barrels annually. The operation would thrive for several years until it was dealt a fatal blow when the prohibition era brought about the end of the company. As a result, the former bottling plant at 1910 Elm Street would remain dormant for several subsequent decades.

Enter Bob Bonder, a recovering consultant who moved to Cincinnati in 2007 to grow the Tazza Mia coffee business. After years of refining his palate with coffee and wine tastings, he set his sights on building his own brewery. Knowing that this job would be far too much for one man, he set out to assemble the perfect team. This team would include Bryant Goulding, a silver-tongued dreamer who had spent the past few years selling beer on the west coast for a variety of companies. When first presented with the opportunity, Bryant thought that Bob had gone crazy. But Bryant was swayed after setting foot in the historic 1910 Elm Street location. Some might have seen an empty and defunct warehouse, but Bryant saw opportunity. He saw a lifeless brewery itching to start pumping out delicious hoppy IPAs! Soon Bob and Bryant began searching for a brewer, ultimately leading them to Jim Matt, a brewing guru who also had 20 years of chemistry experience, and Luke Cole, who had been roasting coffee and brewing beer on the side at a local Cincinnati brewpub. Luke also happened to have a background in mechanical engineering, making him the perfect man for revitalizing the lapsed brewhouse. The final piece of the puzzle came in the form of Dennis Kramer-Wine, who handled all of the heavy lifting and logistic development. In fact, it was Dennis who created the self-distribution model used by Rhinegeist!

With Bob’s business acumen, Bryant’s marketing and sales vision, Jim and Luke’s brewing chops, and Dennis’s logistics genius the company came together and brewed their first batch of beer in 2013.

During the month of February we will be featuring some of Rhinegeist’s most famous beers, including:

Truth IPA: a 7.2% ABV 75 IBU West Coast style IPA bursting with grapefruit and mango flavors with a dry finish.

Café Ink: a 10% ABV 57 IBU Imperial Stout.  Deep, dark intense roasted malt, coffee and chocolate notes resound deeply in this Imperial Stout. The Ink Imperial Stout is then aged on Cincinnati roasted coffee beans.

Stop in to the Malted Meeple or Ravenwood Castle throughout February to enjoy a fresh beer from Rhinegeist Brewery!

Karington Hess is a lifelong gamer whose passions for hospitality and all things game-related led him to Ravenwood Castle, where he served as an Innkeeper before joining The Malted Meeple. When not pouring beers, crafting milkshakes, or teaching boardgames, Karington can be found behind the DM’s screen, weaving intricate stories for his fellow gamers.