Dog About Town: Dead Low Brewing has top-notch wings and good shade for summer’s dog days

Ever the connoisseur of fine cuisine (both canine and human), resident food
and atmosphere critic Vincent the dachshund mix has all the hot-diggity
summer tips for dining adventures around the tri-state area with your

The first stop on Vincent’s culinary tour was Dead Low Brewing on Kellogg Avenue. He immediately took note of the many planters filled with herbs out back on his way to the patio – remarking with approval that the best establishments always use fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Vince, as his friends call him, was already impressed as he caught whiffs of delightful smells coming from the kitchen. Not allowing himself to get too distracted, he quickly sniffed out a prime spot in the ample shade provided by the large umbrellas bedecking the expansive, outdoor dining area.

Once seated on the cool concrete, Vincent was immediately greeted by owner Kyle Havens and presented with an official Dead Low Bandana. He was informed of where to find the spigot and buckets for dog refreshment as well. Vince found this to be quite courteous. But then, he generally expected to be received with much fanfare due to his status as a renowned critic.He assumed a position under the table and laid low at Dead Low, observing and letting the humans do their talking. He listened in, hoping they’d be sampling Dead Low’s famous chicken wings, as he’d heard rave reviews.

Vincent was immediately greeted by owner Kyle Havens and presented with an official Dead Low Bandana.Vince gathered from the conversation that Dead Low had just developed a new, dog-themed beer. It was to be served at an up-and-coming, taproom-style dog and human hangout called The Bark Park & Patio across the river in Florence.

The beer was for humans and not dogs, of course, but that was no problem for Vince. He enjoyed the manner in which tasty, summer brews could magically draw humans together to relax as they interacted at dog-centric establishments – in turn giving the dogs more time to socialize.

“It’s called a cold IPA. That’s the process,” Havens informed Vince and company. “But we’re brewing that beer specifically for them.”

“We’re spitballing a couple of names right now. It should be done before July 4th,” added brewer Chris Cooper.

According to Havens, Dead Low’s most popular in-house beers are lagers. Fénix Mexican Lager, Dead Low American Lager, Scandinavian Farmhouse Ale and Session IPA top the list of customer favorites.

Havens, however, seems most proud of Dead Low’s more adventurous offerings. These include a Lebanese whip made with pomegranate and Zaatar (a spice blend typically used in Lebanese cuisine), as well as a gose infused with rose petals.

The latter was developed as a Mother’s Day offering. Similarly, a Father’s Day Roch-style brew made with beechwood and cherry smoked malts has been carefully concocted. This nod to all things Dad pleases patrons’ palates with authentic notes of barbecue in a refreshing brew.

As Vincent had hoped, the sweet Thai chili wings arrived promptly – simply plated and sizzling with a crisp, sweet glaze. To his delight, a standard burger with homemade chips also was presented. He began to swoon from the intoxicating aroma.

After the chicken had sufficiently cooled, he was offered a couple bites of the tender and delicious meat. “Magnifique!” he applauded with his eyes. Just then, a charming server named Kati approached with a delectable dog biscuit, as well as many pets and compliments. Vince devoured the attention and the treat equally.

With quick-service menus for peak times surrounding Riverbend concerts, and highly customizable options for menu items during more relaxed hours, Dead Low’s staff is extremely accommodating and ready to roll with the punches. Featuring a stand-up and improv comedy venue in the lower level (which can also be utilized for private events), Dead Low offers entertainment and flexibility, with great atmosphere at every turn.

“Honestly, the size of this place was not what I expected to get off the ground,” offered Havens, who began humbly with a basement brewing collaborative (which coincidentally spawned nearby taproom Big Ash Brewing).

Dead Low will celebrate its fourth anniversary this October. Havens looks forward to more fun, food and Fido-friendly events – like the adoption fair with Peppermint Pig the establishment hosted a couple years back.

“There were SO many dogs here that day,” said Havens, happily. As the owner of a red bull mastiff and a lab mix, dog-friendly atmosphere was always part of his design.

Vincent definitely approves, and gives Dead Low Brewing a five-paw rating. He plans to sample the Philly naan, stuffed with mouth watering pulled ribeye, on his next visit.
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Read more articles by Eliza Bobonick.

Eliza Bobonick is a Cincinnati-based writer and a mother of three. Her work has been featured in such local and regional publications as Cincinnati CityBeat and Kentucky Homes and Gardens Magazine. She is a former musician whose interests include photography and interior design.