Nonprofits, small business owners and residents all came together two weekends ago in Over-the-Rhine to make Bockfest
successful in its 23rd year, but there's more to look forward to given what Cincinnati’s Brewery District has in store.
“Bockfest is a celebration of beer, the coming of spring, but also a celebration of the neighborhood and a particular place,” says Steven Hampton, executive director of the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation
. “This neighborhood is the key.”
And it’s that notion of “neighborhood” and a sense of place that's driving the nonprofit’s mission to make the Brewery District “the
place to live, work and play.” Through festivals like Bockfest, the OTR Biergarten
, historic brewery tours
and most recently its work to create the Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail
, the Brewery District is making strides in putting historic OTR on the map.
“We get a lot of folks that say, ‘I’m not a museum folk or wouldn’t normally come down here, but beer history, I’m all aboard,’” Hampton says. “We joke we can tell anybody’s story in history and intertwine it with beer. There are so many facts about how much we drank and produced, but how it was intertwined with stories of how this city grew, that’s the fun thing.”
To share those stories and to create interactive ways for neighbors and visitors to grow the city further, the Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail — a project Hampton says will come completely to fruition in the next four years or so — will showcase Cincinnati’s unique history while revitalizing the northern Over-the-Rhine district and generating tourism.
“It really has the potential to be a world class neighborhood,” Hampton says. “Boston is known worldwide for the Freedom Trail, Kentucky for the Bourbon Trail. Cincinnati’s going to be known for this.
“Most cities would kill to have this amazing collection of history and architecture, all these different cultural assets in one amazing, walkable neighborhood. So we’re going to capitalize on and focus on what we have — these amazing assets left to us — and continue to build those and share them with folks locally and the world to make this a better place.”
about the Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail.
• Take a tour
and experience Cincinnati's brewing history for yourself.
• Help build the trail by donating