MadTree Brewing Company
5164 Kennedy Ave
Visited on June 28, 2014, May 29, 2017
What a difference three years can make! This is the second brewery this year that has surprised me by changing locations, and in a good way. I had only ever been to MadTree’s original location, but they must have been clearing some serious cash because the new spot is fantastic.
First off, there’s a ton of parking, which isn’t always the case with breweries. It sure as hell beats the sketchy gravel parking lot of the old place. And that change is pretty emblematic of the transformation the entire operation has taken.
The new location is beautiful. There’s a central giant “O” bar that spans two major spaces – one inside and one outside. The interior has clean lines and sparse decorations with a lot of concrete and long high-top tables. The exterior opens to a courtyard full of cornhole boards next to what I assume was the original exterior wall of the warehouse they renovated.
The attention to detail is awesome – from the catwalk giving visitors a view of the brewing operation to the woodwork featuring their pretty great logo all over the place.
The beer is very good as well. In my previous post, I lamented that none of their non-flagship beers really stuck out to me. This time around, it was the small batches that had me most impressed. And as is always the key for any brewery – there was one in particular that stood out and I will remember for a long time. Their Mexican chocolate stout on nitro really hit the spot.
Cincinnati is really on top of their beer game.
Total: 75 (of 80)
I’m going to be honest on this up front–by the time I got to MadTree Brewing on a recent trip to Cincinnati, my palette was pretty shot. I’d already run the gamut of what nearby Listermanns had to offer, had a full dinner and quaffed a half-bottle of wine. So take this with a grain of salt.
MadTree has done a pretty decent job making a cold, middle-of-nowhere warehouse into a welcoming destination location. The place seems like its always crowded despite the inhospital exterior and extremely suspect gravel parking situation. The tap room is lively and comforting, despite the lack of comfortable furnishings.
As for the beers, I respect the breadth of options they always seem to have on tap. I had to go through almost a full two paddles full of samples before repeating anything. And of all of them I tried, they all presented themselves crisp and lacking any off-flavors. They’ve got the execution part down, at least.
The only criticism I have is that none of their beers had a wow factor. At least not for me. When the time came to order a pint, I had difficulty choosing, because none really stood out. I ended up ordering their Psychopathy IPA, with the Gnarly Brown coming in a close second. I suppose the fact that I felt their best brews are also their flagships says something for the experimentation they still need to do to find some more go-to recipes.
Total: 67 (of 80)