Man pouring beer from tap at Cincinnati’s Big Ash Brewing (photo courtesy of Big Ash Brewing)
Food + Drink | Craft Beer

Big Ash Brewing, Cincinnati

This pour-your-own brewery on Cincinnati’s east side is making a name for itself as it wins awards in the craft beer world.

Big Ash Brewing grabbed the attention of beer fans across the state and the country in 2022, when two of its releases won major awards at the nation’s two most prestigious beer contests. The Cincinnati brewery’s Porter’s Porter picked up a silver medal at the World Beer Cup in May, and its Symphony Vienna Lager grabbed a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in October.

Just as noteworthy as brewer Jon Pfeiffer’s beers is how they’re served inside the spacious Big Ash Brewing taproom, which opened on the city’s east side in 2019. Rather than a conventional draft system, the brewery uses a 28-tap, pour-your-own format that lets customers determine exactly how much they want of any given beer. Guests are given an electronic card that activates each tap and keeps track of what they’ve poured. They turn in the card and pay their tab at the end of the visit.

“When you go to a brewery, you want to try all the beers, so you order a flight,” says Big Ash Brewing founder Dave Emery. “But if it’s really busy, the bartenders have a hard time with those, because it takes up a lot of time to pour all those glasses. The pour-your-own wall takes care of that.”

The brewery keeps 22 of its own beers on draft, as well as two ciders from Wisconsin’s Ciderboys and four wines. There is also a full bar that stocks local spirits from Newport, Kentucky’s New Riff Distilling, Newtown’s Brain Brew Whiskey and Cincinnati’s Robert James Distillery.

The taproom itself is large and open with seating for nearly 100, with a separate private party room and a large patio. During warm weather, an expansive beer garden allows visitors to further enjoy the outdoors. A 16-by-9-foot TV screen in the taproom shows all the big games. The food lineup features pizzas, subs, salads and wraps, as well as appetizers and a great tiramisu.

The focus, of course, is the beer, and Big Ash Brewing’s offerings have put it on the craft beer map in a big way.

“We run the gamut from great lagers to great stouts,” says Emery. “We have a selection of IPAs, as well as a couple approachable sours. There are no sharp edges with Jon’s beers.”

Big Ash has the medals to prove it.  

5230 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati 45230, 513/401-6868,