One Killer Piranha
Earlier this week Ginny Tonic and I swung by BJ’s Brewhouse here in Cincinnati. When I arrived I have to admit that I hadn’t done enough research and was under the misimpression that they were a local start-up that was growing into a regional chain. I thought we were catching a company doing good here in the Queen City and was excited to give them a fun profile as they had been recommend by more than one friend. When I learned they were national, they’re brewing tanks displayed in the back were fake, they lived in a mall and they come from out west, my attitude started to shift and they began losing ground quick with me. I found myself feeling a bit snarky and a bit defensive as we have such an amazing local brew culture here in Cincinnati. Who were these upstarts coming in to try and piggyback on this trend?
Turns out the answer is a beer-focused watering hole and restaurant that forced me to like it despite my preconceptions of chain establishments. While there I found a beer I loved, great deep dish pizza, a cool retro atmosphere, and a wait staff that was kind and very attentive. In the end, this place forced me to redefine my perspectives a bit as it was a chain establishment that I liked.
Taking a look at their beer taps, they were national and well polished but there was a surprising lack of local beers. When I politely challenged them on this they explained they had one I missed (featuring Rivertown Brewing) and they were about to rotate in four taps featuring local brews.
As for their beer, it was approachable, well crafted and covered the gambit of taste quite well. The Piranha Pale Ale was a real standout for me with an earthy almost grassy taste that was balanced enough to REALLY hit home with my palate. This is a beer that will pull me back and I came away with a very favorable view of BJ’s Brewhouse. It surprised me because it won me over despite my own preconceptions. I will be back and you can hear all the details from our visit on this week’s Bottoms Up with Ginny Tonic and Charlie!
Run Time: 17 Minutes, 29 Seconds