Rhinegeist is a brewery built within the skeleton of the old Moerlein bottling plant (built in 1895). Within these unique and historic walls, we brew 20bbl batches of beer that sings with flavor and delights us. The yin/yang of our brewing philosophy is hoppy/sessionable and we aim to brew beers where “the first sip calls for the third”. We’re a small team with big dreams and tend to smile while we sweat. We brew those styles which are most compelling to our thirst and we certainly hope you enjoy our brews as much as we do.
Rhinegeist means “ghost of the Rhine”, and refers to our place here in the historic Brewery District in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. At the turn of the century, this neighborhood was home to nearly 45,o00 inhabitants, most of them of German descent and 38 breweries. We hope to engender the spirit of camaraderie and hard work that we imagine those living and brewing in this neighborhood at that time embodied.
We self distribute our beer, which means each beer that you drink in a bar or restaurant is poured from a keg that we delivered cold in our refrigerated van (keep your eyes peeled for it around town). We like to keep beer as fresh as possible, which means that every keg we fill is immediately moved into cold storage where it sits until we load it onto our refrigerated van for delivery to the coldbox of each local account. Fresh beer is tasty beer, and that’s our favorite kind.
Jim Matt – Head Brewer
Jim’s background is as a chemist where he worked for nearly 20 years but always found brewing beer at home and beer judging to be his calling. A few years ago, he made the jump into the world of professional brewing at Sun King brewery as their Quality Manager and made his way onto the brewdeck there. Jim knows beer styles and brewing techniques as an astronomer knows the stars and creates recipes that radiate brilliance in their simplicity. You should see his grin when he’s just finished a new recipe, it’s mischievously marvelous. Jim likes to “set himself up for success” and is usually “one day closer today than he was yesterday.”
Luke Cole – Brewer
Luke brings a unique marriage of mechanical savvy, ninja brewing skills and rock star tendencies to the Rhinegeist brewdeck. He brewed at Rock Bottom down in Fountain Square for the past few years and has also roasted coffee for Tazza Mia for years. Luke has “the force” when it comes to things that are mechanical, and played a major role in rehabbing some of the pieces of used equipment we bought back to life. He works hard, rocks hard, but keeps his philosophy on life pretty simple “Right on, Right on.”
Dennis Kramer-Wine – Distribution Manager
Dennis moved back to Cincinnati a year ago after working for a solar company in Denver for the past few years. He tends to take a look at a situation and attack the thing that needs doing most. He’s a man of action, father of the year, and has depths of knowledge and passion that are boundless. At Rhinegeist, Dennis is the foundation for our model of self distribution. Each order that comes in he handles and makes sure gets out the door without a hiccup. This is a combination of keg lifting, route building and that special mojo it takes to deliver a keg to an account that just ran out of beer on a Sunday. Dedicated and hard working, Dennis is often found on his bicycle (which he sometimes uses to headbutt trees) and is happiest when he’s out of the brewery and can “let his feet out of their cages” and run barefoot around Cincinnati.
Bob Bonder – President
After years consulting and a variety of other entrepreneurial pursuits, Bob moved to Cincinnati six years ago to build the Tazza Mia coffee business. Bob has a knack for the delicious when it comes to food & beverage and has spent years refining his palate with coffee cuppings and wine tastings which positioned him perfectly to build a brewery and work on designing beer. Bob tends to be up before dawn and is relentless in his pursuit of “getting things done”.
Bryant Goulding – VP, Marketing
Bryant moved to Cincinnati a year ago after selling beer on the West Coast for Anderson Valley, Dogfish Head and Golden Road breweries. Living in San Francisco, he witnessed and frolicked in one of the most developed craft beer and local food scenes in the country and was forever impacted by that time spent. Each keg sold and handshake shook made him believe in the power of beer to bring great people together, foment fantastic ideas, and to build a community that valued craft and one another. On his travels he would look out the window and dream of someday opening a brewery of his own. Bryant is often scribbling ideas in his yellow notebook, so if you find it please return it to the brewery.