Beer Reviews

Geist Tea (Hard Craft Tea)

Introducing our first foray into Hard Tea territory! Smooth, lemon-kissed, and just sweet enough, Geist Tea captures the taste and spirit of classic, sun-brewed iced tea, with a little extra verve. To get the tea on Geist Tea, read on!

Reviews are done by Travis Houston, our Sensory Specialist, Certified Cicerone, and FOBAB Judge.


This is our first Hard Tea! What makes Geist Tea stand out?

Geist Tea starts with real, freshly brewed tea. To this we add our clear malt base, which brings with it the alcohol, as well as a little hint of real lemon. Finally, we add just enough sugar to balance the robust tannins that the use of real tea brings to the beverage. By making Geist Tea just sweet enough, the thirst quenching, refreshing quality is enhanced greatly. 


Geist Tea rhymes with “Iced Tea,” was this intentional? Talk a little bit about the name if you can. 

It was definitely intentional. Geist means “ghost” or “spirit,” and is a word we use frequently inside the brewery. The building we occupy is in the historic brewing district of Cincinnati, in a neighborhood called Over The Rhine (OTR). During the 19th century, well before prohibition, this area was a destination for many German immigrants. The people brought with them a love for beer, along with knowledge of traditional brewing methods. A canal that used to cut through the heart of Cincinnati came to be known as “the Rhine” by these German immigrants, many of whom opened their own breweries in the area. Reaching these breweries meant crossing this canal, or going “Over the Rhine,” which is where the name originated. This is also where the name Rhinegeist comes from, loosely meaning “the spirit of the Rhine,” which serves as a nod to the brewers that built and established this neighborhood. The rhyme with “iced tea” was a tea up we had to take advantage of (please pardon the pun).


What are the notable characteristics of this Tea?

We start with real, black tea, from which some of the water has been delicately removed. This allows us to replace that water with our clear malt base, which is made by fermenting real malt, then filtering out all the color and flavor. Since this clear malt base is flavorless, it allows the bright, robust flavor of real tea to shine through. A hint of lemon adds some complexity, along with a tiny bit of acidity that balances the deep tannins. Finally, we add just enough sweetness to brighten up the tea, leading to an incredibly refreshing and flavorful hard craft beverage.


What makes you want to drink Geist Tea?

The balanced sweetness and robust tannic character create an incredibly flavorful drink that remains incredibly drinkable. Geist Tea is perfect for a summer evening on the porch, or around the pool.


Appearance: Clear light brown with no head, like freshly brewed iced tea.

Aroma: Freshly brewed black tea with hints of lemon.


Taste: Robust tannins are balanced by hints of lemon and just enough sweetness.


Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with very low carbonation to enhance drinkability.


Overall: Notes of fresh black tea with hints of lemon are met with robust tannins and just enough sweetness in this incredibly refreshing, lightly carbonated hard craft beverage.


What foods would pair well with Geist Tea? Geist Tea will shine at a backyard grill out, the perfect beverage to wash down burgers and brats.


Ideal glassware for Geist Tea? A shaker pint with ice, but straight from the can is just fine.