Oktoberfest Zinzinnati!

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Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, presented by Sam Adams and produced by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, runs Friday, September 15 through Sunday, September 17 on Second and Third Streets in downtown Zinzinnati. First held in 1976, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati has grown to be America’s largest Oktoberfest celebration with nearly 650,000 people attending each year. The celebration showcases the rich German heritage of Southwest Ohio, offering German-style food, oom-pah-pah music and more than 80 varieties of beer.

2,000 barrels of brew are expected to be consumed at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati along with 25,000 potato pancakes, 24,000 soft pretzels and 225,000 bratwurst, mettwurst and sausages!

Throughout the weekend, you will experience Oktoberfest Zinzinnati favorites including the World’s Largest Chicken Dance. In 1994, the Crown Prince of Bavaria was Grand Marshal of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, helping set the world record for the World’s Largest Chicken Dance, with 48,000 participating. Other past Grand Marshals include Al Hirt, Weird Al Yankovic, Davey Jones, Verne Troyer, Eddie Money, Vince Neil, George Takei and Cincinnati’s own Nick and Drew Lachey.

Other attractions include the Sam Adams Stein Hoisting competition and the World Brat Eating Championship featuring nine-time champ, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut. Mr. Chestnut holds the world bratwurst eating record, inhaling 70 brats in 10 minutes at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, 2013.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati kicks off September 15 at 11:30 a.m. with the Running of the Wieners. This battle of the fast and the furriest features 100 racing dachshunds, competing for the first time at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds. The race is free and open to the public.

Immediately after the pups, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati continues with the Gemuetlichkeit (Goodwill) Games on Second Street, featuring local media personalities competing in beer barrel rolling and beer stein races. The official opening ceremonies are Saturday morning, September 16, 11:30am, with a ceremonial keg tapping by Sam Adams founder (and Cincinnati native) Jim Koch.

For everything you need to know about Oktoberfest Zinzinnati including hours, directions, and event schedules, visit OktoberfestZinzinnati.com.

Prost!

Go to Louisville!

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Oh, the fun of living in Cincinnati with so many awesome cities close by……next stop, Louisville!  A great weekend escape with so many things to do.  The food, the drink, the shopping, the parades.  Just a quick drive down south, and we arrived at the Seelbach Hilton, right next to the 4th Street Live!  What a grand hotel…. a storied past with modern amenities.   The suite was fabulous! Now off to discover…..

First food stop, Grind Burger Kitchen.   By partnering with local and regional farms and suppliers for ingredients, Grind has become an ambassador for the local food movement in Louisville.   We ordered the Cuban with Brussels Sprouts…..yum!  Necessary food to prime us for the upcoming bourbon to come……

Angel’s Envy.  What a facility, what a tour.  Stunning and new, copper everywhere….bourbon everywhere!  Do not miss this, I promise.  Our “tour guide” was so knowledgeable and entertaining.  And yes, we tasted…. A LOT.

We decided to do all the bourbon in a day…so next up, Jim Beam Experience!

Very fun!  We were seated at a group table and were introduced to a fabulous “lunch tray” of accoutrements…including many tasty tidbits to make specialty cocktails.  They even taught us how to “shake” properly.  Oops.  I made a serious mess ALL OVER the table when the lid came off.  Sorry!

Enough alcohol for a bit….time to shop! There are great little stores lining 4th…but my fave is Regalo.  A collection of so many different crafted items, from jewelry to purses, candles, artwork, socks (omg so many!), and many other cute things!  I stocked up on fun bracelets!

Time for a rest, then off to meet dear friends for dinner and the U2 concert!  It was a memorable night……with the most fabulous parade…Kentuckiana Pride!  Loved every minute!

The next day consisted of food, shopping, festivals and sightseeing.  Busy and fun, but the alcohol was going to have to wait ‘til evening!  We found ourselves at a fabulous dinner at Proof on Main, housed in the 21c.  Just wonderful, from the décor (I seriously loved every inch of this restaurant…different décor in each dining space!) to the craft cocktails, appetizers, main courses and dessert.  We began with the Blackberry Pop Tart with pate…and the charred Octopus.  Just order it, you won’t be sorry!   We dined on so many courses, including beet salad and a few of their heavenly sweet creations.  Oinkfest.  We will definitely be back at Proof!

So many things to see and do in Louisville, and if you’re looking for something awesome in September, be sure to attend Bourbon and Beyond!

Bourbon & Beyond will be an incredible all-in-one bourbon, food, and entertainment destination that honors the rich history of bourbon that is so deeply rooted in the heart of Kentucky. All together Bourbon & Beyond is a celebration of craftsmanship, soul and spirit, on September 23rd and 24th at Champions Park.  For tickets, visit:   https://bourbon.frontgatetickets.com.

Here’s to another fabulous weekend escape!  Until next time!

Patty Youkilis  

Publisher, Key Magazine Cincinnati

Your Daily Bread: Breadsmith

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There’s nothing like fresh bread…or fresh sweets.  Are your taste buds watering for something yeasty and delicious?  Look no further than Breadsmith, located on Michigan Avenue in Hyde Park.

Breadsmith only uses the finest natural ingredients for all their artisan breads and sweets.  From their daily selections like French Baguette, Ciabatta and Sourdough to their specialties like Cinnamon Buns, Dessert Breads and Scones, everything is made from scratch in their 5-ton European hearth stone oven.  In addition to their daily offerings, Breadsmith has daily, weekly and monthly specials for your enjoyment.  You can also call in your order for pick up – what a great way to be stocked up on fresh bread and treats for the week!

To see all daily and monthly goodies, go to the calendar…  www.breadsmith.com/cincinnati and click on the calendar link.  Many goodies are in store, so get your bread knife ready!

Breadsmith is open Tuesdays through Sundays; drop by for a fresh loaf of bread, a cup of locally roasted coffee, a variety of sweets or the daily special now.

Your Open for Anything

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Get ready for tennis at its best: the world’s top stars AND off-court action that’s an event all its’ own. This is the tournament that gets you and your friends into the mix… close to everything about the Open that means the most to you.

Held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center just 20 miles north of Cincinnati, this is one of the most acclaimed (and most approachable) events in tennis, with the world’s greatest flocking here since 1899. Featuring top local music, cuisine from the area’s best chefs and deluxe libations and shopping, we’ve become the region’s most anticipated celebration.

With more than 200,000 fans coming from all 50 states and 30 countries cheering on modern day legends like Roger, Rafa, and Serena as they join yesteryear’s immortals McEnroe, Evert, and Connors in becoming enshrined in our 118-year history. See the next generation of legends up close and personal.

Getting next to these greats is easy, on- and just off-court. Hear the whip of the racquets in play and practice, the zip of the pens in intimate autograph sessions, and the excited murmurs as the pros pass by. Eat fine fare, sip on your choice of refreshment (craft beer, wine, and champagne to name a few), and catch world-class tennis at your Open for anything.

Summertime is Bridal Time at Eddie Lane’s EDB Diamond Showroom

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It may be hot outside but the Bridal jewelry is even hotter at Eddie Lane’s EDB Diamond Showroom!

Eddie Lane’s EDB Diamond Showroom has always provided Cincinnati with the highest quality and best selection of diamonds and gold from their convenient Montgomery Road location, so if this is the summer you plan to propose, there’s nowhere better to go for your engagement and wedding jewelry.

You’ve heard the old adage: spend 3 months’ salary on the engagement ring.  But at Eddie Lane’s, that’s not their gold standard.  Knowing that such a “guideline” doesn’t always fit in someone’s plan, Eddie Lane’s works with your budget; you let their non-commissioned staff know what your spending limit is, and they will strive to find you the best possible diamond within that price tag.  Getting you the engagement and wedding jewelry of your dreams within your budget is their ultimate goal.  Plus, all bridal jewelry comes with a lifetime warranty.

Eddie Lane’s has a fabulous selection of bridal sets in-store, with new items coming in daily, but they also can custom design something special if that’s what will make your bride happy!  Choose from any of their amazing GIA certified loose diamonds, and together you can create a setting that will make it the talk of the town.

Summer is also a great time to have your jewelry cleaned and the stones inspected, so drop by the showroom and have Eddie Lane’s get your special items up to sparkly summer standards.

Don’t you want the recently named “Best Fine Jeweler” in Cincinnati to provide the most special jewelry you’ll ever purchase?  Stop by and see for yourself what Eddie Lane’s is all about.

Mecklenburg Gardens is bringing the 4 B’s to Cincinnati: Beer, Bacon, Bourbon and Blues in August!

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Cincinnati’s oldest restaurant, Mecklenburg Gardens, is famous for its Beer Garden.  However, with the crazy bacon and bourbon crazes sweeping the nation, they want to expand their repertoire.

On August 19th, Mecklenburg Gardens will be hosting a new event: Beer, Bacon, Bourbon and Blues.  From 11:00am to 5:00pm, patrons can not only enjoy the wide variety of beer they already offer, but can also give local Bourbon distilleries a try!  With tastings and flights on hand, customers can sample the best in Bourbon and beer; Mecklenburg Gardens will be hosting several Cincinnati-area distilleries while also serving the fabulous German and craft beers they offer in their Beer Garden.

To go along with your drinks, you’ll need some snacks to soak it all up.  A variety of appetizers featuring bacon and other tasty treats will be available to order: from bacon-wrapped metts and brats to beer cheese with pretzels, there will be plenty of delicious options.  The menu is still being crafted, so you’ll have to drop by and see for yourself what’s going to be delighting your taste buds.

And of course, you can’t have an event like this without music, and the Blues just seem to fit the bill perfectly.  The Ben Duke Band will be there to entertain you while you relax in the shaded garden, enjoying your drinks and snacks.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to Bourbon and Beer!

With the best in German cuisine and the best Beer Garden in town, Mecklenburg Gardens has always been a Cincinnati tradition.  Make it yours while you’re visiting Cincinnati, and stop by the Beer, Bacon, Bourbon and Blues festival!