Author: kate2230

Cheers! Brewery creates new beer inspired by Fiona the baby hippo at Cincinnati Zoo

Cheers! Brewery creates new beer inspired by Fiona the baby hippo at Cincinnati Zoo

image via Cincinnati Zoo on Twitter

CINCINNATI, Ohio — As the Cincinnati Zoo said — happy hour just got happier!

It’s all for Fiona, the baby hippo that’s captured hearts all over the world at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

Listermann Brewing Co. has partnered with the zoo to create a new beer of Fiona’s very own. It’s called Team Fiona, and 25 percent of the proceeds go to the zoo to help take care of the little hippo.

It’s described as a New England-style pale ale with fruity notes and low bitterness.

Workers at Listermann said they got the idea after becoming hooked on all the social media posts about Fiona after she was born.

The beer will be released June 10. Most cans will be sold at the brewery, but also at the Oakley, Hyde Park, Anderson and Harper’s Point Kroger stores along with a few other spots in the Cincinnati area.


Is bigger really better? Find out in The Kroger Wars: Oakley vs. Hyde Park

Is bigger really better? Find out in The Kroger Wars: Oakley vs. Hyde Park

OAKLEY – Duke and North Carolina. Xavier and the University of Cincinnati. Oakley versus Hyde Park Kroger?

Some of biggest rivalries have been born out of sheer proximity – and in the case of the Krogers, it is measured in a mere mile and a half. The largest Marketplace in the Tri-State region is set to open Thursday in Oakley Station and is poised to rival its Hyde Park Plaza counterpart in nearly every way – it’s larger with more selection, including organic, comes complete with a wine and beer bar, and will even offer online shopping.

Is bigger really better? Sure, Oakley is all bright and shiny. But Hyde Park has quite the loyal contingent. It’s an establishment in this part of town. And the Oakley store is the new kid on the block. They’re comparisons that Kroger officials “absolutely” embrace, said spokeswoman Patty Leesemann. After all, there’s enough to go around.

“The Oakley Marketplace and Hyde Park stores are unique in their own ways,” she told “Oakley provides another shopping option, and we really feel like this area can sustain two different stores.”

OK, we’re convinced. But, really, which is better? Here’s how they stack up in a head-to-head comparison:

Best (or better) parking

Winner: Oakley (clearly)

Why: There’s not much debate here, really. The new Oakley Kroger will have 580 available parking spots, Leesemann said, and its adjacent retail strip boasts another 150. How many spots does Hyde Park have? It doesn’t matter, because it’s a hard road finding one. And when you do, you’ll be so boiled over with road rage you probably won’t even remember how you got there.


It takes a village to run a Ten Thousand Villages store — and that’s the point

It takes a village to run a Ten Thousand Villages store — and that’s the point

Sales of hand-crafted imports changes lives

At the Ten Thousand Villages store, you can buy a hand-knotted oriental rug from Pakistan or a handwoven basket from Bangladesh or a carved-wood chessboard from India.

And behind each of these exotic novelty items lies a story of an artisan who is living in a faraway region, like Asia, Africa, Latin America or the Middle East.

Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit, fair-trade organization that seeks to empower and uplift the lives of thousands of disadvantaged artisans struggling to make a living in 38 countries. The group has stores in the United States and Canada — including O’Bryonville and Harper’s Point locally.

Darlene Rohrer-Meck, the nonprofit’s executive director in Cincinnati, recently showed off the innovative and unique handmade assortment of jewelry, home decor items, art and sculpture in the Harper’s Point store that depict the rich and diverse cultures of these countries.

She explained that the mission of the nonprofit is not just to sell the products but also to change the lives of the artisans by granting them a chance to sell their work, earn a fair wage and live dignified, respectful lives.

“We help the poorest of the poor artisans, those who would not have had any other way of getting their products to market,” said Rohrer-Meck, a West Chester resident, who is a former social worker. She has been with the nonprofit for six years and in her current position for three years.

The store stocks items that are breathtakingly beautiful, skillfully created and heartbreakingly poignant. Among the colorful rugs, vases, pottery, blown-glass pieces, wall hangings, baby gifts, candles and clothing are also items that represent causes, such as art work from former sex workers in Pakistan, who stitch in a flower petal to symbolize that they have emerged from a life of “hopelessness and despair.”


Kroger (KR) to add craft beer taps at select stores

CINCINNATI — Soon Kroger will be tapping into the success of craft beer as it plans to add beer taps to five southwest Ohio stores.

In May, the grocery chain said even more stores will get the beer upgrades after the initial rollout by the end of August.

Craft beer and wine sales are becoming an even bigger sales driver for the company in recent years. The shift comes as more and more competitors in the region also add to their craft selection and add beer taps.

SOCIAL: You can take part in the conversation at our #9beer Facebook page too!
RELATED: Fibonacci Brewing to open in July in Mt. Healthy

Many bottle shops, grocery stores and even gas stations are latching on to the “growler” trend. Growlers are re-sealable and re-fillable glass or metal containers popularized by the growing craft beer trend.

For instance, both Jungle Jim’s International Markets and all three Dorothy Lane Market stores have beer taps, in addition to local bottle shops. Bars in the area are even getting in on the movement and sell their own branded growlers.

A Whole Foods marketplace that opened in June in Washington Township features a pub and growler-refill station.

Kroger’s public affairs manager for the Cincinnati/Dayton division Patty Leesemann said the number of taps will vary from 10 to 12 and will vary by store. Most will be stocked with local, regional and national brews, Leesemann said.

The first give stores to get the beer taps will be:

  • the Austin Landing location off Ohio 741 in Miami Twp.
  • the Kettering “Fresh Fare” store at East Stroop and Shroyer roads
  • the Centerville Marketplace store on Ohio 48
  • the stores in Harper’s Point and Anderson Towne Center in the Cincinnati area

The Austin Landing store also has added beer tastings from 4 to 6 p.m. every day, the Kroger spokeswoman said.

Kroger said Northern Kentucky stores are also an option as they grow the growler program. Leesemann said they are reviewing all opportunities in the region.

“We are currently researching and continuing to evaluate which stores would be a good fit for growler stations based on location, interest from customers in craft beer and other data,” Leesemann said.

When asked if Cincinnati might start seeing more Dayton beers in Kroger stores, Leesemann said:

“At this time, we have Dayton’s Warped Wing in our Dayton area stores. We are evaluating other local breweries in Dayton. As far as what we are offering overall in both Cincinnati and Dayton, we will be offering a variety of craft beers, including seasonal, from local, regional and national breweries.”

The grocery chain said shoppers should expect to see some special events planned for the rollout but those details are being finalized.

For the latest Cincinnati beer news and entertainment, go to or follow Jesse on Twitter at @wcpojesse .


EXCLUSIVE: East Side sports club to unveil multimillion-dollar expansion: PHOTOS

Towne Properties is putting the finishing touches on a $3.2 million expansion at the Club at Harper’s Point, which will include eight outdoor clay tennis courts and a 25-meter lap pool.

The upscale sports club and fitness center opened in Symmes Township in 1975 but hasn’t had a lap pool since 2008, when the Shops at Harper’s Point mall that opened in December 1989 was expanded by Towne Properties. The Mount Adams-based developer also owns and operates the 444-unit apartment community called Harper’s Point, which opened in 1974.

Towne Properties is putting the finishing touches on a $3.2 million expansion at the Club… more

The new pool and tennis courts will open May 28 at 8675 E. Kemper Road, near the intersection with Montgomery Road. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place May 27 with the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and a grand opening for club members will be June 4.

“Construction is nearly completed,” said Steve Contardi, the club’s operating partner. “We intend to have water in the pool by Friday.”

About 1,200 people belong to the Club at Harper’s Point, and the new pool and tennis courts are expected to boost membership, Contardi said. Four categories of membership range from $50 to $160 a month, plus an enrollment fee of $100 to $400.

The original pool “was an integral part of our initial club, and certainly our business is largely dependent on families,” Contardi said. “This was the logical way to get and maintain more family members.”

The economic recession delayed the investment in a new pool, Contardi said. Construction began in November.

To view architectural renderings of the project, click on the photo above or the video player below.

To accommodate the new six-lane lap pool, the club reduced the number of outdoor tennis courts from 11 to eight. The club also has 10 indoor DecoTurf tennis courts, which is the same type of surface as used at the Western & Southern Open tournament in Mason.

The new outdoor Har-Tru green clay courts feature Hydro Court technology, which includes an underground watering system with sensors to ensure the ideal moisture level for stable footing. Tennis Technology Inc. of Louisville installed the courts, which cost about $300,000.

Shamrock Enterprises of Crosby Township built the competition-caliber swimming pool, which includes six lanes and an 11-foot-deep diving well with two 1-meter boards.

“We will have a swim and dive team,” Contardi said.

The project includes a water slide with its own entry point and splashdown spot in the pool as well as a separate pool for toddlers. The aquatic complex cost $2.4 million, including the pool deck, chlorine filtration system and landscaping. The pool complex will be open Memorial Day through Labor Day each year.

Adjacent to the pools will be a concession stand and a separate adult area, which includes a cabana bar. The project also included a shaded picnic area, a playground for kids and locker rooms. The new buildings cost about $550,000.

Cincinnati United Contractors of Sycamore Township was the general contractor. The architect was McGill Smith Punshon Inc. of Sharonville.

Neil Bortz, partner with Towne Properties, said the upgrades at the Club at Harper’s Point will secure its reputation as one of the top tennis, fitness and swim clubs in the nation.

For information, visit the club’s website or call 513-489-9700.