Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. 28—There’s a strong, vibrant moto community in Cincinnati, but what happens when the Queen City is buried under snow and ice, or it’s just too cold to ride? Well, in January, the Cincinnati Café Racer club gets together with other vintage and café racer enthusiasts to present the Garage Brewed Moto Show. This year was the third annual that, so far, has been held on the same weekend as the V-Twin Expo, giving motorcycle industry folks in attendance a chance to take a break in the business proceedings and enjoy the entertaining side of the sport.
Garage Brewed is held at the Rhinegeist brewery in Cincinnati’s Brewery District which is part of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. OTR is a large, multicultural community that’s in the process of revitalization, mixing old-world architecture with a chic urban vibe, and, as such, the perfect place for the Garage Brewed venue. Rhinegeist brewers purchased the old Moerlein bottling plant and brews their locally-distributed craft beers and ciders inside the historic building, which adds even more of a social element to the show.
This is an invitational, curated affair, with mostly home builders—and some professionals—submitting entries that are selected by early January. I’ve attended all three shows, and each year sees positive changes and growth. This year, entries were accepted from all over North America and not just the Midwest. And the Rhinegeist Brewery has allowed the show to expand to the second floor, providing one-third more space than last year.
Admission is free, and this year’s hours were extended—the show went on from noon until midnight. And now there’s public transportation in the form of the new Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar carrying people from various parts of the city, including the area near the Duke Energy Convention Center where the V-Twin Expo is held. It’s tough to find parking in near the Rhinegeist, and by the time we left the show, Lyft was charging premium rates, so next time, we’ll try out the streetcar.
Even with the extra floor space, the venue was packed during the entire time I was there.
Part of the attraction is the historic space itself, with its huge, gleaming stainless steel tanks and a large taproom that includes plenty of picnic tables to sit and enjoy your favorite brew.
Event sponsors and other select vendors displayed carefully-chosen, complementary merchandise. As for the bikes themselves, it’s rare to find in one venue such a diverse collection of vintage bikes and antique racers, offering unique examples of today’s technology blended with century-old sensibilities. The level of craftsmanship and innovation was truly remarkable, and enthusiasts could be seen running from one bike to the next, exclaiming in delight at some bit of wizardry found on several ancient models.
For information on next year’s event, go to garagebrewed.com or facebook.com/garagebrewed. And if you’re anywhere near Cincinnati during next year’s show, it’ll be well worth your time to stop by.
2017 Category Winners
Bike #25 Jerry McGinty of Albion, PA – HK1 2011 Hard Knock
Bike #26 Kevin Hennessy of Cincinnati, OH – 1996 Buell Lightning
Bike #05 Andrew Frederick of Franklin, PA – 1973 CB350
Bike #34 Jesse Spade of Atlanta, GA – 1971 Triumph Tiger 650 cafe
Bike #14 Brian Heldt of Atlanta, GA – 1975 Ducati 860GT cafe
Bike #23 Patrick Patterson Dayton, OH – 2003 Harley-Davidson Sportster built for Andy Heinl by Led Sled Customs
Bike #10 Fred Hautau of Cincinnati, OH – 1974 Ducati 750 Sport
Bike #21 Tim O’Connor of Amelia, OH – Norton WW2-era MC
Bike #19 Jack Pine Cycles of Sylvan Lake, MI – Triumph Trophy T100C
Bike #20 Shoemaker Vintage Moto, Ralph Spencer, Sylvan Lake, MI – Suzuki race bike
Bike #50 Scott Williams of Lawrencerburg, OH – Honda 350 drag bike
Bike #01 Charlie Tackett of Kalamazoo, MI – 1966 Honda RC173
People’s Choice Award:
Bike #33 John Staud, Staud Cycles of Fairfield, OH – 1962 Triumph bobber