It’s on tap in his basement. And proudly hanging on his wall is a photograph of the original Christian Moerlein brewery on Elm Street.
- Kevin Moreland, center, his girlfriend, Julie Geers, left, and her mother, Kathy Geers, raise their beers for a toast in honor of Christian Moerlein beer at Moreland’s home in Norwood.
"For a mass distribution beer, Christian Moerlein is one of the best I’ve drank, and I’ve drank all kinds of beer from everywhere," Moreland says. "I’m a beer connoisseur, but Christian Moerlein is my favorite, and it’s a local beer."
The local beer has been in the hands of the Cleveland-based Snyder International Brewing Group for the last five years, which Moreland says has hurt sales and distribution.
Indeed, it’s been a dry run for fans of the amber-blond beer, as availability has been sporadic and die-hard fans such as Moreland have had to suffer through droughts.
But that should soon change with the purchase of Christian Moerlein by local entrepreneur Gregory Hardman, who most recently served as president of U.S. operations for Warsteiner Importers Agency in West Chester Township.
Hardman bought the Christian Moerlein brand in March, and he is hopeful that a relaunch of Christian Moerlein will bring Cincinnati’s hometown beer back into the koozies that love it, such as Moreland’s.
Hardman says his company, Christian Moerlein Brewing Co., will continue to brew the beer in Maryland, but he’s planning to distribute Christian Moerlein to a much wider audience, including more draft outlets in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton. He also plans a bottle push beginning in May through liquor stores, Kroger and Bigg’s.
"We want all the players in the market to give the brand much wider distribution," Hardman says.
The brand will also include a new product, Christian Moerlein Select Light beer, a lower-carb and -calorie alternative. And along with a new light beer, Christian Moerlein’s image will also get a make-over, with new branding, packaging and merchandising.
For fans such as Moreland, this is all going down as smooth as a cold Christian Moerlein on a hot summer’s day - rich, full-bodied and full of flavor and possibilities. He can’t wait.
MORE ABOUT CHRISTIAN MOERLEIN
Created by Hudepohl Brewing Co. in the late 1970s.
Named after a German immigrant who had one of Cincinnati’s largest breweries in the early 1900s.
Christian Moerlein Select Lager was the firt American beer to be certified and pass Germany’s Reinheitsgebot Purity Law - meaning it’s all natural, with no chemical additives or preservatives.