Bella Luna, a mainstay Italian style restaurant on the East Side of Cincinnati celebrated 13 years last night by launching new menu items, a new bar area called La Bettola with specialty happy hour cocktails and appetizers, and most importantly: new beers brewed exclusively for the restaurant!
The restaurant chose none other than Listermann Brewing Company to craft their exclusive tap beer offerings.
For those of you who don’t know the history of Listermann, let me indulge you for a minute. Dan Listermann started his homebrew store in 1991 and quickly became one of the largest homebrew supply stores in the Mid West. About six years ago they took the natural leap and started their own craft brewery. Listermann Brewing Company was founded in 2008. Ever since, they’ve been pumping out unique offerings like the popular Nutcase, a peanut butter porter, Leopold a Belgian blonde, and my personal favorite, Planetary – a beautifully balanced and hop flavor forward American India Pale Ale.
Jason Brewer of Listermann was at the launch to share more about the beers and what else to expect from the collaboration. (His last name is seriously Brewer. Fate? I think so.)
There will be two offerings on draft at all times: Papa’s Secret Batch, a pre-prohibition style lager named after owner Harry Stephen’s grandfather, along with Gigi’s Redhead Ale named after his favorite redhead, his wife and co-proprietor Gay Stephens. You can also expect some special edition barrels to be sold at the restaurant – definitely keep your eyes out for that!
Papa’s Secret Batch is a clean, easy drinking lager that will appeal to the masses. Craft beer drinkers will love this clean, well crafted lager just as much as the domestic lager drinker. It’s got a nice, subtle floral hop characteristic with a snappy bitterness and a light bodied malt character. Perfect for summer days. It will pair wonderfully with a light antipasto or tomato basil salad.
Gigi’s Redhead Ale is a clean, medium-light bodied American amber with a hint of caramel malt aroma and pleasant hop flavor and bitterness. The beer finishes clean and begs you take another sip. It’s subtle, and lovely. This beer pairs great with a classic Italian red sauce. The hop bitterness balances sweet and tangy tomato and the malt can hold up to sausage and other meats.
I’m excited to see mainstay local restaurants embrace simple and delicious craft beer. I hope to see more of this kind of collaboration as the brewing boom continues in Cincinnati.
I’ll definitely be back to Bella Luna with the hubs to order a big bowl of mussels marinara and a few pints of Gigi’s Redhead Ale at La Bettola. Maybe even one of those deliciously rich bread puddings. . . check it out for yourself!
Bella Luna is located at 4632 Eastern Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45226. Hours are Tues: 4:30-9 PM, Weds & Thurs: 4:30-10 PM, Fri & Sat: 4:30-11 PM and Sun: 4:30-9 PM (closed Mondays).