Summer Recap: Best 2017 Tennis Tournament Improvement Was Rhinegeist Beer Balcony at Cincy Tennis
Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Now that the hangover from the most interesting US open in years is over, it’s time to reflect on what we did this summer. While some memories are a little fuzzy, one thing is clear: there’s only one thing I love more than tennis and that’s craft beer. Craft beer’s introduction to the sports market has been slow and steady for the most part. Major League Baseball found success in serving local craft beer to baseball fans who then became fans of the suds. Most of the other major sports have followed suit in offering local creations to their fan base, but tennis has been too slow to the craft beer game. I was happy when Holy City Brewing of Charleston brewed a beer for the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, but I’d never seen a full-blown craft beer zone at a tournament until I stumbled into the Rhinegeist Brew Balcony. Alright, I didn’t stumble in.
Marissa Beck is Director of Strategic Partnerships for Rhinegeist Brewing, which means she ensures that Cincy’s biggest craft brewer gets its products in the hands of sport fans and event attendees. “It’s one of those things,” she said. “We really wanted to give tennis fans a place where they can go and try a lot of our really good local beers.” The Truth IPA is their flagship brand, but they had 6 other choices waiting for you. At a tennis tournament!
To drink a Peach Gose at a Masters 1000 was heaven on earth. Among the other fantastic choices, Bubbles Rosé Ale with peaches and cranberries was perfect for the heat and humidity of Cincinnati and the Randy Radler beer mixed with grapefruit juice did the trick as well.
If you wanted to hit some balls at the tournament, you could’ve tried the tennis-themed ping-pong tables. Ping-pong is huge at the mother ship brewery.
“The tournament is known for its food, so we want to make sure we can live up to our Cincinnati standards,” Beck said. “We’re from Cincinnati. This is where our brewery is. And there are so many people who come from out of town, so let’s give them a taste of real Cincy beer.”
The brewery, located downtown in Over-The-Rhine, is a massive facility with a rooftop deck and an impressive view. I visited the brewery on a Saturday night and I can tell you that the view from the Rhinegeist Brew Balcony was even better. It overlooked Practice Court 6 at the Western & Southern Open, better known as the practice “show court”. Rafael Nadal held hits there as well as Dominic Thiem and Sascha Zverev. While hundreds stood by court side or climbed to the top of the grandstand bleachers to catch a glimpse of the action, Rhinegeist visitors got the best view of all without having to leave their table or their brew.
“We’ve got a lot of people who are stopping in here and then going downtown to check out the brewery,” Beck said. “We’re trying to get our delicious suds out any way we can.” Well played, Rheingeist. Well played.