Listerman Brewing to host Starkbierfest honoring high-gravity beers

Festival honors monks Lenten traditions

CINCINNATI -- The coming of spring means more than just the change of the seasons; it also means brewers will be switching from high ABV winter favorites to lighter ales and lagers.

That means it’s time send out those strong beers with celebration befit their tasty goodness.

Listermann Brewing is bringing back its Starkbierfest for the second year in a row and it’s bigger and better than before.

Starkbier fest logo

After a strong showing during its inaugural year, Listermann decided to add a second day for the festival to support the demand.

The brewery has teamed up with the German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati to host the free event. Organizers plan on bringing an authentic German feel to the event, complete with booths and a parade for the respective clubs to talk about their organizations.

The Starkbier tradition is not as well known as it’s big cousin, Oktoberfest. Starkbiefests date back to medieval times in Germany.

The tradition began when the monks decided to make use of a loophole in the Lenten rules. While eating is prohibited during the Lenten fast, they could drink as much as they want.

Monks brewed strong, high ABV beers for the Lenten seasons to make up for the calories they lost while fasting.

Starkbiers – this includes the Cincinnati favorite bock-style beers – are brewed with less water and therefore more grain. According to tradition, a liter of starkbier is said to hold the equivalent of 16 loaves of bread.

In accordance with that history, most of the beers at Starkbierfest will be 7.5 percent ABV or higher. (There will be a fewer lighter options on tap too.)

starkbier beers

All of the beers will be brewed by local craft brewers including:

The ceremonial start of the festival will begin with a keg tapping at 4 p.m. Friday, March 28 and goes until midnight.

The family-friendly even will feature music from Gamut on Friday and by the Just Strange Brothers on Saturday.

There will also be a variety of food vendors both days and free food provided by BrewRiver GastroPub on Friday, (while supplies last.)

The event is also dog friendly and patrons are encouraged to bring their pets. Listerman Brewing said it had 32 dogs enjoy Oktoberfest and they’d like to break that record.

The fun picks up again Saturday, March 29, at 9 a.m. with a kegs and eggs breakfast and goes until 11 p.m.

For more information, go to:


UPDATE: Starkbierfest will be rocking out with a packed band list.

On Friday, the set list includes:

  • The After Tones – 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Vereins-Musikanten – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The Gamut – 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.

On Saturday, fans can enjoy:

  • The Listermann Honky Tonk Trio – 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Blechblaser Zinzinnati – 1:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
  • Lagniappe – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Mr. Browns Mysterious Sounds – 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Just Strange Brothers – 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.

There will be a parade at 4 p.m. on Saturday as well.

starkbier map


UPDATE: Starkbier Fest Beer list

50 West
Punch You in the EyePA – 9%
Bier De Garde Rail – 7.1%
Coffee Please – 7.1%
Speedbump Kolsch – 4.25%

Bad Tom
Old Abe American Strong – 10%
Addlehead IPA – 8%
Brother Clement Belgian – 6.5%
Bad Tom Brown Ale – 6%

Blank Slate
Long Way Home – 10.4%
Shroominous – 8%
Fork in the Road – 6.8%
Pitter Patter – 4.2%

Cellar Dweller
Demonator – 9%
Hoppy Poppy – 7%
The Inventor – 6%
Cellar Blues – 4.9%

Christian Moerlein
10/161 – 10%
Sangerfest – 7.5%
Emancipator Doppelbock – 7.4%
Zepplin Pale Ale – 5%

Ei8ht Ball
Michael J. Bocks – 8.5%
Word – 8.5%
Tiny Pig – 6.3%
Tarnished – 6%

Friar Bacon Smoked Bock – 7.2%
Shamrock Shake – 5.5%

Galaxy High – 11%
Axis Mundi – 10%
Thundersnow – 8%
Identity Crisis – 6.9%

Mt. Carmel
Stout – 6.7%
Coffee Brown Ale  - 6%
Amber Ale – 6%
Springtime Ale – 4.5%

Quaff Bros.
Grand Crow – 11%
Broot – 8%

Mastodon – 9.8%
Saber Tooth Tiger – 8.8%
Truth – 7.2%
Cougar – 4.8%

Roebling – 7.8%
Bock – 7.2%
Lil’ Sipa – 4.5%

Rock Bottom
Old Curmudgeon Barley Wine – 8.2%
Naughty Scot Scotch Ale – 7.5%
Belgian Gold – 7%
Single Track Amber Ale – 4.5%

Triple Digit Brewing
Gravitator – 10.5%

Bock – 5.6%
Cranberry Lager – 5.6%
Special Lager – 4.3%

Stay tuned to #9beer for the latest on the beer list and more as it becomes available.

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