An equilateral triangle possesses three sides of equal length and three congruent internal angles. 3 Points Urban Brewery brings together three equally important components to offer craft beer drinkers a unique experience in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Pendleton in Cincinnati, Ohio.
A few years ago development firm Model Group and hospitality group Hickory Wald sought to open a brewery in Pendleton. Ultimately that led to a pair of brewers from Cincinnati mainstay Rhinegeist Brewery seeking to make their own mark to join the yet-to-be-named brewery. Head brewer Patrick Mulrey and brewer Caleb Ochs-Naderer are responsible for the beers people consume at the brewery. Despite the notoriety the brewers receive, which is due, the team that makes 3 Points happen involves several other people.
Story behind the name
Like an equilateral triangle, 3 Points Urban Brewery is built upon three equal parts: art, experience, and beer. Additionally, three roads serve as boundaries of the Pendleton neighborhood. Liberty Street, Reading Road, and Sycamore Street form a triangle the defines the neighborhood. When trying to find a name for the brewery, 3 Points seemed a logical choice to reflect the neighborhood and the atmosphere.
Visiting the brewery
3 Points Urban Brewery’s is close to the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood that many locals and tourists know and visit for craft beer and food. It also just feet away from some of Pendleton’s best known restaurants such as Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey, Lucius Q, and Nation Kitchen & Bar.
Immediately upon entering the brewery people see the main bar with a colorful wrap. The wrap changes about two to three times a year and reflects the artwork from one of the beers.
In addition to the bartop there is seating to the right in the front of the brewery. However, the largest seating space is behind the main bar where there is also a stage.
There are multiple spaces in the taproom that incorporate artwork. The brewery’s “mascot,” which is a piece of art made from a former pachinko machine, is on display in the seating area behind the bar. During the day TVs display artwork used to accompany the brewery’s beers with information about the artists who created the design. In the basement is a collection of coasters with artwork created by patrons.
The taproom does not serve food, but is connected to Chx. Chx is a fried chicken restaurant, which is a separate entity from the brewery, but customers can order through the bar and either pick up their order or have it delivered to them in the taproom.
The experience at the taproom is unique, as 3 Points offers a lot of non-traditional events. For example, the taproom hosts weekly watch parties for “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” and has hosted drag events and tea dances.
As a newer brewery with a limited distribution footprint, 3 Points does not classify any of its beers as core or year-round. However, that does not mean people won’t find some staples on draft. Easy Ale, Magic Wand, Origami, and Sure Shot are “house” beers, which means they are regularly available on draft.
Flights are either three or six beers, which further illustrates the three-points concept. I opted for six beers so I could sample a mix of house beers and the most recent brews. Of the house beers, Origami and Sure Shot were my favorites. Sure Shot is a pale ale with a floral nose and pine notes, but is not overly aggressive. Origami is a delicious India pale ale that perfectly reflects its beach-inspired artwork with tropical citrus and grapefruit notes.
The two best one-off beers were Nazar and Shoal. Nazar is a collaboration with Rüya Coffee, which is a local Turkish coffee shop. It has a big coffee nose and is a well-balanced dark lager with coffee notes. The Cincinnati-style chili inspired Shoal has a roasted nose, but is very smooth with a delicious spice palate that is big on cinnamon.
Touring the brewery
Due to its size, 3 Points Urban Brewery does not conduct scheduled tours. However, visitors can easily see the breadth of the production side when walking toward the metal gate that divides the production side from the taproom. The brewery currently operates a 15-barrel brewhouse with a pair of brite tanks and a handful of fermenters.
Getting to the brewery
3 Points Urban Brewery sits in the heart of the Pendleton neighborhood. The brewery is at the intersection of Broadway and 13th streets, which is almost a mile from Fountain Square. It is about a 20-minute walk or a 9-to-18-minute commute using the Cincinnati Bell Connector. Travel on the streetcar varies depending upon where you start your journey. There is some street parking near the brewery, but it is easiest to walk from downtown and not worry about parking.
Address: 331 East 13th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Hours: Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to Midnight; Saturday 9 a.m. to Midnight; and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Accessibility: The taproom is accessible from the street. However, there are five steps from the taproom to Chx. There is also a long staircase to the downstairs restrooms, although there are smaller bathrooms on the main floor.