Celebrating Cincinnati Cuisine #7 – Hudepohl Beer and the source of the “Who Dey” chant

In celebration of the Cincinnati Bengals returning to the Super Bowl after an absence of more than three decades, I will post a unique Queen City Flavor Experience each day until the big day. Many regions of this country developed food or drink preferences that have withstood the national big brands swamping America with their saturated marketing and bland sameness. I grew up in and around Cincinnati and all of these brands stuck with me as I traveled far and wide to live in other places. If you’ve never lived in or traveled through Cincinnati, these brands may surprise you and some people, on first taste, don’t fall in love with them. But to me, they are the flavors of my youth and I love them dearly. Let me explain…

Strictly speaking most people would not classify beer as cuisine. Like many American cities with a sizable German immigrant population there once were plenty of breweries in Cincinnati. Then came prohibition and eventual mass conglomeration of beverage companies. There are lots of microbreweries in the city now but they came along long after I left the city. From my youth I remember Hudepohl as the Cincinnati beer and there is a still a Hudepohl brewery there. Though Hudepohl was eventually bought up by a conglomerate they still include the phrase “Born in Cincinnati” of their label. Actually I have never tasted Hudepohl that I can recall having moved away when I was 15 years old. But I include it as the final entry in the series for a particular connection the the Bengals. Here is photo made of cans from a very special source…*

As we get closer to the big game you may have heard the Cincinnati chant – “Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey gonna beat dem Bengals.” Well that comes from a long ago marketing campaign by Hudepohl in the earlier glory days of the franchise. A slight twist of their product name still rings in my ears. As a matter of fact, Hudepohl has created a limited edition can from their brewery to celebrate the Bengals return to the Super Bowl. They were snapped up quite quickly and I had no chance to catch it but here is what they looked like:

So this concludes my week-long lead in to the Super Bowl by remembering the taste of Cincinnati. I will eat more than a few of them this weekend in preparation for and celebration of the return of my Bengals to the Super Bowl. Who Dey gonna eat these flavors of my youth. I will. Go Bengals!

As always you can find more at http://www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

* I am indebted to my cousin Gigi, still a resident of Cincinnati, for acquiring the Hudepohl Light cans in the top picture of this post. What I could buy locally and order from various vendors (especially Cincy Favorites – see previous post) did not include Hudepohl. Seems the government frowns on sending alcohol stuff across state lines. Gigi and her husband brilliantly engineered a manner to drain the cans and send the intact but empty cans to me for this series. Don’t worry Mr. DeJoy. It got here safe and dry. Go Bengals!

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