If you place a legion of bikers under one roof with an endless supply of beer from noon until midnight, some people might guess you would end up with a big old brawl before the day is done. However, the Garage Brewed Moto Show in Cincinnati, Ohio, is proof to the contrary. I’ve been to the show for the past three years and find it to be a peaceful and pleasant biker happening.  

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 Rhinegeist Brewery
The third floor was the only level that wasn’t extremely crowded at the brewery. (Photos by Becky DeWitt)

Garage Brewed, held this year on Feb. 3, takes place at the Rhinegeist Brewery in the historic OTR neighborhood of Cincinnati. OTR stands for “Over the Rhine,” a name dating back to when the neighborhood was mostly inhabited by German immigrants who nicknamed a local canal “the River Rhine” after the one in their home country. 

Find more moto-events at American Rider‘s Events Calendar

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 Rhinegeist Brewery
We’ve all been to keg parties, but Garage Brewed throws a vat party. The Rhinegeist Brewery is a beer-lover’s dream.

Those Germans are responsible for the large breweries that are still running strong in the area, as well as the many impressive examples of fine architecture that have survived the test of time. Even the buildings in the bad sections of town, though often covered in graffiti and sometimes missing windows, still retain much of their former splendor. 

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1970 Honda Z50
This highly modified 1970 Honda Z50, owned and built by Cleveland resident Greg Castillo, is evidence of the wide range of machines entered in the Garage Brewed contest.

The bikes at this year’s glorious biker gathering ranged from a heavily modified 1970 Honda Z50 to a highly customized 1948 Harley flathead with a bad-ass flame paint job. If you can’t find something you like here, you just aren’t into bikes. A Garage Brewed rule states that once a bike is in the show, it can’t come back for another one, keeping things fresh and interesting year after year.

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1948 Harley-Davidson flathead
Steve “Panman” Zahn’s 1948 Harley flathead proves kickstarters always up the cool factor on a bike, and the flame paint job on this beast is bitchin’.

Admission to the show is free, so price is not a barrier for anyone wanting to attend. The beer, food, shirts, bike raffle tickets, knives, jewelry, and those sorts of things are going to cost you, but there is no charge for entrance into the brewery. 

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024
A variety of wares were offered for sale at the show.

When we arrived shortly before the show opened at noon, the line going down the street was already of substantial size. Although the facility is spacious, most of the real estate is taken up by bikes and patrons during the festivities. Those who were feeling a little crowded and needed some elbow room could head to the third floor, which was more sparsely populated. I credit the lack of a crowd on that level to a lack of American bikes there, but perhaps that’s just my bias talking. 

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024
Patrons bellying up to one of the Rhinegeist Brewery’s bars.

By the time midnight rolled around, more than 8,000 motorcycle enthusiasts had passed through the doors of the Rhinegeist Brewery to gaze at some beautiful bikes, including many fine examples of American-made motorcycles to drool over.

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 Indian
This Indian was built by Andy Anderson, who was friends with the late, great Kenny Howard, aka Von Dutch. The engine was stroked from 74ci to 84ci by well-known Texas Indian dealer Adrian Krumm, purportedly the last engine that Krumm ever built. The machine took 3rd place in the Pro Custom category.

One of the things I appreciate about the Garage Brewed extravaganza is the fact that most of the bikes entered in the contest have been built by their owners. To me, there’s nothing impressive about a dude with deep pockets buying a nice bike. It’s the skill it takes – as well as the blood, sweat, and tears – to turn iron and steel into a beautiful piece of running, rolling, functioning, and bad-to-the-bone custom or restored motorcycle that’s truly worthy of praise. 

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 2003 Sportster
The Led Sled valve covers give this 2003 Sportster a classic Panhead look, and the Springer fork screams old-school cool, as do the pipes and the psychedelic paint job. The bike was built by Chris Pennington and Tried and True Customs, scoring 3rd place in the Garage Custom category.

Bill Devore, founder of the Garage Brewed Moto Show, is also worthy of praise. His day job is all about saving lives and protecting property as a paramedic/firefighter for Liberty Township in Butler County, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. 

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 Bill Devore
Bill Devore founded the Garage Brewed Moto Show and is also president of the Cincinnati Cafe Racers. Devore and the club work their collective butts off to make Garage Brewed a spectacular motorcycle happening.

Devore spends a lot of his spare time as president of the Cincinnati Cafe Racers, a recreational club that works with Operation Charlie Bravo Veteran Impact Services (formerly known as Operation Combat Bikesaver) and Operation Battle Buddies. OCBVIS has a program helping U.S. military veterans suffering from PTSD, TBT, and depression build bikes and hot rods, which they get to keep when the project is finished at no cost to themselves. Operation Battle Buddies supplies support animals and service dogs to veterans at no charge. 

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 Operation Charlie Bravo Veteran Impact Services
Pete Gladstone and Heather Hegyes of Operation Charlie Bravo Veteran Impact Services, formerly known as Operation Combat Bikesaver, an organization that helps veterans recover from PTSD and depression.

I have seen many self-profiting motorcycle promoters bring themselves decent revenues by putting on lesser-quality shows than what Devore and the CCR put on, but Devore and CCR don’t take a dime from it. This year, each veterans group they support received about $3,000 from the bike show profits.

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 wall art
Across the street from Rhinegeist Brewery is neighborhood wall art at its finest.

I highly recommend you get yourselves to the Garage Brewed Moto Show next winter. No need to pack your own mug, as the Rhinegeist Brewery has plenty of clean glasses. If you would like to enter your bike for next year’s show, do it early, as there are limited spots.

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 Elm Street
A crowd was already forming a substantial line down Elm Street before the doors opened at noon.

Find more photos form the Garage Brewed Moto Show below the sidebar

SIDEBAR: American Sign Museum

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 American Sign Museum
The American Sign Museum entrance.

What true biker doesn’t like a good neon sign? Especially neon signs that advertise gas stations, diners, pool halls, bars, oil, tires, and bike shops. 

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 American Sign Museum Main Street
Main Street inside the American Sign Museum.

If you’re in Cincinnati, check out the American Sign Museum for a little side trip. It’s just a few miles from the Rhinegeist Brewery and comprises 40,000 square feet jam-packed with wood, metal, plastic, and neon signs. 

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 American Sign Museum
There’s nuthin’ like neon.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a bike shop or motorcycle company sign in the joint when I visited, but the museum is always on the hunt for new ones.

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 American Sign Museum Tom Wortman
Tom Wortman is one of the skilled craftsmen at Lou’s Neon Signs housed in the American Sign Museum building.

Garage Brewed Moto Show Photo Gallery

Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1945 James
Everyone loves a red bike, don’t they? This little British-made 1945 James motorcycle is sweet.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1949 Norton 16H
Feast your eyes on this sexy 1949 Norton 16H that looks like it just came off the assembly line. The beautiful English-made gem garnered 1st place in the Classic category for owner Joey Beher and builder Dan Beher.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 500cc Jawa speedway racer
Though not an American cycle, this 500cc Jawa speedway racer is an interesting machine. Seen here with its owner Jason Spurrier and his son Scott, both of Cincinnati, this bike was race-ready from the factory. Jason races it every chance he gets.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1967 XLCH 900
This 1967 XLCH 900 is nicknamed “Dare Della” and looks like she’s ready for the dragstrip. Phil Crisp built it for owner Josh Filson.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1949 Harley-Davidson Flathead
This mega-cool 1949 H-D flathead was built by Courthouse Customs for Jerry Mullins of Leesburg, Ohio. It took 1st place in the Pro Custom category and features a Norton transmission and belt drive.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024
Sick Fish Cycles built this 2013 Harley Breakout for owner Perry Outzs of Burlington, Kentucky.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1991 Harley-Davidson FXSTS Softail
Brothers Danny and Jace Loos of Cleves, Ohio, built this 1991 H-D FXSTS Softail for Jace while he was attending college.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1977 XLCH
Kyle Shaub of Akron, Ohio, posing with his custom 1977 XLCH. His love of motorcycles and his desire to build cool ones with his own hands encouraged him to learn his bike-building skills with a job at Low Brow Customs. Now he’s building old-school kickstart beauties like this chopped Sporty.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 2023 Harley-Davidson 1200XL Sportster
This 2003 H-D 1200XL Sportster took 2nd place in the Garage Custom category for builder/owner Mike Morman of Portsmouth, Ohio.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA
Builder/owner Mitch Diller brought his 1942 H-D WLA to the event, showing how the WLA is a great choice for a motorcycle project. Harley produced 70,000 of these gems during the WWll era, and their flathead engines are reliable and easy to work on. The engines were produced from 1930 to 1948 for motorcycles and continued up to 1973 on Servi-Cars, so parts are readily available at reasonable prices.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 Panhead
The Rhinegeist Brewery is located in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood, evidenced by the owner of this cool old Panhead securing it with a chain.
Garage Brewed Moto Show 2024 96ci S&S
This sweet machine features a 96ci S&S engine and was being raffled off to benefit the Tyler Richardson Foundation. Shane and Ann Richardson founded the charity and named it after their son who was killed in a tragic accident.


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