I promised you all something different, so this week I wanted to talk about this awesome tour I’m doing through my beloved #CLE.
I am a Cleveland girl born and raised. I cheer on the Indians, the Cavs, and the Browns (yes, I’m aware how bad they’ve been recently; no, I do not want to root for anyone else). I’ve spent many nights watching shows in our magnificent theater district and listening to the musical acts that sweep through constantly.
But one of my favorite things to do is indulge in the food and drink scene. And let me tell you… it is WORLD CLASS. I’m not even just talking about our own personal Iron Chef (though, yes, I do love me some Michael Simon restaurants of any caliber). We have some of the best homegrown Mom & Pop diners, fantastic delis dotting the region, and of course, we have beer. Lots of it. Would you expect anything less from a place with such a strong European heritage?
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the Brewery Passport, a program put on by Destination Cleveland, has to be THE coolest experience I’ve had in this town. So what is it?
30 local breweries came together to create the best bar crawl ever– from Lake County in the east over to Lorain County in the west, and from the Flats on the lakefront all the way down I-71 to Strongsville.
Now not all of these are the tiny brewpubs you may be imagining. Some are big national players, like the truly local and oft-touted Great Lakes, or not-so-local FatHead’s and Thirsty Dog, both of which have found a welcoming home here in the crook of the Cuyahoga.
But then you also find your diamonds in the rough, like The Cleveland Brewery just on the cusp of Euclid (seriously, you walk to the other end of the street and it’s Euclid). They’re open 8 hours a week, from 6p-10p on Friday and Saturday. No kitchen, only pretzel rods. And the beer from their single kettle system is heavenly. A basil honey wheat is not your standard fare– and will not last long, hence the short hours and real-time menu updates on their Facebook page.
And Working Class Brewery, hiding in Kamm’s Corners, brilliantly puts Cleveland’s character on display– hearty blue-collar names like Bricklayer Brown or Dock Hands Dunkelweiss, with all the fine artistry of the craft brew. Kind of like an industrial powerhouse hosting a divine orchestra and magnificent art museum. It’s like they were inspired by their location or something.
I’m about halfway done with this hop around Cleveland, so I think I’m going to bring out some of the more pronounced tasting notes in a few posts along the rest of the way. If you’re interested in collecting passport stamps yourself, check out Destination Cleveland and pick your pub to start. Then drink your way through some of the finest craft brews in the Land!