Cleveland's history of beer-making is almost as old as the city itself. In 1910, Cleveland boasted 26 brewing companies, with names like Forest City, Pilsener, and Cleveland Home Brewing Company. That trend continued, with a 13-year break during Prohibition, until the 1970s when the sluggish economy and popular taste for mass-produced beer forced the small brewing companies to close, the last one in 1984.
In 1988, a new era of Cleveland beer-making began when the Conway brothers opened Great Lakes Brewing Company
. Today, it is but one of a dozen small NE Ohio brewing companies. Below are a sample of NE Ohio breweries.
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The Great Lakes Brewing Company (GBLC), located just west of downtown in Cleveland's Ohio City
neighborhood, is Ohio's first microbrewery. Established in 1988, the historic six-building complex now includes a brewery, a brew pub, banquet facilities, and a gift shop.
GLBC is best known for its Dormunder Gold (an amber) and its Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. The Brewery also produces Burning River Ale, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, and Holy Moses White Ale. Seasonal brews, such as Moondog Ale and Christmas Ale round out the selection.
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The Cleveland Chop House, located in downtown Cleveland's Warehouse District
, combines the ambiance of a traditional steakhouse with the liveliness of a brew pub. Beer offerings include Light Lager, American Wheat, Bohemian Pilsner, American Pale Ale, Irish Red, and a variety of seasonal brews.
The menu features steaks and seafood as well as Brewhouse menu with burgers and salads. There's also a $4.95 kids menu.
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One of a collection of Rock Bottom breweries scattered throughout the US, Cleveland's Rock Bottom is located in the Powerhouse
on the west bank of the Flats. The brewery crafts a half-dozen beers, all with Cleveland names, including Riverbend Red, Powerhouse Ale, Walleye Wheat, and Dawg Pound Brown.
The Rock Bottom restaurant serves a full menu of appetizers, burgers, salads, pasta, and "Rock Bottom Originals" that include jambalaya with Red Ale rice, smoked chicken enchiladas, and meatloaf mashers (yep, that's beef and mashed potatoes).
The Willoughby Brewing Company is located in the heart of historic downtown Willoughby
, about 45 minutes from downtown Cleveland. Established in 1998, the popular brewery produces a changing assortment of brews, including Willoughby Wheat, Railway Razz (an amber), Lost Nation Pale Ale, Blue & Black Stout (a milk chocolate and blueberry stout), and One-Hopper IPA.
The brewery also features a restaurant and regular live entertainment.
Located on Center Ridge Road in Rocky River, this brewery and brew pub offers a diverse selection of award-winning brews, including Rocky River Pirate Light, Cooper's Golf Kolsch (a German-style beer), Liquid Sunshine (a wheat beer), and Hop Goblin (a pale ale).
The large brew pub and restaurant is designed in a turn-of-the-century theme and serves a full menu that includes sandwiches, salads, burgers, pizzas and entrees like potato-crusted grouper and beer-roasted baby back ribs.
Akron's Hoppin' Frog Brewery is a small, hands-on brewery that's been in business since 2000. The company has won several awards for their beers, which include Hoppin' Frog Wheat, Belgian Ale, Bodacious Black & Tan, IPA, and Oatmeal Stout.
The brewery sells their beers at the brewery in kegs and bottles. There is no restaurant or pub on the premises. Hours vary and are posted on their Web site.
Hoppin' Frog Brewery
1680 Waterloo Road