It’s pretty evident nowadays that Cleveland, Ohio is pretty much the LeBron James of beer towns. I mean this place has deep, deep roots when it comes to concocting the nectar of the gods and has truly been an integral cog in the wheel of the craft beer revolution. Every neighborhood you walk into and seemingly every street you walk down has a great place to sit down and sip.
So we thought it’d be useful if we pointed out some of our favorites. Now with that in mind, let it be known that this list could’ve just as easily run 50 deep because let’s face it, Cleveland has more worthy beer joints than the Browns have injured quarterbacks…for the last ten years.
The Bottlehouse Brewing Company — Their motto is “Good beer for good people.” Simple, but right on. While this spot is certainly considered a craft brewery, it’s really so much more. In addition to the eight house beers on tap, they always feature six house meads as well (Our favorite is the City Mead). Go on the right night and you’ll most likely see a food truck serving up local grub too. Be sure to try out Trivia night and bingo night — Oh yes, and they have pinball.
The Rail (Various locations) — We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The Rail is awesome. Locally sourced, tastebud-melting burgers at a place that takes great pride in everything Ohio. And if you couldn’t tell, we love Ohio. If you haven’t already, check out their Beer Exploration Society — Monthly events held at various Rail locations where studious, hop-minded folks get together and chat beer.
Tremont Tap House — This bustling beer bar located on Cleveland’s Southside of historic Tremont boasts more than 100 craft brews, 48 of which you can get on draft. Let’s say that again. 100 beers with 48 on draft. That’s an insane amount of beer. You won’t feel overwhelmed though, because every person that works there can give you cliff notes on every one. Just one thing to remember, the place is always busy and for good reason. Get there early and stake your claim because if you don’t, you’ll be standing and drinking beer. Which now that we think about it, is perfectly fine too.
Great Lakes Brewing Company — If you’re talking beer and you’re talking Cleveland, you have to be talking Great Lakes. While the entire brewpub is a wonderful place, the basement beer cellar is our favorite. If you can snag it, grab the standing barrel table that’s perched above the room in the back left corner. The perfect spot for surveying the scene and sipping one of the coveted pub exclusives. Last time we had the chance to sample the crazy delicious Belgian Stout called Dark Stone Waters…and by sample, we mean polishing off four to five beers.
La Cave Du Vin — When you’re rolling with a group of friends, some may be dastardly wine drinkers and for them, you have a solution — La Cave Du Vin. If you’ve ever caught a show at The Grog Shop, than you’ve undoubtedly stopped into this small, almost secretive basement gem. As you might’ve guessed by the name, La Cave is all about wine, however, it’s huge selection of bottled beers says otherwise. So much so that I can almost guarantee they’ll have a bottle of something that will surprise the most seasoned hop head.
Hofbräuhaus Cleveland — If swinging around a Bier Stein the size of your head filled with glorious Bavarian brew while munching on schnitzel sounds like a good time, then this place is for you. Seriously though, this place is unbelievably awesome. Recreated to look exactly like the original establishment in Munich, Germany, Hofbräuhaus is like a vacation. I mean c’mon, their beer has to follow the 500 year old Bavarian Beer Purity Law, so you know it’s good. Bottom line: Some of the most fun you can have in Cleveland. Prost!
Happy Dog (Various locations) — First off, and this has nothing to do with beer, try to say “Happy Dog” without smiling. You can’t do it. Second, beer tastes so good with tubular meat and that’s why this place is so special. Just imagine a topping for your hot dog and I can almost guarantee they have it — And they’re all made in house. And on top of that, their beer selection is very good. Combine that with the vintage neighborhood vibe, great live music and boom, you’re one happy, well fed pup.
Mcnulty’s Bier Markt — For the beer purists out there, there’s Mcnulty’s. Easily one of Cleveland’s leaders in the craft beer revolution, this spot is serious about Belgian beer and you can tell from the litany of beer advice and info you’ll get. Ohio’s only Belgian beer bar has more than 100 craft beers to choose from and 30+ rotating drafts, which means there is a zero percent chance you’ll walk out without finding something to tickle your fancy. Plus, Mcnulty’s is dog friendly, so bring your best buddy along.
Have another great spot that one of your favorites? Let us know!