A Cleveland Neighborhood is Brewing

September 18, 2013
Ohio City: A Cleveland Neighborhood is Brewing

Ohio City is Quickly Becoming Cleveland’s Brewery District

Ohio City, a neighborhood just across the Cuyahoga River and west of downtown, retains a melting pot vibe. As home to the West Side Market, a century-old market where immigrants and shoppers have come for decades to find the dishes and spices of their home country, today the neighborhood maintains the same authentic charm, with a frothy addition.

McNulty’s Master Plan

While The Great Lakes Brewing Company laid the foundation in the neighborhood, a major renaissance began in 2005 when local entrepreneur Sam McNulty opened McNulty’s Bier Market, the only bar in the state to serve more than 100 Belgian and American craft beers. Visitors come in droves for one of the 30 rotating drafts and find a cozy corner to enjoy the upscale nighttime atmosphere. In fact, Bier Market is so popular it’s been voted as one of the “Best Beer Bars in North American” by Draft Magazine four times – including 2013.

Attached to Bier Market is Bar Cento, where McNulty partnered with popular local chef Jonathon Sawyer to create a complementary Italian menu that focuses on regional and sustainable ingredients sourced from local farms and purveyors. While the neighborhood is known for its brews, wine lovers enjoy Bar Cento’s wide varieties that complement the menu, as well as the trendy, intimate atmosphere. Best of all, Bar Cento, which was recently awarded the “Best Pizza in Ohio” by Food Network Magazine, is serving hungry night owls until 2am, 365 days a year.

A local’s well-kept secret is McNulty’s Speakeasy, located down the stairs behind Bier Market (in fact, you have to cut through the Belgium bar to get to it). This prohibition-era themed lounge, part of a renovated department store from 1868, is known for its classic cocktails and haute décor.

As curious visitors started crossing the bridge to see what all the fuss is after USA Today included Ohio City in the same company as Dublin, Ireland; Williamsburg, NY; and Seville, Spain on their list “Ten Great Places to Bar Hop Around the World,” McNulty continued to expand.

In 2011 he opened Market Garden Brewery, located next door to the legendary West Side Market where he used to shop as a boy. The Market Garden features 11 unique beers created by native Northeast Ohio brewmaster Andy Tveekrem. After gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience at east-coast Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Tveekrem returned home to brew up the Wahoo Wit, the Pearl Street Wheat, and the fun to say, but more fun to drink Cluster Fuggle IPA. Young professionals turn out in droves for happy hours and late night gatherings at Market Garden’s two massive bars, a perfect patio complete with a fireplace for cool nights and the city’s first beer garden. It was recently included on OpenTable’s list of “Top 100 Hottest Restaurant Bars.

Tveekram and McNulty, riding on the success of a constantly-bustling Market Garden, recently opened Nano Brew. This one-barrel brewhouse features 24 beers on draft, some being the experimental brews made on-site to other local craft brewery products. In many ways Nano Brew is a test kitchen for one-of-a-kind recipes before full scale production at Market Garden Brewery & Distillery just down the street. Nano Brew distinguishes itself with a Bike Tune-up Station inside the bar, complete with drink rail to rest the glass when fixing up the ten-speed. Not to mention a bike helmet gets visitors half-off their first beer.

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