Exploring Cleveland's culinary scene is pretty easy because, frankly, good local food is just about everywhere in this city. But, if you really want to immerse yourself in what we here locals love to chow, try a local beer (or two or three).
You see, nary a town can boast the pedigree of craft beer like that of Cleveland. With a culture deeply rooted in manufacturing and a present day devotion to artisanal creativity, this should come as no big surprise.
But, consider going beyond just ordering a CLE craft beer with your next locavorian meal. Instead, we urge you to explore Cleveland's beer-time past with these great beer tours and events.
Just a few miles south of downtown Cleveland sits 33,000 acres of lush, green and forested land known as the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. And, running right through the middle of this gorgeous park is a vintage railroad that takes passengers on a round trip between points close to Cleveland and Akron.
Better yet? The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers events called "Ales on Rails" with everyone's favorite train passenger...beer. Each event features a different beer tasting reflecting a seasonal theme. Not a bad way to experience nature, eh?
One of the biggest caveats to exploring the beer scene is the obvious - driving to/from all of them safely. While we always want you to designate a driver, the Cleveland Brew Bus offers a great way to traverse Cleveland whilst enjoying our many breweries.
The Cleveland Brew Bus offers various tours throughout the week that will take you to breweries, beer bars and pubs all over Northeast Ohio, while providing beer bios, brewery background and sneak peek tours. You can even enjoy a cold one while on board the 15-passenger bus.
Have a sizeable group that wants a little activity with their beer tastings? Oh my friend, then we've got an option for you.
Cleveland Cycle Tours offers its Ohio Pub Crawl, which includes stops at the breweries along West 25th Street and other beery options within this burgeoning brewery district.
The clincher? You actually bike - all together - on a 15-person bicycle. No, we're not pulling your chain on this one. Check it out here.
It would be criminal to leave Cleveland without trying one of the beers brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Company! [If we could, we would stand at the city's entrance holding a cold one with your name on it.]
But, take our GLBC obsession to the next level with a brewery tour through its six buildings that have an incredible history in themselves. You'll also learn how this brewery has a zero waste initiative and is making the world a better place (besides just giving us incredible beer).
Free tours are available Friday and Saturday nights. Book ‘em here.
Some people wait all year for Christmas. We here in Cleveland wait all year for Cleveland Beer Week. And for good reason, too.
Considered one of the top in the nation, the nine-day Cleveland Beer Week features more than 350 events that showcase local breweries, restaurants, bars, taverns, grocers and specialty beverage stores. From music and activities, brewery collaboration tappings, ale tastings and brewmaster meet-and-greets, Cleveland Beer Week has it all.
Our favorite part of the event? Brewzilla, the mother-of-all beer tastings on the final night of Cleveland Beer Week.
Other Beery Events
- The Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest (Aug. 29 - Sept. 1):Click here to learn more about the event held at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
- Chardon Brew Fest (Sept. 13): More than 20 brewers from Northeast Ohio and surrounding states in the southeast neighborhood of Chardon
- International Beer Fest (Nov. 14 - 16): Sample 500 craft beers inside the I-X Center and in conjunction with the Fabulous Food Show
- Winter Wine and Ale Fest (Nov. 29): Beer and wine tasting held immediately after Winterfest inside 200 Public Square downtown
- Cleveland Winter Beerfest (January/February): Held inside the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland in downtown
- Ohio Craft Brewer's Association Winter Warmer Festival (February/March): Sample limited-edition winter beers at Windows on the River in the Flats
- World Beer Festival (June): More than 200 beers inside Dock 32 near First Energy Stadium downtown
- Cleveland Ale Fest (July) - Cleveland's weekly alternative publication, Scene Magazine, hosts event featuring 100 breweries in Tremont
- Great Lakes Burning River Festival (July): Sample Great Lakes Brewing Company beer at the historic Coast Guard Station and on Whiskey Island
- Blues & Brews (July/August): Sample 250 craft beers and enjoy blues music at Lock 3 in Akron