Best. Week. Ever.

September 9, 2015
Best Week Ever

2015 Cleveland Beer Week Oct. 9 – 18

Lexi Hotchkiss

Kids wait all year for Christmas. College students wait all year for Spring Break. But we here in Cleveland wait all year for Cleveland Beer Week.

Now in its seventh year, Cleveland Beer Week is back Oct. 9-18. So, what are we all worked up about?

"We host more than 350 events at 125 venues throughout the city, including tastings, beer and food pairings, special tappings, dinners, educational programming, games and activities, music-related celebrations, and vintage releases," says Christine Montague, director of Cleveland Beer Week.

That means visitors can spend an entire week trying interesting craft beers created for that week only, learning about different styles of beer during mini beer-tasting festivals, and indulging in beer specials at bars and restaurants all week long.

It's as though everywhere you look in Cleveland, there's something beer-related happening.

And, who's complaining?

"The participating breweries and bars are doing some really fun and exciting events this year," Montague says. "We're seeing lots of them doing vintage releases. These are hard-to-get beers that are being brought in especially for Cleveland Beer Week. And, that's very exciting for craft beer fans."  

As part of this week of all things beer, event organizers host several flagship events, which are immensely popular. So (seriously), get your tickets NOW.

CLEVELAND BEER WEEK FLAGSHIP EVENTS

Oct. 9: Collaboration Kickoff

Sixteen local and eight national breweries pair-up in threes to create eight small-batch beers made specifically for Cleveland Beer Week. Then, during the Collaboration Kickoff events happening in several Cleveland communities, visitors can purchase a "passport" and walk to neighborhood bars to taste all eight beers. How cool is that?

Oct. 10: Belgian Social

Held at the always-happening eatery/brewery on East Fourth Street The Butcher & The Brewer, the Belgian Social is pretty straightforward - a celebration of all things Belgian! The evening includes Belgian-inspired beer and food pairings, as well as live music.

Oct. 11: Bluegrass Bash

Combine fall in Cleveland with a family-friendly, daytime event featuring tons of craft brews and live music, and you've basically created every parent's utopia. The Bluegrass Bash has moved to Crocker Park in Westlake where the craft beers will be served along Main Street, which will be jiving to the award-winning bluegrass sounds of Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, as well as Vickie Vaughn. Bring the kids ...and your dancin' shoes.

Oct. 13: Culture Yourself

Challenging attendees to forget what they've heard about wine and cheese, Culture Yourself explores the real perfect pairing between craft beers and artisanal cheeses. The interactive and educational event features 16 breweries showcasing which beer styles pair best with various types of cheeses.

Oct. 16: Beer & Chocolate Extravaganza (NEW)

What pairs better with romance than chocolate? Try chocolate and BEER. Promenade your partner to an early Sweetest Day soiree at the Heinen's Downtown Rotunda for an event in which 16 breweries will pair their brews with all sorts of luxurious chocolates.

Oct. 16: Ales on Rails

Anytime you take a train ride aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, you're in for an eye-catching experience as the vintage rails dip in and out of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. But during Cleveland Beer Week, you can enjoy an evening ride aboard the train line, but while also enjoying seven delicious craft brews.

Oct. 17: Brewzilla

No joke, Brewzilla is the mother of all beer-tasting events. This unique event is a beer lover's paradise packed with more than 80 breweries from around the country offering hundreds of samples of all kinds of beers.  This event is massively popular, so get your tickets now.

Oct. 18: Browns vs. Broncos Tailgate (NEW)

"Bring it, Denver!" That's what a lot of folks will be shouting from Cleveland's tailgater-packed parking lots on the morning of the Browns vs. Bronco's game. Head over to the Huntington surface lot (corner of West 3rd and Lakeside), and you're in for an even bigger dose of CLE pride. Great Lakes Brewing Company will throw down with Denver's own Oskar Blues Brewery for one epic tailgate party. Better still, the event features food trucks and a Tito's Vodka bloody mary bar.

The rampant popularity of Cleveland Beer Week is evident in the numbers: 50,000 patrons are expected to partake in the week of beery activities.

But, honestly, high attendance at this beer-centered week is no big surprise to us. You see, we Clevelanders know a good beer when we taste it.

"Cleveland sits in the top three cities as far as craft beer purchases go. The movement is very strong," Montague says. "This is due in large part to the fabulous breweries and retailers who promote it so heavily, but also the patrons who seek craft beer."

Now, anyone up for a little pre-Beer Week hydration?

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