The Beer Geek’s Guide to Cleveland
A cheat-sheet to the best bars and breweries in Cleveland, a rust belt city with deep brewing roots
by William Bostwick - The Wall Street Journal
Cleveland’s story, at least in terms of beer, reads like many of its midwestern neighbors. Founded as a lager town (Gehring Brewery, est. 1852), Cleveland brewed for the working-class European masses who flocked here for factory work. And it brewed a lot. By the turn of the century, the city had almost two dozen breweries. But the midwest knows best how industrial-scale fortunes change: eleven breweries soon consolidated as the Cleveland and Sandusky Brewing Co., which, of course, went under come Prohibition. Few re-opened, and when C. Schmidt & Sons closed in 1984, the city was dry. For four short years, at least. Craft beer came to Cleveland early — 56 small breweries opened in 1988, a first wave that included Brooklyn Brewery, Rogue, Deschutes, and Great Lakes Brewing Co. A generation of drinkers raised on Great Lakes beer is riding the next craft brew wave, opening their own breweries in what has become a miniature brewing district, anchored by GLBC mere blocks from the ruins of Gehring. Read more.