Great Lakes Brewers Share a Few Must-See Attractions in Their Favorite City
By Christopher Munden
Once the stereotypical hard-luck city, Cleveland has rediscovered its cool. Thanks to two brothers and their love of European-style craft beer, it’s a beer town once again.
When Dan and Pat Conway opened Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC) as a small brewpub in a vacant bar back in 1988, Cleveland’s beer landscape was bleak. The brothers were the only people making beer in this city, once home to hundreds of brewers. A beer-seeking vacationer had little reason to put Cleveland on their itinerary. But in a few short decades, that has changed. Now, a visit to the Great Lakes Brewing Company can be the foundation of a unique, cultural experience.
Today, folks can’t get enough of Great Lakes’ European-style beers with names inspired by Cleveland’s history: Commodore Perry IPA (after the hero of a Lake Erie naval victory), Burning River Pale Ale (after the infamous 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River) and Turntable Pils (a nod to Cleveland’s rich music history). Of course, if you tour the brewery, you’ll sample unique, one-off beers only available on the premises – GLBC makes 100 different beers in any given year. But check the brewpub’s schedule of events before you go. Take advantage of their free comedy and music nights, or make a reservation for a Brewmaster’s Dinner. The experience, not to mention the food and beer, are not to be missed.
Yes, there’s more to Cleveland than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! We asked the Conway brothers for some tips on what to see after your brewery tour. Here are Pat and Dan’s recommendations…
- Across the street from our pub is Cleveland’s oldest public market, the impressive West Side Market. You can find anything from fresh meat and pasta to spices, flowers and lunch to-go. Our Ohio City Farm is just across the parking lot. It’s one of the larger urban farms in the country, and it yields fresh produce and herbs for seasonal items on our menu.
- If you’re looking to take in beautiful views of the Cleveland skyline and enjoy watersports or a hike, one of our favorite spots is Edgewater Park and nearby Whiskey Island. You can rent a kayak, paddle around and finish up with a sandwich and a pint at the casual riverfront restaurant Merwin’s Wharf.
- See films from the world over at the 12-day Cleveland International Film Festival. The energy is palpable. If you’re not around during the festival, try the Cedar Lee Theater for interesting independent films and weekend cult movie nights.
- Enjoy our world class orchestra at Severance Hall or take in the always-free Cleveland Museum of Art in University City. Then visit Chef Zack Bruell’s L’Albatros for excellent French cuisine, or go casual at the Happy Dog East at Euclid Tavern – a great place to catch live music and entertainment.
- It’s an exciting time to be a Cleveland baseball fan, and Progressive Field is a must-visit stadium with food and beverages from some of our favorite Cleveland neighborhoods, including our beer garden in Left Field. Dine and drink at our brewpub before the game and our shuttle will take you to and from the stadium!