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October 24, 2013

Beer Week has craft beers and local eats

Something for all tastes at Cleveland's fifth annual beer week

By Joshua Hoover

The city of Cleveland is celebrating its fifth annual Beer Week from October 18-26.
There are more than 350 different events planned for the week. The events are spread across bars, restaurants, and stores covering almost every community throughout Cuyahoga County. The events include meet and greets with different brewery personnel, dinners that pair craft beers with different foods, and information sessions regarding the craft beer industry, among other things.

The objectives of these smaller events include promoting knowledge of the growing craft beer scene, as well as bringing business to local establishments and selling local-made beers. One of these events was Green Flash Night at La Cave du Vin in Coventry. That night, La Cave offered several different Green Flash beers on draft, and brought in Jim Kenny, the vice president of sales for Green Flash, a big fan of Cleveland Beer Week.

“Cleveland Beer Week is one of the best I've been to,” Kenny said. “It's well organized, and has events all over the county.”

Although Green Flash is from San Diego, California, Kenny had good things to say about the Cleveland beer scene.

“Fat Heads is one of my favorite breweries,” he said. “Their IPA's are always at the top of the Great American Beer Festival rankings.”

The co-owner of La Cave, Laura Baxter agreed with Kenny about the success of Cleveland Beer week, and mentioned the amount of business that it brings into local establishments.

“It's very good for the bars,” Baxter said. “It brings new faces in to discover places.”

In addition to the normal events, there are several Flagship Events that will sell-out. The proceeds from these Flagship Events go to the Malone Scholarship Fund, which provides nearly $2 million to local youths entering higher education.

The largest Flagship Event is Brewzilla, a huge tasting event on October 26 from 6-10 p.m. at the Galleria, featuring more than 70 different breweries. This event will include a special Ohio brewers area, featuring local breweries. Tickets for this event are $50, and include free food, a three-ounce tasting glass, and 25 tickets used for sampling beers. If you would prefer, you can upgrade to a Brewer's Circle ticket for an extra $25 dollars, which gets you VIP access, a t-shirt, and a chance to try out several rare beers that are not available to the general public.

This year, there were seven different collaboration beers brewed by Northeast Ohio breweries, all of which are available through Heinen's Fine Foods. For the first time, a foreign brewery made a beer for Beer Week as well. De Proef brouwerij created a Cleveland Belgian Rye Citra IPA, which is only available in Cleveland during this week. Southern Tier also brought back its I-90 American Pale Ale, a popular offering that it had discontinued.

For more information for the rest of Cleveland's fifth annual Beer Week, including a detailed schedule of events and the many breweries, go to www.clevelandbeerweek.org.