Now, on to the last 4 day of Cleveland Beer Week 2012!
Wednesday the 24th--Columbus Brewing Night at Taphouse and Bells Black Note at Edison's Pub
We kicked off Wednesday with a trip to the Tremont Taphouse for Columbus Brewing night. One of the best beer people you'll find, Tony Corder of Columbus Brewing was coming to town and bringing some really cool brews with him. First, they had a Double Dry-Hopped Cask version of their Bodhi Double IPA. The cask version of this didn't come through as good for me as the regular version. The carbonation in regular Bodhi really helps the hops to pop more than on cask. There was also a Bodhi with Habanero that was pretty impressive. It had a very nice balance of heat and pepper that didn't overshadow the DIPA portion of the beer. The last Columbus brew I had was the Sohio Stout. With a bit more body on this beer, it would have been outstanding. Tony told us they were going to up the body on this beer, so I'm looking forward to trying it again because the flavor was delicious!
|Bodhi on Cask|
|A double pour of Black Note!|
|Myself, Mitch Steele and Matt Cole|
Our Aperitif was a full glass of Fat Head's Starlight Lager, which was a perfect light beer to enjoy while getting to know the people around us. Our first bite was a bit more than just a bite! Scallop, Veal Sweetbreads, Fried Grits, Bacon Creamed Corn all paired with Stone Enjoy By 11/9/12 IPA. The scallop was cooked perfectly, the sweetbreads had a great texture contrast of crispy on the outside and soft inside, and the bacon-creamed corn was amazing. Oh, the Enjoy By was pretty good too!
Friday the 26th--Rozi's Troegs Night and Lizard Lanes Big Lebowski Bowling!
Friday night started out with a Troegs Tap Takeover at Rozi's in Lakewood. For $15 we had the chance to sample two different Scratch Beers, Scratch 78 Fresh Hop IPA, the other was Scratch 76 Special Hops Imperial Red. There was also several other offerings including a very tasty Barley Wine called Flying Mouflan, an IPA called Perpetual, JavaHead Stout, Troegenator Doublebock, and Dream Weaver Wheat. This was a pretty laid back experience with some very tasty brews.
|The Real Big Lebowski|
|Please be a strike!|
Every year the entire craft beer community in Cleveland gets very excited for BREWzilla. This is the time where Cleveland can and should shine as a leader in the craft beer forefront. I'll keep this review short and to the point in list style.
- Both the Brewer's Circle and the General Admission food was good.
- The band this year was much quieter, which was a welcomed change. The music they played was enjoyable for the event and the venue. We could actually be near them and still talk to each other. In years past, the bands were so loud you couldn't even communicate with the person next to you.
- Actual Brewers were present to talk with the public and were very engaging. This is always a major plus at any beer event!
- Having separate entrances for the Brewer's Circle and the General Admission was great. Lines were short, check in was quick and people were off to have fun.
- $3 Parking at the Galleria really made it easy.
Ways to Improve:
- Publish a complete brewery and beer list when tickets go on sale. People should know what is going to be offered if they are going to be spending any amount of money for an event. Ticket buyers will understand if a few beers have to be removed from the list because of certain brewery reasons. I talked with too many people at the event that felt cheated (their words) because the list posted on 10/10 said "More To Come." Yet, the final list for the Brewer's Circle was exactly the same and the General Admission list had only a handful of additions. This is an important improvement that I feel can be done, and has to be done.
- I think a package deal should be offered when tickets go on sale. Ticket + Hotel + Parking all together for one discounted package deal. It would increase ticket sales initially, and make getting a hotel room less of a hassle since rooms sold out very quickly!
- Beer Offerings: This year the Brewer's Circle was a letdown for me and many others. The rare and exclusive beers that you can't find around Cleveland just were not there. Most of the beers in that room can be found easily around Cleveland. Brewer's Circle is the ultimate time to showcase craft beer in Cleveland and to justify the $75 ticket cost. I felt like many of the unique tappings went to area bars during the week, instead of BREWzilla like in years past. Also, the Brewer's Circle should include the Collaboration Beers as a way to celebrate the accomplishment of our great local brewers.
I had fun this year at BREWzilla because of the great community of friends that showed up at the event. I literally couldn't turn a corner without seeing someone I knew! As a craft beer lover, I want to see this event grow. I want to see better beer offerings that would take BREWzilla to the level a GABF session. I don't think we are that far off considering we have great beer offerings that come into our state daily, and we have a collection of amazing local brewers. Yes, I do know this event is for charity. So here is an idea, we can give up the "free" t-shirt and/or some of the food offerings in exchange for the same ticket prices we get a better beer line-up.
What are your thoughts on BREWzilla? Please comment on here and let me know!
1. Did you attend BREWzilla?
2. What did think of the event?
3. How else would you improve the event?
Wow...2012 Cleveland Beer Week came and went quickly. I had such a great time hanging out with old friends and meeting new ones. Cleveland Beer Week isn't about just one event. It is about going out and supporting craft beer with your friends. You shouldn't wait until Cleveland Beer Week next year to do that. Go out now and support our great local brewers! For more information on craft beer in Cleveland and to chat with other craft beer enthusiasts join our Cleveland Craft Beer Community Facebook Page. Also, you can follow me on twitter @CleFoodandBrews and on my Facebook Page. Cheers!!