Friday the 19th--Winking Lizard Bedford and the Tremont Collaboration Crawl
Cleveland Beer Week started out for us with a very quick stop at Winking Lizard Bedford for a few pints of the Founders Harvest Ale cask! This beer is so tasty when fresh, I have never had the cask version before, and it was every bit as good, if not better than the bottle!
|Founders Harvest Ale Cask|
|Some CCBC Members getting ready to Crawl!|
|The left overs of Tall Boy|
As fun as it was, there were some areas that should be improved next year. First, the crowd. Having this event on a Friday night meant normally busy bars were now absurdly packed with people. The first 3 stops on our trip took forever to get beers and were so packed you could not move without bumping someone and spilling your beer. I feel as if the bars were not prepared for the abnormally large crowd. If this event happens on a Friday next year, I think a good way to fix this problem would be to designate an area of the bar for ticket holders to stand and be served. This would eliminate both of the previously mentioned issues. Three hours sounds like a long time to get 6 beers, but honestly we had to rush at the last two stops just to complete the crawl in the 3 hour time frame!
|View from the back of the bar at Southside...PACKED!|
|View of Downtown from Fat Cats Patio|
After a long night on Friday, we slept in a bit before heading to Fat Head's for the Victory Brunch. While at Fat Head's, we had the chance to meet the head Brewer for Victory Beer, Bill Covaleski! The Victory/Fat Heads Collaboration beer called United was simply great. The style of beer was very interesting too, a wet hopped pilsner. It was great to have a chance to talk with Matt Cole of Fat Heads and Bill from Victory about how they worked together to brew this very tasty beer! They explained how they had to really compromise with each other since Matt is a huge hop head and Bill knows pilsners like the back of his hand! If you see this brew around town still, give it a try on a fresh palate.
|Fat Heads & Victory United|
|A tasty sour at Lizardville Rocky River|
|2010 Bells Expedition Stout|
One of my favorite Cleveland Beer Week rituals is attending the Victory Browns Watch Party! We arrived at The Tremont Taphouse around 11am and proceeded to have some Victory Brews such as the fresh Harvest Pilsner, and the D-town Brown which was on cask. After having a few brews, we had to depart to head to an event I was really looking forward to, Culture Yourself.
- Hoppin' Frog Cafe Silk Porter with Oregon Blue by Rogue Creamery
- Brew Kettle White Rajah with Heinen's Hand Selected Cheddar by Maple Leaf Cheese
- Market Garden Centennial IPA with SarVecchio Parmesan by Sartori (The Centennial was the best I've ever had it!)
- Sierra Nevada Bigfoot with Beemster XO
- Bells Oarsman with Cognac Fig from Mackenzie
|Brew Kettle White Rajah with Maple Leaf Cheddar|
|Market Garden Cententiall IPA with SarvVecchio Parmesan|
|Sierra Nevada Bigfoot with Beemster XO|
|From left to right: Dales Pale Ale, Yella Pils, Old Chub Scotch Ale, Ten Fidy Impy Stout, G'Knight Impy Red, and Deviant Dales IPA|
|On the Left: Rick Seibt of Willoughby, on the Right: Dave Chichura of Oskar Blues|
Last year during Cleveland Beer week we also attended Cask Night at Willoughby Brewing with a group of friends. This year, those same great friends decided we wanted to do it again since we had a blast last year...oh, and the beers were amazing too! This year on cask there was a Dry Hoped Cosmic IPA with Galaxy Hops, Cosmic IPA with Habanero, Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter with Cocoa Nibs, and a Double Dry Hopped Aramis Pale Ale. First, the Dry Hopped Cosmic was outstanding. This beer just won 1st place at the Fat Heads IPA fest for a reason, and the cask version was amazing. The habanero version was tasty, but the heat of the peppers didn't come through enough for my tastes. The PBCP with Cocoa Nibs was out of this world, and probably one of the best beers I had during the entire Cleveland Beer Week. The standard pub version of this beer is outstanding, but this cask version with the cocoa took the flavors up another notch. The bold cocoa and coffee flavors was abundant and very much welcomed by everyone who tried it. Next year you should put this event on your must attend list!
If you also attended any of these events please share your thoughts on them.
1. What did you like?
2. What would you improve?
Well, the first 5 days of my 2012 Cleveland Beer Week are in the books! I had an amazing time. Just wait until you read about my final 4 days! Part 2 is now up live! It includes a recap of events such as Columbus Brewing Night at the Taphouse, Bell's Black Note at Edison's, Fat Heads Beer dinner with Stone and Mitch Steele, Big Lebowski Bowling at Lizard Lanes, and finally my thoughts on BREWzilla!
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!!