Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Laugh

OCBA 12 Pack: New Years

Since the announcement a few weeks ago that the long delayed Cleveland Beer Week mixed 12 pack would hit stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Ohio Craft Brewers Association has done dark. Not an announcement, update, or even a peep. Since Christmas is tomorrow and this hasn’t made it to stores yet, I wanted to give the OCBA a gift, so I took a shot to help market the 12 pack for whatever season it does materialize in. NOTE – this is in good fun, please keep that in mind!

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Christmas Comes Early to Fat Heads (in 12oz Form!)

Fat Heads Christmas Ale

Here in Cleveland, a city known for it’s Christmas ales, Fat Heads has shown their brewers have the chops to hang with Great Lakes, Thirsty Dog and all the big boys. If you’re a fan of spiced holiday ales, you have to try this – get it before the season is over.

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Hoppin’ Frog Barrel Aged Frosted Frog Warms up the Winter

Barrel-Aged Frosted Frog Winter Warmer

When word came out that Hoppin’ Frog was set to release a Whisky Barrel Aged version of Frosted Frog, I knew that this was going to be another innovative beer. It was certainly going to be a limited offering, with just 35 cases being available for purchase at the brewery. But how does it measure up with the best Winter Warmers?

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Witness Great Lakes Quitness

A pint of Great Lakes Quitness shines in the autumn sun

Cleveland fans have something to cheer about this year after all. As a city, we’re recovering after this summer’s heartbreaker where Lebron James announced he would be bringing his talents and lack of class to Miami. Great Lakes has launched a beer that’s guaranteed not to leave a ring (on your glass), but is a certain to bring home a winner any night.

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The Cleveland Beer Week, err, Christmas Mixed 12 pack

The front of the Ohio Craft Brewers Sampler Pack

Here’s a run-down of what you can expect in the 12 pack that was supposed to be released for Cleveland Beer Week back in October. I got to preview all the beers on tap, so I give some background, raise some concerns about freshness, review the beers, and give a final recommendation. Please read this before you buy your 12 pack!

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Great Lakes Bourbon Barrel Aged Blackout Stout Party

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout 2010

Part of the reason I love Blackout Stout so much is that each year a batch of this luxurious liquid makes its way into bourbon barrels, where it resets for months and soaks in fantastic wood, bourbon and vanilla flavors. The result is an amazing beer that’s released once a year with a celebratory party followed by a “public on-sale” at the Great Lakes Gift shop.

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Brewzilla Attacks Cleveland Beer Week

Cleveland Beer Week Logo

Normally things don’t work out well when a monster invades a city. But on Saturday October 23rd, Brewzilla attacked the beer lovers of Cleveland with a wonderful event that featured over 80 breweries and hundreds of kinds of beer. No, he didn’t come out of Lake Erie. Instead, Brewzilla assaulted us in the form of an overabundance of ale and lager.

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The 2010 Fat Heads Celebration of the Hop Festival

The Crowd at Fat Heads Celebration of the Hop

The first year had some great hoppy beers, but the 2010 Fat Heads Celebration of the Hop Festival was simply one of the best hop harvest festivals ever, worthy of Silenus, the god of beer, himself! Hops in particular are normally picked in late August or September, and only at that time can “harvest” ales be brewed. October is clearly the best time of the year to be a hophead, so why not throw a party?

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The Adam Avery Experience at the Buckeye Beer Engine

Chef Greg Tushar and Adam Avery

Fifteen, count them, fifteen beers paired with Beer Engine Chef Greg Tushar’s innovative, beer-friendly dishes. The food and beer would be served in five flights, each with a theme and each with a story courtesy of Adam Avery himself. The sold-out crowd of explorers gathered and made our way to the Engine Room to begin what was sure to be an epic night of great beer, great stories and wonderful food!

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Bell’s Jazz Series plays at Night Town – One Night only!

The Bells Jazz Series

The Bell’s crew brought their unique “Jazz” series of Bière de Garde brews to Night Town in Cleveland Heights for one night only. While the match made sense in (musical) theory, a crowded bar with a busy night lead to a bit of a messy event. Those imperfections cast aside, it was a great opportunity to enjoy something rarely seen outside the brewery and I’m thankful Bell’s decided to bring something special to Cleveland Beer Week.

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