Monday, October 25, 2010

Cleveland Beer Week Re-cap

This was one girl who was really looking forward to this year's Cleveland Beer Week. I think by the time the first Beer Week was in full swing last year, I was just starting to hear about it and missed out on the festivities. One of the events that guests raved about was BREWzilla (held at the Arcade in 2009). So when I was approached to help promote the 2010 event by hosting a giveaway, I jumped at the chance to attend and to help spread the word about this fun finale event for Beer Week. But I'm going to back up first and tell you about the other events that I attended...

I started out my Beer Week (BW) celebration by having dinner and drinks with two friends at Market in Rocky River. They were pouring several special brews in honor of BW. This beer-inspired establishment is a great place for a wine-lover like myself to dive into the wonderful world of beer. I ordered my first ever pumpkin beer, and really enjoyed it! BW also motivated "R" and I to host our own stay-at-home beer tasting on Thursday night. We were in the middle of making dinner, and all of a sudden had a craving to sample some fall-inspired beers. "R" ran to the store and picked up two different Octoberfest beers and a pumpkin beer to satisfy my new-found love. We happily sipped on all three while finishing dinner and then playing some board games. It was a fun evening spent at home.

Friday evening brought Ales on Rails, a beer tasting featuring 7 breweries and a box dinner provided by the Winking Lizard aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. We stumbled upon friends on the train that we didn't know were attending, and the four of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the trip. The brewery representatives were all enthusiastic and informative as they interacted with the passengers. I can't remember all of them, but we sampled brews from Thirsty Dog, Ithaca Brewing Company, and Sam Smith. My only complaint is that the event started at 6:30 p.m. and it gets dark quickly after that this time of year. So we really only had about 30 minutes of the three-hour ride to enjoy the gorgeous view of the valley.

Saturday night was the second annual BREWzilla. This year, the event moved to the Galleria at Erieview and took over the entire space. 51 different breweries were stationed around the mall for all general admission guests to enjoy. Each brewery was pouring several brews, so the options were almost overwhelming. You can see from above that my good friend Sam Adams was in attendance (we're related if you go back through my family tree!). "R" was all about the stouts, so we HAD to find each and every single one. I just attempted to find a few lighter beers along the way. I was hoping for a few more wheat beer options (yes, I know that summer is over), or additional pumpkin beers and Octoberfests, but a hop-head would have been in heaven. I know that "R" certainly was! It really was a nice event, and a great opportunity to push myself to try some new types of beer and discover great breweries from around the globe.

I think that I will be a little more adventuresome in my beer selections now, and I am already looking forward to Cleveland Beer Week 2011! What did you do to celebrate Beer Week? What was your favorite event?


bonnjill said...

I agree with you about Ales on Rails. I was very disappointed that we couldn't necessarily see the scenery (which is why I had bought the Dome Car seats in the first place). I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but next year I am buying the cheap seats.

Brad said...

Great Recap! Wasn't this such a fun week! We'll have to meet up sometime and do a combo review of someplace fun since we didn't get to meet up at Brewzilla!

Bite Buff said...

Thanks, Brad. Sounds like a plan!

Ben said...

It sounds like you got a lot out of the week. The only things I did other than Brewzilla were the beer/chocolate pairings at Heinens and an employee-brewed Sierra Nevada beer at Winking Lizard. Ales on Rails sounds like a lot of fun, though (except for the early sunset).

There were a lot of hoppy beers--I recommended one to a friend, and he poured it out. I like hops, but generally in moderation.

I was hoping to see you or Michelle V. at Brewzilla--maybe next year. Glad you enjoyed it (I did too).


Bite Buff said...


It sounds like you did quite a lot too! It was a fun week filled with great events and activities involving beer. I'm already looking forward to 2011! Hope to see you out and about soon.