Friday, February 21, 2020

Great Lakes Brewpub and Beer Garden Renovations

In its 30+ years of business, the Great Lake Brewing Co. facility on Market Avenue has grown, expanded, and made upgrades. But they recently shut down for two weeks (a lifetime in the restaurant business) to make major renovations to the Brewpub and Beer Garden.

The first noticeable change is where the first floor dining room used to be is now an open space for more casual beer drinking with views of two original brewing tanks that are still used to brew pub-exclusive beers. The brewpub and taproom are now called "Brewhouse No. 1" in honor of these tanks. The main entrance has been relocated, so this room is now the first thing you see.
We settled in at a new high top table in the Brewpub for some flights and to try a bit of the new menu items.

The renovations were designed to enhance the guest experience, but also designate very unique spaces within the brewery that now offer different menus and varying types of seating.

We primarily ordered from the Brewpub menu, and dug in to the GLBC Board ($22) with house pickles, local cheeses and meats, artichoke crock, Kalamata olive ciabatta, and Burning River Pale Ale Pepper Jam.
Their original Cheese and Charcuterie Board was always good (and it's still on the menu), but this new version kicks it up a notch by adding pickled items and the warm artichoke dip. The meats and cheeses will change, but you can't go wrong with this easy-to-share item.

We also ordered one of their Flatbreads, the Short Rib ($18) with Stilton blue cheese, arugula, black garlic herb oil, pearl onions, and roasted grapes.
The thin crust was still nice and doughy, and we really liked the combination of flavors and textures. I also want to get back to try the Crispy Pork Belly version.

Normally you can't order from the Beer Garden or Bar Snacks menus in the Brewpub, but our server brought us out her favorite dish from the new Bar Snacks menu. Boy, we were glad she did! The Sriracha Cheese Curds ($6) with avocado ranch sauce were phenomenal. I'm still thinking about these days later.
Executive chef Shorty Coleman, who has been there for 15 years, is overseeing the changes. They also have a completely renovated kitchen with new floors, ceiling and cooking equipment. Additional changes to the patio are scheduled as well.

It had always been my opinion that the food quality didn't quite live up to the beer quality and atmosphere of the brewery, but this visit proved that these changes to the menus and dining concepts are raising the bar. I'll be more inclined to head there myself and recommend it to others!

One thing that I love about actually going to Great Lakes Brewing is the opportunity to try brews that are only tapped there. We included a couple of those in the flights we sampled.

Mr. H is really loving their new Bierwolf. Have you tried it yet?
In addition to their beers and the new menus, there's also weekly entertainment like Euchre, held every Tuesday in the Beer Garden at 6:30PM. This will include a weekly trophy when tournaments officially start in mid-March. It is free to play and registration will be open soon. Also, Bingo is held every Wednesday in the Beer Garden at 6:30 PM, with multiple rounds of prizes.

They did a beautiful job of honoring the history of the space and the brewery, but it certainly feels refreshed and more open and cohesive. Go check it out for yourself.

Great Lakes Brewing Co.
2516 Market Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113
(216) 771-4404

Disclosure: I was invited for a tour and tasting of the newly renovated Brew Pub and Beer Garden spaces. All food and drink were complimentary. All opinions are 100% my own.


Anonymous said...

Now it’s an even greater place to go. It’s so nice to see a place like this run by competent ownership.
Ain’t that right Jonathon? (sorry/not sorry)