[intro-text size=”25px”]Did you know that in the 1870s Cleveland was considered to be an epicenter of the brewing industry?[/intro-text]Naturally, like many cool things in Cleveland, the industry was upstaged with the introduction of mega breweries like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors in the ‘70s and ‘80s, forcing those once bustling breweries to shut their doors. But like the comeback kid its proven to be, Cleveland has once again made its triumphant return to the top.
And it’s not just Cleveland. The whole state has been witness to the craft beer boom, with more than one hundred craft breweries, together brewing more than one million barrels of craft beer each year. Naturally, we can’t help but tip our hats to the Conway brothers who started fighting the good fight in 1988, when they took it upon themselves to revitalize the local beer industry and open Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Despite being Ohio’s first craft brewery, a lot of us take GLBC for granted. So let’s give credit where credit is clearly due. The Conway brothers helped pave the way for some of Cleveland’s most successful and innovative breweries like Platform Beer Co., Nano Brew and Market Garden. And let’s not forget the fresh-faced Brick and Barrel and Forest City Brewery, who’s opening we’re eagerly awaiting. If it weren’t for them, who knows if Conde Nast Traveler would have placed Cleveland at number one on their list of best cities in the nation for beer?
Friendly state laws, beer festivals, and the desire to stray from the herd and try new beer has once again made Cleveland an epicenter. Calling us the best city in the state to enjoy a craft beer is an honor, but to call Cleveland the best city in the nation for beer is truly remarkable. Between New York and Boston on the east coast, and Fort Collins, Portland and San Diego on the west, all pumping out some of the nation’s favorite beers, putting Cleveland at the top of the list feels pretty damn good. So here’s a cheers to the Conway brothers, and all of Cleveland’s courageous craft brewers who put their hearts on the line to make our city the top destination to enjoy a frosty beer—you guys kick ass.