As area brewers prepare to transition from Oktoberfest brews to the widely popular spiced ales Cleveland is the place to be. Blessed with no shortage of local breweries, expect some of the best beer around to pair with equally impressive food offerings right here in Ohio.
Great Lakes Brewing Company
2516 Market Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
Great Lakes Brewing Company is known for its seasonal beers. The most famous among them is its Christmas Ale, which is available only in November and December. This Cleveland favorite is brewed with honey and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon to give it its unique taste. Great Lakes Christmas Ale has become the standard by which all local seasonal spiced ales are judged, for better or worse.
Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon
24581 Lorain Road
North Olmsted, OH 44070
Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon is another local brewery that is making quite the name for itself in the beer world. With a house beer list that is second to none, it offers a seasonal beer you simply must not miss this season. Fat Heads’ Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin is a beer that is rich amber in color and gives off an aroma of pumpkin pie and savory spices. It is rich and creamy upon first taste, then gives off flavors of sweet malt, spice and brown sugar before ending with a clean finish.
The Market Garden Brewery & Distillery
1947 W. 25th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113
Christmas ale is certainly a popular trend this time of year, but the folks at The Market Garden Brewery & Distillery want nothing to do with that. Instead they are offering up Festivus Ale (a play on the famous “Seinfeld” made-up holiday of Festivus). Created in the similar style of a Christmas ale, Festivus Ale is brewed with ginger, allspice, cinnamon and brown sugar, giving it smooth characteristics and a heavenly taste. Availability begins late October to early November.
Willoughby Brewing Co.
4057 Erie St.
Willoughby, OH 44094
Located in the suburbs on Cleveland’s east side, Willoughby Brewing Co. is slated to launch this season’s Willoughby Wenceslas Christmas Ale soon. Its version of this seasonal favorite boasts a deep ruby hue with strong flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. It is heavier on the spice than some of the other seasonal beers, but it is well balanced and not overpowering. Check out its full list of beers for other awesome seasonals you shouldn’t miss this season.
Rocky River Brewing Company
21290 Center Ridge Road
Rocky River, OH 44116
Rounding out the list heavy on the seasonal spiced ales, Rocky River Brewing Company in the west side suburbs offers a Christmas Ale that rivals the other fine brews included on this list. This medium-bodied low carbonation version offers the aroma of cinnamon and cloves but also has a unique gingerbread flavor that makes this option not only more interesting, but pretty stinking delicious as well.
Paul Rados began writing professionally in 2010. Before formally picking up the pen he worked in some of Cleveland’s premier restaurants as a Chef. His extensive knowledge of the Culinary Arts and Dietary Management can be found in other published works across the web. His work can be found on Examiner.com.