Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cleveland Beer Week Returns In October 2010

Photos courtesy

Clevelanders love their beer, and the city has a long history of crafting brews. The first Cleveland Beer Week in October 2009 was such a success that it is returning again in October 2010. Here is the official press release; further details on the week and all the events can be found at .

CLEVELAND BEER WEEK is Set for October 15-23

Impressive Support from Community in 2009 Shapes Planning for Second Annual Celebration

The second annual Cleveland Beer Week, a nine-day celebration of craft brews, will take place from October 15-23, 2010, and will feature hundreds of craft beer tastings, dinners, demonstrations, leisure activities, educational programs, and specials at bars, restaurants, and grocers throughout Cuyahoga County and beyond. Established in 2009 as the first event of its kind in northeast Ohio, Cleveland Beer Week is a not-for-profit, collaborative celebration that raises awareness of the craft and import beer industry—particularly the rich tradition of brewing in Ohio—and promotes patronage at local establishments.

By all measures, the first annual Cleveland Beer Week in 2009 was a grand success. With little more than three months to plan, organizers from local retailers, breweries, and distributors—led by founding members from Winking Lizard, Heidelberg Distributing, and Heinen’s—produced a craft beer festival that rivaled others around the country and featured a staggering 500 events at more than 120 venues. In an independent survey conducted after the celebration, 100% of participating retailers, breweries, and distributors reported increases in both patron traffic and revenue during Cleveland Beer Week. The average increases were reported as 11-20% for patron traffic and 6-15% for revenue, with impressive increases of 21-30+% reported by 33% of respondents for patron traffic and 25% of respondents for revenue.

Building on the success of last year’s Cleveland Beer Week, organizers started planning early for 2010 and have already finalized and posted more than 225 events to their website, Event postings will continue daily and up until Cleveland Beer Week begins on October 15. Visitors to the website may search events by date, venue, brewery, or neighborhood, and select events of interest to create their own personal itinerary. Of particular note are the following flagship events, competitions, and offerings:

The Ohio Craft Brewer’s Association has organized a collaboration that will produce six custom beers packaged specially for Cleveland Beer Week. The 12 breweries participating in the largest known collaboration of its kind in the world have created six brews, including a Strong Ale Barrel Aged by Great Lakes Brewing Company and Cellar Rats, a Smoked Black Lager by Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and Indigo Imp, a Rye Kolsh by The Brew Kettle and Willoughby Brewing, a Wet Hopped IPA by Fat Heads and Black Box, an Imperial American Porter by Hoppin’ Frog and Rocky River Brewing Company, and an Alt Bier by Buckeye Brewing and Cornerstone Brewery. Mixed 12-packs will be sold at retailers including Heinen’s in early October, and participating breweries will feature all six brews on draft during Cleveland Beer Week.

On Friday, October 15 at 7 p.m., Cleveland Beer Week will open with “Grains vs. Grapes: The Ultimate Match-up,” an official keg tapping and 4-course dinner, at Crowne Plaza in downtown Cleveland (777 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland 44113). The evening will be hosted by special guests Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, and Marianne Franz, president of the American Wine School. Frantz and Calagione will discuss a selection of wines and craft beers from Ohio brewers and Dogfish Head that they have paired with a multi-course menu created by the Michael Symon Restaurant Group. Jimmy Malone of Cleveland radio’s WMJI will serve as master of ceremonies and all proceeds will benefit the Malone Scholarship Fund that is managed by Cleveland Scholarship Programs. Advance tickets are required and are $75/person.

On Friday, October 22 at 6:30 p.m., Heidelberg Distributing will host “Ales on Rails” on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Departing from the Rockside Station (7900 Old Rockside Road, Independence 44131), this delightful ride includes a boxed supper and brews from Sam Smith, Bluegrass, Thirsty Dog, Fullers, Chimay, Ithaca, and Smutty Nose. Advance tickets are required and range from $25-$45 based on train car selection. All proceeds benefit the Malone Scholarship Fund.

The Society of Northeast Ohio Brewers (SNOBS) is sponsoring a “Son of BREWzilla Homebrew Competition” that is open to all entries registering before October 9 at Participants may submit their first beer—from a choice of 23 categories—for $7 and additional beers for $5 each. The competition takes place at Fat Heads Brewery and Saloon (24581 Lorain Road, North Olmsted OH) on Saturday, October 23 at 9:00 a.m.; winners will be announced and prizes awarded at Cleveland Beer Week’s BREWzilla event that same evening. The “Best of Show” panel of judges includes Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing Co., Andy Tveekrem formerly of Dogfish Head, and Matt Cole of Fat Heads Brewery. The winning Best of Show entry will be brewed professionally by Fat Heads for the 2011 Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am held in Denver, Colorado.

Cleveland Beer Week will conclude with “BREWzilla,” a monster of a beer tasting, on Saturday, October 23 at the Galleria at Erieview in downtown Cleveland (1301 East Ninth Street, Cleveland 44113). BREWzilla will feature more than 100 breweries; a special “Ohio Brewery” area with various beers from local breweries as well as all 2010 collaborative brews; and food selections courtesy of Winking Lizard and Heinen’s including an Angus hot dog bar, beef brisket and vegetable hoagies, and various cheese stations organized by the style of beer with which they best pair. Additionally, Cleveland Beer Week has commissioned Lilly Handmade Chocolates in Tremont to design a chocolate creation inspired by a local brewer. Tickets for the Brewer’s Circle are $75 and include event admittance at 6 p.m., the opportunity to taste rare brews in the new “Brewer’s Circle Lounge” open all evening, and a commemorative Cleveland Beer Week t-shirt. General Admission tickets are $50 and for admittance from 7-11 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Malone Scholarship Fund.

Cleveland Beer Week is sponsored by Winking Lizard, Heidelberg Distributing, Heinen’s, Buckeye/Beer Engine, Goose Island, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Superior Beverage Group, Premium Beverage Supply, Cavalier Distributing, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Akron Beacon Journal’s, ClearChannel radio stations WMMS 100.7 and WMJI 105.7, Crowne Plaza Cleveland City Center, Hudson Printing, and Cleveland Scene. Additional support is provided by Thirsty Dog Brewing Co., The Brew Kettle, Christopher Design, Metromix, Anchor Hocking, Rockin Cleveland Party Bus, and ACE Taxi.


Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, All Things Cleveland Ohio.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

“Cuyahoga” Means Crooked – For Rivers AND County Commissioners (An Editorial)

Cleveland is located in Cuyahoga County, and the Cuyahoga River flows through the city of Cleveland on its way to Lake Erie, separating the city into” “east siders” and “west siders. The word “Cuyahoga" translates to “crooked river" in the Iroquois language, as the river has a crooked, winding pattern as it snakes through the area.

The name Cuyahoga couldn’t fit better for the "crooked" Cuyahoga County Commissioners, one of which who is being charged for several counts of corruption and the others appear to be mentioned in that commissioner's indictment (but not charged with any wrongdoing). There are also other related charges for an auditor, contractors, and even judges. In fact, Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, is at the center of one of the biggest local corruption cases in U.S. history. While many have been charged already, and Dimora’s indictment has been expected by many since his home, and those of other commission members and contractors were raided by the Feds about 2 years ago, it’s likely that this is not the end of the Federal investigation or Federal charges for others.

The Plain Dealer also noted ”The reach of the scandal might turn out to be highly unusual, said Case Western Reserve University law and political science professor Jonathan Entin, because it involves an old-fashioned, political-party operation, far more common in 19th- and early 20th-century U.S. politics..."It starting to look like the classic 'machine,' " Entin said after reading Wednesday's indictments.”As the Democratic county chair, Jimmy Dimora built a party organization" that has no peer in contemporary local politics.”

It’s more than an embarrassment for the Cleveland area; it’s a disgusting display of greed and misuse of power. While one of the county auditors, Frank Russo, has already cut a deal with the Feds, Dimora continues to proclaim his innocence. While people are innocent until proven guilty, the 177 pages of indictment against Dimora make it hard to believe that he is as squeaky clean as he professes. Dimora is currently on a brief leave of absence, but said he plans to finish out his term, which is not too much longer. With the county voters already voting for change in the structure of their county commissioners and the process to elect new officials is underway, Dimora should just step aside. While he probably did not want to step aside before any indictments were made, now that he has been indicted and will be putting his full attention to his defense, it is not fair for county residents to have leadership that not only can’t be trusted, but that has no time to represent the public.

The city of Cleveland and the residents of Cuyahoga County deserve to have politicians that they can trust. While the indictments and the scandal are likely not over, as the new county government structure and the related election moves forward, there must be checks and balances put in place to ensure that this never happens again – because Clevelanders only want crooked rivers, not politicians.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, All Things Cleveland Ohio, here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happy 15th Anniversary, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

This weekend marks the 15th anniversary of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. It seems like it’s been around longer than 15 years, maybe because rock & roll is so ingrained in the history and culture of Cleveland.

To help celebrate, here are a few of some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken of the Rock Hall over the years.

Don't forget to check out the web site for The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and by all means, come to Cleveland to pay it a visit!

© unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information,
All Things Cleveland Ohio, here.