I drank a lot of beer this weekend. It was the 10th Annual Winter Warmer Fest in Cleveland on Saturday, held by the Ohio Craft Brewers Association–always a great event. I missed a lot of festivals and beer events in 2015, and it was fun being back to it. I confess I didn’t keep track of what I drank other than a few check-ins on Untappd, but it just did my heart good to see so many people come out on a snowy March Saturday to drink good beer and have a good time. I brought my BFF, Cami, along; and while she’s not a big beer drinker, she did find a few beers she enjoyed as well. Cheers to event organizers and all the breweries who participated and brought nearly 200 craft beers for tasting to the masses. Over 1,400 people attended at Windows on the River in the Flats.
The next day was nearly as beery for me, as I rode along on the Cleveland Brew Bus, touring three local breweries: Nano Brew, Fat Heads and The Brew Kettle. I was familiar with and had been to these breweries before, but lead by tour bus operator/owner Leslie Basalla-McCafferty, author of a book on Cleveland beer history, I still learned a lot, and enjoyed all the tasting, too. I’m excited to note here that I will be joining the Brew Bus team as a tour leader in the coming months. I look forward to sharing my love of craft beer with others from near and far who are interested in what Jack started back in 1976 at New Albion Brewing. Leslie and her husband Brian bought the business a year ago, and already have had to add a second bus, and expand the schedule because of demand. There are several different tours you can take–and even if you think you know Cleveland beer, I invite you to ride along, and bring a few friends! You won’t be disappointed, and may find there were a few things about Ohio craft beer you didn’t know. Gathering a little beer knowledge and tasting a lot of brews isn’t a bad way to spend a weekend. The best time of the year is coming as spring approaches–hope to see you on the bus and in the breweries!