The Rise of Craft Beer in Cleveland, Ohio

craft beer in cleveland ohio

Cleveland, Ohio has long been a destination for craft beer enthusiasts, thanks to its rich history of craft brewing dating back to the 1980s. The city’s first craft brewery, Great Lakes Brewing Company, opened its doors in 1988, founded by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway. Today, Cleveland boasts over 50 craft breweries and has solidified its reputation as one of the top cities in the country for craft beer.

Cleveland’s Pioneer Craft Brewery

Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland’s first craft brewery, was founded by the Conway brothers who were inspired to start their own brewery after visiting a small brewery in Colorado. They began brewing their beer in their Ohio City home’s basement and quickly gained a following for their unique and flavorful beers. This brewery’s success paved the way for other local breweries to open in Cleveland.

The Emergence of Craft Beer in Cleveland

In the 1990s, several other small breweries such as Rocky River Brewing Company and Fat Head’s Brewery opened their doors, following in the footsteps of Great Lakes Brewing Company. These early breweries played a crucial role in establishing Cleveland as a destination for craft beer lovers.

The 2000s saw a significant growth in the number of craft breweries in Cleveland, many of them opened by young entrepreneurs who were eager to replicate the success of the city’s first craft breweries. These new breweries introduced new styles of beer to the Cleveland market, such as sours, barrel-aged beers, and hazy IPAs. By the end of the decade, Cleveland had become a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts.

Cleveland’s Craft Beer Scene Today

Today, Cleveland boasts over 50 craft breweries, each offering a unique selection of flavorful beers made with high-quality ingredients and a focus on local sourcing. The city’s breweries also collaborate and support each other, creating a tight-knit beer community.

What Sets Cleveland’s Craft Beer Scene Apart

Cleveland offers a wide variety of beers, from traditional styles like lagers and pilsners to more experimental options like sours and barrel-aged beers. You’ the city’s breweries also offer seasonal and limited-edition beers, giving beer enthusiasts the opportunity to try new and exciting options regularly.

Additionally, Cleveland’s craft beer scene prioritizes community and sustainability. Many of the city’s breweries source ingredients from local farmers and practice sustainable brewing. The breweries also support local charities and organizations, making them an integral part of the Cleveland community.

Beer Festivals in Cleveland

Cleveland’s beer festival scene is thriving, giving beer lovers the opportunity to try a wide variety of beers from local and regional breweries. These festivals are a great way to discover new beers and support local breweries. Some popular beer festivals in Cleveland include the Cleveland Winter Warmer Fest and the Cleveland Oktoberfest.


Cleveland has earned its reputation as a top destination for craft beer. Thanks to its rich history of craft brewing and its current thriving beer scene, . With over 50 craft breweries offering a wide variety of flavorful beers, Cleveland is a must-visit destination for craft beer lovers.