By John Tisevich
The Brew Kettle.
Sounds innocent enough right? Well yes and no. The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, Ohio is the first BOP or Brew On Premises in Ohio. Begun in 1995 the brewery is not only a BOP but also a top notch smoke house. And it has grown to now include Your Wine Cellar – where you can make and bottle your own wine.
I’ve had the opportunity to brew at the brewery on two occasions. Both times I have stayed safe with something I’m pretty sure I’ll like. Both times I made a traditional Doppelbock – with a rich malty flavor that I really enjoy. I say I played it safe because this is an investment – depending on the type if beer you get they have over 70 available recipes. The price ranges from $130-160 per brew session. Then there’s the cost of bottles – 80 cents each but they can be re-used if properly cared for and the labels – Ohio law states you have to label your favorite brew.
In doing the initial brewing I realized pretty quickly how labor intensive this is. Its great don’t get me wrong and this is a hugely social event. Groups will do 1, 2 or more kettles at a time and it’s ALOT of fun. But it gives you or at least it gave me a better appreciation of the work put into making a batch of craft beer.
The folks at The Brew Kettle are there to help you every step of the way – they provide you with the ingredients the recipes step by step directions and what I call a brewing buddy, they call them a “Brewing Coach”, whatever. This experienced Brew Kettle brewer to help you every step of the way. Not sure what style to brew, they’ll help you with that too. And they do the hard stuff cooling and then pumping your delightful elixir out of the kettle into the fermenter to ferment for 2-4 weeks depending on the beer you get.
Then you make your appointment to bottle your beer. You’ll show up for yet another social event with your beer chilled, filtered, carbonated and ready for you to bottle. It’s as simple as you getting your bottles, sterilizing them and then putting your labels on. Then the grand unveiling of your beer. They fill you up a pitcher and get glasses and allow you to sample your brew. Feel free to quench that thirst you’re working up while bottling – and don’t worry they guarantee at Least 72 – 22 oz. bottles – but generally we’ve always gotten more like 80 bottles. Then box them up and load them up into your vehicle.
And if you’re not too tired, and even if you are the Smokehouse will be calling your name. They sell some of the best smoked wings, ribs, pulled pork and brisket this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. And have you ever had BBQ Spaghetti before? No you say, what’s that? Well let me fill you in, its pasta, slow roasted pulled pork, BBQ sauce, Cheddar Cheese and scallions. Served with a side of their Cole slaw. Not just any Cole slaw mind you, this one’s special. I’m not for the most part a Cole slaw fan – I know there I’ve gone and said it. But this one, this one has me saying yes please. It’s tangy and made with horseradish sauce and Dill. Yes I said Dill. I know I was surprised too but you gotta try it I mean the whole entre is just genius as are so many of the other items on the Brew Kettle’s menu.
Did I mention TBK (The Brew Kettle) production works? No? Well that’s their own retail brewing many of which you can make in the BOP section of this amazing place. Anyway I get so excited talking about all this goodness. But TBK production works has a fantastic selection of beers which many of them are right in their cooler or at your favorite grocery store that sells craft beers. They have about a dozen or so. There’s Old 21 an Imperial IPA and 4 C’s Pale Ale (that’s 4 C’s as in Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Chinook hops), and don’t forget Dark Helmet a kicked up German Style dark lager or as the Good folks at Brew Kettle refer to it an Imperial Schwartzbier. Then they have their seasonals, Summer Soulstice, Oktofest & Winter Warmer among others.
The Brew Kettle in Strongsville, Ohio is worth the trip there’s something here for everyone. Don’t like beer (Perish the thought!) then there’s wine. Don’t like wine (how could you not?) then there’s beer! You say now you’re hungry – jump over to their Smokehouse for some fantastic food, and don’t forget they have a rotating tap with close to 30 beers, some of their own but also a lot of hard to find and one offs as well. And don’t forget the fun Brew on Premises – there’s nothing more satisfying then cracking open one of your own beers that you made to drink.
The Brew Kettle
8377 Pearl Rd.
Strongsville, Oh 44136