Cleveland, Ohio – Craft Beer Winter Warmer Fest
March 1st, 2014 was a great day in Cleveland, Ohio!!! The crew got the chance to attend their first Winter Warmer Fest, sponsored by the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. Mary Martineau and her staff did an excellent job and Windows on the River is an excellent venue for such an event.
I felt like I was at an All-Star event for craft beer brewers. Thirty-two of Ohio’s finest breweries congregated together yesterday to celebrate Ohio’s craft beer industry, and they brought their All-Star beers with them. Columbus Brewing’s Bodhi, Christian Moerlein’s 10+161 Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Ale, and Willoughby Brewing’s Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter were a few that stood out to me. Also, lets not forget the cask room. This was where the breweries brought with them extremely special beers to show off. Some just for this event!! Here are some of the gems that you could find in the cask room: Great Lakes Mocha-infused Edmund Fitzgerald, Columbus Brewing Habanero infused Bodhi, Thirsty Dog Brewing Belgian Tripel w/ Raspberries, and Willoughby Brewing Gutterpup Porter w/ Coffee and Coconut.
The one thing I noticed about this event was how much the brewmasters and brewery staffs enjoyed this event. I noticed just as many of these folks going table to table sampling beers, as I did patrons. These people are true beer fans that just like good beer!! I also appreciated how much they supported and respected one another. Each brewery and its staff truly wants the other breweries to be successful. You could sense this in the camaraderie and conversations that were taking place among brewmasters at Winter Warmer. Beer is their common thread, and they each want to see the industry grow in Ohio. This was really cool to see!!
Lets not forget the great food at Winter Warmer. The Zydeco Bistro and Fired Up Taco food trucks rocked!! The lines to these trucks were long all day. There was not a person who ate their food that was disappointed. Their menus were perfect compliments to the great beer that was pouring at this event!! If you had a sweet tooth, you also had the Sweet! The Mobile Cupcakery truck to get an awesome cupcake for dessert.
Finally, I want to thank all of the breweries who took the time to talk with us at Winter Warmer. We met a lot of great people at this event and look forward to meeting many more as we tour the state highlighting Ohio’s breweries. Here are a few of the people that I want to thank for talking with us: Tony Corder at Columbus Brewing, Mike Mallone at Main Street Brewing, Marty Lindon at Millersburg Brewing, Nate Seiberling at Rhinegeist Brewing, the staffs at Christian Moerlein, Jackie O’s, and Portside Brewing!! We didn’t get to everybody, but I promise that we will in the future!!