This is the first of a three-part series written by Columbus-based Kyle Kastranec that chronicles the state of craft beer in Ohio, and how it could lend insight into national trends and future growth for the entire industry. He begins with Cleveland.
"Over the last few years, a new wave of breweries has been reshaping the craft beer landscape along the shores of Lake Erie," he writes. "It's not the most mature market in the country; it's not even the most mature market in the region. But Cleveland, with its fleet of fledgling and developing breweries, is becoming a bellwether for national trends and craft beer's narrative arc across the country."
Kastranec writes how beer and breweries directly affect the local economy and the revitalization of neighborhoods.
"[Andy] Tveekrem returned to Cleveland in 2010 and partnered with a local entrepreneur, Sam McNulty, to launch Market Garden Brewery, a venture that kick-started the transformation and revitalization of West 25th Street and the entire Ohio City neighborhood. "When we opened, there was about 75% vacancy on West 25th between these three blocks," Tveekrem says. "Now it's zero."
Of course, Great Lakes Brewing played a major role in launching the craft beer scene in Cleveland and Ohio. "But more than that, the GLBC history has shaped the very fabric of the local brewing community. Everyone is connected, and all roads lead back to Great Lakes, whose culture and attention to detail has prepared the current generation of brewers to innovate, to adapt, to grow, to anticipate market demands, and most importantly, to ensure quality through it all."
Read the rest of this great beer feature here