bottlehouse brewery brings community-centered tasting room to the heights

This week, a pair of Cleveland Heights residents and avid home brewers launched BottleHouse Brewery in a 6,200-square-foot storefront on Lee Road that had been sitting vacant for more than a decade. The new venue, which will feature craft beers, original brews and a brew-on-premise facility that will open this summer, celebrated its grand opening Tuesday after a year and a half of work.

"It all ties in with bringing craft beer to the community," says Brian Benchek, a former glass-blowing artist. His business partner, Dave Schubert, previously worked as a fuel cell technician. "It's a place for the community to gather."

BottleHouse Brewery opened its tasting room this week. In a month, the venue will begin serving its own original beers. A selection of bourbons, meads and wines also are sold, as are pierogis and Bavarian sausages from local purveyors. The brew-on-premise option will be rolled out this summer. Eventually, the duo plans to sell home brewing equipment, as well.

Benchek and Schubert began talking about the idea for their dream pub during long, painfully sober drives home from the Brew Kettle, a popular brew-on-premise facility located in Strongsville. "There's a one-year wait there currently," Benchek says. "A lot of their customers are from the East Side. When we went, one of us would always be drinking less because we'd have to drive home."

Eventually, Benchek and Schubert plan to manufacture and distribute their own beers. Benchek says that the BottleHouse will tap into unmet demand, and cites the large home brewing community as one reason why they'll be successful.

Source: Dave Benchek
Writer: Lee Chilcote