GQ has named Cleveland one of the top 5 best beer towns in the country. Pretty cool, huh? Philly, Denver, LA and San Francisco round out the list.
The Old-School Beertown
A hard-working frontier town built on booze (one of its earliest businesses was a distillery on downtown’s Whiskey Island), Cleveland has no truck with pretension. Just want a damn beer? You got it: a nice cold lager, clean, bright, balanced. But this is Cleveland, so the beer is Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co., the best of its kind this side of the Rhine. In a city where you can watch the symphony orchestra while eating a burger at the Happy Dog bar, the beer is top-notch but down to earth, a welcome respite from snootier beer meccas on the coasts. Market Garden’s brown ale is the country’s best; the pedal-in bar Nano Brew Cleveland will pour you a bready amber ale while they tune your bike; even Heinen’s, the (proudly) family-run grocery chain fills growlers.—W.B.