Add A Comment November 8th, 2012

The Cleveland Brew Shop

Posted by Kyle

A first-of-its-kind shop in the heart of downtown

Last month GQ named Cleveland one of the 5 Best Beer Cities in America. Their coverage of “The Old-School Beer Town” mentioned Great Lakes Brewing Co., Happy Dog, Market Garden Brewery, Nano Brew, even Heinen’s. But, one thing it didn’t mention was a dedicated home brew shop. The reason? Until now, Cleveland didn’t have one.

Enter Paul Benner — entrepreneur and longtime home brewer — with the passion and vision to give his hometown the type of brewing store it deserves. Starting with the radical idea that a home brew store should be more community space than warehouse, he set up shop in the Tremont area with the intention of a creating a place where customers would want to hang out. That being said, Paul couldn’t have picked a better neighborhood, and he knows it; “It’s a cool young place with a strong creative and maker vibe. We’re hoping to tap into that.”

In attempting to conjure a space that matches Tremont’s eclectic feel, Paul has constructed a very non-traditional brewing store. As an homage, of sorts, the shop is built mostly from materials reclaimed from Cleveland’s past — high school science tables, coal factory carts, hardware store displays — saving them from a quick trip to the landfill. Paul’s hope here is two-fold: 1) “Reuse materials and celebrate Cleveland’s history” and 2) “Give the people coming in something to talk about.”

And if the interior doesn’t get people talking, the brewing classes probably will. The Cleveland Brew Shop plans to hold several classes every month, aimed mainly at novice brewers, giving them a place to spend time, ask questions, learn techniques, and hone their craft. To Paul and his team, educating and supporting the new brewer is a passion, and at the core of the shop’s mission.

Though near and dear to Paul’s heart, the classes are there to support the business of selling ingredients and equipment, and it seems like they’re going to be fully stocked. Partnering with wholesaler LD Carlson, CBS will carry every base grain, over 40 specialty malts and 25 different hop varieties, as well as yeast strains from White Labs and Wyeast. Being up the road from LD Carlson’s headquarters will have an added benefit, too; deliveries will be made on a weekly basis, so they’ll always have the freshest stock possible.

When asked what his pie-in-the-sky dreams for the shop were, Paul said he’d, “love to turn into a brew-on-premise somewhere down the line; start carrying our own kits, fabricating our own equipment,” but for the time being, he’s consumed with getting Cleveland Brew Shop ready for their soft launch on November 13. Beyond that, he and his team are excited to start interacting with customers, supporting new brewers in the area, and sharing their passion with the community they call home. Which just happens to be in the middle of one of the nation’s most burgeoning craft beer scenes. Sounds like a match made in beer heaven.

The Cleveland Brew Shop is located at 2681 West 14th St, Cleveland, OH
For hours during launch phase, please call (216) 574-2271

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