• So, suddenly (in October 2016) you're interested in Cleveland. •

For some reason, it seems a lot of people from Chicago have an urgent desire to go to Cleveland in the upcoming fortnight. As somebody who has been going there since 1992, for a variety of reasons
{Maybe you recall it even hosted an American Homebrewers' Association National Homebrew Conference one year.}, I can dispense a lot of key information, which I attempt on this World-Wide Web page. I augment this with photographs I have taken.

You should be able to find a free copy of Ohio Beer Guide magazine. Cleveland just finished its Craft Beer Week, and I figure a new issue was released.
The Twitter hashtag to use is "#thisiscle".
The ‘famous’ name to drop is chef Michael Symon.

There are a lot of great beers to be had in Cleveland. Utilize Seek A Brew to note which beers in Ohio do not get to Illinois. As for where to purchase packaged beer, I know Beer Advocate recommends three stores, but recently, I have been satisfied with the selection at a Heinen's supermarket in Strongsville.

There is what could be considered a “brewery district” around the intersection of Lorain Ave. and West 25th St (Ohio City). It is a two block walk west from the RTA Red Line W. 25th St. station. This is where you will locate Great Lakes, Market Garden, Nano Brew, & Hansa breweries, as well a handful of beer bars such as ABC The Tavern, TownHall, & Bier Markt.

The big surprise for Cleveland is that this is where the new incarnation of New Albion Brwg. is occuring. The brewpub it uses is Platform Beer Co. on Lorain Ave. However, Platform has since been bought by Anheuser-Busch InBev. If you opt for the $9 Cleveland RTA daily pass, you can hit a number of brewpubs and beer bars on Lorain Ave. west from 25th St.

If you have access to a car, venues I can mention include The Brew Kettle in Strongsville [home to the medal-winning White Rajah IPA], the Tapstack of Buckeye Brwg. in central Cleveland, and both locations of Fat Heads Brewery, in North Olmsted, and in Middleburg Heights.

Breweries & Taprooms; Cleveland, OH.
All photographs taken by Steve De Rose.
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As for accomodations: When I go to Cleveland for Cinema Wasteland [bi-annual], I stay in the Holiday Inn Strongsville on Royalton Rd. just east of I-71. If you decide to not rent a car, it offers a free shuttle from Cleveland Airport. There is also a Super 8 motel adjacent to it. The cheaper motels, including an America's Best Value Inn, are on Brookpark Rd.

If you intend to motor to Cleveland; the route I prefer (It does not involve a turnpike. It is known that as far as speed limit laws go, Ohio State Police focus on cars with out-of-state license plates. Deduce where they mostly patrol.) is U.S. 20 [or U.S. 20A] through Elkhart & Angola, IN, into Toledo, OH., onto Ohio Route 2. Ohio Route 2 is a stunning ride, and I-90 links up with it near Elyria. This will take you into downtown Cleveland.

If you take MegaBus to | from Cleveland, the stop is in the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center, one block away from the Cleveland State University Convocation Center, where I covered another Cleveland team's Championship-winning game. Of course, it was in indoor soccer. The area has been trying to forget it ever since, but a videotape of the game exists in the vault at ESPN. It ranks in the top five of indoor soccer games I've ever viewed, and my fingerprints are on the telecast.

The last photograph in the above table is of Becky's Bar & Grill, a great dive bar on East 18th St., a half-mile away from the MegaBus stop. It is open nightly until 2:00 am. The bus back to Chicago used to leave at 2:05 am. It took sixteen minutes to walk between the two points. This was where I wound up when riding MegaBus.

On my last jaunts to Cleveland, I began riding Amtrak. With advance booking, it was cheaper than flying. MegaBus no longer serves Chicago, and long distance buses have been significantly curtailed due to COVID-19.
The hazard this now presents is if I have bought artifacts at Cinema Wasteland, my carry-on bag (the same one used for jaunts to Japan) could be quite heavy. At the time when westbound trains call at Cleveland [2:59 and 4:03 AM], the public transit routes closest to the station will leave me four-fifths of a mile away! Do you want to talk about my exercise routine? Adding to the trauma, Cleveland station does not have wi-fi.

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