Cleveland BeerFest - Cleveland Article

Cleveland BeerFest

Cleveland BeerFest

Jan 6, 2017, 12:00 am

If the thought of spending the evening with more than 120 breweries serving up 400+ craft beers from around the nation doesn’t strike your fancy, we’re not sure what does.

Make some space on your wintertime calendar for a night out with the Cleveland BeerFest Jan. 27-28.

Held downtown at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, the 4th Annual Cleveland BeerFest is expected to draw around 12,000 attendees over the course of two nights.

For $55 ($45 in advance), attendees earn admission to the event, as well as 25 sampling tickets and a 5 oz. souvenir mug.

“What’s great about BeerFest is that you pay one price and you can go in to sample any one of hundreds of craft beers—local or from across the country,” Craig Johnson, co-founder of Cleveland BeerFest, said.

“It can be very intimidating and costly to try a new beer when you know nothing about the brewery, its brewers or the ratings. By sampling some at BeerFest, it allows you to try something new on a smaller level. It’s very economical.”

Besides its sheer size, one component of the festival that makes its so unique is its showcase of Cleveland and Ohio beers, which—as an industry—are growing exponentially in popularity.

“Without question, there are some amazing breweries making amazing beer in the Cleveland area,” Johnson said.

In May 2016, the Ohio legislature voted to do away with the state’s 12 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) cap.

Local brewers at the event will range from Greater American Beer Festival favorite Fat Heads and ever-popular Great Lake Brewing Company to the small-but-mighty Portside Brewery and local cidery Griffin Cider Works.

“The lifting of the ABV cap has allowed a lot of Ohio breweries to really show off their skills. Truthfully, there are so many great people making great beers in Ohio. The breweries are bringing their best!”

Cleveland BeerFest also will feature a large selection of local food vendors, food trucks and, of course, entertainment from a live band, karaoke and a hugely popular (and hilarious) silent disco.

If you’re worried that you’re not a beer aficionado, no big deal.

“BeerFest is not just for beer geeks. There are a lot of different kinds of people who come,” Johnson said. “It’s just a great party. You’ll get to learn about craft beer and try a lot of different kinds.”

For those BeerFest first timers, be sure to book your hotel reservations in advance (hotel packages available on their site).

Johnson adds: “You should definitely have a big lunch the day of your visit, don’t eat right beforehand and be sure to hydrate throughout the night.”

Cleveland also offers service via rideshare apps like Lyft and UBER, as well as through traditional taxi service and the Greater Cleveland RTA.

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