In honor of Cleveland Beer Week, I decided to write about my favorite Cleveland beer establishment that is not taking part in the festivities.
Warehouse Beverage (located on the east side on Mayfield Road) is a beer lover’s paradise. This tiny shop specializes in beer and wine, and you can find some unique brews that you may not be able to elsewhere. For example, I recently bought a 750 ml bottle of Autumn Maple from The Bruery, which is a Belgian-style brown ale brewed with yams, molasses, maple syrup and spices. I can only imagine how good it will taste with Thanksgiving dinner.
What makes Warehouse Beverage really stand apart from other beer stores, though, is that they also sell home-brewing and wine-making supplies. A few weeks ago, James and I picked up a beer brewing equipment kit as well as ingredients to make our first home brew (which will hopefully be a delicious imperial nut brown ale in about two more weeks).
However, my absolute favorite thing about Warehouse Beverage is the people. Everyone there is so helpful and knowledgeable. They will talk you through anything, whether it is picking a great beer to take home and enjoy, or the intricacies of homebrewing and tips to make the best you can. When we went in to pick up some bottles, we were even helped out by a former employee that had stopped by to visit (I think his uncle is the owner, or at least a manager).
Our Homebrewing Adventure
In case you’re interested, the ingredient kit we got is from a company called Brewer’s Best, which packages ingredients and instructions in a way that really helps you learn the process. One of the gentlemen helping us at Warehouse mentioned that some people enjoy the kits so much they just continue to use them. However, because I love to experiment in my cooking, I’m looking forward to the fact that after a couple of kits, I’ll have a really good understanding of the brewing process, and will be able to confidently choose my own ingredients and experiment with recipes a bit.
The equipment kit is from the same company, and so far seems like a great way to start homebrewing. I’m already thinking about getting a glass carboy to replace the plastic one, but that is based on the recommendations in a book I got, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing. Honestly, the plastic one seems to be working fine. I just think I’d prefer the seeminly more simple glass option.
James and I did have a few mishaps since this is our first time homebrewing. It could potentially have something to do with the fact that we were brewing during the Browns game and also drinking Nosferatu. However, we tasted the beer several times before bottling — it hasn’t spoiled, the bottles are still intact and I think it will end up a success.
If you want, check out the collection of homebrewing pictures on my Flickr page.