The Cleveland Labor Day Weekend Oktoberfest “Best Oktoberfest Microbrew” competition will be held Friday, August 30
th—Monday, September 2 nd, 2019 at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, OH – just outside Cleveland. The hours for the competition are 4PM-Midnight Fri, 2PM-Midnight Sat & Sun, and 2PM-8PM Monday. The Bier Garden will be cooking with the sounds of E5C4P3 (Journey), Modern Gentlemen, The Spazmatics, Hard Days Night (Beatles), Walt Sanders (Elvis), and Project Diamond (Neil Diamond). Friday night will feature the judging and awards ceremony, and on Monday, your votes will be tallied to determine the People’s Choice for the Best Oktoberfest Microbrewery. I think we can all drink to that! Participating Breweries include:
Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Best Oktoberfest Microbrew Competition. Special thanks to Paul Shick of SNOBs and all the judges and stewards who helped determine the winners. Here are the results:
Category 1. Classic Oktoberfest:
Hansa Brewery Oktoberfest
Fat Head’s Brewery G’Suffa Oktoberfest
Rocky River Brewing Co. Rocktoberfest
Category 2. German Light Lagers:
Market Garden Brewery Progress Pilsner
The Brew Kettle Big Woody Helles
Cornerstone Brewing Co. Grindstone Gold
Category 3. German Ales:
Fathead’s Brewery Alpenglow Weizenbock
Market Garden Brewery Prosperity Wheat Hefeweizen
Willoughby Brewing Co. Kaiserhof Kolsch
Category 4. Dark Lagers/Bocks:
Platform Beer Co. Luchador Black Lager
Willoughby Brewing Co. Kellerbock Unfiltered Helles Bock
The Brew Kettle Bock Munich Dunkel
Category 5. Open:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale
Collision Bend Brewing Co. Bollard Pull American Porter
Masthead Falling Fruit American Blonde Ale with Apple and Peach
Category 6. Best IPA:
Noble Beast Brewing Co. Evil Motives
Masthead Brewing Co. IPA
Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. Blood Orange IPA
All German Best of Show:
Fat Head’s Brewery Alpenglow Weizenbock
Honorable Mention: Market Garden Brewery Progress Pilsner
Honorable Mention: Hansa Brewery Oktoberfest
Best of the Rest of the World:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale
Honorable Mention: Noble Beast Brewing Co. Evil Motives India Pale Ale
Overall Best of Show:
Fat Head’s Brewery Alpenglow Weizenbock
Honorable Mention: Great Lakes Brewing Co. Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale
People’s Choice (Best Brewery):
Platform Beer Co.
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Great Lakes Brewing Company, located just west of downtown in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, stands as the state’s first microbrewery. The brewpub occupies two historic buildings on Market Avenue in Ohio City. The Taproom features the Tiger Mahogany Bar—Cleveland’s oldest. Bullet holes in the bar are said to have been caused by Cleveland Safety Director, Eliot Ness, the same who would later take down Al Capone in Chicago during the prohibition era (with the help of Sean Connery). The downstairs, Rathskeller, features distressed brick walls and another wooden bar. Adjacent to the brewpub is an indoor/outdoor beer garden, the perfect setting for a sunny day. In 1988, a brewery was added to the historic six-building complex, as well as banquet facilities, and a gift shop.
The Great Lakes Brewing Company started crafting beer in 1988, at the beginning of America’s fascination with microbrews. They were the first such brewery in Ohio. The Conway brothers, who still own the facility, employed a master brewer, Thaine Johnson, who had worked in the last of Cleveland’s historic breweries, thus tying the old with the new. They produced 1000 barrels that first year. Today, they produce 70,000 barrels annually.
Great Lakes is best known for its amber beer, Dortmunder Gold. The brewery also produces Burning River Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, and Holy Moses White Ale. Seasonal brews, such as Moondog Ale and Christmas Ale round out the selection. Great Lakes Brewing Company distributes in Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition to the brewpub, Great Lakes beers are available at most beer outlets in Cleveland.
Fat Head’s Brewery
Alandmark in the Pittsburgh area, Fatheads has opened a new location in the North Olmsted building that once housed Danny Boy’s Farmers Market. Matt Cole, formerly the brewermaster for Rocky River Brewing Company, is the Director of Brewing Operations for the new Fat Heads establishment.
“The Fat Heads concept circles around a laid-back, casual atmosphere with quality beer and fun, creative and innovative food,” said Cole to a Plain Dealer reporter. “You mention Fat Heads to anyone who knows Pittsburgh and they will tell you they’ve been there.”
Platform Beer Co.
When you stop by Platform Beer Co. for a drink, we want you to expect not only a great beer, but a beer you’ve yet to try. Foregoing traditional flagship lineups, we brew a constant rotation of seasonal craft beers. Our goal is to introduce drinkers to unfamiliar beer styles as well as unequaled examples of the classics.
Alongside our house beers, we will have beers brewed by our Platform Brewers Group incubator program. Home brewers who are working their way through the brewing incubator will have a chance to showcase their beers at our taphouse and get real world feedback. We hope to arm them with the knowledge and experience to take their favorite hobby to the next level.
Market Garden Brewery
Andy Tveekrem is the Brewmaster and partner in the Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently under construction, the brewery, restaurant, beer garden and distillery will be opening in early 2011. Andy has been a professional brewer for 20 years and prior to this venture has been the Brewmaster at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware (2004-2009), Frederick Brewing Company in Maryland (2000-2004), and Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland (1991-2000). He grew up in Akron, is a 1985 graduate of the College of Wooster and now lives in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland with his wife, Vickie. Many of his interests seem to involve the letter B: beer, bicycling, bowling, and barbeque, to name just a few.
Sibling Revelry Brewing Co.
Sibling Revelry Brewing was founded by a family of brothers and cousins from Cleveland who wanted to share their passion for great beer with others. Noticing a lack of breweries in the west side suburbs, the relatives set out to create a unique taproom and drinking experience rooted right in their own backyards.
Sibling Revelry’s sophisticated taproom offers a full selection of craft beers including year-round brews, seasonal varieties, limited releases and taproom exclusives. Pair beers with a rotating selection of food trucks with great foods like sandwiches, burgers, and more.
Rocky River Brewing Co.
R ocky River Brewing Company is an award-winning brewpub and restaurant located in Rocky River, Ohio. The 5,000 sq. ft. dining and pub area, styled in a turn-of-the-century architectural style, offers a casual and family-friendly dining experience for lunch, dinner or late night excitement.
Chef Bill Fogarty creates an eclectic array of menu selections using only the freshest and most delectable ingredients to put new twist on old favorites. Our exceptionally hand-crafted beers are brewed with expertise by our award-winning brewmaster, Jim Lieb. The food, the beer, our friendly and courteous staff, and our patrons all make visiting R.R.B.C. a fantastic and memorable experience. We welcome you to enjoy your visit through our web site but, more importantly, we would like to welcome you to visit R.R.B.C. with your family and friends to enjoy the the pleasant atmosphere, fresh food and great beers in person.
Cornerstone Brewing Co.
Enjoy casual atmosphere and fine food. Come in and try our delicious menu and our wide variety of drinks. We know you’ll love it here at Cornerstone Brewing Company. We are located in the historic Berea Triangle. Minutes from the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Baldwin Wallace College.
Of Cornerstone, Scene Magazine said, “This good-looking microbrewery just about has it all: good pub fare, laid-back style, and a handcrafted collection of above-average beers, ranging from the crisp Grindstone Gold (an American-style lager) to the Big Creek Porter, a dark, hefty potion loaded with chocolate, roasted malt, and hops flavors.”
The Brew Kettle
The BREW Kettle opened its doors in the fall of 1995 as Ohio’s First Brew-On-Premise Microbrewery.
From that first day it has been our goal to provide our customers with the guidance, equipment and the freshest ingredients to produce quality, hand-crafted beers in an environment that is professional, safe and fun.
Eight years and 15,000 batches later, we are still committed to our customers’ needs and desires.
We invite you to visit our brewery to have a “look-see”, visit with our expert brewing staff, or try brewing a batch from our “tried-and-true” recipe list. we guarantee you’ll be hooked!
At The BREW Kettle you are the Brewer. We’ll provide the recipe, ingredients and assistance while you brew and bottle your favorite style of beer. The BREW Kettle offers over 70 different recipes to choose from. Chris McKim, our Brewmaster and winner of 9 National Brew-On-Premise Medals (including 5 GOLD’S!), has created each recipe to be technically accurate as described in the style guide for America’s largest beer event, The Great American Beer Festival.
The BREW Kettle is a social gathering place where small and large groups of brewers are invited to reserve one to six kettles. Your brew session will last approximately 2 1/2 hours. While you’re brewing, relax and enjoy a beer or homemade soda from our great selection. After brewing, we’ll help you cool and transfer your brew into a fermenter and we’ll look after it during fermentation. When you return two weeks later, your beer will be chilled, filtered, carbonated and ready for you to bottle. A brew session produces 6 cases of beer(22oz bottles). Or if you prefer, we’ll keg your brew for parties or home draft systems.
The BREW Kettle offers a wide variety of label options for you to personalize your brew. Choose form over 200,000 clipart images, or provide us with your own design. From simple black& white “stock” labels to color scans from you personal photo library, our designers can meet your needs. Commemorate your next special occasion such as birthdays, weddings, baby announcements and holidays with your own unique label design.
The BREW Kettle is your source for homebrew supplies. We offer by the pound, whole grains and unhopped malt extracts and by the ounce, pellet hops.
The BREW Kettle and Ringneck Brewing Company also offer a wide variety of carry-out bottled beer and soda. And don’t forget our logo gear and gift certificates are always available. Your personalized brew can be a great gift, a unique addition to any party, or simply the best and freshest beer for enjoyment at home.
The BREW Kettle invites you to Brew with the Best. Our expert brewing staff is always ready to help you brew your own. We promise you’ll be proud to exclaim, “That’s my beer!” And every batch comes with our “complete-satisfaction-guarantee”. We look forward to serving you.
Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.
H ere at the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, full flavor, delicate balance, texture & aroma combine to make beer an infinitely complex experience, and one that can be thoroughly enjoyable.
Each of our beers are meticulously hand crafted in small batches using the finest ingredients. High quality malted barley is the source of the beer’s sweetness & body. Select American & European hops are used to balance the malt sweetness, and , at times, add special flavors & aromas to the beer.
Our careful selection of ingredients, along with specially designed recipes & brewing processes, give Thirsty Dog beers their unique flavor profiles that can be hard to find in today’s mass market. “one size fits all” society.
Our microbrewed beers are far more diverse in range and character then the small spectrum of mass-marketed beers offered to the American public by the large national breweries.
Welcome to Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, and welcome to great beer!
Masthead Brewing Co.
Masthead Brewing Company is located in the historic Bryant Building at 1261 Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland. Our building was originally built in 1921 as an automotive dealership and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The taproom is a completely open floorplan with high ceilings perfectly suited for our operation.
The taproom features 300 seats, a 100’ long bar, and an additional 50 seat dog friendly patio with a view of downtown Cleveland. Masthead includes a full bar and kitchen focusing on American and Belgian style beers, Neapolitan wood-fired pizza, and a barrel aged beer program, which utilizes exclusively allocated whiskey barrels from top-rated distilleries.
Nano Brew Cleveland is a friendly neighborhood brewpub with 24 beers on draft both at the inside bar and at the lively outdoor Beer Garden Bar. Enjoy a freshly brewed beer from our 1 barrel brewhouse or any of the other local craft breweries we feature on draft. Brewmaster Andy Tveekrem brings over two decades of award-winning brewing experience to this small but mighty brewhouse to turn out adventurous and at times experimental brews. From one of a kind brews to recipes that might make it to full scale production at our Market Garden Brewery & Distillery just down the block, the lineup of beers will change daily.
Willoughby Brewing Co.
Nestled in the heart of Historic Downtown Willoughby, Ohio lies Willoughby Brewing Co. Established in February of 1998, we are a full-service restaurant, bar and award-winning brewery in a 100-year-old building that was originally a rail-car repair depot for the Cleveland to Ashtabula Interurban Rail Line.
Renovated and updated, our facility provides a spacious yet cozy dining experience. Our bar comes complete with a stage and state-of-the-art sound system–home to the finest rock and blues acts inthe Greater Cleveland area.
Willoughby Brewing Company offers a mouth-watering array of dishes for your dining pleasure. From cheeseburgers to sirloin, pizza to pasta, one thing is for certain – This is no ordinary brewpub dining experience.
The atmosphere is friendly and casual. Wide open spaces are offset by a divided dining room so you’ll feel cozy without feeling crowded. High ceilings and natural brick walls with large, arched windows round out the reasons why you will feel completely at ease in this delightfully restored century-old building.
Collision Bend Brewing Co.
Collision Bend Brewing Company is an artisanal brewery and full-service restaurant, featuring crisp, bright beers brewed on site, served alongside freshly prepared Southern California street food.
Located on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland’s Flats District, the brewery is housed in the newly renovated Hausheer Building on Old River Road. Built in 1863, the site first served as a chandlery, where Civil-War era-merchant ships stockpiled supplies before setting sail onto the Great Lakes.
Today, beer is handcrafted by one of Cleveland’s preeminent brew masters, Luke Purcell, who helped launch the Great Lakes Brewing Company into national fame. Luke, and his team of brewers, carefully pair a variety of beers with an eclectic menu of food prepared from scratch that includes small plates to share and pizza from a wood-fired oven.
Many of the brewing and food ingredients are locally sourced. A menu of fresh, natural food was designed specifically to compliment the unique flavors of beer and will continue to change as Luke releases new batches.
Across an expansive, waterfront patio, diners can watch iron-ore freighters carefully inch themselves around the infamous Collision Bend – a U-shaped turn in the Cuyahoga that has tested ship captains for more than a century and sparked citywide debates about redirecting the river.
Exclusive parking and private dock space for boats make Collision Bend Brewing Company the most accessible destination in the flats.
Collision Bend Brewing Company is setting new standards in modern microbreweries. With an unrivaled fresh, natural menu and beers destine for national awards, the brewery is quickly becoming a Cleveland landmark on the Cuyahoga River.
Double Wing Brewing Co.
Double Wing Brewing Co. Formerly Cellar Rats Brewery has been brewing beer at Debonne Vineyards since 2008. In 2011 Expansion saw the addition of a brand new brewing facility on site as well as a new 15 BBL Brewhouse, 30 BBL Fermentation Tanks, and 30 and 60 BBL Brites.
In addition to producing Double Wing Beers and POC Pilsener, Double Wing is also a full service contract brewery.
Brick & Barrel Brewing Co.
Our nano-brewery was built with traditional masonry, top quality brewing equipment, and a passion for fine flavors. Its industrial feel fits like a glove in the local neighbourhood of Columbus Road Peninsula in the Cleveland Flats. Our owner/brewer Karl Spiesman can usually be found here, tirelessly working on his next batch of quality craft beers.
All of our beers are carefully prepared using three fermenters. There’s Sir William Wallace, our hefty seven-barrel fermenter, and Fezzik, our teeny weeny 10 gallon system. Lastly, our newest addition is a brilliant fermentation tank that we proudly call ‘R2D2’. If you are curious why we call him that, please do stop in to take a look; you’ll completely understand. Watch out ladies – he’s a real charmer.
With support from the thirsty beer patrons of Cleveland, Ohio, we’ve already ordered our next tanks and will continue to grow while maintaining an intimate ‘conversational’ environment. We’re also ordering in new wine, bourbon, and maple syrup barrels to ensure variety-loving drinkers are happy.
Boris Music made big news when he broke ground in April of 2013 on his multi-million dollar construction project that would transform the corner of Lorain and W. 28th into a shiny new brewery, restaurant, and retail shop.
Music and his specialty foods shop Hansa Import House have been fixtures in the Ohio City neighborhood for 40 years, longer even than Great Lakes Brewing. So it was welcome news when he announced his plans to construct a 15-barrel brewery and restaurant while improving his long-running specialty foods shop. That shop, long popular with Eastern European immigrants, carries a huge inventory of imported cheeses, meats, bread, and beers. Now, Boris’ dream has become a reality. We welcome you with open arms and cold beer to Cleveland’s newest, authentic Eastern European restaurant and brewery. PROST!
Noble Beast Brewing Co.
We’re a small family-run brewery and restaurant in beautiful downtown Cleveland. Our kitchen focuses on seasonal farm-fresh ingredients to create tasty bar grub. The brewery creates a mix of traditional European styles and experimental American ales with sporadic funky barrel releases.
The Cleveland Oktoberfest Microbrew Competition will be held Friday-Monday Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30th-Sept. 2nd, 2019. Microbrew Competition hours are from 4PM-Midnight Fri, 2PM-Midnight Sat & Sun, and from 2PM-8PM Monday. Oktoberfest will provide volunteers to pour, so brewers need not be present to participate, with the exception of Friday night. Since medals are handed out Friday night, we would like to have at least one brewery rep from each brewery present. An 8′ x 10′ space will be provided to each participating brewer. No fee will be charged for space. Only established breweries will be considered for inclusion. Though non-German beer styles are permitted, this being an Oktoberfest, we’d prefer that brewers concentrate on German styles (see categories below). Non-German styles will only be eligible for awards in the People’s Choice and Best of Show categories. Brewers may submit up to five beer styles for consideration.
The Cleveland Oktoberfest will purchase as much beer as necessary to meet demand, which for most brewers should be roughly 9 kegs total (not per style), though brewers who went through more than that in previous years are free to bring more. Should demand exceed supply, Oktoberfest would wish to purchase additional kegs from any brewers who are able to restock on the fly. Oktoberfest will provide keg tubs, though we ask that entrants bring their own jocky boxes. Ice will be freely available upon request. Brewers wishing to participate should email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Prior to the competition, we like to have a list of beers being submitted by each brewer. This gives our judging panel a chance to properly prepare to judge all entries. Note that Oktoberfest reserves the right to accept or reject any application for any reason. Space is limited, so brewers who wish to participate should submit applications for consideration as soon as possible.
On Friday there will be a panel judging, and on Monday the People’s Choice ballots will be tallied and a winner announced. The panel judging Friday night will award the best beer in four separate categories, as well as a Best in Show.
Brewers may submit into multiple categories. Should a brewer wish to bring a beer that does not fit into one of the categories listed below, that’s fine, though again, that beer would only be eligible for the People’s Choice and Best in Show awards.
Best “Classic” Oktoberfest
Best German Light Lager
Best German Ale
Best German Bock or Dark Lager
All German Best of Show
Open: Non-German Styles
Best of the Rest of the World
People’s Choice (The People’s Choice award will be judged by Oktoberfest patrons, who will be issued punchable cards and must purchase at least five 3oz. samples to be eligible to vote. When a patron purchases a sample, their card will be punched. The cards will double as ballots, which must be submitted no later than one hour prior to the close of Oktoberfest on Monday. After the ballots are counted, the winner will be announced and the award handed out, or delivered to the brewer if not present.)
Overall Best of Show
Oktoberfest will provide volunteers to dispense beer, though Brewers are encouraged to have a rep on hand to speak about their beer and brewing process. We encourage brewers to decorate their space to make it easily recognizable. Brewers are also welcome to sell other promotional items, such as T-Shirts and beer cozies, though glassware may not be sold.
The Best Oktoberfest Microbrew Competition will be located in the Bier Garten. When loading and unloading, Microbrew Reps will be allowed to drive right up to rear of the Bier Garten using the Vendor Entrance or Main Entrance, though if using the Main Entrance, all vehicles must be off the Midway one hour prior to gate opening. There will be a refrigerated truck behind of the Bier Garten to hold all beer not in use. There will also be an easily accessible ice chest in the Bier Garten for icing down kegs, and each brewer’s station will be furnished with two keg tubs (though again, brewers will need to bring their own jocky boxes). To view a map of the grounds,
click here (the Vendor Entrance is located in the upper left hand corner of the map).
If you have any questions please feel free to call Rich Croft at
216-650-1665 or email email@example.com.