Even if you hate beer, you know Great Lakes Brewing Co. for its Christmas Ale, Fatty Wagon and eco-friendly business practices. It is our leading craft brewery — arguably our city’s greatest export. The brewpub, which has given most of its beers intimately Cleveland names, is closely tied to the city’s beer history. The mahogany bar, it’s claimed, is Cleveland’s oldest (ask the bartender to show you the bullet holes). Eliot Ness, the legendary Prohibition agent who ended his law-enforcement career here, is said to have frequented the Market Tavern, the original tenant of Great Lakes’ Ohio City home. Order something not sold in stores. This place turns out great experiments. We liked the Hale Ale, which includes herbs from the brewery’s farm plot in Bath, and spent our whole lunch trying to identify the individual flavors in the bouquet of the brew.
Take it home: For sale just about everywhere.
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
How long he’s been brewing: Mark has been the master brewer at Great Lakes Brewing Co. for close to 3 years (his actual title is manager of brewing and quality control). He has been brewing for 12 years total, all of them at Great Lakes.
How he went pro: “Being at the right place at the right time. I was hired because of my science background and I helped to expand the quality control department [at Great Lakes].” It was there that Hunger learned about brewing, filtering, and packaging beer. “I did a little bit of everything.”
Favorite part of the job: “Seeing the final product at the end.” He also likes the diversity his job offers, which sometimes involves filling in for brewers and other positions. “It’s never a typical day/”
Favorite type of beer: “I’m a lager man, Elliott Ness is probably my favorite.”
Bottle or draft? draft
What he wishes more people knew about beer: “Especially around this area, I would like people to know about the diversity that beer can offer. There are a lot of styles other than Bud and Bud Light.”
Suggestions for the home brewer: “Concentrate on being as clean as possible and be detail-oriented. If you’re not, it can have a big effect on the final product.”
Big plans for the future: “We’re definitely growing. We try to add equipment and try to fulfill the demand that’s out there — try to meet the demand and still keep a high quality product.”
— Matt Beargie