Don’t expect to catch a Cleveland Browns game at the BottleHouse Brewery and Meadery. The Cleveland Heights seven-barrel brewhouse and its newest 5,000-square-foot Lakewood location are intentionally designed without TVs to create a gathering place. Each site boasts rows of communal wooden picnic benches beside a collection of pinball machines and board games. But the heart of the operation resides in the oak barrels on display. Although there’s more than 15 handcrafted small-batch beers on tap, the BottleHouse is perhaps most known for its barrel-aged honey meads and tart, effervescent sour beers — that can take up to three years to sour inside barrels using wild yeast. “There’s a real art to the blending, which I love,” says owner and brewmaster Brian Benchek. “You need to be aware of the flavors being created, but you won’t know how it tastes for two years.” Our Pick: The crisp and funky En Foret ($8 for 10 ounces) is a dark amber sour beer aged in chardonnay barrels with Guyette Farms honey and local pears.
13368 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-926-0025; 2050 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-801-1455, thebottlehousebrewingcompany.com