Experience history. Experience Cleveland. Experience a truly great American craft brewery. Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s importance cannot be overstated. Dan and Pat Conway opened Ohio’s first craft brewery in 1988, introducing Clevelanders to full-bodied beers like Eliot Ness Amber Lager and Dortmunder Gold Lager. The brothers didn’t just make good beer — they changed the way we thought about beer. The release of their Christmas Ale in 1992 gifted us with an entire genre of spiced holiday ales that we look forward to unwrapping each winter. “When we first started, we used to buy boxes of gin shakers, because glass companies didn’t sell pints. People weren’t drinking those kinds of beers,” says Dan Conway. “We kind of made the market.” Almost 30 years later, Great Lakes Brewing remains just as relevant with pub exclusives such as the peppery, wet-hopped OMJ Saison ($5 for 16 ounces) that’s still brewed on the original seven-barrel system in its gorgeous, wood-paneled taproom. Our Pick: Once you get through the classics, try something new. Available in spring and summer, the Grandes Lagos ($5 for 16 ounces) is a malty, pink lager highlighted by a tart, hibiscus flavor.
2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, 216-771-4404, greatlakesbrewing.com