Clevelanders are spoiled. Before the brewery boom, great craft beers were enough. But today breweries need to astonish our overindulged palates with delicious eats too. So we talked to breweries about what food and beer pairings they’re serving up.
The Pairing: Pierogies ($8) with Polka City Pilsner ($5 for 16 ounces)
Journey to Cleveland’s Slovenian neighborhood with this ethnic-inspired beer and pierogies — hand-pinched by Rudy’s Strudel and Bakery in Parma, pan-fried with onions and topped with creme fraiche. “We focus really on using these Old World foods, even using Old World Slovenian hops,” says sales director Mary-Ellen Jones. “It is a little more hoppy than a typical pilsner but really approachable for someone who drinks light beer.” 1361 E. 55th St., Cleveland, 216-465-1352, goldhornbrewery.com
The Pairing: Trio Sausage Platter ($14) with Winzig Haus Bier ($5 for 16 ounces)
The pride of brewmaster Corey Miller, the 3.3 percent alcohol Winzig Haus Bier is developing a cult following. Miller suggests partnering this traditional Lichtenhainer, or smoked-sour session beer, with the Trio Sausage Platter, a piled-high plate of sauerkraut, home fries and a pick-three combo of bratwursts, whistewursts, frankfurters or local-made Slovenian sausages. “The beer’s smokiness goes really well with the meats, and the sour acidity goes really well with the sauerkraut,” Miller says. 2717 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, 216-631-6585, hansabrewery.com
The Pairing: Spicy Soppressata Pizza ($12) with IPA ($5 for 16 ounces)
The new-to-town brewery heats up the beer-pizza combo with a zesty ‘za loaded with Italian soppressata and giardiniera (spicy pickled vegetables), and an IPA with citrus notes. “IPAs, with the bitterness of the hops, pair very well with spicier foods,” says general manager Jeff Draeger. “Our dough ferments for 48 to 72 hours, because we don’t want to leave our guests full on pizza. We want it to complement the beer.” 1261 Superior Ave., Cleveland, 216-206-6176, mastheadbrewingco.com