At first glance, the humble vacuum sweeper and the amazing Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale may not appear to have much in common.
But they’re both products of the city we call home — and we take this issue to celebrate them, as well as the many other inventions and innovations we can claim as our own.
Let’s start with Christmas Ale. Nearly 30 years ago, two dreamers and beer drinkers came up with this ginger-and-cinnamon infused classic.
Since then, it’s become as much of a holiday tradition as heading to Playhouse Square to see the The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol or baking your own sugar cookies at home.
You can certainly stick to just sipping your Christmas Ale, but some of our favorite chefs have taken advantage of its distinct flavors to concoct one-of-a-kind recipes, including one for a Great Lakes brined pork shoulder with parsnip puree, crispy shallots and scallions from Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit in Tremont.
Our Cleveland innovations and inventions package highlights the history both of inventors you know (Thomas Edison and Alexander Winton) and a few surprises, such as Canton department store janitor James Murray, a 60-year-old diagnosed with asthma who invented the first upright, portable vacuum to ease his relentless cough.
Finally, we tell the story of artist Arabella Proffer, who is facing inoperable cancer — and serves as a reminder that the holidays are a struggle for many.
Yet Arabella finds joy in her work and in life, offering this reminder in a blog post: “Go to that gig, that lecture, that exhibition, dinner party, and go on that date. I don’t care if you’re an introvert. Are you really going to say in your life, ‘Oh boy, I’m glad I stayed home scrolling through my phone,’ when you could have actually experienced something?”
Here’s wishing you peace, joy and at least a few fun outings this holiday season.