Big Chuck is being immortalized in a big beer. The Cleveland television icon, whose real name is Chuck Schodowski, is lending his name and dimple-chinned image to Big Chuck Barleywine.
The craft beer, a powerful brew at 11.7 percent alcohol, is being produced by the Portside Brewery in Cleveland. It’s expected to hit store shelves next month in four-packs of 12-ounce cans.
The label will feature a caricature of Big Chuck, who starred for years on the late-night, skit-based Hoolihan & Big Chuck and Big Chuck and Lil’ John shows on WJW (Channel 8).
“I’ve always been a huge Big Chuck and Lil’ John fan,” Portside co-owner and brewer Dan Malz said Wednesday about the venture. “I used to stay up and watch them.”
He approached Schodowski with the idea of a Big Chuck beer after meeting him at the brewery.
Schodowski couldn’t be reached for comment.
Malz chose the beer style.
“He told me just to do whatever I wanted,” Malz said. “He said pretty much run with it. I wanted a big beer because ‘Big Chuck.’ Big Chuck Barleywine rolled better than Big Chuck Old Ale or Big Chuck Imperial Stout or something.”
Malz will can the beer with Buckeye Canning, a mobile canning business. It will be a limited run with only about 8,000 cans produced.
Big Chuck isn’t the first local celebrity to get his own beer. There are plenty of other local examples.
Great Lakes Eliot Ness Amber Lager is named after the famous crimefighter. The brewery also released Fighting Heart Irish Red Ale in 2012 to honor Cleveland-born boxer Johnny Kilbane.
And Market Garden Brewery last year made Bernie Beer with the blessing of Cleveland Browns legend Bernie Kosar. It also produced Danny Greene Enforcer Imperial Stout, which is named after the late Irish mobster.