Beer drinkers in northern Ohio enjoy high-alcohol brews. That’s one of the anecdotal findings from the inaugural Cleveland Winter Beerfest.
The event, held last weekend at the Cleveland Convention Center, was a big hit, attracting 7,000 people over two nights.
“We would have been very happy with 5,000,” said Craig Johnson, director of events for Festivals Unlimited, which puts on similar festivals in Cincinnati, Columbus and Pittsburgh.
Asked what he learned about the Cleveland area, Johnson replied: “The consumption of the higher alcohol beers and higher quality beers was definitely a bit higher than the other markets.”
He attributed that to more widespread knowledge about craft beers in the region. Cleveland is home to Ohio’s first craft brewery — Great Lakes Brewing, which opened in 1988 — and for years Northeast Ohio was the center of craft brewing in the state.
Johnson said the Cleveland Winter Beerfest will be back next year. And when it returns, the event will be bigger and there will be more food options, he said.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a roundup about the event. To read it and check out a 60-second video, click here.