Great Lakes Brewing Co. is growing again.
The Cleveland brewery — already the largest craft brewery in Ohio outside of Samuel Adams in Cincinnati — installed two 600-barrel stainless-steel bright tanks last week.
The tanks, which were brought in through the Port of Cleveland, were lifted by crane into the brewery’s production facility.
The work is part of $7 million worth of capital improvements this year to expand brewing capacity by about 20 percent, Great Lakes said. Four new 600-barrel stainless-steel fermenters are scheduled to arrive soon.
The brewery, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013, has reported that beer shipments climbed 22 percent to 142,673 barrels last year. Great Lakes is the 20th largest craft brewer in the United States, according to the Brewers Association.
SweetWater Brewing Co. is coming to Ohio.
The Atlanta brewery announced last week that it will enter the Buckeye State in September.
“While on a recent tour through Ohio, I could feel the energy and excitement throughout the state surrounding craft beer,” Jeff Chassner, director of new market business development at SweetWater, said in a news release. “We feel now is the perfect time for us to tell our story and bring our award-winning brands to the Buckeye State to further complement their already established craft lineup.”
SweetWater, which has won numerous medals at the Great American Beer Festival, is the 19th largest craft brewery in the United States. Its brands include 420, IPA and Blue.
Top craft brewers
The Daily Meal website is once again trying to find the best craft breweries in America and is asking readers to vote for their favorites.
After the votes are tallied, the website will crown the best 50 craft breweries in the United States.
Ohio is well-represented on the preliminary list of 118 breweries that readers get to choose from.
Cleveland, Fat Head’s, Great Lakes, Hoppin’ Frog, Jackie O’s, JAFB Wooster, Lager Heads, Rivertown and Thirsty Dog made the initial cut. (Cleveland is more than a curious choice. It doesn’t even have its state brewing license yet. How can anyone in their right mind vote for a brewery as the best in America if it hasn’t opened?)
To vote, go to www.thedailymeal.com/vote-best-craft-brewery-america. Voting ends today.
More than 3,000
The Brewers Association announced last week that there are now more than 3,000 breweries operating in the United States — likely the first time the country has topped that number since the 1870s.
“The majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a local brewery, and with almost 2,000 planning breweries in the BA database, that percentage is only going to climb in the coming years,” association chief economist Bart Watson wrote on the group’s website.
Akron Zoo reminder
The Akron Zoo’s Christmas-themed Brew at the Zoo beer tasting runs from 6 to 9 p.m. today.
Participating breweries are: Alltech, Black Box, the Brew Kettle, Elevator, Fat Head’s, Jackie O’s, MadCap, Ohio, Stone and Thirsty Dog. Tramonte Distributing also is attending.
Tickets are $17 for zoo members and $23 for nonmembers. For more details or to register, call 330-375-2550, ext. 7231. Only guests 21 and older are permitted.
Ohio Brew Week
Ohio Brew Week runs through Saturday in Athens. I stopped by Sunday to sample several beers and chat with RateBeer.com founder Joe Tucker, who is this year’s keynote speaker.
Tucker praised Ohio’s craft beer scene, saying the state’s ratings “have been significantly above the world average” on his website.
“Ohio beer has come out of the gate,” he said. “It’s just this passion for great beer that’s here and it’s been consistent from when we started to now.”
There are more than 200 Ohio-made beers available during the week. Organizers created a four-page checklist for craft beer fans.
That led to this quip from Todd Schwartz of Washington, D.C., who came in to visit and drink with his son John, a soon-to-be senior at Ohio University:
“If we check off all these, do we win a new liver?”
D’Agnese’s & Great Lakes
D’Agnese’s at White Pond, 566 White Pond Drive, Akron, will hold a four-course Farm to Table Beer Dinner at 6 p.m. July 23 showcasing Great Lakes Brewing.
The dinner will feature Wright Brothers Pils with salad, Eliot Ness Amber Lager with pork belly slider, Spacewalker American Belgo with Lake Erie walleye and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter with ice cream sandwiches. There also will be a pub exclusive beer with an appetizer.
Tickets are $40 plus tax and tip. For reservations, call 234-678-3612.
• Moody Tongue Brewing in Chicago will soon offer Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner for as much as $120 a bottle.
• The Columbus Dispatch reported that the city is in the running for a new Stone Brewing Co. brewery.
• The Fifth Street Brewpub in Dayton — Ohio’s newest brewery — will start serving its own beer today.
• Lucky Star Brewery in Miamisburg has announced it will open Aug. 1.
• World Record Academy reports that the Stodd Fold Brewing Co. in Britain has set a world record by pouring the largest ever glass of beer at 3,664 pints.