Home brewing is generally a cheaper alternative to buying the commercial beers you love, and it gives you the room to tweak recipes to your personal tastes. Where do you purchase supplies? Cleveland, ranked as one of the top beer cities in the United States, has gone years without meeting its local home brewers’ needs, forcing them to acquire supplies out of the area, or from Internet-based vendors.
And then came Paul Benner. Armed with four years of home brewing knowledge and a burning desire to turn his passion into a profitable business, Benner opened The Cleveland Brew Shop in Tremont just last week.
What used to be a not-so-desirable part of town, in recent years Tremont has transformed into a happening night life scene, featuring plenty of trendy bars and cooking up some of the best food in Cleveland. Located at 2681 West 14th Street, Benner is leasing a 1200 square foot store front with newly finished hardwood floors and repurposed shelving, giving the place some awesome character.
Benner’s goal with the shop is to help customers make craft beer at home, to give them a place to shop for supplies while picking up a few home brewing tips. The shop focuses on how simple it can be to brew at home; to alleviate some of the confusion or complication first time brewers may encounter.
Home brewing can save craft brew drinkers a great deal of money, too. Once you’re set up with all of the necessary equipment, you can brew 52 beers for just $30–that’s well under $1 a beer for a good, quality craft brew. The nice thing about home brewing, attests Benner, is that it’s a physical process, and you’re able to see and enjoy the fruits of your labor when the brewing is completed.
Whether you concoct your own recipes or brew a clone of your favorite beer, the choice is yours and The Cleveland Brew Shop is there to supply you with what you’ll need. Benner plans to stock every base grain, and at least 40 specialty malts and 25 hop varieties. The shop also stocks a selection of wine making supplies. The best part? Benner is getting the majority of the store’s supplies from the largest wholesaler in the United States, LD Carlson, which is located in nearby Akron. Deliveries will be made weekly, so you can always count on a fresh batch of stock at The Cleveland Brew Shop.
In addition to carrying the necessary supplies, Benner also plans on having several brewing classes each month which will feature beer tastings with neighboring restaurant Bac and brewing demos.
No matter your interest level in home brewing, check out The Cleveland Brew Shop and chat with the people working. You can tell they’re passionate about what they’re doing, and you’re sure to walk away having learned something. While you’re there, check out their Christmas special–an equipment kit, ingredient kit, kettle, and a voucher for a beer making class all for $150 (you save 25%). Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like 5 gallons of home brewed craft beer.