On tap at River Of Beer, super-hazed hybridized New England-styled India Pale Ale given Belgian farmhouse yeast that allows tart lemon-peeled spicing and dank earthen rusticity of a saison to spike orange peel sweetness and grapefruit rind bittering of an IPA. Candied pineapple, sugary lemonade and tangy tangerine dangle below next to wavering grassy-hopped astringency and pale wheat malting.
On tap at Seven Lakes Station, tart peach adjunct adds sweet ‘n sour nuances to mildly acidic lemon liming and casual woodruff syruping. Milk-soured peach-apricot yogurt finish casually fades away.
On tap at District Tap House NYC, reliable hybridized medium body lets sharp citric-pined hop bite of India Pale Ale battle back tart orange-peeled coriander spicing of Belgian witbier. Tangy grapefruit, orange, tangerine, peach and yellow grape surge contrasts coniferous piney hop bittering above sticky cotton-candied honeyed wheat spine. Lost in the shuffle is wit-like mandarin orange piquancy and pilsner malting.
Modest yellow-hazed pale ale with mild coffee-beaned nuttiness and lemon rind twist fades fast as lightly embittered reedy hop astringency advances slowly. Tidy rye, carapils and pale malts provide delicate backup to underwhelmed espresso coffee finish.
On tap at Ambulance, mildly tantalizing oak-aged saison utilizes bone-dry pear juice tartness to hybridize dry earthen farmhouse styling. Lemony cider-soured pear juicing sweetened just a tad by caramel-candied malts while mild lemongrass herbage and acrid barnyard hay stay below the surface.
On tap at Ambulance, dandy Christmastime Belgian Strong Ale (9.5% ABV) tweaks honeyed chocolate, caramel and toffee malting with candi-sugared tart cherries. Beneath light molasses-draped mocha malt spicing lies vanilla-sweetened banana, raisin, date and fig illusions escalated by rummy 8% alcohol burn.
Open for business since the Fourth of July, 2014, PLATFORM BEER CO. is arguably Cleveland’s best brewpub (with a second site now operating in Columbus). Utilizing a large, raw space just west of downtown Cleveland at the Gordon Square Arts District in the Ohio City district, Platform delivers a plethora of wide-ranging brews and allows dedicated brewing apprentices to sharpen their craft through their Incubator pilot batch program sponsored by owner Paul Benner’s Cleveland Beer Shop across the street.
Inside a defunct meat packing warehouse, Platform’s red brick-walled interior, Edison bulb lighting, black ceiling and exposed ducts provide an Industrial setting while the dog-friendly rear patio offers further seating. The 25-seat central bar contains 2 cornered TV’s, 24 tap handles and several brew tanks. Two community tables, an electronic bowling game and a satellite kitchen at the front complete the score as my wife and I settle mid-bar to sample some of the best suds this town’s got to offer in spades during a March ’17 sojourn.
For a soft-toned starter, City Boy Sour retained a pinkish champagne hue and flavoring as raspberry-pureed souring reigned upon sugary Sweet-Tart spicing and spritzy lemon salting to its straw wheat base.
Dedicated to Cleveland’s hard-working blue collar souls, New Cleveland Palesner Pilsner engaged its dried barleycorn musk with earthen Noble hop herbage, cracker-like pale malts and floral snips.
Hopped-up Vienna-lagered Taube Brau brought caramelized barley malting to floral-dusted hops and desiccated orange-fig illusions in a spritzy manner.
The Project -Eldorado Pale Ale, a light-bodied sweetener, loaded tangy strawberry, melon, lemon, canteloupe and pineapple brightener upon its honey-spiced Graham Cracker base.
‘Complex’ Winter Wit layered polite Christmas spicing atop mild lemon-soured orange peel bittering, herbal lemongrass perfuming, distant banana-clove sugaring and neutral white wheat graining.
Brisk tropical fruiting picked up sharp hop spicing for excellent flagship offering, Speed Merchant White IPA, where floral orange-peeled grapefruit, peach, pineapple, mango and lemon illusions brightened the soft white wheat base as its dry piney bitterness increased tension.
A veritable citrus hop bouquet wafts its way thru medium-full-bodied Warrah Imperial IPA, framing its bittersweet orange-peeled grapefruit, pineapple and tangerine tang as well as its dried-fruited black cherry, fig and date nuances with caramel malt sweetness.
Smoky meat-cured beechwood subtleties affected Noble Dragon Porter, a black chocolate-based dark ale with maple, caramel and vanilla sweetness contrasting earthen pepper spicing.
Possibly today’s best choice, High Brow Barista Pale Ale let rye-spiced malts propel dry-beaned medium roast coffee bittering above its zesty lemon rind tartness and wispy grapefruit tingle in a crisply clean-watered setting.