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52 Weeks: Fathead’s Brewery and Saloon, Cleveland, OH

September 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Damn that's a fat head!

33 out of 52

(so close to being caught up. So close, I can taste it!)

Fathead’s Brewery

24581 Lorain Rd.

North Olmstead, OH 44070

440-801-1001

Rank: 3.5/5

Type of Establishment: Brewery, Family Restaurant, 2010 GABF Award Winning Beer Making Facility

Visit: Ohio. A place I visited often as a child. A place where many family members live. A place I went to college and a place I met my husband. This visit I had mother, brother, sister and brother-in-law in tow. Of course we found all of the beer bars around Elyria, Ohio where my grandma lives and convinced the family to venture out for dinner, to a place with epic guest beers, award winning beers on tap and massive (seriously massive) sandwiches. I present to you, Fathead’s Brewery and Saloon.

Beers on Tap- so many, but here are some highlights (FH= Fathead):

Great Lakes Blackout Stout

Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Petrus Aged Pale

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

FH Head Hunter IPA

FH Koko Head Chocolate Coconut Cream Stout

FH Hop JuJu Imperial IPA

Bottles: I honestly do not recall if they had a bottle list. With all those taps and in house beers, it wasn’t necessary or a focus of ours at the moment.

Food Options: Wings, Sandwiches, Pizza, Wings, Sandwiches, Pizza and some salads for you health nuts. Smoked wings, full wings for an intense, dedicated wing eater. For the main course, a term coined by Fathead, a “headwich” is a really massively large sandwich. Seriously, the size of your head. Delicious cheeses, vegetables and meats on soft, fresh bread. Its heaven on a plate, next to a beer, among family, in Ohio. The Southside Slope was voted #5 Best Sandwich in America, just sayin’. This place is receiving a ton of good press!

BAR OPINION: When we visit Ohio, we aim to eat some damn tasty wings, indulge in other hearty foods and drink, what us West coasters consider, “rare beers.” Here at Fathead, all of our needs were met and then some. The space is rather large. We walked in the front entrance with a small merchandise shop next to the hostess – one pint glass, Check! The hostesses wear uniforms consisting of black pants and blue polo shirts with Fathead icon (which is a big fat guy head, pretty sweet) printed on them. The hostesses and our waitress were very patient, accommodating and willing to take the time and answer our long line of questions.

Our family of 6 walked past the bar area, light wood glistened with a glass backdrop behind the bar. We sit down and I dive for the beer menu. What, oh what does this brewery have to offer. Petrus Aged Pale ON TAP!!! Granted the keg was kicked during my pour, but I walked away with a half of a Petrus for free. Such a great beer. One of my favorite Belgium beers. The beers were impressive, both the Head Hunter IPA and the Hop JuJu Imperial IPA were absolutely stunning. A flavor explosion followed by a lingering sweetness and a well balanced experience. Congrats to Fathead’s Head Hunter for taking the Silver at GABF this year for best American style IPA.

Due to our party size, we were seated in the back. This brewery can accommodate the best of them: beer buddies out to knock a few back as well as the family of six (plus small children if we had any). It could use a little more ambiance, but their beers, their epic sandwiches, smokey delicious wings and hilarious brand make Fathead’s Brewery and Saloon a must visit in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Take the whole fam!

Come on Down to Cleveland Town, Everyone.

September 2, 2010 1 comment

Fathead's IPA is magnificent.

I assume that by now, you have seen the “hastily made Cleveland tourism” videos that graced the internet last year. They are, unfortunately, a fairly honest portrayal of our fair city on the Lake.

But do not despair and do not fear your trip to the “Heart of Rock N Roll” – we have beer here. And this beer ain’t too shabby, either.

While we are visiting some family back in the good ole Midwest, we decided to take a few trips around the Cleveland airport. I figure that many of you fly to Cleveland purely for business and the short trip might limit you to the airport region. So, lets see what we have here.

First of all, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is stuck in the middle of no man’s land. The airport is buried about 20 miles south of Cleveland’s downtown, in a mostly abandoned industrial portion of Cleveland.

However, over the past few years, we have seen a nice growth spurt in the residential areas surrounding it. Particularly, North Olmstead and Strongsville; while you also are close to the more metropolitan neighborhoods of Rocky River and Lakewood. We found 4 brewpubs that you have to visit!

Fathead’s Brewery & Saloon

In North Olmstead: Fatheads Brewery & Saloon. Fathead’s originated in Pittsburgh and moved to Cleveland in early 2009. We recently visited the place and were floored with the brewery’s ales, the bar’s selection and the amazing food. We will be publishing a full-length article on the pub soon, but I want to take a moment to comment on 3 things:

  1. Fathead’s IPA  -  Do not avoid these beers! The Head Hunter IPA hasrountinely garnered medal after medal at big time beer events. It won the West Coast IPA Festival’s gold medal in 2009 and placed 4th this year. Remember – that was West Coast, as in going up against the big boys.  Know why they can beat the CA brewers? Tons of Simcoe and Columbus hops, meticulously added to a refreshing malt blend.
  2. Fathead’s Imperial IPA – Ok Ok, I didn’t veer too far from the hops. But,

    Mmm. Hop Juju.

    why would you!? The Hop Juju Imperial IPA rivals the best imperial IPAs that I have ever had. It borders on the bitterest, most piney that I have ever tasted. Added bonus: this year’s version went up from 8.7% to 9.3%! Get this beer. Seriously.

  3. Fathead’s amazing food  – I’ll be brief about this – check this menu. More than 25 sandwiches, two types of wings (with 10 sauces), pizzas, burgers and several concoctions involving pierogies. Can’t beat it.

The Brew Kettle

If you go South to Strongsville: The Brew Kettle. I love that this place recently started bottling their beers. I just purchased one at the Acme Supermarket in Akron, OH. But, the Brew Kettle does more than brew beer and sell it – they let you brew your own as well.

The big board at the Kettle.

The Brew Kettle is everything you want in a beer hut. Brew your own, drink their brewed beer or drink from another 20 taps of other amazing beers from around the world. During our visit, we enjoyed Founder’s Red Rye PA, Founders Centennial IPA, New Holland El Mole Ocho, Weyerbacher Old Heathen, and Victory Helios Saison – all were exceptional.

The Brew Kettle also serves some damn good BBQ. We ordered the Big Pig, stuffed with smoked pork, smoked bacon, cheese, several sauces, and tons of veggies. We had to share this monster, along with its sides of beans and slaw. Check out their menu by clicking here.

The Beer Engine

If you decide to head North into Lakewood: The Beer Engine. The Engine is located right in the heart of Lakewood, right down the block from our favorite beer store – Rozi’s Wine House.

The Engine sports a fine collection of grub, outside brewer’s beer, and their own house-brewed beers. You see, the Engine is the home of Buckeye Brewing Co., one of Ohio’s best.

This grog spot was recently showcased on a 52 Weeks article, here on Beer Blotter. Check out the article for more on the great ole Engine.

Rocky River Brewing Co.

Lastly, if you head North to Rocky River: Rocky River Brewing Co. The RRBC is right off the main road through Rocky River, making it nearly impossible to miss.

The RRBC is your classic brewpub, serving their own house made beers, as well as a few offerings from the outside world. Don’t miss their Oompa Loompa Chocolate Stout or their Christmas Ale.

The pub also sports a nice looking menu – though we cannot attest to the food. Regardless, Cleveland brewpubs never disappoint.

So, there you have it – 4 Cleveland brewpubs, all within 20 minutes of the airport. Don’t miss out next time you have a delay or cancellation in C-Town.

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