CLEVELAND — It’s National Craft Brew Week and in Ohio, the brewing industry is booming.
The state saw 47 breweries open in 2021 alone, coming off an $880.7 million economic impact in 2020. In 2018, it was $967 million.
In March, Forbes tapped Cleveland as America’s next big craft beer destination.
Bridgette and Ryan Tipton, two of the three co-founders and married couple at Bell Tower Brewery, say opening the spot has been a dream come true with nearly seven months of business under their belt.
“It seems like Kent and the surrounding area was primed for a place like this,” said Bridgette. “It definitely feels like it's hitting the spot for a lot of people.”
Though like many, the duo admits the pandemic and shortages have not been easy to navigate.
“Almost all our food is made from scratch, which is kind of hard to do these days just with rising food costs and managing that has been challenging, but it's really been paying off,” said Ryan.
For Luke Purcell, a brew-master at Collision Bend Brewery, seeing Ohio and especially Northeast Ohio, explode with brew success is gratifying.
“The fact that we're not just a part of it but kind of becoming one of the bigger areas is very exciting for me,” he said. “It's just another positive for Cleveland.”
Purcell says the brewery is releasing a collaboration beer with The Brew Kettle in honor of National Craft Brew Week. The name and release date have not been announced.
“I think that's what these craft brew weeks are about kind of collaborative efforts between breweries," he said.
In addition to the week-long brew celebration, Great Lakes Brewery is dedicating the time to keep local brewing companies lifted and supported.
“We will be brewing From the Heart hazing IPA. It's the second year we will brew this beer. It's to benefit the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, which promotes and supports the craft beer industry in the state of Ohio,” said Adam Rittterspach, Multi-Media Specialist with Great Lakes Brewery. “It's a collaborative effort. All of the craft breweries across Ohio are doing it.”