A Carnival of Beer

by Renee on October 29, 2010

“A carnival of beer.” That’s how brewer Andy Tveekrem describes his concept of the Market Garden Brewery & Distillery that’s currently being built on Cleveland’s W. 25th Street, in a formerly abandoned building next to the West Side Market. Sounds good to me.

I met up with Andy after work on Thursday, when the Indian summer warmth had fled October and left us with a cloudy cool reminder that winter is on its way. The imposing brick fireplace in the middle of the construction looked inviting, and the place isn’t even finished yet–as the open view of the sky attests. (That fireplace has hearths facing indoors, outdoors, and all the way down into the basement.) But walking through with Andy explaining his dream, you quickly get an idea of what a great addition this is going to make to Cleveland’s restaurant and brewery scene.

Set to accomodate 250-300 people in the main seating area, the outdoor beer garden will hold another 200. Phase two of the project will be a really cool addition: a finished rooftop. Phase three will be a finished basement for special events and private parties. It will end up being 12-14,000 square feet of beer heaven.

Clevelanders are cooped up for a good 9 months of the year (or so it seems to this Maryland-raised girl), so we really love our short and sweet summers. The garden area–soon to hold honey locust trees, tables for gathering, surrounded by a wrought iron fence–and the rooftop party palace are going to be really popular, I can see it already. Andy said, “If you don’t have a patio in Cleveland, you’re dead in the summertime.”

The restaurant will be run in conjunction with McNulty’s Bier Market and Bar Cento across the Street, with the same management and staff. Andy and his three partners anticipate hiring another 30 to get the restaurant and brewery going.

But. You really want to know about the beer he’ll be brewing up. The former head brewer of Dogfish Head beer has an ambitious agenda of having 10-12 beers on tap at all times– lagers, IPAs, stout, German and Belgian style ales, along with seasonal brews. He estimates he’ll do at least 30 beers in a year’s time. And down the road, he’ll do some distilling of spirits, too.

When we walked through, Andy’s excitement in showing me the tiled brew house was apparent; he’s anxious to get his brewing equipment in the building. He hopes to produce 12-1500 barrels in the first year, and 4,000 a little further down the road.

Estimating a February or March opening, Andy is looking forward to spring and summer of 2011. That’s one carnival ride I won’t miss!

You can check out the website and get on a mailing list for updates here: http://www.marketgardenbrewery.com/

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