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Forest City Brewery

Your Rating: None
Forest City BreweryForest City Brewery
Very Good
12 Ratings
Forest City BreweryForest City Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

2135 Columbus Rd
Cleveland, Ohio, 44113
United States

(216) 228-9116 | map

None provided.

BA Score:
View: Beers | Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7 |  Reviews: 4
Photo of KurtisCarman
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

The space is absolutely amazing. It is huge. The bar area was so cool. There was a great local band playing and the space for that was really great too. The beer garden was awesome (nice weather in December in Cleveland too). The only reason I don't rate the vibe higher is that is was not very busy. Overall I think this is a great example of how craft beer can continue to grow and thrive in Cleveland by skipping distribution and just making a great space to serve your brews.

The beer was good, not great, and there weren't a ton of options. I think they would be better off allowing people to bring in their own food instead of offering the food they did. It wasn't bad but they had very few staff and it just took too much of their time to worry about the food and the bar. Service was good still.

Overall I really liked it. I hope it grows in popularity and that they improve some of their beers. What they have is good but I know if they have something great on tap to look forward to I will be back more often.

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Photo of Gregf51
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of Sabtos
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Forest City is a deceptively large space with a quirky-rustic vibe. Memorabilia and knickknacks decorate reclaimed wood surfaces and nearly antique cabinetry. It's a mellow place that seems like it would be a cool local hang out for anyone that lives nearby.

The quality of everything I had was fairly high, and service was attentive. Selection sticks to stylistic definitions and has a decent range therein, but is a medium to small list. Everything tastes well enough, nothing mind blowing, but nothing poor either--a nice balance after some apparently rocky early days cited below. A snack food menu is available, but I didn't try anything.

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Photo of mpolewan
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 2.75

Photo of invertalon
2.88/5  rDev -20.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 1 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3

Stopped in this brewery recently while passing by the area… Located near Ohio City, just a few streets over, the brewery is situated in a corner of a larger building. A quick walk down a hallway once inside, the brewery is cozy with dim lighting and unique décor (vintage car for example). It was very nice and I was excited to try what they place had to offer. I believe they are brewing on about a 1-bbl system.

The staff was really nice, quickly offering me a menu and pouring the flight I decided to order. The flight consisted of four:

1.) Duck Island Amber
2.) Waldorf Roggenbier
3.) Opening Day IPA
4.) Shinny (Belgian Quad)

Unfortunately, this is where the review turns from positive to negative.

As a disclaimer, I have been to approximately 100 different breweries around the country at this point and have had thousands of different beers. I enjoy all styles, from cream ales and pilsners to IPA’s, wild sours and BBA Stouts… Everything in-between as well! There is no style I don’t enjoy. That being said…

Each beer was difficult to stomach due to different reasons. My guess is sanitation issues (on the brewing side or perhaps dirty tap lines), runaway fermentation temps (harsh alcohols) and/or lack of water treatment for the beer.

The amber was a bit solventy, with no malt character as you would expect for the style.

The Roggenbier was not as bad. Picked up some of the rye character and not much roast. I still didn’t care much for it though, there was some awkward flavor notes I couldn’t pinpoint that made it difficult to finish.

Opening Day IPA was a malty IPA that had a soapy taste (which I admit, can come from certain hop varieties at times), but the sweetness and lack of hop “punch” made it forgettable. It wasn’t impressive by any means.

Shinny, the spiced Belgian Quad was undrinkable and I left ¾ of the sample pour behind. It was practically liquid clove. An hour later I still had a strong clove taste in my mouth, way too much spice! Hard to say how the base beer would have been without the spice additions. I like clove, don’t get me wrong, but if I had brewed this it would have been dumped.

As most people do, I checked these brews in untappd and rated them accordingly. They were honest reviews not meaning to shame the brewery or talk negatively about the place (which was really nice, actually), but just share MY thoughts on the beer produced.

The next morning, a representative of the brewery had attacked me for my comments… Claiming I was a fan of their ex-brewer, shaming him publically for his beer quality and professionalism. Attacking me for liking the beers at the brewery he now supposedly works at (which to them is a very low rated brewery and I rated their beers unusually high). Continued on to say their brewery received low ratings for far superior beer. Then it got a little more awkward when they start posting about the ex-brewers upcoming court date, how many times he has been fired and for what reasons…. Then finished it off we “We hate wasting much needed bar stools on you!”.

Mind you, I don’t know the ex-brewer they speak of. It was all assumption on their part, only because I was at this brewery he now works at right before (they are just a few minutes apart…)

So yeah, as you can see this place is very professional [not]. Sometimes, as a business, you hear things you don’t like that may hurt the ego a bit… But you turn the negative into a positive to remedy the situation.

That being said, while the place was very cool and the staff very nice, in person at least, the beer quality and the way I was attacked for my honest opinions will prevent me from ever going back. Too many other better options in Cleveland less than a mile away!

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Photo of neenerzig
4.04/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

This is a brand new brewpub that just opened about 2 months ago in the Duck Island neighborhood, which is a little, mainly residential neighborhood in the vicinity of Abbey Ave. and Columbus Rd. and that's just a stone's throw away from the West 25th St. and Lorain Avenue intersection that's the heart of the Ohio City neighborhood. Not quite Tremont and not quite Ohio City either, as its sort of tucked in between the 2.

This brewery is located in the space that was once the Atlantic Beer Garden, which was Ohio's oldest beer garden that was founded in 1865 by immigrants from the Alsace region of France that borders Germany. The beer garden closed down some years ago. So it is quite appropriate indeed that this location has been turned into a brewery and that beer is once again flowing at it! :) I remember hearing about this place a few months ago and decided to like and follow them on Facebook so I'd get updates about the happenings there. A few days ago I see a post for an event happening there on Saturday 8/20 called , Hopfenfest, a local hops harvest festival stemming from an old German tradition, where patrons are encouraged to bring their homegrown hops and enter into a competition to see which hops are picked to be used in an upcoming Forest City beer. I thought that was a really cool idea so I picked some of my Mt. Hood hops I have growing in my front yard and headed off to this event, as I figured this event was as good of an excuse as any for me to come and check out this new brewery in town.

The front entrance to the place takes a person directly into the outdoor beer garden with the brewpub located in the building immediately to the right. The beer garden has several long, rectangular tables for patrons to stand around as well as several round tables that can sit 4 to 6 people each. There are several very large trees and some smaller ones that provide a good amount of shade. Inside the brewpub is the bar on the left. The bar's long enough to seat about 15 people. There are several more tables with chairs behind the bar seats. The inside of the brewpub is decorated with several vintage bar signs and advertisement posters, etc. for beers and breweries that are long gone. You can tell very much that this space was, until very recently a warehouse and or garage of some sort, as the floors and walls are unfinished, etc. I believe I saw 10 taps behind the bar if I counted right, maybe 12. During my stop there yesterday the brewery had 5 of their own beers listed on the board, the Wet Moustache Witbier, the Moxie Blonde Ale, the Farmhand Saison Ale, the Hopfenfest Belgian IPA, and the Redline Greenway Berliner Weiss. There was a sixth, unlisted beer on-tap too. An as of yet unnamed IPA collaboration that Forest City did with another local brewery called Brick And Barrell that is literally right down the street a few blocks away from Forest City. The keg of the Redline Greenway had just kicked moments before I arrived and sat down at the bar.

I ordered the Hopfenfest Belgian IPA as my first beer. This is an absolutely fantastic brew, one of the best or maybe even the single best beer I've ever had for the style. For my second beer I was going to order the Farmhand Saison, but the keg kicked as the bartender was pouring my glass! She did give me about a 4 oz. sample pour of the last of that keg though for free, which I did not ask her to give me so it was a nice added bonus, so at least I got to try it and it was quite good and pretty spot on for the style I'd say. For my next full pour I opted to go with the Wet Moustache Witbier. It is a tasty and refreshing beer to be sure that's pretty spot on for the style, but it certainly didn't blow me away either. Out of all 3 beers I had on this visit to this brewery this was my least favorite of the 3.

On my way out I talked to the two owners and co-founders Jay Demagall and also briefly to Matt Mapus. After registering me and entering my hops into the competition, Jay went on to explain to me that next month the plan is to have the brewery expand its hours to hopefully be open 4 days a week Thursday-Sunday, and that since opening in early June the brewery has only normally been open on Fridays from 4:00-11:00 P.M. He also went on to tell me that they had just gotten word from the state of Ohio liquor control board that they've been approved to receive a liscense that will allow them to serve alcohol on the premesis other than their own beer that they brew themselves on the premesis, and that they soon plan to have several guest beers on-tap as well as serve wine and mead from the Western Reserve Meadery that will be opening soon and that shares space in the same building that Forest City is in. He mentioned that there are also plans to get a distilling license in the future as well. Sounds like this establishment has a lot of creative things planned for the future. I will certainly be stopping by again soon.


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Forest City Brewery in Cleveland, OH
Brewery rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 12 ratings