Crooked River Brewing Company's Original ESB 1101 Center Street, Cleveland; 216-771-2337.
Great Lakes Brewing Company
It's a safe bet that Cleveland's competitive microbrew market is turning out cool ones that far surpass the piddling pilsners of the city's Glory Days of Beer. But for our money -- and yours, if you'd like to get together sometime -- the Crooked River Brewing Company's ESB (né Settlers Ale) tops the lot of them. An ale rich in malty flavor, it goes equally well with pizza, bratwurst, and Sunday afternoons in front of the tube. Bonus tip: To avoid having to look at the beer's unbecoming black-and-red label, try it on tap at the spartan CR Bar in the Flats.