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Bottoms Up 

Welcome to the inevitable nexus of journalism and thirst

Hello, thirsty folks of Cleveland. I am Vince the Polack, your new resident booze columnist. This is where I will write about drinking.

If you're wondering how it came to pass that the bosses handed me the keys to this particular literary kingdom, I can assure you the selection process was most thorough, and did involve a tepid can of Natty on the conference table, placed there to determine which degenerate would eventually shrug and crack it open.

I make no apologies.

The beat's a daunting responsibility. This town sports some of the country's finest watering holes and boasts a storied history of brewing spirits and beer going back some 200 years. (Fun fact: As Moses Cleaveland caught his first glimpse of the mighty Cuyahoga, he breathed deeply and intoned, "That's nice and all, but you guys can take it from here. I'm going to Lakewood. Send a sober horse to pick me up at sunrise.")

Cleveland's been walking around with a baseline BAC of 0.10 ever since.

I feel reasonably confident in my credentials. I have documented the region's best bars for drinking at breakfast. I have preached of the unparalled treasure that is the Harbor Inn. I have swigged craft brews from all corners of the country, and I once threw up Black Label while walking barefoot down Coventry in the snow after smoking pot out of a tinfoil bong with a stranger in the old Grog Shop bathroom. (Hi, Mom!)

Ours is the land of milk, honey, and broken bridges. Most important, it's a land of bars — way too many bars to ever visit in a lifetime, though we will try.

But this enterprise cannot thrive on my considerable prowess alone; it needs your help. Know a bartender with a great story? Found a joint unlike any other? Discover a new drinking trend the world should know about? Know where we can score Genny Cream Ale on tap for less than a buck? Think you found the oldest bartender in Cleveland? Please, tell us more.

Simply want to buy me a beer so that I might stop drinking warm Natty in a conference room? I am available. Get in touch. Really. If it has to do with booze, beer, bars, or nightlife, I am all ears and considerable liver.

Unless it's Black Label. Then maybe I'll pass.

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