Great Lakes Brewing Company
Start off with a classic, right? This rich amber lager from Cleveland's most storied brewery is perfectly balanced with "crisp noble hops." It's super drinkable (per our requirements) and super delicious — I'm not telling you anything you don't already know — and remains a gorgeous pour all year round. The malty aromas and mild bite pair well with some good old-fashioned meat and potatoes, but the subtle caramel presence (we did our research!) makes this one a treat even if you've got nothing to drink it with.
Honey Blueberry Ale
Why not include Fat Heads' signature Head Hunter IPA in our easy-drinking Cleveland six-pack, you ask? Because IPAs are everywhere, literally everywhere. And beside, this unique summertime brew is sort of an offbeat (and weirdly addictive) addition to our list. Be advised that the Bumble Berry may evoke memories of blueberry pancakes or blueberry muffins, but it's not overwhelmingly blueberry-y. It doesn't have that syrupy mouthfeel, you know? Plus the flower-child bottle design will spruce up the collection.
The Brew Kettle
Fine! Here's your IPA already. This one, with the region's best tagline — "Taming the savage hop" — is an IPA in the West Coast style, whatever that means. All we know is it packs a helluva punch, hopwise, but still has some fruity, almost tropical, hints. In additional good news, it clocks in at just under 7-percent ABV, which means, in the "easy drinking" department, that you can have more than one without going blind. This is the clear standout from Strongsville's Brew Kettle, and it's a perfect fit for our easy-drinking Cleveland six-pack.
American Blonde Ale
Feels like a bandwagon Cleveland selection here, but the Indigo Imp stuff is only available in bottles, so it felt like a necessity to include. Plus, this one more or less defines easy drinking, and therefore can be viewed rather like a scientific control. The taste is the opposite of strident or offensive. It goes down real easy and remains notable for more carbonation than usual. It has a really nice sort of soggy-straw hue and is a perfect beer for sunny spring afternoons on the farm or fairway. Just a harmless, easy-drinking, Cleveland beer. And, really, isn't that all we want out of life?
12 Dogs of Christmas
Thirsty Dog is in Akron, so it's sneaking into our easy-drinking six-pack only on a technicality (a technicality we made up all on our own). Comparing this one to GLBC's seminal Christmas Ale is purely a matter of preference, but we already had a Great Lakes brew on our list, and this one can be just as good, depending on the batch. Same cinnamon kick. Same nutmeggy (ed. note: "nutmeggy"?) (author note: "nutmeggy") undertones. Same booming alcohol content. Same yuletide merriment at night's end. With all that in mind, the only thing especially "easy" about this one is your ability to fall asleep after about two and a half of them.
New Cleveland Palesner
Platform Brewery + CLE Clothing Co.
"Part pale ale, part pilsner, 100-percent Cleveland" read the sleek new cans from Platform Brewery, in their brand new collaboration with CLE Clothing Co. That's right, easy drinker: It comes in a can, which doesn't immediately disqualify it from this bottle-focused easy-drinking guide, but does mean you'll have to find a cardboard six-pack container with some increased flexibility. It's only 5-percent ABV and was designed by master brewer Shaun Yasaki to please both plebeian and nerdtastic easy drinkers alike. Plus the can is super cool.
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