Cleveland’s First Cider House Opens Tonight in Lakewood

Since 2010, Richard Read has been brewing his English-style ciders in Westlake and selling them at area bars, restaurants and retail outlets all over town. Starting tonight, he’ll be sliding them across his very own bar, Griffin Cider House, which will be Cleveland’s first bar dedicated to serving hard ciders.

As a Brit living in the States, Read originally launched his company, Griffin Cider Works, because he couldn’t find a suitable replacement for the products he enjoyed back home. His Griffin Original is a medium-dry, lightly carbonated pub-style cider boasting a pleasant apple flavor and moderate alcohol, but he has since gone on to craft an additional 10 varieties. Some are infused with fruits like lemon or elderberries, while others are brewed with fresh ginger.

Recently, Read took over Madison's Tavern (12401 Madison Ave.) in Lakewood’s Bird Town neighborhood with the goal of opening the region’s first cider house.

“This isn’t just a taproom; it’s a dedicated cider pub that will encompass a lot of different ciders, not just my own,” Read clarifies.

In addition to his own ciders, Read will offer imported British labels as well as Spanish, French and New World varieties. There are eight taps dedicated to cider plus four more reserved for craft beer. Read also will carry an extensive gin collection as he continues to build up his inventory.

“Cider fell out of favor but now it’s coming back,” Read reports.

For now, the food will be limited to what guests bring in themselves or have delivered.