by Kyle Swenson
The Holy Ark of all area beer drinkers has been caught in a web of government red tape for months now, but, hopefully, fingers crossed, Hail Mary Full of Grace, the stuff might be on shelves soon.
The backstory (according to Crain’s Cleveland Business): 12 Northeast Ohio breweries had the genius idea of putting together a 12 beer sampler of their products. The tasty collaboration was supposed to be ready for Cleveland Beer Week in October. 1,100 to 1,400 cases were put together and stored at the Heidelberg Distribution Co., ready for the greenlight.
Enter the government, state and federal, who threw up as many road blocks as a Baghdad freeway: licensing issues, tax problems, distribution concerns, the works.
Right now, the brewers are waiting for U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to sign off on the project. Then, it’s drink time.
If you’re starting to wonder whether this mad scramble was worth it, rest assured, it is. Below, the list of wonders:
The collaboration is set to include the following: smoked black lager from Thirsty Dog and Cleveland-based Indigo Imp; strong barrel aged ale, of Ohio City's Great Lakes Brewing Co. and Cleveland-based Cellar Rat; rye kolsh of Strongsville's Brewkettle and Willoughby Brewing Co.; imperial American porter, of Akron-based Hoppin' Frog and Rocky River Brewing Co.; alt bier of Cleveland-based Buckeye Brewing Co. and Berea-based Cornerstone Brewery Co.; and a wet hopped IPA, from North Olmsted-based Fatheads and Westlake's Black Box brewing companies.