Thursday, January 29, 2015

Portside Distillery & Brewery

Howie and I made the trek from Lakewood to University Circle last Saturday afternoon with full intent to ice skate  Wade Oval.  When you both forget to bring a hat, gloves and scarf and it's 27° outside, there is a 99.9% chance that you will end up eating copious amounts of Chinese food at Ninja City Kitchen & Bar instead.  At least that's what happened in our case, with a little trip to Coquette Patisserie for a sweet treat afterwards.  The amaretto macarons were the bomb!  We still wanted to do a little Cleveland exploration, so we decided to make a pitstop at Portside Distillery & Brewery on the way home because the public tasting room recently opened.  You have to hit it up one of these weekends!

Located at the end of West 9th St., immediately adjacent to the Port of Cleveland, the building inconspicuously blends into its surrounding red brick industrial buildings.  Inside, however, was a different story.  We arrived around 3:15 in the afternoon, and the place was hopping!  Being such a new venue, with no major sports game on that day, I was expecting only a few others besides ourselves.  Man was I wrong!  Despite the crowds, the staff was extremely fast at filling our drink orders and checking up on us every 15 minutes or so.  I ordered 216 Pale Ale, a delicious draft beer brewed in house.  Disclaimer: the name was slightly deceiving, because I would definitely consider it an IPA.  Lucky for me, most of my favorite beers are IPA's, so I welcomed the hops!

Being founded primarily as a distillery, Howie and I felt obligated to try a rum flight after our beer, which consisted of three mini 0.5 oz. shots of your choosing.  They have 5 flavors: silver, hopped, vanilla maple, spiced and Christmas.  I tried the hopped, vanilla maple and spiced, and Howie got the silver, vanilla maple and Christmas.  We wanted to sample all of them between the 2 of us, and this was our consensus:

Silver: similar to any rum you've ever purchased yourself, but still good

Hopped: way too bitter for anybody's liking!
Vanilla Maple: nice and sweet, very easy to drink
Spiced: my favorite by far, I loved the cinnamon kick in it
Christmas: definitely influenced by the Fireball craze, the flavor was so similar!

Be sure to check out Portside in the next few weeks, it's a great way to warm up your weekend afternoon in the Cleveland winter weather!

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