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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GREAT LAKES BREWING CO.

GREAT LAKES BREWING CO.

The GREAT LAKES BREWING CO., located at 2516 Market Ave. in Cleveland, was the city's first modern brew-pub. This combination micro-brewery and restaurant near the West Side Market was opened in 1988 by brothers Pat and Dan Conway. The historic building, said to have the oldest working bar in Cleveland, was once a feed store, and some elements remain from that era. The Great Lakes Brewing Co. became the first brewery to open in Cleveland in many years. The original brewmaster was Thaine Johnson, who had been a master brewer at the Christian Schmidt Brewery until his retirement. In 1989 5 kinds of beer, totalling approx. 1,000 gallons, were produced, all according to the 1516 Bavarian Purity Law requirements. The brewing process can be observed from the restaurant. In 1992 the Great Lakes Brewing Co. won the gold medal for the third year in a row at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. This 50-employee company continued to be operated by the Conway family in 1995.