Winter Warmer Fest Brings Beer and Good Times, Draws Crowds

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by Witthaya Prasongsin)

Cleveland’s Winter Warmer Beer Fest is the perfect time for brewers to get out there and strut their stuff. The fest raises money for the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. About 1,200 beer fans showed up to partake in the goods this year. The fest was on a two year hiatus following COVID-19 guidelines; but, it’s back for 2022, and the crowds rolled in on Saturday.

Some notable Ohio breweries turned out for the event: Brick and Barrel from Cleveland, owned by Karl Spiesman. He is looking to expand his business by opening a Beach and Barrel brewery in Fairpoint Harbor later this year or in 2023. Ohio Brewing Co. from Columbus was also there; the brewery is now canning their beer, and owner Chris Verich told that they’ll be open to the public soon. Terrestrial Brewing Co. from Cleveland is currently expanding into a restaurant and is looking at an April opening.

Over 50 Ohio breweries participated in the event, which usually heavily features strong, rare, and seasonal beers. But, as the website states, there’s something for every beer drinker. Each brewery showcases a handful of beers, and the list is extensive. So, definitely something for everyone to choose from. Like a porter with maple syrup and bacon from Brick and Barrel, or a smoked oyster stout from Noble Beast Brewing Co.

From a peanut butter granola brown ale from Ernest Brew Works, to a barrel-aged cookie espresso stout from Akronym Brewing; the Winter Warmer Beer Fest has something for those who like strong and sweet, sweet and spicy, strong and bitter, and many, many more. Ohio locals, and anyone wanting to travel, be sure to keep on the lookout for information about next year’s 16th annual Winter Warmer Beer Fest.

Craft Breweries Welcoming Scrutiny for High Beer Prices

Craft beer breweries are welcoming scrutiny against high beer prices; big beer companies claim prices have stayed the same, but the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission is following up on claims that the industry is too concentrated.

The report made by the Treasury Department claims that consumers are paying $487 million more per year on beer than they should be. Wine is overpriced by 18 percent, spirits by 30 percent.

In the Treasury Department report, a section states that, while craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries are booming, two companies still control the market; Anheuser-Busch, and MillerCoors. If the market becomes more competitive, we’d potentially stop overpaying for beer.

While the big-name companies reign, craft breweries are still luring consumers away with unique flavor profiles, brewing techniques, and marketing. Still, Anheuser-Busch has bought up a lot of these small breweries, which in turn saturates the market. Consumers and small breweries alike are hoping for change.