A Great Beer from the Great Lakes!

    My wife and I were married in Columbus, and immediately after we were pronounced “husband and wife”, we hightailed it to Cleveland and had lunch at the Great Lakes Brewery.  I was never a big fan of their beer, not that it was bad, but more of the fact that they didn’t brew beers that were my style.  The “Commodore IPA” was below average and nothing to really celebrate.  I congratulate them on their most recent brew, “The Alchemy Hour Double IPA”.  If this beer is available in your area and you love IPA’s, this beer deserves a try.  When my step-dad and I sat down to enjoy this beer, we both agreed that there was something about the hop flavor we enjoyed.    At first we thought they used Citra Hops, but we were wrong.  The familiar flavor though came from the Nugget Hops which makes sense because we are also fans of Troeg’s “Nugget Nector”, which is also awesome.  This beer has nice head, awesome color, and a great balance of malt and hop.  I highly recommend that you drink boat loads of it.

Cleveland Rocks?

    About two hours after we left ‘Weddings R’ Us,’ we arrived in Cleveland.  We drove through some pretty terrible areas….and then through more terrible areas.  Cleveland was pretty rough looking, nothing at all like Columbus.  It was like a larger Buffalo, but lacking that remaining charm and visible signs of progress.  I wasn’t going to base my assumption upon first glance though, I was going to see how the rest of our visit played out.  The first place we wanted to stop was “The Great Lakes Brewery.”
    Located at 2516 Market Ave, the brewery rests on the corner of a pleasant little block; a breath of fresh air from what we drove through.  The brewery was dealing with a nice lunch crowd with what appeared to be, a full out door eating area.  It was so nice outside, that it was tempting to eat out there but we had never seen the place before, so inside was where we were going to eat.  We got a table immediately, both frothing at the mouth for our first real escape from our diets.  I ordered a Reuben with fries accompanied by their own “Commodore Perry IPA“.  Nicole ordered the “Local and Fresh Plate” along with what I think was a Belgian White.  One thing I do remember clearly, is that Nicole’s dish was unreal.  It was so good.  She loved it so much.  She was so happy.

“I just ordered cheese!”

Her dish was an amazing spread of Hungarian hot sausage, Smoked Eye of Round, Mackenzie Creamery Chevre, Knight’s Vale Smoked Gouda, Seymore Dairy Aderkase Blue Cheese, Seasonal vegetables from their “pint sized farm,” and brewers barley bread crostini.  It was totally awesome.  My sandwich was also really good.

I’m not sure why the one side of my face appears to be melting…

   An older gentlemen approached our table and took the picture above for us.  He was there with his family celebrating the 50th anniversary of him and his wife.  He seemed sort of moved when he found out that we had gotten married 2 hours earlier.  He was a nice guy.  The first experience in Cleveland ended up being really awesome and lunch was great.  Totally stuffed from beer and food, we walked back to the car and started our short trip to the Inn we were staying at…

Things have been a bit crazy!

    I haven’t posted in a while, things have been super crazy.  Nicole and I are trying to get married by June 1st, and the State of NY has made it impossible.  We were denied a marriage license.

To make a long story short, Nicole’s biological last name is on her birth certificate, not her adopted last name which she has used her whole life.  After two trips to city hall they told us she had to get a legal name change which is outrageous and ridiculous, especially because she was just issued a US passport no problem, using that same birth certificate.  We stormed out of city hall super annoyed. At first we were determined to book a flight to Vegas while giving the much deserved middle finger to New York.  We could have afforded the trip but it would have been tight.  We cooled down, and started to do some research.  Buffalo is about 4 hours from Cleveland, and Ohio issues same day marriage licenses with only a photo ID requirement.  No waiting day, no B.S., you’re in and your out.  I called down there and confirmed so that there would be no surprises.  So on May 4th, we are heading to Ohio.  The Vegas style wedding chapel is actually in Columbus, so we are driving there first, then driving to Cleveland to spend the day/night.  I’ve personally never been to Cleveland so I am actually excited.  If anything, the State of New York has given us an excuse to get away for a fun weekend.  We will have a good time.  Among the destinations during our wedding weekend, is this:

Not sure what this is?  Look in the window… that’s right.  Ralphie’s house restored!

Nicole found out about this online.  I visited their website and they sell things from the movie, so of course I will be buying a full sized leg lamp for our dining room bay window so that the next Christmas rules.  Also in Cleveland, I’d like to stop here for lunch:

The Great Lakes Brewery Brewpub

For dinner that night, we will do something special to celebrate our successful out of state marriage, something fancy, we haven’t yet decided on a place.  
     As crazy as everything has been, this should be fun and we are pretty excited.  More to come!

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