Even though I am a frequent visitor to Cleveland I had not yet visited this distillery and craft brewery so thought it was about time to check out Portside Distillery.
Established in 2011, Portside Distillery is located north of Downtown and only a short distance from the shores of Lake Erie in an area known as the Flats East Bank.
Portside focus on producing a variety of spirits as well as small batch beers. The beer menu consisted of 14 different beers so we decided to start with a flight of their 7 lightest beers (includes our rating out of 5 stars):
- High Tide Hefeweizen (15 IBUs, 5.0% ABV, Weissbier) – banana, citrus & highly carbonated – 3.5
- East Bank Blonde (17 IBUs, 6.0%, Blonde Ale) – bland in flavor given gravity – 2.0
- North Kolsch Ale (22 IBUs, 5.0% ABV, Kolsch) – slightly hoppy – 3.0
- Mayo Irish Red Ale (24 IBUs, 5.5% ABV, Irish Red Ale) – too much toffee for style – 3.0
- 216 Pale Ale (65 IBUs, 5.7% ABV, American Pale Ale) – clean hop aroma & flavor – 3.0
- Riptide Red IPA (65 IBUs, 5.5% ABV, Red IPA) – hoppy & malty – 3.0
- Ironclad IPA (75 IBUs, 7.5%, American IPA) – malt forward – 3.5
We accompanied our taster flights with a meat and cheese board which was sufficient for three people and reasonably priced at $18.
For our second flight we moved onto the stronger and darker beers but were disappointed that the Ghost Ship Imperial Stout had just kicked:
- Portside Sour Lager (10 IBUS, 8.2% ABV, Doppelbock) – some oak and based on a Doppelbock – 4.0
- Rusalka Vanilla Stout (28 IBUs, 5.3% ABV, Vanilla Stout) – malt forward and vanilla balanced with hops – 3.0
- Yule Shoot Your Rye Out (20 IBUs, 8.2% ABV, Winter Warmer) – dominated by nutmeg – 2.5
- Man O War DIPA (9.6% ABV, Imperial IPA) – piney hops – 2.5
- Bismarck Chocolate Baltic Porter (10 IBUs, 8.2% ABV, Baltic Porter) – roasty then vanilla with some alcohol – 3.0
- BBA Big Chuck (11.7% ABV, Barrel-aged Barleywine) – toffee then some alcohol and bourbon notes – 4.0
Overall our favorite was the Barleywine and warranted us to take away two 750ml bottles priced at $12 each.