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Market Garden Brewery
1947 West 25th Street
Cleveland, Ohio
(216) 621-4000
Visited on May 11, 2012

Market Garden Brewery is the newest brewpub in Cleveland. Built into the Ohio City neighborhood already known for its beer bars – most notably Great Lakes Brewing Company – the establishment fits the area quite nicely.

The interior is clean, simple and elegant. High tables and chairs inside, a small patio in the front, and a large outdoor beer garden in the back make for a nice setting. Also nice is the fact that there are two bars, one in the front and one in the back. It’s consistently busy – or at least it was on the Friday night I stopped in. There was waiting list to be seated, so I bellied up to the bar, though there were only a few of those seats available. All in all, the place has a lot of class and, yes, a bit of pretense.

The folks here are serious about their beer. How can you tell? Well, for starters they brought in former brewmaster of Dogfish Head, one of the most successful craft breweries in the nation. The beer list featured about 12 of their own brews, most of which were interesting to the eye and palette. You won’t find simple beers here, for the most part. They do have a regular traditional American lager and a fairly typical wheat, but past that it gets more interesting. True pilsner, IPAs inventively hopped, honey kissed porter, an Irish stout on nitro – all of the beers I tried were of the highest quality. There is not a bad beer to be had. That being said, nothing floored me and inspired me to take a growler home. Still, the beer is better than 95% of the brewpubs out there.

The menu is a bit short, but features some interesting dishes. Most everything is locally sourced, locally grown, and/or made in house. The dinner plates are pretty expensive, ranging in the mid-teens, while the sandwiches hover around $10. I was excited to see soft shelled crab on the menu, as I’d never had one before but have always wanted to try it. The sandwich was delicious – as was the fresh salad I got to go with it instead of fries. The one down side would be the portions, which was a bit small I felt for the prices I paid.

Speaking of prices, the sampler was way too expensive. Six drinks of four ounces should not cost $15. Perhaps they’re trying to dissuade people from ordering them, as it does tend to back up an already overworked bar staff. Whatever the reason, that turned me off a bit.

On a crowded Friday night, the bar staff was busy and motivated. They had plenty of folks back there pouring beers, and I was taken care of all night.

Overall, I really like the place. I’d frequent it quite often if I lived nearby.

Location: 19
Food: 18
Beer: 19
Service: 18
Overall: 17
Total: 91

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