chardonlogoChardon BrewWorks & Eatery
205 Main St
Chardon, Ohio
Visited on June 13, 2013

It’s amazing how fast new small breweries are popping up all over the place, even in the most unlikely of spots. Chardon is a tiny though charming town in northeastern Ohio that doesn’t even have a major highway running anywhere near it. I was looking for a potential brewpub to stop at on my way to an annual boys camping weekend I’ve participated in with my father and friends since I was three years old. I was surprised to find this small brewery right on the historic square of Chardon.

You can’t get any more charming of a location than downtown Chardon, and the brewery’s building is no exception. There’s a small outside area for dining, but most of the place’s tables are inside. The ceilings are cavernous, the bar is long, and the tables are plentiful. A chalkboard on the wall proclaims the 12 or more beers flowing on tap on any particular day – quite the variety for a small establishment.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made my way through eight samples of different varieties that afternoon. I would have tried more, but an empty stomach and the need to drive 30 more minutes to get to some epic feasting held me back. So I went with the most interesting sounding, skipping the wheats, weizens, and lagers, and got to work.

A few notes. The maple porter was good but slightly funny tasting. Not sure I like maple in my porter. The Iron Worker IPA was sweet and delicious, while the other IPA variety seemed more of a west coast option and a bit too up-front hoppiness for my tastes. The Hopominable Snow Monster XX IPA was delicious – just like all double IPAs I’ve ever had are – but nothing set it apart from others of the same style. The stout was too dry for my tastes, though pretty true to the style.

That brings us to the Working Man Pale Ale – my favorite and choice for growler fill to take to camp. It’s a bit sweet for a pale ale, but I enjoy malty beers and good pales are hard to come by with the industry’s current obsession with IPA.

chardoninAs for the food, the menu boasts mainly stuffed sandwiches made with their own spent grain bread. I’d have loved to try one, but I was saving room for dinner. Instead, I went with a small order of chicken wings with butter garlic sauce to keep my BAC down a bit. The wings came out hot and swimming in butter – definitely a plus. But the meat itself seemed a bit fatty and not of the best quality. I’m not sure I’d order them again.

All in all, it’s a great small spot and Chardon is lucky to have it.

Location: 18
Food: 14
Beer: 16
Service: 18
Overall: 16
Total: 82

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