I was spending a lazy, brew-filled afternoon on West 25th Street when I opened Untappd to check in with my latest beer, and got a notification of a nearby verified venue, Bad Tom Smith Brewing. I’d never heard of it, so I opened the maps app to see how close it was, then immediately made plans to head down the street to pay it a visit for the next beer.
Bad Tom Smith opened in Cincinnati in April 2015, and its Cleveland taproom in December 2017. The decor of the Cleveland taproom transports you to the Old West, with a long bar on the right side of the room and high top tables on the left. In the front, a couple of couches look out onto West 25th Street (really great for people-watching).
I ordered the Wickked Sheryl’s Blush Pale Ale, based almost entirely on its name. A pale ale that shares my name? Done. The beer was tremendous and delightful. The strawberry came through so beautifully, refreshing on a summer afternoon.
We only had time for one beer, but I was intrigued by plenty more on the menu:
- Jailbreak Churro Brown Ale (Jailbreak layers a sweet, cinnamon flavor over its American brown ale to create a taste you can’t escape: a malty, sweet churro cinnamon backbone surrounded by notes of nuttiness, caramel, and a hint of chocolate.)
- Bad Luck Coffee Porter (This is a well-balanced coffee porter made with Luckmann’s Peg Leg Jim blend, bringing out the chocolatey flavors of both a dark-roast coffee and a well-made porter.)
- Black Kettle Chocolate Stout (The aroma is reminiscent of roasted espresso beans and decadent chocolate, with a tinge of cinnamon spice.)
- Breathitt County Blonde Ale (An an easy drinking blonde ale that has a nice summer sweetness taste with mild bitterness trimmed back slightly. Nottingham Ale hops create a floral aroma as you throw this one back. It may be our lightest offering, but this blonde boasts a sweet, full flavored body.)
- Jackson Hustler Belgian Wit (Brewed with traditional Belgian malts and German Noble hops, the fresh take of a heaping amount of orange marmalade will make you want to hustle after this beer.)
Bad Tom Smith is part of the Cleveland Brewery Passport program, a partnership between Destination Cleveland and 30 breweries in Greater Cleveland. If you don’t yet have your passport, you can pick one up on your visit.
Address: 1836 W. 25th St., Cleveland
Hours: 4:30-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.
Follow Cheryl Sadler on Twitter @sadlercheryl.