My favorite place to get a beer in Cleveland

It’s been well documented in this space that I like craft beer, but I bet if you tried to guess my favorite place in the greater Cleveland area to get a beer, you would be wrong.

My favorite place to get a beer in Cleveland is Heinen’s. Yes, the grocery store with locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

Not only does Heinen’s offer a large selection of beer brewed in Ohio and beyond, but most of the stores also have a handful of beers on tap. You can purchase a draft to drink in the store or fill a growler to go.

The draft selection changes every time a keg kicks, so depending on the popularity of the beers they’re serving, you could have different options every time you get to the store. For a few bucks, you can walk in and try something new or rare — perhaps a collaboration between the store and a brewery, or from a brewer new to distributing in the Cleveland market. There’s a possibility it’ll also be stocked in the beer department, or you can buy and fill a growler in the store. If you’re not sure what you’d like to drink, the experts working in the beer department can help guide you to a style you’ll like. And if you don’t want to commit to a whole pint, you can buy just a sample — also good if you visit the beer department during your grocery shopping and need to drive home.

I’m lucky enough to live very close to a Heinen’s location, and on evenings when we don’t feel much like cooking, we often find ourselves walking to Heinen’s, getting a pint, and scanning the prepared and frozen foods to figure out what we want to eat that night. (Honestly, pizza wins most of the time.)

But my favorite Heinen’s to go to for enjoying a beer is the downtown Cleveland location at 900 Euclid Ave.

Maybe you’ve never called a grocery store gorgeous. That probably means you haven’t been to the downtown Heinen’s yet.

The store at East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue is the historic Cleveland Trust Rotunda Building, which opened for business in 1908. The space was transformed into the grocery, which opened in 2015.

Heinens rotunda
The rotunda at the downtown Heinen’s. (photos by Cheryl Sadler)

On the first floor, under the rotunda, guests can enjoy excellent prepared food — more of a variety than you’d find in your suburban store. Off the rotunda, you’ll find a more traditional-looking grocery, with rows of produce, dry goods and dairy.

Heinens first floor
A view of the first floor under the rotunda at the downtown Heinen’s.

On the second floor, the beer. (Also, wine.) The downtown location currently has eight beers on tap. Guests 21 and older can have a sample for 25 cents or a pint for $5-7, or fill a half growler (32 oz.) for $6-12 or a growler (64 oz.) for $10-20. There’s plenty of seating around the rotunda, so you can sit back on a cushioned bench to enjoy the beautiful artwork surrounding you.

Heinens mango rotunda
The Mango Rotunda beer — an Imperial New England IPA, created as a collaboration between Heinen’s and Masthead Brewing Company — being enjoyed under the namesake rotunda at the downtown Heinen’s.

Heinen’s offers regular in-store events, which include beer and wine tastings.

Next time you’re trying to figure out a place to grab just one beer, consider Heinen’s. I would recommend making it downtown to enjoy the view of the rotunda at least once, but the closest one to your neighborhood will never be a bad choice.

Let Cheryl Sadler know which Heinen’s is your favorite for grabbing a pint at @sadlercheryl.

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