Myth Debunked: Parma Bars DO Serve Craft Beer
If you’re from Parma, you probably have a family beer, and that beer is most likely domestic. Ours is Pabst. My neighbor’s is Genesee. My friend’s is Miller Light. The domestic preferences of previous generations have been reflected in many of the tap offerings at local Parma bars. And while my generation (those of us in our 20s and 30s) can certainly appreciate an ice-cold and affordable domestic beverage, our tastes are also representative of the exploding craft beer scene. We’re lucky to have so many local breweries in the Cleveland area and, while some may think all of Parma’s still set on Pabst (no offense Mom and Dad), I’m excited to see more craft beers on the taps of many of the city’s bars and restaurants; actually my parents are drinking craft beer now too.
The Red Circle has been a Parma staple for generations and so brings in patrons of all ages. That’s why owner Rocky Farinacci added craft taps from places like Great Lakes and Goldhorn. “From our neighborhood regulars, to our old-timers, to our college kids and sports fans, the people who frequent Red Circle are different in age and taste,” he said. “It is our goal to provide a selection that can appeal to anyone who walks into our bar. So while you may be fine cracking open a Busch Light with your buddies, we also offer a great selection of seasonal beers and IPAs for those who want to try something a little different.”
In addition to its classic “Cheers-like” rectangle bar, a few years ago Pounders Bar & Grill added an entire new taproom for craft beer with 12 kinds on tap and another 40 in bottles. “We felt there was a demand for craft beer,” said Erin Sabol, operating partner at Pounders. “The craft beer scene has exploded over the past few years and we try to be current with ongoing trends.” To keep up with those trends, Pounders is constantly changing its tap list. “We do not have repeat beers too often to keep the selection fresh and current,” Sabol said. “Due to our status in the craft beer community we are able to bring in a lot of hard-to-get beers and one-offs. Some you can’t even find in stores.”
Newer bars know craft brews are essential to attracting a customer base too. Sloppy Bob’s opened this year and owners Bob and Kelly Lasecki have teamed up with the app Untappd to feature all of their up-to-date craft drafts and cans. Also having recently opened its doors, Legends Sports Bar & Grill—in the former spot of Playground Bar & Grill and the Fox & Hound—offers beers from Collision Bend Brewing Company to Saucy Brew Works and other craft selections. “We choose to carry craft beers so people have the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and try brands that they might not have tried at a domestic price point that they can afford,” said general manager Jennifer M. Natale.
That’s another plus to drinking craft in Parma; you won’t pay the steep prices you may downtown or in other areas. “We believe that keeping our prices low and our selection high keeps our customers coming back from week to week,” said Farinacci. Having small businesses themselves, all the owners I chatted with said that carrying craft beers was also about supporting local businesses. “A lot of the craft beers that we carry have Northeast Ohio origins, as well as the Northeast region of the United States,” Natale said. “The theme for our businesses has always been to support local businesses and what they have to offer to the community.”
You can also find craft beer on tap at Parma Tavern, Parma Cafe, Two Bucks and Tradesman Tavern. So go out and enjoy a cold craft at an affordable price and support our plethora of neighborhood Parma watering holes.
Kathie Zipp is marketing director for the Young Professionals of Parma.