1980's - The Beginning
Founders Pat and Dan Conway incorporate in 1986. They attain a collective 75 years of brewing experience by recruiting Master Brewer Thaine Johnson and Engineer Charlie Price, both former employees of Schmidt's, Cleveland's last operating brewery. Together, the team sets to work designing GLBC's 7-barrel brewing system, which is still used to brew Pub Exclusive beers.
Pat and Dan work with Thaine to develop beers reflective of the styles the brothers enjoyed during their European travels, and choose to honor their local roots with the names of their first beers. Eliot Ness Amber Lager honors the notorious prohibition officer who frequented the tavern that's now home to the GLBC brewpub (how's that for irony), and who once employed Pat and Dan's mother as his stenographer. The Heisman, now known as Dortmunder Gold Lager, is named for football legend John Heisman, who once lived in the Ohio City neighborhood.
From the start, the brothers focus on sustainability, opting to renovate 19th century buildings to house their brewpub, and purchasing used restaurant equipment to stock their space. As GLBC expands, new businesses sprout, and Ohio City gradually evolves into a bustling place to work, play, and brew. In their first year, the team brews less than 1,000 barrels of kegged beer, and hand-bottling doesn't even begin for another year. The first bottles are capped by hand, after being knocked on with a screwdriver to create foam and push out oxygen--thankfully, the brewery has come a long way since those days!
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