Meet the Brewery: Portside Brewery and Distillery

Can you believe it took 78 years for Cleveland to get a distillery up and running again after prohibition? Well Portside Brewery and Distillery couldn't, and they went one step further they are the only brewery/distillery combo in Ohio. I was recently pleasantly surprised to find their pale ale at First Energy stadium for an international friendly match between American and Japan!


Who are you and what is your role at the brewery?

My name is Tess Bindernagel and I am a bartender/server/tour guide/sales rep/event coordinator for Portside.

What is the name of your brewery and how did it come about?

I work for Portside Brewery and Distillery, which was founded in 2011. Portside was originally founded as a distillery but we soon began brewing beer as well, making us Ohio's first brewery and distillery combination! 

What is your favorite beer that's been released at your brewery?

My favorite beer is the Rusalka Vanilla Stout! Luckily, it's one of our flagship beers that stays on tap year-round. It's a smooth vanilla stout with hints of coffee- a "must-try!"

What is your favorite thing in your brewery? 

One of my favorite things in our brewery/distillery is an old copper still. We keep it in our smaller party room along with some old news clippings about prohibition. It's a fun way to learn about the impact prohibition had on Cleveland and how, as Cleveland's first post-prohibition distillery, we've made an impact on this city!

What is your most recent milestone?

As a brewery, our most recent milestone was reaching full capacity in our brewery and hiring a new brewmaster! It shows that over the last several years since we started production, there's been enough of a demand of our product that another increase in demand would cause us to expand our brewery. Our new brewmaster has been extremely well received by both the public and our staff and his new beers are incredible! I would definitely recommend coming to the tasting room to try some.

What is your next major goal for the brewery?

Our next major goal for the brewery is something that we have already began to work on. Over the next several months we will be working on transitioning our beers out of bottles and into cans. We are doing this because of the benefits that cans provide to both our consumers and the quality of our products. Canning will not only make our beer last longer, but also provide the public with a wider variety of locations to purchase our products. 

Bear vs. Shark who would win and why?

Shark would win because sharks are terrifying. Not once has anyone looked at a baby shark and thought, "oh that's adorable."No. You think, "that thing will eat me some day." Baby bears on the other hand are great. I mean, have you ever seen them on Animal Planet? They're cute and fuzzy and funny unlike ugly, gross sharks with their creepy teeth. 

Drink of choice? (this doesn't have to be one of your beers but it can be)

My favorite drink is the Cleveland Cuke! It's available at the Portside tasting room.  We infuse Portside Silver Rum with cucumber and mix it with fresh lime juice and ginger beer. It's refreshing and delicious, no matter the weather!