Great craft beers and elevated “bar food” offerings collide in the most fantastic of ways at Collision Bend Brewing Co., a new addition to the East Bank of the Flats. Clevelanders who have been around a while will fondly recognize the brewery’s location as the Watermark Restaurant — once upon a time one of the city’s most popular riverfront establishments. The expansive patio is still a most perfect place to lose an afternoon watching massive, slow-moving freighters making their way out to the lake. The brewery’s namesake is a notoriously treacherous turn of the Cuyahoga River not quite in view. Regardless, diners are treated to spectacular river views in both directions that will be gorgeous by day or by night.
Brewmaster Luke Purcell brings 20-plus years of experience and several industry awards to the 14,000 square-foot brewery. There are eight initial beer offerings including Watermark Wheat (Hefeweizen), Lake Erie Sunset (Blood Orange American Wheat), Old River Kolsch (German-style ale) and East Bank IPA (American India Pale Ale). Numerous other local brews will be on tap as well.
While beer is certainly a cornerstone, Julian Bruell, director of service, is especially enthusiastic about the creative cocktail menu featuring cleverly named drinks like Two Bridges or None, Smoke on the Water, and Precious Cargo. “Everyone will find what they are looking for here, including the standards for service and food we’ve set at our other restaurants,” he shares.
Successful restaurateur Zack Bruell influenced Collision Bend Brewing Co.’s creative menu offerings, ensuring that even the most predictable “bar foods” are anything but ordinary. A wood-fired oven turns out pizzas with exciting flavor combinations like salami and green olive and Brussels sprouts and braised pork (yes, you can get a pepperoni or a Margherita pie too). Indulge in lamb gyro or jerk chicken tacos, beer-bathed mussels, a “giant molten meatball,” seasoned fries, hot pretzel bites or smaller, smartly priced munchies like Collision Bend popcorn (chicken fat, Mexican pepper mix, lime zest and Pecorino). There are numerous other offerings, large and small, vegan/vegetarian snacks and entrees, salads and desserts.
The interior decor is a subtle nod to Cleveland’s industrial and nautical history with touches of canvas, roping, and chain link. Large river-facing windows and an enclosed four season patio will ensure that even the most unpredictable Cleveland weather won’t deter diners from enjoying outside views.
Collision Bend Brewing Company is located at 1250 Old River Road, on the East Bank of the Flats. Drive up, walk in or dock your boat, and ease into summertime.