The first winter it was open, Collision Bend Brewing Company was looking for a seasonal winter beer. Brewmaster Luke Purcell wanted it to be something different from Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale, which he’d brewed during his 20 years at Great Lakes before starting Collision Bend—so named for its location on the East Bank of the Flats near a part of the Cuyahoga River that was particularly difficult to navigate.
They were kicking around names, and one person suggested “8 Crazy Nights,” a reference to comedian Adam Sandler’s Chanukah Song from “Saturday Night Live.” (Sandler said there were plenty of Christmas songs available, but nothing for Jewish kids who celebrate and want to sing about Chanukah. He made two more songs, and an animated movie, “Eight Crazy Nights.”)
“We all laughed about it, and then we really liked it,” Purcell recalls. “Everyone does a Christmas ale, and it’s pretty awesome, but we wanted to show a little diversity.”
8 Crazy Nights isn’t as dark as typical Christmas ales, and it has notes of apples and honey. Purcell said those flavors are common staples in Jewish desserts, and honey is a common ingredient in holiday beer. “It’s a great fermentable additive,” he says.
Production for 8 Crazy Nights started early in the fall because it won’t just be available at the brewpub. After a full canning run last fall—which is about 300 to 400 cases of beer—feedback was so positive, and demand was so high, that they’ll do three or four canning runs. “It’s not a huge amount, but for us it is,” Purcell says.
Collision Bend also will have a pub-exclusive winter stout, but 8 Crazy Nights, in addition to being available at the bar, can be found at Heinen’s and the new Cleveland-area Meijer stores, as well as at other local stores where craft beer is sold.
Collision Bend Brewing Company is located at 1250 Old River Road in Cleveland and is open 3pm–11pm Monday–Thursday, noon-midnight on Friday, 11:30am– midnight on Saturday, and 11:30am–9pm on Sunday. For more information, visit CollisionBendBrewery.com or call 216.273.7879.