Beyond the Boilermaker: Lizardville debuts whiskey and beer bar

A few years ago I was working on a story about local “mixologists.” A bartender said, “We call ourselves bartenders because Cleveland’s kind of a beer and a shot town.” But over the years, we’ve moved beyond the days of the classic boilermaker – a lager with a shot of whatever in it. And we even have a few behind the bar who call themselves mixologists.

Cleveland’s beer and whiskey scene just went further upscale with the recent opening of Lizardville Beer Store and Whiskey Bar next door to the Winking Lizard Tavern’s original location in Bedford Heights.

“We’re trying to do for whiskeys what the [Winking Lizard’s] World Tour did for beer,” explained John Lane, one of the co-owners of Winking Lizard. (Lane started the World Tour more than 25 years ago. The program offers 200+ beers from around the world at Winking Lizard’s 13 locations in Cleveland, Canton and Columbus.)

Lizardville has a quiet, cozy atmosphere where whiskey aficionados and the curious can taste different products of the same style, whether Canadian, Irish, rye, Scotch whisky and more. Lizardville also offers 450 beers arranged by style for purchase or for on-premise enjoyment after a couple of minutes chilling in their instant wine cooler.

Lane’s son Burl compiled the whiskey menu and information, including a flavor map by Diageo, owner of many of the world’s well-known beverage brands from Guinness to Ketel One to Jose Cuervo. “From delicate to smoky, every whiskey we sell is mapped on the graph,” Burl remarked.

Few beer geeks I know want whiskey diluting their draft, and whiskey cognoscenti may prefer pure shots. But with Lizardville’s sophisticated stock, their bartenders could mix a memorable boilermaker.

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Our goal is to educate, in a reader-friendly fashion, and take the intimidation out of wine, beer and spirits in order to enhance its enjoyment.


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