A few years ago (2010), a new brew-on-premise (BOP) and brewery opened in Kirtland Ohio. Owner Bob Weber told me then, that his dream was to do what Chris McKim has done with the BREW Kettle in Strongsville. McKim started as a BOP, microbrewery, and tasting room, grew, expanded, moved to a bigger location and became a brewpub and BOP. Eventually he built a production brewery at a new location, expanded the restaurant again, and added a winery.
Well, Bob Weber is living his dream. Last year he moved from the Kirtland location to Mentor. The Mentor location was previously a pool hall and gave Weber a big empty building to do with as he pleased. He has turned it into a wonderful brewpub, and still retains the six-kettle BOP. The large L-shaped bar seats about 20, and the restaurant seats about 75 or so. Some restaurant seating is separate from the bar area which also includes a stage for the live music they have every Friday and Saturday nights.It's an atmosphere that says, sit down, relax and enjoy yourself.
Ah… and the menu. This is no “pub grub.” Chef Chris Sotkovsky has some wonderful creations on the menu… a selection of TAPas (appetizers), pizza, sandwiches, and salads with a gourmet touch. I’m not red meat eater, but I’m told that even the hamburgers are specially seasoned. When you order your beer, you will get a basket of “Hopcorn”, which is uniquely seasoned with dill, cheddar, mustard, and, yes, hops! The chef has specials, also. As I was there on Valentine’s Day, the specials were crab cakes, surf and turf, and a wonderful chocolate cake with fresh berry sauce. Paired with their chocolate stout, the cake was a perfect ending to the meal. I’m told they only have dessert on special occasions, so have another pint of chocolate stout!
Speaking of beer, that’s the best part. It is, after all, a brewery! They have 22 beers in their current repertoire, but only 12 on tap at any given time. (All 22 recipes are yours to choose from if you are brewing your own.) Right now all their beer is brewed in the 15 gallon BOP kettles, but a new three-barrel system has arrived and is being installed. Once they have more capacity, they hope to bottle their beer. Oh, and they are a winery too. They have a selection of four Newell Creek wines that they make on premise; a cabernet, a shiraz, a pinot grigio, and a chardonnay.
Stop in and check them out, if you haven’t already. They are a little bit hard to find, I was told that, when heading west on Mentor Avenue, to pass Wendy’s (across from Best Buy), and turn into the drive next to Casual Male and go down the hill and the building is in the back. Their address is 7621 Mentor Ave, Mentor, Ohio 44060, phone: 440.256.1645. Once you’ve found Little Mountain Brewing, I promise you’ll want to return.