Collision Bend Brewing Company was named for the mighty commercial ships that navigate the narrow and crooked passages up and down the Cuyahoga River.
Short History of Collision Bend
For over a century, large barges and commercial vessels have painstakingly navigated these twists and turns with surgical precision in order to receive and deliver their precious industrial cargo to foundries and mills.
In the early years of the Industrial Revolution, at one point on the river at a very tight turn, was scene to several accidents involving bridges and other ships, thus the name Collision Bend was born.
While great big ships still slowly and precisely navigate the crooked river delivering tons of cargo, teams of engineers and seamen have all but eliminated the risk for weary sailors.
We celebrate the crooked river and its large vessel passengers today as a toast to our city’s past and the progress that Cleveland has through its industrial roots. Come see this feat of skill yourself while enjoying a cold hand-crafted beverage and tantalizing small plates at Collision Bend Brewing Company.
About Our Brewery
Collision Bend Brewing Company is an artisanal brewery and full-service restaurant, featuring crisp, bright beers brewed on site, served alongside freshly prepared Southern California street food.
Located on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland’s Flats District, the brewery is housed in the newly renovated Hausheer Building on Old River Road. Built in 1863, the site first served as a chandlery, where Civil-War era-merchant ships stockpiled supplies before setting sail onto the Great Lakes.
Today, beer is handcrafted by one of Cleveland’s preeminent brew masters, Luke Purcell, who helped launch the Great Lakes Brewing Company into national fame. Luke, and his team of brewers, carefully pair a variety of beers with an eclectic menu of food prepared from scratch that includes small plates to share and pizza from a wood-fired oven.
Many of the brewing and food ingredients are locally sourced. A menu of fresh, natural food was designed specifically to compliment the unique flavors of beer and will continue to change as Luke releases new batches.
Across an expansive, waterfront patio, diners can watch iron-ore freighters carefully inch themselves around the infamous Collision Bend – a U-shaped turn in the Cuyahoga that has tested ship captains for more than a century and sparked citywide debates about redirecting the river.
Exclusive parking and private dock space for boats make Collision Bend Brewing Company the most accessible destination in the flats.
Collision Bend Brewing Company is setting new standards in modern microbreweries. With an unrivaled fresh, natural menu and beers destine for national awards, the brewery is quickly becoming a Cleveland landmark on the Cuyahoga River.
As a young landscaper in the 1980s, Luke Purcell was thumbing the pages of a Farmers’ Alamance in search of a seasonal weather forecast, when he stumbled onto an ad for a brew kit. It was a decade before home brewing consumed suburban hobbyists and long before local microbrews challenged the likes of Budweiser, Miller and Coors.
But Luke took to the craft quickly. He enjoyed it, and he was good. He learned to balance unique flavors and bring out the better qualities of hops, roasts, malts, fruit and spice – something the national brewers willfully ignored.
A few years later, the fledgling Great Lakes Brewing Company brought Luke on to help grow their business. He attended the prestigious Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and later in Germany, where he became certified in brewing technology from the 150-year-old institution. It was a time when Great Lakes broke through the clutter and emerged as an industry leader.
Luke progressively advanced through the company and helped elevate the brand to national status. By 2016, he found a new opportunity with Collision Bend Brewing Company, which had just begun construction in Cleveland’s reimagined Flats District.
It was there that Luke advanced his craft to the next level. Today, he works closely with chefs to brew beers that complement specific menu items, while chefs develop food that highlights the beer. It’s a symbiotic relationship between brewmaster and chef that few microbreweries have embraced, let alone accomplished with any real success.
For Luke, Collision Bend is much more than great beer with a kitchen. It’s an immersive experience in pairing menu items in ways that rival the wines of French Cuisine. The rustic California street food of Collision Bend blends perfectly with Luke’s brews and changes constantly to match new tastes that flow fresh from the copper kettles.
A father to two sons, Luke lives in Cleveland. He enjoys baseball, camping and brewing new flavors of beer.