Our story - meet the Beer Swami

Mike Howson founded Chagrin Beer Company in 2011, brewing the first of Chagrin IPA not far from where he was born and raised in Northern Ohio. Mike grew up amidst the birth of Rock n’ Roll in 1950s and 60s Cleveland, inspiring a passion that became a huge part of his life – Mike had a band and amassed a vast record and music collection, rivaled only by his beer can collection. Music is a standard at any Chagrin Beer event.

In 1993, Mike bought a beer store located on the Chagrin River, which eventually gave our brew its name. The craft beer scene was in its infancy, but soon burst wide open...remember Pete’s Wicked Ale? Mike became a beer guru. Microbrew tastings and events grew steadily in number and notoriety and included virtually every major craft brewer at the time. Chuck’s (the store) was ranked 29th nationally by RateBeer.com, and in 2007, Mike was named one of 125 most interesting people in Cleveland Magazine’s Best of Cleveland, dubbing Mike, “the Swami of Suds” (plus "Buddha of brew" and "Santa of suds").

In 2011, Mike partnered with one of the area’s top home brewers, Jeff Bradbury, to develop Chagrin Beer Company’s original 3 beer recipes – Chagrin IPA, Summer Daze and Lake Effect Chocolate Stout. In 2015, we added Pumpkin Roll Porter and in 2016, we'll introduce our holiday ale, I’ll Be Home For.

Chagrin Beer Company partners with Hopview Brewery and distributor Vintage Wine. Carefully nurturing growth with quality controls, Chagrin Beer is distributed throughout Ohio in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Toledo and Columbus. You'll find us at the finest pubs, restaurants, and stores, as well as country clubs and community events.

Now 5 years strong, we are on the grow. Ask for us!


See what people are saying about Chagrin Beer.

Rattle off a dish, and he’ll find the perfect pairing...Mike “The Swami of Suds” Howson will gladly answer all your questions. His monthly beer tastings (for a fee) are full of surprises as well. During our late-August visit [to Chuck’s Fine Wine and Beer], the white-bearded Buddha of brew doubled as a Santa of suds, cracking out aged winter and Christmas beers.
— Cleveland Magazine, "The Best of Cleveland," 2007
 
Nice, sharp bitter bite. Clean finish, wondering what variety of hops were used. [Chagrin IPA]
— Untappd.com, 2016
 
This small brewing operation knows their stuff. On Cleveland’s far east side, I recommend sampling the wares if you discover them in your travels.
— RateBeer.com, 2016
 
Nice lightly peach flavored, crisp and phenomenally refreshing. [Summer Daze]
— Untappd.com, 2016
 
Pumpkin pie, cream cheese rolls, and heavy spices dominate a mouthful that summarizes the season in a single sip. [Pumpkin Roll Porter]
— RateBeer.com, 2016
Found this rarity on tap at the Magic Tree. Very mild coffee aroma. Nice blackish pour, looks attractive. On the first taste I get a tad of tartness that piques my interest. Yes, quite interesting to drink, and easy to like, especially for somebody who appreciates slightly tart brews. Has a bit of wildness in there for sure. Not much co2 on this but that unique flavor keeps my buds on alert. An overall pretty darn good dark beer experience. Really glad I found this brew. [Lake Effect]
— RateBeer.com, 2014
 
Really great! Smooth and creamy. No bite and not over sweet. U would love it! [Lake Effect]
— Untappd.com, 2015

The Swami's grandchildren visit the brewery to learn how Chagrin Beer is made.

The Swami's grandchildren visit the brewery to learn how Chagrin Beer is made.