Bar Buddies: Fuel and Fuddle

I’ve never been a huge fan of beer, but I’m friends with a lot of people that are. It’s one of those drinks that you sort of have to grow into and understand the nuances of to truly appreciate. I remember going to the Heineken factory in Amsterdam, years ago, but because I was underaged I spent the whole time largely disconnected from what was happening and drinking Coca-Cola. Now that I’m of age, I’m more than open to having a life-changing beer experience, and last Wednesday night came close.

A friend of mine is a huge fan of Great Lakes Brewing Company, a Cleveland-based establishment that releases a delightful Christmas Ale during the Holiday season. Naturally, the day after Halloween was when it was released at Fuel and Fuddle this year, and the lot of us flocked on over for late night ale and warm, half-priced food.

The location: For those who haven’t heard of this glorious establishment, Fuel and Fuddle is located in Oakland, just off of Forbes Ave, and usually has people lined up outside, hungry to go in. It’s a walkable distance from campus and right in the center of what I can only think to call the “Oakland nightlife scene.” Take any of the 61s from campus if you’re feeling a little lazy.

The drinks: Admittedly, this was actually my first time drinking at Fuel, and I pretty much just drank the ale, but I will say that it was more delightful than anticipated. It was a little hoppy, but it also had some essence of the holiday spirit that I’m still having trouble describing. It didn’t taste bad after I’d eaten some food, and it didn’t taste bad when I drank it alone. Maybe it was something about being with friends. Maybe it was the magic of being almost two months before Christmas.

The vibe: Fuel is always lovely. The menu is full of items to satisfy your cravings, from the “Smashed Potato Pizza” to the baked brie. Fuel also boasts a couple screens, so if you’re interested in catching a game, this is a great place to hang out. There’s plenty of room to sit down and the reddish-yellow glow that fills the room brings in a sense of warmth that is even more desirable in the fall and winter time.

Going as a group is ideal because you can maximize the assortment of food and drink you have to sample. I shared food with a friend, clinked glasses, and had more than enough laughs to leave my belly hurting.

Lit or Nah: You can go pretty late, enjoy a drink or food, and get those warm fuzzies that everyone needs every now and then. For these reasons, I’m going to go with Lit. Fuel and Fuddle has become synonymous with “late night” and my go-to response to any “I’m hungry”s past 11 p.m. I’d recommend trying the ale while they still have it and grabbing some grub with someone you need to catch up with. Trust me, your tummy will thank you.