PARMA, Ohio — German foods pair well with German beer, and the family that owns Das Schnitzel Haus has created a perfect pair for its beloved Parma restaurant with Schnitz Ale Brewery.
The brewery is set to open on Nov. 9, located just across the street from Das Schnitzel Haus. (Das Schnitzel is located at 5728 Pearl Road, and Schnitz Ale is located at 5729 Pearl Road.)
Like their locations facing one another, the businesses are two parts of a whole. Beer brewed at Schnitz Ale Brewery will be available for order at Das Schnitzel Haus, while a limited menu at the brewery will reflect Das Schnitzel Haus’ traditional German fare. (Plus, don’t miss the pun in the names: “Schnitz-el” and “Schnitz-ale.” Get it?)
“Being a German restaurant, beer falls hand in hand with good German food,” said brewery owner Igor Djurin. “It’s always been in our plans, in the back of our minds, to open up a small brewery.”
Igor’s parents Branka and Goran Djurin opened Das Schnitzel Haus in 2005, Igor said, serving up handmade European dishes for hungry Parma residents. The brewery idea stayed in the Djurin family’s head; originally, they hoped to open a microbrewery in Das Schnitzel’s garage.
“It didn’t make sense, and after we thought about it longer, we wanted to be patient and find the right building and right place,” Igor said.
The right place arrived in 2019, in front of the Djurin family’s own eyes. The building at 5729 Pearl Road, a former stained glass production facility and dentist’s office, became available in November, and the Djurin family jumped on the opportunity.
The open, intricate design was planned by the entire family, Igor said.
“The building had a lot of work that needed to be done, so we just made a blank, empty canvas, started from scratch,” Igor said. “The design was a collective idea of my parents, sister, wife and myself, which included many arguments at the dinner table.”
The family planned to open the brewery in fall 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic led to setbacks and delays that pushed things back a full year. Igor said they used that time to get every detail right inside of Schnitz Ale Brewery.
There are plenty of details to see. Walking in through the side door, a mural of Neuschwanstein Castle painted by local artist Nick Gaudino greets visitors when they arrive.
Inside the two-story space, a chandelier of beer steins illuminates an intricate staircase. A bar is available on both the first floor and second floor of the brewery, and full walls of windows let in plenty of light, along with a pristine view of Das Schnitzel Haus across the street.
The open concept includes lots of seating at a sizable bar and tables. A wall is lined with shelves filled with beer mugs for a future stein club.
What will fill those steins? Plenty of German beer — along with other types. Brewer Jerome Moore said he aims for an accessible selection.
“We’ll have a variety, but still trying to bring our German style out,” Moore said. “We’re still bringing a variety of other beers, so that everyone in the community can come in and enjoy everything. We’re not going to stick to making all pilsners or lagers, or all IPAs. We’ll have IPAs, we’ll have a stout, we’ll have a seltzer on tap.”
In the back brewing room, four seven-barrel fermenters and one seven-barrel bright tank are operational, with two 15-barrel fermenters in the works, Igor said. Beer will be available for order at the brewery, and to-go through growlers and cans.
Schnitz Ale’s brew is already earning fans in the region, along with critical acclaim. The brewery teamed up with Planted Flag Brewing to compete in this year’s Oktoberfest competition, and won gold in the German ale category along with a finalist position in the “Best of German” category.
Beer aside, Schnitz Ale Brewery will also boast a menu of smoked meats and small plates. Imagine a more limited Das Schnitzel Haus’ menu, Igor said.
“We have a wonderful smoker so we are planning to use that as much as possible,” Igor said. “For example, briskets, smoked whole wings and then our main staple is going to be a variety of sausages. We’re going to do sausage flights, all homemade sausage plates where you can pick two, three, four different varieties of sausage and a couple sides and that’s going to be the staple food.”
Excitement has been building for Schnitz Ale Brewery, Igor said. Though Parma has plenty of bars, the business will mark the city’s only microbrewery.
“The local community has been anxious and very supportive,” Igor said. “We’re getting people daily at the restaurant just talking about how they’re excited that there’s finally a brewery in Parma.”
Moore also shares in that excitement.
“This is going to be a good place for Parma to have,” Moore said,” something nice, somewhere we can rally around and say, ‘look at what we have.’”
You can follow Schnitz Ale Brewery on Facebook at facebook.com/schnitzalebrewery.
Get a jumpstart on the weekend and sign up for cleveland.com’s weekly “In the CLE” email newsletter, your essential guide to the top things to do in Greater Cleveland. It will arrive in your inbox on Friday mornings – an exclusive to-do list, focusing on the best of the weekend fun. Restaurants, music, movies, performing arts, family fun and more. Just click here to subscribe. All cleveland.com newsletters are free.