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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | December 5, 2021

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Fresh Brewed Tees: Cleveland Made, Cleveland Pride, Cleveland Fans

By Matt Van Wormer

If you are from the Cleveland area and you haven’t heard of Fresh Brewed Tees yet, consider this your wakeup call.  Tony Madalone and his staff of designers and printers are churning out some of the most popular t-shirt designs in the city, and the shirts are getting ordered as quickly as they are getting printed.  I have to say, I can’t go downtown without seeing someone wearing a shirt with an Indian feather on the front, which, by the way, is Fresh Brewed Tees best selling design representing the Cleveland Indians.  I was able to speak with Tony and get the inside scoop on Fresh Brewed Tees and his love of Cleveland and the Indians.

Tony is a lifelong Cleveland fan.  As he says, his “roots are deep.”  His family had Dawg Pound seats at old Municipal Stadium and his mom was at the game known simply as “The Fumble.”  He has heard stories about the RTA trains being completely silent as they took people back to wherever their cars were parked after that game.  Tony spent lots of time at Jacob’s Field in the 1990’s and has vivid memories of Sandy Alomar Jr.’s home run in the bottom of the ninth in game four of the 1997 Divisional Series against Mariano Rivera and the New York Yankees.  He is one of us.  He feels what we feel when the Indians or any other team win or lose and he knows that there will always be another dramatic win or loss coming soon.

The very first design that Tony came up with, back in 2009, said “We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1964,” referencing the last year that Cleveland had a professional sports championship.  Sales were decent but then the Josh Cribbs contract dispute started and Tony made a shirt that stated, simply, “Pay Cribbs.”  The shirt was an instant success.  After Cribbs made an appearance on ESPN, Jay Crawford of the show First Take, and a Cleveland native got wind of the shirt.  He got a hold of one, showed it during the show and gave Fresh Brewed Tees the kind of viral recognition that has helped many companies become big in a much quicker period of time than was ever expected.  Since making that shirt, Tony has developed shirts for Peyton Hillis and Joe Haden.

On Wednesday, August 10th, Jason Kipnis had a night that most ballplayers only dream of.  With over 23,000 fans in attendance, Kipnis went 5 for 5 with a Home Run, a Double, four runs scored and three RBI.  Less than two hours after the game ended, the Fresh Brewed Tees website had a shirt stating that “We Are All Kipnises.”  Their team of designers is always ready for something to happen that they can capitalize.  By the next morning, they had tons of orders for the new shirt.  Another perfect example of Fresh Brewed Tees ability to quickly keep up with things that are trending was the NBA Draft Lottery.  When Dan Gilbert’s son, Nick, declared “What’s not to like,” Fresh Brewed Tees went right to work designing a shirt to express just that.  They have since designed one for each of the sports in Cleveland.

One of the reasons that Fresh Brewed Tees has to get their designs out there quick is because they aren’t the only game in town.  There is lots of competition from all over the northern Ohio area.  If Tony and his team have a good idea, they know that they aren’t the only ones.  Working quickly and efficiently is what makes the designs of Fresh Brewed Tees successful.  “I really respect the other artists and designers in the area and I am always following what they are doing to see how we can continue to be successful and get better.”

Oliver Barrett, Aaron Sechrist, A.J. Jiminez and a man that Tony will only call “Designer X,” make up the team that comes up with many of the designs that end up being sold.  Tony is always looking for “fresh” ideas though and that really keeps things open as free-lance designers are always submitting something that they think could be the next popular t-shirt.  While the economy struggles, Fresh Brewed Tees does just fine because most people are still willing to spend $20-$30 dollars on a quality t-shirt.  “It’s a statement you can wear, and people like what Fresh Brewed Tees has to say.”  So head over to and make your statement!

Photo: Matt Van Wormer/DTTWLN?










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