So, tonight we got to experiment with a *real* local brewery that wasn’t local to us – Great Lakes Brewing Company, thanks to my cousin, Matt, who so graciously sent a case of GLBC’s fine brews [and I still owe him a case of Fat Tire. I haven’t forgotten, I promise!]. Great Lakes Brewing Co beers are brewed with care in Cleveland, Ohio
First, I popped the cap off of the Dortmunder,GLBC’s award-winning golden lager with a modest 5.8% ABV. As much as I hate to use the term, it rates quite high on my “drinkability” scale. There is something about the ratio of taste to body weight [of the beer] that makes it very smooth and easy to put several of these away. The flavor notes of a melon or peachy influence are light, and the body might be classified as medium-light. It goes down quite smoothly. The Dortmunder would go well paired with any sort of deli sandwich and could be enjoyed any time of year, warm or cold, inside or out.
Next up, the amber lager Eliot Ness, whose 6.2% still flies under the radar. Eliot Ness seemed to lack any real distinct, defining tastes and aromas that set it apart from any other American amber lagers. However, it was still quite pleasant; very similar to something like a standard Sam Adams brew, but with a slightly higher IBU, so you get a bit more of a kick to it. It poured smoothly, and went down similarly. We highly recommend a few of these when you catch a game at the bar with the guys and split some nachos. If Eliot Ness were available in SoCal, it would definitely be my go-to brew at the bar or restaurants.
Lastly, the aptly-named Burning River. This pale ale surprised us in its bitterness, but not in a bad way. Most pales rate low on the bitter scale, or perhaps at the end entirely. Burning River has a bit more to it than your traditional pale ale. It has some mild tastes of toasted rice [gen mai] , and some thyme-y overtones, and was all-in-all quite enjoyable. Burning River would go well with fried chicken, or perhaps a club sandwich of sorts. [Here’s some related light reading if you’re not familiar with the Cuyahoga River]
We rated all three Great Lakes brews highly –
Dortmunder – 9
Eliot Ness – 8.2
Burning River – 7.7
That’s about it for tonight. Gotta go grab a Double Double to silence my stomach. Until next time – CHEERS!