Great Lakes Brewing Co., Part 2

Max and I were grouchy on Monday.  For those of you who know us, this doesn’t sound important, because we’re usually grouchy.  But we both just had God awful days, and were therefore far more abrasive than usual.  So it was a good night for good beer.

We finished off the six pack Max’s delightful cousin had sent out from Ohio, and I, for one, would really appreciate it if he would send more (directly to me, please).  We were slightly more impressed with Part 1, but we wanted to give you a complete look at the Great Lakes Brewing Company, for any of you who were thinking you’d fly to the Midwest for your next night out.  So here you go!

Their IPA, Commodore Perry (different Commodore Perry) was decent.  Max is more of an IPA fan than myself, but we both agreed that this bottle was a bit unusual.  For one thing, it was orange, and more frothy like champagne than foamy like a beer should be.  However, it was also slightly less intense than your standard IPA, and less bitter.  So for those who want a decent intro IPA, this may be a good start (with a healthy 7.5% ABV).  I said it would be good with tacos.  Max said it would be good with another beer (again, he was REALLY grouchy).

Conway’s Irish Ale (whoever Conway was) got our lowest recommendation.  Didn’t taste like much, though I suppose if you favor alcohol content over taste, this might be OK (admittedly at 6.5% ABV, it isn’t the best choice).  It almost tasted like milk, with a little maple syrup in it.  I suggested it had an aftertaste of tangelos, but the grouchy one glared at me for that.  He also informed me that this bottle would go well with a better beer…so we went on to the one we had truly been looking forward to.

Both being big porter fans, we were most excited for the Edmund Fitzgerald (not a clue, so don’t ask).  It smelled divine…a lot like when your dad used to soak mesquite chips in the backyard.  However, when we sipped, we found it tasted like a flat Coca-Cola.  This actually wasn’t awful.  The beer was pretty good!  But the flavor notes in the background were very similar to what Coke would taste like if you took out all the sugar and most of the carbonation.  Maybe with a little oatmeal flavor towards the middle (I began suggesting other grains, but Max glared at me, so I stopped).  We decided it would go really well with brownies…that may have been because we were eating brownies.

Thus satiated, we both were able to depart in a better mood.  We were pretty fair in our ratings despite our case of the Mondays.

Commodore Perry:  6.5
Conway’s Irish Ale:  4.5
Edmund Fitzgerald: 7.8

A little bit of everything.  🙂

And we promise to be friendlier next time…right, Max?


Bayhawk Chocolate Porter

Sorry Emily, but I did my first solo run tonight. For those of you who don’t know, I play softball on Tuesday nights, and we decided to hit The Lazy Dog Cafe after our game for some food and beer. Seeing this as an opportunity to do some Much A’brew work, I took some notes on my phone.

I decided it was time to branch out from my usual choices at Lazy Dog and try some of their house brews. Their house brews are done by one of two local microbrews. Their Blonde, Pale, and Amber brews are from Firestone Walker [San Luis Obispo, CA] and their Porter and Hefeweizen are from Bayhawk Brewery [Irvine, CA]. Having not tried their Porter before, I decided to give it a try.

I didn’t know much about it when it arrived at our table. Everything about the beer outside of what I could deduce with my senses had to be looked up; no menu info at the restaurant, no beer bottle. The Chocolate Porter weighs in at a comfortable 6.7% ABV and has a pleasant and mild nutty/hoppy aroma. It pours with a nice thin head [as pictured] which is prevalent through most of the duration of its consumption.

It is listed as a “chocolate porter” with tastes of coffee and chocolate. However, I didn’t really pick up on the coffee taste, but the chocolate was there, but only mildly. There was certainly no “drinking a Hershey bar” feelings here. It was definitely a fuller-bodied beer as compared to some of the others we have written about so far. It was full-bodied, but very smooth, as noted by several of us who tried it. It has a mild hoppy kick then goes down smoothly. I only had one at dinner, but I could comfortably enjoy more than one since it seemed very easy to drink.

I’m not great a food pairings, but what I can tell you is that it went very well with my double grilled cheese sandwich and fries.

Overall score: 7.5

See you later this week. Cheers!