Phone: (216) 771-4404
Flagship Beers: Dortmunder Gold Lager, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Holy Moses White Ale, Burning River Pale Ale, Commodore Perry IPA, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Seasonal Beers: Conway’s Irish Ale, Hop Madness DIPA, Chillwave DIPA, Rally Drum Red Ale, Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA, Oktoberfest, Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale, Ohio City Oatmeal Stout, Christmas Ale, Blackout Stout
Special Releases: Alberta Clipper Porter, Altbier, Ales for ALS, Imperial Smoked Porter, Hop by Numbers IPA, Lawn Seat Kolsch
The Down Low: If you’ve shown up at any backyard barbeque in the past 20 years or so, chances are somebody showed up with the Great Lakes sampler pack for everyone to share. It’s always a go-to option for a last minute beer stop, it satisfies beer drinkers of several different styles in one convenient box, and it makes you look like you’re the only one that cares about good beer in a sea of other macro beer choices that everyone else grabbed from their nearest gas station.
Great Lakes Brewing Company has been in business since 1988, and although we have sampled most of their beers more times in our beer drinking careers than we can count, we never hesitate to grab the next new one that they make. Their styles have grown over the years to include just about everything out there, and even though they aren’t the absolute best examples of most of those styles, there’s something to be said for being able to make them all on a large scale. Serving a good portion of the northeast region of the United States, as well as adapting to trends in the craft beer industry such as canning beers and barrel-aging everything, Great Lakes has ridden through waves of changes over the years and continued to keep their heads above the water.
Our favorite beers by these guys have always been the seasonal offerings. Near the end of summer, Lake Erie Monster rises from the depths and finds its way on to beer shelves. Nosferatu, the imperial red ale named after the famed vampire, is a must-have when the months turn cooler and Halloween starts showing up in retail stores everywhere. And when the falling leaves give way to snowflakes, there’s nothing like warming up on a cold evening with a Blackout Stout or a Christmas Ale while patiently waiting for the warm weather to return.
Be sure to check out the brew pub itself in the historic market district of downtown Cleveland if you get the chance. With food options galore inside, as well as in the neighboring community, you’ll be hard-pressed to save room for the beer that drew you there in the first place. It’s a great place to stop after a Cleveland Indians game, or before for that matter. And the next time you show up for that barbeque, be sure to grab the sampler pack. After all, everyone wants to feel like a hero once in a while…