The Halftime Pint: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald

20120925-072446.jpgOne of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, are early in the morning American time, giving people an excuse to daydrink. This is part of our series discussing exactly what to drink when you’re at the pub, presented by our resident homebrewer, Keith.

The Beer: Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, Ohio

The Pub: The Blaguard, in Northwest DC

What you need to know: Yep, it’s another porter, of the American Robust variety.  So roast should factor heavy, but, as Great Lakes stays a fairly style traditional (even their Commodore Perry IPA is fairly restrained), hops should be mellow and grassy.

Great Lakes purports to be the first microbrewery in Ohio; it was opened in 1988 by Patrick and Daniel Conway.  The first two beers produced by the Clevelanders are currently on their roster today- the Heisman (renamed Dortmunder Gold) and Elliot Ness Vienna lager. The brewery’s tale has been one of constant expansion; while still located in Cleveland proper, Great Lakes is now in a six-building complex that produces 100,000 barrels annually.

So, About this Beer: Pours a deep, dark brown with a inch-thick mocha colored head. Heavy roasted coffee aroma. Flavors largely of roasted grain with a slightly chocolatey finish. Mouthfeel is perhaps the most interesting I’ve reviewed yet. It starts effervescent and highly carbonated, and finishes smooth and creamy. Quite a good beer indeed.

The Verdict: The Edmund Fitzgerald is an absolute archetype of a style that we’ve covered frequently and fondly here on the Halftime Pint.  It’s quite the opposite of the disaster that it’s named for, though at 5.8 percent alcohol it could very sneakily wreck you.  Still, though, it’s absolutely delicious, and just the right amount of complex.

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4 responses to “The Halftime Pint: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald

  1. Woo hoo! One of my favorites from my absolute favorite brewery. Still waiting for Great Lakes to expand south from DC or north from Raleigh-Durham to make this podunk-ass town a little more enjoyable.

  2. One of the funniest things about Great Lakes being distributed in DC is the furor that erupts when their Christmas ale hits the shelves. We’ve had bars here MOBBED on release day, and have to announce when they get new kegs in. Then you go to Chicago, and it’s just sitting there on tap most places like it’s nothing. Hilarious.

  3. There’s something more to it than the beer itself (although Christmas Ale is awesome). I’m from northeast Ohio and it’s like a religion there. I have my mom buy at least three cases of Christmas Ale well before my brother and I come home for the holidays to ensure that it’s not sold out by the time we get there. I can also remember the first time I had it (at a bar in downtown Youngstown) the first year it came out and getting completely shitfaced. During subsequent holidays at home my friends and I would make plans for the evening based on which bars still had it on tap or were anticipating a shipment.

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