Great Lakes Brewing is more Cleveland than any athlete or movie star will ever be. I had always known that they were founded in Cleveland but had no idea they had such an engrained historical presence in the city. For eight long years, Cleveland was without a local brewery and did not see Great Lakes until brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway opened in 1988. In craft beer years, that makes Great Lakes ancient. Since then, Great Lakes has been perfecting their flagship lineup and expanding to their current production of over 100,000 barrels a year. Their entrance into our market was celebrated, and Great Lakes continues to be a favorite brewery that is widely available in DC.

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market: Yes

Beer #1: Holy Moses  (Belgian Wit, 5.4%)


Beer Advocate: B+ (435 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 83 Overall, 93 Style

Notes: An all-around solid witbier that is nice and fluffy without being too thick in terms of the body. Holy Moses has a few notes of citrus, lemon and clove but nothing overwhelming or contrary to the style. The carbonation with Great Lakes tends to be dead-on, and this one is no exception. That might be a trivial point but it can easily ruin a beer in this style.

Beer #2: Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (5.8 %)

Beer Advocate: A (1519 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 99 Overall, 100 Style

Notes: Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the most popular porters in America and has been since its debut almost ten years ago. Medium mouthfeel with plenty of roasted malt, slight coffee notes, and bittersweet chocolate. Everything you want in a porter and then some.

Great Lakes has been a welcome addition to the already huge selection of beers available in our market, but they’ve missed the boat a bit on this year’s SAVOR event. When it comes to breweries that are locally available, I expect a new or fairly rare beer to be featured at SAVOR given the caliber of the and profile of the event. Ohh well, Edmund Fitzgerald is still great and will be interesting with the boneless beef rib and a smoked peach glaze.

This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.