Name: Great Lakes Brewing Company

Location: Cleveland, OH


Type: Production brewery

Available in DC Market: Yes


What you need to know: Andrew Nations wrote this in 2011, and it's true today as it was then: "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."

Beer #1: Edmund Fitzgerald Porter (Porter / 5.8%)

In Their Own Words: "Named for the great ship that tragically sunk in Lake Superior in 1975 with many Northeast Ohioans on board, our Edmund Fitzgerald is the dark, brooding type. One sip of this complex, flavorful porter inspires lavish bar napkin poetry and spirited closing-time soliloquies. It’s a meticulously crafted love letter in a bottle, an epic and flavorful voyage, each sip a bittersweet tribute. Bittersweet chocolate-coffee taste and bold hop presence."

Food Pairing: Smoked mackerel and caviar (Thin slices of smoked mackerel served on hearts of palm with lemon, dill and caviar crème fraiche.)

Our Thoughts: A very tasty porter, but pretty commonly available in DC. Although the smoke and smoke connection works between food and beer, I'm not sure that creme fraiche and porter are the best pairing possible. 

Beer #2: Rye of the Tiger IPA (India Pale Ale / 7.5%)

In Their Own Words: "Our Rye of the Tiger has claws. Named for its fierce hop profile and sharp rye content, Rye of the Tiger is a thrilling India Pale Ale with bite. Rye of the Tiger is crafted for the fighter in all of us, a powerful beer meant to inspire feats of strength and skill. At 7.5%, mind those catlike reflexes if your bout goes into extra rounds. If you can handle this hopped-up kitty, you’ve earned your stripes. Strong citrus and pine presence with a clean, dry finish."

Food Pairing: Charred masala caulifower with dates (Cauliflower florets seasoned with masala and charred. Served with dates and Greek yogurt.)

Our Thoughts: Not going to be the most hyped IPA at SAVOR, for sure, but one that is worth your time, especially for fans of rye. The rye makes the finish on this beer fantastically crisp and way too easy to drink. Masala and hops are a perfect combination, and the spice of the rye and the char on the cauliflower will pair nicely with each other. This is a really nice little package.

This profile is a part of the SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.