Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

I’m rushing to get ready for the LIBA beerup later, so no fancy intro for Silvio this week. Heck, he really doesn’t need one! Silvio….

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

I’ve got high hopes for this weekend. The long cold D.C. winter has finally broken, and temperatures are above 50 degrees. I’m planning on venturing out with my dog for our first hike of the year today, but I know my thoughts are going to be about 500 miles north east with all the luck LIBA faithful who get to attend today’s beer meetup. Stay thirsty, friends, and tip one back for your Beltway commentator.

In the spirit of things, I decided on a double review of Great Lakes brews this week. I’ve previously reviewed their beers and really like this brewery. Beyond tasting great, these beers always have awesome label art and each brew is tied to some aspect of Cleveland’s history.

First up, the Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, named after 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River. History buffs may know that the river caught fire because it was so unbelievably polluted, and the incident created momentum for the environmental movement – something the label notes with pride for how Clevelanders have cleaned up their city. Since I’m such a treehugger, this beer appeals to me even more!

Great Lakes Burning River

Enough with the background, down to business. The beer pours a clear but dark amber color, with decent carbonation and foam head. The aroma is very strong and all hops – a mix of citrus and sweet notes over top of a stanky hoppiness. That full aroma profile doesn’t pull through to the taste, but it comes pretty close. It’s got a very dry and sour hops flavor in the start, with some pine undertones. The flavor transitions into a roasted, sweet malt toward the end, resulting in an enjoyable overall brew for hop heads like me. The ABV is decent at 6.0%, which is good because I tend to put several of these down at a time.

To totally switch gears, I went with Great Lakes’ Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. A friend left a bunch of these at my place after my Super Bowl party, and since I’m not really a porter guy they’ve sat in my fridge for a few weeks now. Since they’re not going to drink themselves, time to jump down my gulliver. This brew is named for the famous Great Lakes freighter which sank in during a crazy storm in 1975.

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

This brew is crazy dark and a serious porter. When poured out, it resembles motor oil in color – you literally can’t see through it, even if held up to light. It’s got a beautiful creamy-colored foam crown, and smells like chocolate and roasted coffee. The aroma really pulls through to the taste, and this has a really heavy roasted coffee flavor. To be honest, I felt like I was drinking an iced coffee. I was a little bummed not to taste any chocolate or any real aftertaste, but the brew was surprisingly light and drinkable, and the ABV was decent at 5.8%

That’s a wrap, folks. Overall another two great beers from Great Lakes. Hope everyone has an awesome time at the meetup today and gets home safely!


Author: Silvio

I like beer.