Archive for the ‘Great Lakes Brewing Company’ Category

One of the things that I’ve seen more and more in the beer world is trendy styles. For awhile, session beers were really in style and then wheat-IPA hybrids. This beer combines both into a session-wheat-IPA. I have nothing against either of these trends…honestly, I just enjoy trying new beers. But, some people are very passionate about these things. The latest one being alcoholic root beers, which everyone seems to have an opinion on. I guess we’ll wait and see what the next new thing is.


ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Inspired by Ohio’s ‘little sure shot’ Annie Oakley, our Session Wheat IPA is peppered with rounds of whole orange peel and fully loaded with Jarrylo hops.”

Random: This is a new seasonal for 2015 and is available in 6 and 12 packs along with being kegged.

This beer poured with a two finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy light yellow with moderate carbonation and visible floaties. The nose was more towards wheat than IPA. It had bright orange notes with wheat. The taste was a balance between wheat and IPA. It started with orange, wheat and sweetness and quickly went into lemon rind and grassy bitterness. It had a light body with light carbonation. It may have been an old bottle, but definitely needed some more. The finish was quick with grass and lemon. This was $1.67 per bottle, which came to $.14 per ounce. This was a pretty simple beer that I had no problem throwing back, but it wasn’t anything to knock my socks off, which is surprising because Great Lakes puts out some outstanding beers.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0


I hate the fact that pumpkin beers are out already. I have no interest in a pumpkin beer until September. By that point, a lot of pumpkin beers are sold out. So, I have to buy them early and then cellar them until September, which is also annoying. But, let’s get to this beer which would be awesome in the winter.


ABV: 7.8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Bid farewell to winter’s cruel tyranny with the creamy, bittersweet dark chocolate flavors and fresh raspberry tartness of Alberta Clipper Porter. Named for the intense winter storms that sweep the Midwest and Great Lakes Regions, making us all a little tougher (and a lot colder), Alberta Clipper is the perfect treat to celebrate the return of milder weather and kiss those wintry winds goodbye…at least for a little while.”

Random: This is still listed as a draft-only, pub-exclusive on their website.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose has notes of sweet chocolate and raspberry liquor, almost like Chambord. The taste was exactly the same as the nose. There was sweet chocolate and raspberry along with smoke and roasted malts, which gave the taste a bit more depth. The booze was hidden. The body was thin with light carbonation. It had a long finish with the same chocolate and raspberry. The bottle was $2.74, which broke down to $.23 per ounce. It’s a bit pricey, but a really enjoyable porter that I would have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

For some reason (I’m blaming end of quarter), I’ve been absolutely exhausted all this week. I haven’t been sleeping well and been having really weird dreams. I had one last night that my boss was the head of a cult and kept having video meetings with us as to the rules and regulations of the cult. I woke up and was very, very confused. I really hope that I can get some decent sleep and relax for a little bit. I also would like it to rain soon since I put some new grass seed down. Speaking of green things, that reminds me of Ireland…which reminds me of beer…like this one!


ABV: 6.5%

Style: Irish Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Notable toasty flavor derived from lightly roasted malt.”

Random: I’m definitely drinking this one a bit late since it’s a seasonal from January.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the pint glass. The body is a clear, dark orange with light carbonation and floaties. The nose was all caramel malt with toast and biscuit. The taste was relatively boring. There wasn’t any noted hop presence, but caramel malt, toffee, toast and slight sweetness. I don’t know if this was an old bottle, but the flavor was light. The body was on the thicker side of the style with light carbonation. The finish was quick with toffee sweetness. This was $1.89 for the bottle, which broke down to $.16 per ounce. Despite the affordable price, this wasn’t a beer that I would seek out again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

So, we’re getting to the point in the house process that we really have to start packing. We’re supposed to close at the end of the month and we have to move out and will most likely have to redo the floors in the new house before we move in. We haven’t even contacted movers yet. I think that we’re going to start stressing out soon, so we should probably start packing the things that we don’t need. Anyways, this was the other beer that we ordered in Princeton. This looks to be a new release from Great Lakes, so let’s see how it was.

Great Lakes

ABV: 5%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Light in body with mild fruitiness and spiciness.”

Random: The other half heated up some Trader Joe’s ebelskivers today. They were super yummy and I would have them again, especially with jam.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. There was moderate carbonation visible through the clear, light yellow body. The nose had wheat, lemon and slightly tart notes. The taste started with a weird, tart twang and then went into yeast notes and the expected lemon and wheat and orange. It had an overly thin body with light carbonation that could have been dialed up a bit. It had a long finish with a medicinal taste. This beer didn’t do much for me, and I wouldn’t have it again. The other half agreed with me on it as well.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

We also got two other tacos, the pork belly and the steak. The steak was okay, except for the fact that it was insanely spicy. The pork belly taco was good (according to Val), but I took one look at it and it was way too fatty for my liking. And yes, I understand pork belly is insanely fatty and that’s the point of it, but I really want to like it and I hate fat, so the whole thing just doesn’t work for me. Anyways, all-in-all, we really liked the place and definitely will be back.


ABV: 8%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Highly hopped imperial red ale rich with flavor, yet remarkably balanced.”

Random: This beer is only available in September on draft and in 4-packs.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head into a tulip glass. The head took awhile to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was (from what I could see since the restaurant was pretty dark) a bright reddish-brown color with moderate carbonation present. The nose was hoppy with caramel malt something reminiscent of rye spice. The taste had notes of rye-like spice, grassy hops, and pine with some booze warming present at the end of the sip. It had a thick and chewy body with high carbonation. The finish was long and hoppy finish with some booze. Although this isn’t normally my favorite beer style, I would have it again. It was quite enjoyable, especially if you’re a hop head.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

As I mentioned, the other half and I headed to Philly this weekend. Our first stop for dinner was Jose Pistolas. I had been there a few years ago and really enjoyed their food. They had recently had a Great Lakes tap takeover. The dining room was really dark, so expect super crappy pictures. Anyways, we got tacos for dinner and the brussels sprout taco was out of this world good. We also had the tuna taco which I really enjoyed. I’ll be posting a review of the place as a beer spot, but before that, let’s see how this beer was.


ABV: 7.5%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A holiday ale brewed with honey and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon.”

Random: I know it’s too early for Christmas beers, but this one looked really good.

This beer poured with a half a finger of thick tan head that was very slow to dissipate into a tulip. The body was a deep, dark copper color with heavy carbonation visible, despite being very dark and difficult to see. The nose was big with some dark fruit, nutmeg and allspice along with burnt sugar. The taste had notes of cherries, dark fruit and boozy sweetness which also had nutmeg. There was a touch of spruce with cloves as well. Ginger came through after a few sips as well. It had a thick body and high carbonation with relatively hidden alcohol. It had a long, warm finish with cherries and cloves. This was a really enjoyable winter beer that I would definitely have again. If you see one on the shelves, grab it. You won’t be disappointed.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I’ve started on “Elizabeth” since I finished Season Two of “Big Love.” I finished part one and it was really, really good. I really love Helen Mirren, even more so after watching this. She’s just amazing in this, which by the way, I never realized was a miniseries by HBO. Anyways, the other half picked up this brew for me. I thought that I already reviewed it, but was happy to see that I hadn’t. Since this was a beer from Great Lakes, I was uber excited to try it. Let’s see how it went.


ABV: 6.25%

Style: Vienna Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “An amber lager with rich, fragrant malt flavors balanced by crisp noble hops”

Random: We have a bunch of weddings to go to this summer, which means I have to find a dress. This should be fun.

This beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left limited lacing on the shaker pint glass. The body was a slightly cloudy copper color with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose didn’t have much on it. There was a bit of bready malt and not much else. The taste had a bit more going on. There was definite caramel malt and bread with some toffee as well. At the end, there was some grassiness from the hops as well. I could see how some people would call this beer simple, but it was really well executed. The body was medium thickness and very crisp with just enough carbonation. The finish was on the long side with bready malt. This was yet another great offering from Great Lakes. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0