Category Archives: Great Lakes

Review of Great Lakes Oktoberfest

Hello again guys.  I thought I would go ahead and sample another Oktoberfest since the weather is cooling off nicely around these parts.  Today, I’m going to be reviewing the Great Lakes Oktoberfest produced by the Great Lakes Brewing Company located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Let’s get right to the description from the website,, shall we? 

An amber lager with rich malt flavor balanced by fragrant noble hops. 

I’m guessing they want the beer to speak for itself????

This version of an Oktoberfest comes in at 6.5% ABV and in a 12 oz. bottle.

The appearance was a very nice, clear orange to copper color with an off white head that looked as if it had a slight orange hue to it.  Some burnt orange highlights were shown at the bottom of the glass.  The cap was of decent size, smooth and creamy.  The retention was just ok and the lacing was mostly average I thought. 

The aroma started with a very sweet caramel malt.  Upfront spice, toasted barley and baked wheat bread were found intermingled with “earthy” hops and tones of dried leaves.  It’s well balanced, even and it does smell like Fall I must say.

The flavor began with a noticeable sugary caramel.  More of the toasted breadiness and malts were found.  They were a bit forward (in a good way).  It was similar to the aroma in that the spices were easily noticed, but they never got in the way.  It also started to develop a very minor grain profile.  The hops were once again “earthy” with only a mild touch of bitterness.  Good amount of flavor with this beer.

The mouthfeel was medium, dry, smooth and mostly crisp.  Very nice carbonation with a soft feel.  Quite a bit of flavor was left on the palate.  The spices seemed to want to stick around longer than any of the other flavors.

In my opinion, this is an excellent Oktoberfest.  It totally fits the style and the mood for the season.  It’s easily drinkable and has plenty of aroma and flavor.  To me, this is one of the better American Oktoberfests on the market.  It’s definitely worth a try if you haven’t had it yet.  Great Lakes just knows how to make a solid product regardless of style.  I’m pretty sure that I will be picking this up again before the season is over.

I hope everyone is having a great day.  Please feel free to comment or add suggestions to the posts.  I enjoy the interaction.  Thanks for reading.


Score:  4.0 out of 5
Grade:  B+    

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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Country: USA, Great Lakes


Review of Great Lakes Burning River

Hello again guys.  It’s good to be back.  I am ready to get back on track with another beer review and I hope you all are too!!!

Tonight, I’m going to be posting my review of the Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale made by the Great Lakes Brewing Company located in Cleveland, Ohio.

As I’m sure that you are well aware, Great Lakes is steadily gaining momentum nationwide as a brewery that produces some spectacular stuff. 

Let’s get right to the commercial description from the website,

An assertively hopped American pale ale with citrusy and piney Cascade hops.

I guess they are going to let the beer do the talking, huh?

This brew has an ABV of 6.0% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

The beer appeared a clear, golden, orange color with some beautiful yellow and burnt orange highlights at the bottom of the glass.  A very nicely sized, off white, creamy, soft cap holds tight for a good, long while and finally settled to a smooth film on top.  All the while leaving some thin lacing behind for me to enjoy.

The aroma began with a satisfactory “earthy” hop tone followed by some grassy notes and fruity peach citrus.  The citrus seemed to be held back a touch, although it was still easily identifiable and pleasant.  While the beer was still chilled, a floral fragrance swirled about and brought further joy to my nostrils.  Hiding underneath was a very adequate malty backbone of caramel sweetness, some bready notes and doughy biscuits.  The aroma remained consistent throughout the entire experience.

I thought the taste revealed more of the malty characteristics than did the smell.  The caramel sweetness eased its way to the forefront, followed quickly by the bread and biscuit savors juxtaposed with a light hint of butter.  The citrus was not to be denied though as quick pinches of grapefruit and peach stood their ground.  The “grassiness” was duly noted, however it was not an overabundance.  This brew definitely had a sturdy amount of bitterness and hop bite within the taste.

The mouthfeel was a solid medium.  It was chewy, crisp, smooth, dry and somewhat sticky.  It had a commendable carbonation level and an acceptable dose of flavor was left behind until the next sip.

Without a doubt, another great brew from Great Lakes.  For me, one of the better Pale Ales out there.  It’s easily drinkable, valid all around, fun to drink and worth a try.  I believe I could sip on this as my primary beer for an evening with no problem what-so-ever.  I can’t say that it is overly complex or that it totally blew me away in any category, but it just seemed to hit the spot I guess.  I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone.  Be sure to give it a try if you see it.

Thanks guys.  I appreciate all the comments that have been coming in.  Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.

Score:  4.0 out of 5
Grade:  B+ 

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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Country: USA, Great Lakes


Review of Great Lakes Commodore Perry

For today’s craft beer tasting, I thought I would venture to Cleveland, Ohio (figuratively of course) and sample the Great Lakes Commodore Perry.  It’s produced by the Great Lakes Brewing Company and is filed under the style of India Pale Ale.

I am fortunate to be able to get most all of the Great Lakes products, so I’m somewhat familiar with the brewery.  They churn out solid, worthwhile and correct interpretations of each style, so I would expect this brew to be no different.

The website,, did not provide much information on this particular beer. 

A medium-bodied and well hopped India Pale Ale with a dry, fruity finish. 

Simple and to the point I guess.

The Commodore Perry has an ABV of 7.5% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

The beer poured a pristine, clear, yellow/gold/light orange color with some prominent yellow highlights around the bottom and edges of the glass.  A nice sized, mostly white head was formed, from a medium aggressive pour, that had some pretty good retention and some average lacing.  Several large bubbles comprised the cap, but overall it was mostly creamy, smooth and a bit rocky.  A few bubbles were streaming to the top from the bottom to support a nice appearance.

Fruity, citrus tones of orange, tangerine and grapefruit were furnished from the first sniff.  They were not as prominent as most “American” IPA’s seem to be, although they were still favorable and opportune.  Decent piny characteristics and some earth tones helped solidify the hop profile.  All were combined with a malt backbone of yeast and bread.  Seemed balanced well enough to me.

The taste was, again, a little more laid back than a typical “American” IPA.  It did, however have a nice, little, citrus, hop “bite” with flavors of grapefruit and orange.  The taste seemed to be a tad more malty than citrusy in that the bread and yeast really started to stand out and hold their own as the beer warmed and developed.  They were toasted somewhat and even started to present a touch of spice.  More earthy tones showed up to conclude and round out the flavor evaluation.

The mouthfeel was medium, dry, snappy, crisp and smooth.  Enough flavor was left behind to leave me wanting for another sip.  A touch of alcohol helped warm the body when I sampled this on a cool day back in early Spring.

This beer, like all Great Lakes brews, is very solid and good.  It’s very easy to drink at 7.5% ABV and would be a beer that I would have no problem making a night of.  When I see this again, I will be more than happy to pick up a 6-pack to share with a friend.  It’s nothing too complicated, yet it could garner some interesting discussion.  It was just down right enjoyable to have a worthwhile, solid brew for this session.  Pick it up and give it a try if you see it and let me know what you thought of it.

Thanks for checking in with me today guys.  I trust everyone is doing well.


Score:  3.8 out of 5
Grade:  B+ 

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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Country: USA, Great Lakes

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