Great Lakes Brewing – Lake Erie Monster
As long as there have been people living around bodies of water, there have been stories about what lives in the deep recesses of each murky abyss. From Krakens of Greek mythology to the river monsters of the Amazon, to the Crocosaurus of the Sci Fi Channel to the infamous Nessie of Scotland’s Loch Ness, the lore surrounding mythical sea monsters swirls in all corners of the globe and throughout time. The northern Midwest is not excluded from this pantheon of time and geography as Lake Erie’s Bessie (sometimes known as “South Bay Bessie”) has graced this fourth largest of the Great Lakes since its first recorded sighting in 1817. Great Lakes Brewing’s summer seasonal Lake Erie Monster pays homage to the beast with a double IPA that (at 9.1% ABV) will have you telling tales in no time.
A nice pour into a pint glass will yield you a golden-amber body crowned with a frothy white head, extolling malty wafts with subtle citrusy scents. The Simcoe hop is apparent in this double (or imperial) IPA, adding more to the flavor than it does to the aroma, which is dominated more by the two different types of malts than the two hops. The taste, though, is balanced for this hophead with a bready malt equal to its bitter hop counterpart. You can also tell there is some alcohol in this one (not saying that is a bad thing, but it is apparent). Aftertaste is pleasing with my taste buds left in tact due to this beer’s pleasant taste equilibrium.
Not necessarily as elusive as Bessie, Great Lakes has done well with this seasonal in that this is not a sessionable beer, but one that provides a refreshing warm-weather sipper. Making this available only part of the year will get people excited for the few months it is out, and during that small window of time you should snatch some up, sip it down and create some tales of your own. After all, it only takes a few sips of this one to make you smart, pretty and creative … or so they say.