I’d heard of it; I knew a lot of people who had had it and loved it.  But I was on the outside looking in … until a chance work trip to Cleveland.

I’m speaking of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold.  I’ll back up a bit.  You just never know where a good beer conversation or a good beer recommendation will come from.  I was in Cleveland for a conference that our group was running and we were meeting with the staff at the brand spankin’ new Westin in Cleveland.  (If you need a place to stay in Cleveland, highly recommended.)  When they got to the point where the bar selections were discussed, I asked about local beers, hoping they’d have Great Lakes available.  And oh yes they did.  So, not only did they offer to have at each reception, one of them ran into the kitchen and brought three of then out to show what they had, the aforementioned Dortmunder, Burning River Pale Ale (absolutely love the self-deprecating humor behind this name), and the Commodore Perry IPA.  Since they had the foresight to open the bottles before bringing them out, I felt it would be rude for me not to sample. Oh boy.

The Dortmunder, as evidenced by the graphic to the right, is stellar. It’s got a slightly sweet taste, very HIGHLY recommended.

Not sure what happened in 2009

balanced, virtually no bitterness.  It’s really, really good.  I don’t know what else to say.  It’s not heavy, so you can have a few of them without ruining your meal.  Highly,

Oh, and did I mention that the staff at the Westin is awesome.  I got back to my room and had a dozen Dortmunder’s on ice waiting for me.  I reiterate, oh boy.

There are a dozen beers on Great Lakes’ “year-round” beer list.  One down, eleven to go.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington