A Flight While Waiting for Your Flight
My son’s desire to take a rest before walking to our gate all the way on the other side of the Cleveland Airport led to a chance finding of Great Lakes Brewing Co. Nothing like a flight before a flight!
By Shira Kogut on Nov. 02, 2016
Time to spare in Cleveland’s Hopkins Airport? I highly recommend taking in a beer flight at Great Lakes Brewing Co. While the brewery at the airport has a more condensed beer and food menu than the main brewery in the Ohio City neighbourhood of Cleveland, it was a great way for my family to pass 3 hours before our flight. Plus the food was way better than anything you usually get at an airport and the beers were fresh, delicious and my favourite, LOCAL!
I was immediately drawn in by the chalk board advertising their Ohio City Oatmeal Stout, nothing says comfort beer like an oatmeal stout and after the immigration/security ordeals we had just been through I needed it. Sitting down I immediately ordered a tall. This beer did not disappoint. It had a beautiful dark color and rich roasted malt flavours. I could clearly understand why it was a gold medal winner at the World Beer Championships in 1996. It was delicious and smooth and totally nerve calming. At only 5.4% ABV and 25 IBUs it was the perfect hors d’oeuvre beer!
We settled into our booth and began to peruse the menu. I love breweries that integrate their beers into their recipes and as you can see from this quick sample GLBC does just that. Their menu is creative with a nice variety of dishes. While I was very happy with my Grilled Chicken Sandwich which contained two of my favourite elements beer marinaded chicken and a pretzel roll (I’m a sucker for pretzel rolls). I was sad to have missed out on their Stilton Cheddar Soup made with their Dortmunder Gold Lager which is their signature dish, but either I missed it on the menu or they don’t serve it at the airport.
As we finished our meals my 5 year old was engrossed with watching the planes land and take off, so we had some time to just relax. We decided to partake in our own flight; a beer flight that is. They offer 3,4, and 5 beer flights. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity especially since who knows when I’ll be back in Cleveland. 5 beer flight please!
This flight included all of their year round beers that are on tap (see here for the difference between a lager and an ale).
The Dortmunder Gold Lager which is their flagship beer is at the far right in the photo. Followed by the Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Burning River Pale Ale, Commodore Perry IPA and finally the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. While we both tried all five beers, we had our clear favorites. We both loved the Dortmunder Gold Lager. This was the only one we actually agreed on and shared 50-50. It’s got the 3 Cs – Clear, Crisp and Classic (to me this means it’s that beer that quenches your thirst and you sit back and go ahhhhh after drinking it). This is the type of beer most beer enthusiasts can agree on and enjoy together hence it’s the flagship beer. I’m a 40 IBU and under kinda gal while my husband enjoys more bitter beers. This actually worked well for us because he loved the Pale Ale and IPA while I really enjoyed the Amber Lager and the Porter.
One of my favourite things about craft beer is the creativity not only that goes into brewing, but that goes into labels and names. I hate when a beer is just called Porter, IPA or whatever. I love a good creative name and as a passionate historian, I especially love when it tells a historical story as do GLBC’s beers. Eliot Ness was an agent of Prohibition from Chicago of Untouchables fame. Burning River is a tribute to the Cuyahoga River Fire of 1969. People say the river which flows into Lake Erie was so polluted that it caught fire. This ushered in a new era of environmentalism to the area. Commodore Perry is the man who defeated the British Navy in the War of 1812 and the Edmund Fitzgerald is a tribute to the largest American Freight Carrier to sail the North American Great Lakes and a memorial to the 29 crewmen who sank with the ship in a storm on Lake Superior in 1975.
And there you have it. Sometimes the best flights really are those unplanned, spur of the moment ones.
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