Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Style: Abbey Dubbel
I’ve reviewed a couple Great Lakes brews in the past (LINK, LINK) as they’ve long been one of my favorite Midwestern breweries. While they’re not an “over the top” shop that pushes any style boundaries, they make flavorful beer that is consistent,
balanced and tasty.
Their location is nice too, near downtown Cleveland’s century-old West Side Market, they have a very nice pub and beer garden – with an amazing dungeon-like cellar – and a smaller brew system (which served as THE brewery until their production facility opened across the alley about a dozen years ago). They brew some of their pub pours and Belgians in the pub brewery to go with their upscale pub grub menu while their packaged labels are produced in the big brew-house next door, which is photographed here.
I recently stopped by for lunch to visit one of their brewers, with whom I
studied at Siebel about 15 years ago. While in town, I took the opportunity to
run through their list to sample a few of their rarer pub pours.
Their Abbey Avenue Dubbel is described as a “Belgian style with dark, malty
flavors and hints of fruit.” Pouring a deep reddish hue, there was a faint
cloudiness accented by a thin, silky head that lined the glass to show off a
bit of body. The estery nose jumps out at you immediately, reminding me more of
a dunkleweiss than a Belgian. The body was medium-full, with a mild malty
sweetness and balanced ever-so-subtly with a hop cleanliness and long
estery-malt finish. This was very drinkable with almost no trace of expected
alcohol, which belies the hefty 8% ABV…in fact, it’d be “dangerous”
because one could easily dig in for a few pints.
Being a weissbier fan, I enjoyed it very much personally, although it’s
probably not exactly what people will expect when ordering a “Belgian style.”