Well, as promised, today’s beer is indeed a porter. It’s also the first porter I ever liked!
Unfortunately, I cannot find this porter out here in Seattle. Great Lakes Brewing (Cleveland, OH) doesn’t distribute to the west coast. Which is too bad, their beers are quite lovely.
As I mentioned yesterday, I did not like porters much early on in my beer-drinking career. Basically, I didn’t like dark beers. My first go-to after High Life (the lock, stock and barrel of cheap college beer) was wheat beers, followed quickly by pale ales (Goose Island’s 312 was my first beer love), followed by IPAs and all those crazy hoppy things. But I just couldn’t get into dark beers. I didn’t like browns, I hated stouts, and I couldn’t get behind porters either.
I already knew I liked Eliot Ness, the amber lager from Great Lakes Brewing. I’d also had a few of their others, so one time at a party in the dead of Chicago winter, I grabbed a random beer from a mix pack in the fridge and cracked it open.
It happened to be Edmund Fitzgerald, GLB’s porter. I didn’t even bother to check, I just looked at the label and thought, “Oh, I haven’t had this one,” as if it were a piece of chocolate with some surprise filling inside.
So I took a sip.
And I paused, confused.
Then I looked at the label.
Then I paused again.
Then I took another sip.
And from that moment on, I was hooked. Edmund Fitzgerald became my 2nd choice from Great Lakes Brewing (and I bought their beer a lot). Didn’t have Eliot Ness at the store? Fine, I’ll get me some Fitz. Drank too much Eliot Ness last week? No prob, I’ll drink some Eddie this time.
It’s really too bad I can’t actually drink one of these beers this holiday season. Technically it’s one of their year-round beers, but I especially enjoy it in colder weather. It also holds a special place in my heart as the beer that made me appreciate porters. And now, I can’t even imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t like porters. Lately, in fact, they’ve been a go-to for me.
So thank you, Ohio, for teaching me a little something about beer. (Now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d say.)