Saturday, September 11, 2010

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

Man, Great Lakes' brews have won some serious accolades! This beer has won 7 Gold, and 2 Silver medals at the World Beer Championships in the past 16 years!

Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale is a clear, orangish-amber brew with a lacy white head of small bubbles. The beer smells of sweet malt and fruit, but the actual taste is an awesome combo of oily citrus hops and piney hop flavoring. There is a bit of nuttiness in the finish and the flavors dominate your palate for some time after drinking.

This beer was named after the Cuyahoga River near Cleveland, Ohio - a river that was infamous for being so polluted in the 1960's that it was devoid of fish in the Akron-to-Cleveland stretch. The Cuyahoga had at least 13 reported river fires (oil slicks that caught fire on top of the water) since 1868, and on average the water temperature was 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than its feeder, Lake Erie. Time magazine once wrote that it was the river that, "oozes rather than flows".

Fortunately, the river's water quality has since improved, which is more than I can say for the City of Cleveland...A burning river, dying manufacturing plants, jobs shipped overseas and now the loss of LeBron? History hasn't been kind to you! The only thing you still have going for you is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum - and I have never understood why Cleveland was selected to hold this treasure trove!

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