Friday, October 21, 2011
Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA - Great Lakes Brewing Company - Cleveland, OH
Wow, how did I manage to miss the Great Lakes Brewing Company until a few weeks back. Here is a Brewery that seems to have gotten it right. Tonight, I'm sampling the Commodore IPA. I had such high hopes, that I must have spent a mere five minutes in my local shop selecting this weekends fare. Usually, I'm in there a good 30 minutes mulling over the hundreds of fine Craft Beers available. Maybe I should do a review on the shop? Maybe next time. Anyway, the Commodore was what I had in mind for tonight. Here's what the website had to say:
Commodore Perry IPA
A medium-bodied and well hopped India pale ale with a dry, fruity finish.
6 packs, 12 packs and draft
Gold Medal, 2011 World Beer Championships
Gold Medal, 2008 World Beer Championships
Gold Medal, 1996 World Beer Championships
Bronze Medal, 1992 Great American Beer Festival
THE COMPANY MISSION
Great Lakes Brewing Company is a principle-centered, environmentally respectful and socially conscious company committed to crafting fresh, flavorful, high-quality beer and food for the enjoyment of our customers. We aspire to maintain our status as the premier craft brewery in the Great Lakes region and are dedicated to uncompromising service, continuous improvement and innovative consumer education.
In the 1870s, Cleveland had 30 breweries. By the early 1980s, the last one had shuttered its doors. So when brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway opened Great Lakes Brewing Company on September 6, 1988, it not only signaled a new era in Cleveland brewing, it was also the first microbrewery in the state of Ohio. And the idea of a craft brewery in Cleveland caught on fast, as curious patrons hurried in for a pint crafted in the styles of old and drawn from the taps of the beautiful Victorian era bar. Our commitment to sustainable business practices greatly contributed to our early popularity and success. Before long, Great Lakes Brewing Company had become one of Cleveland’s most popular destinations for both dining and a fun night out.
Master Brewer Thaine Johnson and engineer Charlie Price joined us during the early days. Their three decades of brewing and managing experience at various U.S. breweries—including Christian Schmidt, Cleveland’s last brewery—played a key role in developing the recipes for our first beers. Raw materials used by European brewers (malted barley instead of corn and rice) were incorporated into the craft brewing process, which included using only the freshest ingredients and avoiding preservatives, synthetic chemicals and pasteurization (which ultimately compromise flavor). Approximately 1,000 barrels were produced during our first year.
Our original beers included The Heisman, a Dortmunder-style beer named for the famed football player (and future trophy) who lived around the corner from the Brewery. It was immediately followed by Eliot Ness Amber Lager. Both were overnight successes; the Heisman was later renamed Dortmunder Gold for both its golden color and the Gold Medal it won at the 1990 Great American Beer Festival. Dortmunder Gold and Eliot Ness were soon joined by an exceptional family of award-winning year round, seasonal and pub exclusive beers including Burning River Pale Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Commodore Perry India Pale Ale, Conway’s Irish Ale, The Doppelrock, Holy Moses White Ale, The Wright Pils, Oktoberfest, Nosferatu, Christmas Ale and Blackout Stout.
In 1992, to meet growing demand, the Brewery expanded to the adjacent Fries & Scheule Building—and as the popularity of our beer continued to grow, so did our Brewery. In 1998, we moved into what now consists of six buildings—three that originally served as horse stables, keg facilities and bottle storage for the 1879 Schlather Brewing Company. In 2010/2011, we invested $7M in capital improvements that included a new centrifuge; brewhouse additions for increased production speed and quality; filler, rinser, conveyor and packaging efficiency upgrades; a new grain silo, spent grain tank, flooring and piping; and lastly, the installation of four additional storage and fermentation tanks.
We now produce over 100,000 barrels annually and serve 12 states and Washington D.C. As Ohio’s most celebrated and award-winning brewer of lagers and ales, we continue to possess an unwavering commitment to brewing only the freshest exceptional family of beers.
Brewhouse: The Brewhouse is a two-story facility that features full glass walls to give visitors a view of the stainless steel brewing vessels responsible for the four stages of the brewing process: mashing, lautering, boiling and whirlpooling.
Tank Farm: The Tank Farm warehouses the 300 barrel stainless steel fermentation tanks where beers undergo fermentation, aging and filtration before reaching the bottling line.
Bottling & Packaging Line: The Bottling & Packaging Line is where fresh beer is bottled in brown bottles and packaged in high walled carriers to protect the beer from damaging light. In addition, each bottle is labeled with a consumer friendly freshness date and packaged in eco-friendly carriers and cartons, as well as kegged in half barrels and 1/6 barrels.
Beer Cooler: The Beer Cooler refrigerates the beer immediately after bottling to prevent oxidation from prolonged warm storage. Freshness dates are regularly checked to ensure proper rotation and freshness.
Quality Assurance Labs: We maintain two onsite laboratories for quality assurance - one for physical and chemical tests and one for microbiological work. These labs are capable of performing a broad range of tests and data analyses to help guarantee the quality of the beer being delivered to customers.
In this laboratory, all of the physical and chemical analyses of raw materials and beer in process are performed. These tests include but are not limited to: beer color, beer bitterness, alcohol content, haze stability, hop aromatic oils and malt modification. Data from the lab is used to adjust the process to guarantee a consistent, high quality beer.
The production of beer is a microbiological process. Microscopic single-celled organisms (yeast) metabolize sugar and produce ethanol (alcohol), carbon dioxide and other chemicals recognized as "beer" flavor. In this lab, the technicians monitor the fermentation process and combine this data with physical and chemical tests to ensure proper flavor is achieved in the beers. Lab technicians also check for the presence of other organisms such as bacteria (non-harmful to humans) that may cause the beer to develop a sour or "off" flavor.
Brewery Office Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Brewery Contact Information
Great Lakes Brewing Company
1947 West 28th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
A Discerning Difference
Recognized as one of the finest regional craft breweries in the country, we continue to make a name for ourselves by ensuring that an uncompromising pursuit of superior taste differentiates our products from the rest of the market. To make sure that products are stored correctly on retailer shelves, we maintain a team of area managers and field sales representatives who regularly monitor product storage and freshness in the field. "Imports run the risk of growing stale by the time they reach the United States, and preservative-laden, highly pasteurized beers tend to offer less than full-bodied taste," Patrick Conway notes. "Our fresh product positions us as a very strong player among discerning craft brew consumers."
Exceptional Measures Ensure Top-of-Line Quality
We continuously look for opportunities to provide customers with the highest quality, freshest beer possible. Every aspect of the process from raw materials to packaging undergoes stringent quality checks and must be approved by both quality and production teams before use.
To ensure that customers have an enjoyable dining experience, the greatest care is taken in selecting and preparing food that is high quality, rich in flavor and grown in an environmentally responsible manner. We use local vegetables and herbs in dishes whenever seasonally available, local eggs, milk, cream and butter, local or naturally raised meats and responsibly farmed or wild-caught seafood.
Over the course of the year, more than 30% of all of our food is sourced locally. That wouldn’t have been a huge challenge a century ago when over 80% of our region’s acreage was farmland, but at the time of our company’s founding only 2.1% of the land in our region was farmland. We’re pleased to be a part of an emerging trend to return to local farming, not only by sourcing, but also by directly growing our own food.
Almost a decade ago, we began farming a small portion of our produce in community gardens. Since then we founded Pint Size Farm (2008) in the Cuyahoga Valley and Ohio City Farm (2010), the nation’s largest urban farm, a mile from downtown Cleveland. Visit our "Sustainable Farming" website for more information and pictures!
When you dine with us, you not only enjoy a great meal and brews in a cozy, historic setting, but you also help support the vibrant local foods movement growing right in our own backyard.
Great Lakes Brewing Company is an environmentally and socially conscious brewer of award-winning, all natural beer. The care that goes into our beer resonates from a commitment to the community and environment, otherwise known as the "Triple Bottom Line" - to engage in economic, social and environmental practices that achieve a sustainable, yet profitable, business.
Looking from the outside, it can seem that the commitments to environment, society and growth can be in conflict with one another. But rather than imposing restrictions on our business, looking through the lens of sustainability allows us to fire on many cylinders: conserving resources (both natural and financial), steadily expanding our business year after year through the combined contributions of an engaged staff, and reinvesting our company’s earnings in local economies and organizations.
Knowing that sustainability is always a work-in-progress, we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, but also candid about the challenges we still face. Read more about our initiatives or grab a pint and read our full sustainability report.
THE BURNING RIVER FOUNDATION:
The Burning River Foundation is dedicated to improving, maintaining and celebrating the vitality of our regional freshwater resources. Our vision is to establish Northeast Ohio as the recognized environmental leader dedicated to the sustainability of its high quality freshwater resources.
The Burning River Foundation embraces the following Core Values:
Education/ Public Involvement
Established in 2007 as an outgrowth of the continued success of the Burning River Fest, we have awarded over $246,000 to local non-profit organizations such as the GreenCityBlueLake Institute, Great Lakes Science Center, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Wendy Park Foundation, West Creek Preservation Committee and the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization for their work on water projects.
Through the Burning River Fest, we have also increased public awareness about the deteriorating, yet historic, Coast Guard Station, which has resulted in a collaborative cleanup and restoration effort by non-profit, corporate and government entities. The Fest has also helped put Whiskey Island and Wendy Park on the map as a wonderful greenspace right in the heart of Cleveland’s industry (both past and present).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Burning River Foundation Opens RFP Process
October 17, 2011--CLEVELAND, OHIO--Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Burning River Foundation (BRFoundation), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving, maintaining and celebrating the vitality of our regional freshwater resources, has issued a Request for Proposals for its 2011-2012 Fresh Ideas for Freshwater Grant Program. Through fundraising, donations and the annual Burning River Fest, the 2011-2012 Fresh Ideas for Freshwater Grant Program is the foundation’s opportunity to support Northeast Ohio individuals and organizations that pursue ecological conservation, environmental protection and education/public involvement. Winning proposals ultimately work toward the sustainable future of our regional freshwater resources. The BRFoundation is eager to fund creative ideas that support its mission in a demonstrable and positive manner.
Local innovators and organizations are welcome to respond to this Request for Proposals. Deadline for submission is November 30, 2011. Requests from $1000 to $20,000 will be considered and grants will be awarded in early 2012. Award recipients and projects will be featured at the 2012 Burning River Fest. For complete information, proposal materials and instructions, visit burningriverfest.org/foundation.
To ensure that customers have an enjoyable dining experience in our Brewpub, the greatest care is taken in selecting and preparing food that is high quality, rich in flavor and grown in an environmentally responsible manner. Great Lakes Brewing Company uses local vegetables and herbs in dishes whenever seasonally available, local eggs, milk, cream and butter, local or naturally raised meats and responsibly farmed or wild-caught seafood.
Local sourcing wouldn't have been a challenge a century ago, when more than 80% of the acreage in our county was devoted to farmland. By the time our brewpub was established in 1988, only 2.1% of the land in our county was designated farmland. In this new century, new forms of financing and marketing quality local produce have allowed small family farms and diversified vegetable producers to operate successful businesses that nourish our neighbors, enrich our soils, and redevelop our communities. We're proud to be a part of this emerging trend.
Almost a decade ago, we began farming in community gardens so that we could practice coordinating the growing season with the needs of our brewpub. In 2008, we established a relationship with Hale Farm and Village, a living museum of historical agriculture and architecture, 20 miles South of Cleveland. One of our former servers, Christine DeJesus, took the lead on cultivating the land devoted to us, which we dubbed Pint Size Farm. We used the space not only to grow high-quality produce, but also to give our staff the first-hand experience of organic agriculture that they relate to customers in our brewpub. Christine grows top notch heirloom produce and demonstrates composting of our brewer's grain and kitchen trimmings, companion planting, green cropping, drip irrigation, and managing the microclimates on our half-acre plot.
This past summer, we were a part of a collaborative effort to establish a six-acre urban farm called Ohio City Farm. Located one mile from Public Square and several hundred yards from the brewery, to our knowledge it is the largest urban farm in the nation. We supported the farm in its first year with financial planning and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) sponsorship. We were the beneficiaries of produce grown on one acre of the farm by The Refugee Response, a non-profit organization which finds employment and jobs training for resettled refugees from around the world. A significant role was played in the first year by Ohio City, Inc. and Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority.
When you dine at GLBC, you not only enjoy a great meal and brews in a cozy, historic setting, but you also help to support the vibrant local foods movement growing right in our own backyard.
Because we’re located two miles from the shores of Lake Erie and we produce a product that is over 90% water, we’re committed to protecting this valuable resource in brewery operations. Since 2001, we’ve hosted the Great Lakes Burning River Fest, an educational environmental music festival that has raised over $246,000 for organizations working in water conservation.
WASTE AS AN OPPORTUNITY
Our byproducts are not wastes to dispose of, but resources with a beneficial reuse. Our brewery has a net negative waste bill; we use spent grain as a soil amendment at our farms, a substrate for mushrooms and feed for livestock used in our menu items. Low-fill beers are also repurposed into sauces, ice cream, soups and sausage.
LOCAL FOODS & FARMING
We sustainably farm our own produce and specialty hops on our Pint Size Farm and at Ohio City Farm, the nation’s largest urban farm located one mile from downtown Cleveland. In total, we farm one and a half acres exclusively for our brewpub and source over 30% of all of our food from local purveyors.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY & RENEWABLES
We strive to be leaders in the craft industry by reducing energy usage and using renewable energy throughout our brewery. We’ve installed a 12-panel solar thermal system and regularly conduct a series of energy audits to constantly reduce our company’s energy usage.
While redeveloping century-old buildings that make up our brewery and brewpub, we’ve been sensitive in our choice of building materials and in maximizing energy efficiency. Our Beer Garden features radiant heat floors and the city’s first commercial straw bale wall.
Since we’ve made our home in historic buildings in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, we’re pleased to have been a player in the revival of this area. We’re committed to the idea that businesses anchor and bring prosperity to local communities.
We know that our employees shape us as a company, so we’ve created a fun and collaborative culture using our own employees’ best ideas for improvements and growth and extend decision making power to all levels.
Our restaurant vegetable oil is dewatered, filtered and repurposed as fuel for our “Fatty Wagon” shuttle bus. Emissions from this renewable fuel don’t affect changes in climate like petroleum-based fuels.
We’re all just beginners in sustainability, so we host forums for our city’s environmental leaders to share beers and ideas. We’re also glad to pass on our experience to other organizations just beginning their path to sustainability.
Our Triple Bottom Line business mission encompasses more than just producing world-class beer. We also support and increase awareness of the arts, culture and environment through in-kind and monetary donations to organizations doing common work.
Wow, that was a page full. I thought it was important to include as much information as possible about the Brewery and their various projects. As for the beer? Well, the pour was nice and clean, producing just enough head to release the captivating aroma of hops...lots of hops. The head was tight, with a nice topping. The taste was wonderfully hoppy, without it being over the top. There was a slight bitterness left on the palate, but no more than you would expect from a fine IPA. The Great lakes Brewery is about as green as they come, truly embracing sustainability. It may not have been the most knock-em-down fantastic beer that I've ever had, but it certainly was up there with the best. Please, promise me that you'll seek them out...you won't be let down.
9/10 - A Pleasure