At Least Cleveland Still Has Great Beer

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled At Least Cleveland Still Has Great Beer

The mayor of Boston went on CNN this morning to talk about a snowstorm that hadn't begun yet. That is insane. I realize part of my reaction is based on being old enough to remember when CNN trafficked in weightier matters than weather porn and celebrity gossip, and I also concede that the storm heading this way seems like it will be quite a pain in millions of asses.

But Mayor Marty Walsh, though he seems like a good enough guy and it sounds as if he has a competent plan in place—shut everything down, hope for the best—is neither a nationally significant figure (he's only been on the job a few months, so I can't imagine anyone outside New England has had any cause to learn his name) or a noted weather historian. He's just some dude who runs some city where it's going to snow a lot. I don't much care what he has to say about the storm, and I live here.


Why on earth would anybody in Kansas care what time he's planning to shut down the busses in Boston? Like I said, I realize that CNN is mostly bullshit these days, but can't we spare Kansans the pre-game snow hype? They're going to have to sit through a couple days of bitchin' blizzard pictures once it actually hits, so can't they have one last day of watching whatever the hell it is CNN shows when it's sunny in the Northeast?

I've lived in the Northeast my whole life, and that's unlikely to change any time soon. I like it here. And it's been pointed out to me that part of the East Coast news bias is statistically justifiable, since a storm that covers a couple hundred of our square miles affects far more people than a similarly sized storm in less populated parts of the country. But still.


It's a little bit embarrassing to think that my not-terribly-significant state plays such an outsized role in the national conversation. At least I'm not one of those Bostonians who feels competitive regarding New York, though. I realize the only reason I get to live in the catered-to time zone and get preferential snowstorm coverage is because of coincidental proximity to the one city in America that really does matter more than all the rest. Boston only matters because it's close to New York, and I regret that I contribute to the media's East Coast bias by devoting a disproportionate amount of Drunkspin space to beers from my home region.

Today we're going to rectify that a bit by discussing Dortmunder Gold from Cleveland's Great Lakes Brewing Company, a fantastic lager that could make a case for being the best beer in America, depending on the criteria. It would be a shaky case, to be sure, because it would be based on being far and away the most acclaimed Dortmunder brewed here, and this classic German style (named for the city of Dortmund, you see) isn't exactly the most popular in the United States. But still, it blows away the competition on Beer Advocate; it's one of the rare pale lagers to rate in the 90s among users (BA's civilian raters, who are addicted to hops and high alcohol percentages, give it a 91; the dudes in charge say 99). It's won gold in its category at the World Beer Championships just about every year for the past couple decades. Great Lakes doesn't distribute to Massachusetts, but they sent me a sample, and I was wicked impressed.


Dortmunders fall somewhere between pilsners and Munich-style lagers, stylistically, aiming to strike a balance between the hops from the former and the malt of the latter. I am not very familiar with the style, though, so I'll just speak for this beer, which is fantastic. It's a deep bronze color, with a fluffy head and mid-to-high carbonation. It smells like biscuits and peaches, and my notes claim it tastes like "the world's finest Schlitz." That sounds sort of stupid, and I'm not sure why I wrote it, but here we are. Anyway, it's a bit fruitier than my beloved pilsners, but it has plenty of pepper on the dry, spicy finish.

Dortmunder Gold would be something of an acquired taste, in that you need to be open to enjoying quieter, less hoppy beers than those currently in vogue in America. Or rather, in vogue among loud, over-represented coastal Americans. I apologize, Midwest, for making you watch all our snow panic, and I thank you for remembering that not all great beers need to be over-hopped.


This is Drunkspin Daily, the Concourse's adequate source for booze news, reviews, and bullshit. We'll be highlighting a beer a day in this space; please leave suggestions below.

Will Gordon loves life and tolerates dissent. He lives in Cambridge, Mass., and some of his closest friends have met Certified Cicerones. Find him on Twitter @WillGordonAgain. Image by Jim Cooke.


The Concourse is Deadspin's home for culture/food/whatever coverage. Follow us on Twitter.