In 1988 when Patrick and Daniel Conway opened their fledgling operation in Cleveland’s then-moribund Ohio City neighborhood, the odds were stacked against them, not unlike many businesses started here in our own Queen City. Like Buffalonians, our Lake Erie neighbors in Cleveland have seen quite the resurgence in breweries popping up throughout the region over the past couple decades. Great Lakes Brewing has led the way, now producing over 160,000 barrels of beer annually at the site of the historic Leonard Schlather Brewing Company’s grain storage and stables.
The brewery has blossomed since ‘88, now offering an ever-evolving brewpub with a sustainable beer garden, cozy basement beer cellar, and two dining rooms for anyone in need of a cold beer, or decent meal. Dare we say a trip to Great Lakes Brewing Co. is worth the *short* drive to Believeland, which also sits lakeside and offers tons of opportunity to explore?
What’s our current favorite Great Lakes Brewing Co. brewski? So glad you asked. That would be el Commodore Perry, a bold, hoppy, British-style IPA named after the man who defeated His Majesty’s Royal Navy in the War of 1812. Here’s why:
#1 You can get it locally. And easily.
If you’re not up for the short road trip down south (Hey, with the temps we’ve been dealing with lately, we’ll take what we can get!), have no fear. There are plenty of spots to get your your GLBC fix without crossing state lines. And by plenty, we mean like dozens. Take a look at the full list using their handy-dandy beer-finder.
#2 It’s super drinkable, even in the winter
We know, we know. Winter does not equal fewer beers consumed, but it can affect the type of beer you drink. This IPA is dry, well-hopped, and balanced with an arsenal of malt flavors, and we’re into it, even at 20 degrees.
#3 The ABV is legit
I mean c’mon, we’re from Buffalo, what did you expect!? The higher the better, am I right? The Commodore Perry is a nice heavy hitting 7.7% ABV. Enough said. #nothinbutnet
#4 It stands up to the spiciest of Buffalo foods
Yes, we’re speaking from experience, no we did not test it with Bar Bill’s suicide wings. We don’t have a death wish. But you get the gist. Hot sauce is our jam, and a staple in our diets. Beef on Weck isn’t even good without a tablespoon of horseradish. This is the life we WNYers live, and we need a beer that can get with the program. Rumor has it, not only does this beer pair well with spicy foods, but also “glorious sideburns”, which we actually have a lot of these days here in the 716.
For more info on Commodore Perry and other Great Lakes Brewing Co. beers, check out greatlakesbrewing.com/beers.