The rain is pouring down like freezing bullets on the green steel roof of the pub. I shake the rain off my coat and pull the oak door, blackened with grime, open to see an empty bar illumined by a weak orange light. The bartender is leaned against a post watching an old sitcom rerun playing during the rain delay of the baseball game.
A salty looking man sits at the end of the bar, alone, with a half-empty pint glass of the dark stuff sitting in front of him. I sit down and ask him what he’s drinking. His twine beard rustles up and down as he says, “What do you know about the Edmund Fitzgerald?” I say, all I know is from that song. He says, “It’s down in the belly of Superior right now. Down in water darker than this porter. A place where no man can survive.” I ask him if he’s a sailor, but he simply tastes a slow sip of his beer, gets up and walks out of the bar.
This is what drinking a Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter tastes like to me: a dark, dreary night with a mysterious air about it. It pours like midnight with a creamy head like foamy whitecaps from a stormy night on Superior. Similar to the story of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, this porter is rich and has a lot of depth. Slight bitterness from roasted malts, a bold note of hops and a sweet, smooth middle will surely please your palate.
Best enjoyed: Slightly chilled, but not too cold. Preferably next to a stranger with a good story.
Food pairing: Fish and chips with a douse of malt vinegar and pinch of sea salt and a side of slaw.
Where to find it: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Visit Great Lakes Brewing Company’s website to get the full story on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
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