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.
Happy National Beer Day. Tell us how you’re celebrating the repeal of Prohibition by tweeting @MidwestBeer, visiting our Facebook page or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.