Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews


Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Cleveland, OH

Style: Old Ale
ABV: 8.0%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

I’d love to say that this beer, named for a German vampire, evokes images of lonely, mist-shrouded moors with each sip, but, alas, it doesn’t, at least for me. Actually, I can’t think of any brew out there that conjures up any Gothic, or even chthonic, visions, and if there were such a beer out there that could do such a thing, it’d have a permanent space reserved for it in my fridge.

That being said, I’ve been haunted by this beer ever since I stumbled across it on tap a month or two ago, mainly because this is as outrageous as Great Lakes Brewing gets. This is a brewery that isn’t cranking out double-digit ABV barley wines or gargantuan hop bombs. Instead their lineup consists of classic beer styles from across the globe, all flawlessly executed. Nosferatu is the one beer they’ve got that’ll really bite your head off. So once I encountered it again, this time in bottle form, I immediately bought it to give it a re-taste and write a review.

The pour is the color of coagulated blood, a dark, gleaming ruby sporting a thick head, even as it drains into a wide-mouthed tulip glass. The aroma is one of earth, in both the malts and hops, with whiffs of alcohol at the back. This translates into a full body once the sipping commences: a big attack of grainy malt with just enough hop bitterness at the fore and end of the sip to keep things balanced. As the beer warms, the malt spreads and mellows, letting some alcoholic warmth come through.

Although Nosferatu is Great Lakes’ “big” beer, it’s really a classic winter warmer that is ideal for sipping at while you’re sitting in front of a roaring fire, whiling away the dark winter nights reading stories of ghouls and goblins. The tap version has more of a hop bite that gives it an aggressive, energetic character, although the bottled version is just as enjoyable. Here’s to beers that go bump in the night …

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on March 10, 2008.
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