08 April 2014

Great Lakes Brewing Chillwave DIPA

I'm going to start this by talking about one of my favorite breweries that we can't get here in Indiana. If you have traveled to any state that touches Indiana, there is a good chance you've either bought or seen beer from Great Lakes Brewing Company out of Cleveland, Ohio.

I'm a big fan of Great Lakes Brewing.  They don't really make a bad beer in their core lineup. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is one of the best porters available anywhere, Burning River Pale Ale is a beautiful example of an American Pale Ale, and their Dortmunder Gold Lager is an example of why a well-made lager is truly an art and certainly isn't anything anyone should be calling fizzy or yellow. They make an exceptional lineup of seasonal beers including Chillwave, Nosferatu, Blackout Stout, and the much loved Christmas Ale. I am also a huge fan of their price point. Most any place I've seen their beer it is usually $8.99 a sixer or less in some places. World class beer in multiple styles for $8.99 a sixpack. That is for another post coming soon.

The funny thing about Great Lakes Brewing is that they are not available here in central Indiana.  They are the 20th largest craft brewery in the US and will brew nearly 145,000 barrels of beer this year, and their beers are not available in central Indiana. You can find them northern Indiana, but not here. We used to get them a number of years ago, but due to some type of issue between the distributor and the brewery we consumers really lose out here. I heard the story from the distributor side and from the brewery staff a few years ago. They are both on different sides of the spectrum and the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. You can find them in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. No love for central Indiana though. As you can tell I'm not happy we do not get beer from this fantastic brewery right next door to Indiana.

I was in Ohio recently and picked up a four pack of this DIPA for $9.99. You may have had this beer under a different name last year. It used to be called Alchemy Hour, but was changed to Chillwave due to a trademark issue with the Craft Brew Alliance. The beer is named for the very hard conditions that people go through to catch a few waves on the Great Lakes.

This beer is made with Mosaic hops, Nugget hops, and big malt body of honey malt.   love Mosaic hops and I'm seeking out beers made with them. I think that this hop could be one of the next big waves of hops that people ask for in the spirit of Citra hops. Mosaic is the much cooler child of Simcoe and Nugget without the cat pee notes of Simcoe. Mosaic produces a beer with big notes of mango, citrus rind, pine, and tropical fruit. If you like your IPAs on the fruitier side, this is a hop you want to seek out.

The Stats:

Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 9.4%
Hop profile: Mosaic and Nugget
Nose: Mango, pineapple and tangerine notes greet your nose with a sweet malt scent trying to get your attention, but has a hard time though the dominating tropical fruit notes.
Flavor: The flavor matches the nose with initial flavors of mangoes and pineapples and candied fruit flavors. It isn't cloying or overly sweet, but the malt body is able to stand up to the big hop profile.
Overall: Another winner from Great Lakes. One of the best examples you will find of what you could consider a somewhat balanced DIPA.

If you see this beer in your travels to all areas not Indiana this is a great pick up.




  1. I love Conway's Irish Ale as well. It's a spring seasonal, but it's one of the best red ales I've ever had.

    I live in Virginia. I'll have to buy this one, as I do love Nugget hops. A recommendation for other brews with Nuggets: Victory's Nugget Nectar and Terrapin's Mosaic 19. Though you may not see those beers up in Indiana.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Maybe now that we have a few distributors in the market, someone can pick them up (as memory serves the fallout predates Cavalier - and certainly Starlight). Maaaany years ago - one lovely, memorable summer - I had a 1/2bbl of the Dortmunder Gold in the keg cooler (RIP). Anyway, I totally agree about the strength of their lineup and am ready for a road trip to OH!