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Coordinates: 41°29′04″N 81°42′16″W / 41.4843807°N 81.7045187°W / 41.4843807; -81.7045187

Great Lakes Brewing Company
IndustryAlcoholic beverage
Headquarters2516 Market Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio
United States
OwnersPatrick and Daniel Conway

Great Lakes Brewing Company is a brewery and brewpub in Cleveland, Ohio. The first brewpub and microbrewery in the state,[1] Great Lakes Brewing has been noted as important to Cleveland's local identity and as one of the initial forces behind the revival of the Ohio City neighborhood on the near West Side.[2][3] In 2015, it was the 21st-largest craft brewery by volume and the 28th-largest overall brewery in the United States.[4] The company was established in 1988 by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway, both St. Edward High School graduates, in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood, located near St. Ignatius High School and the West Side Market. The brewpub and restaurant remain in their original locations, while production has expanded to adjacent properties.

The present site allows visitors to enjoy a glass of beer in the original brewpub which features a Tiger Mahogany bar from the 1860s, a Beer Cellar and the Rockefeller Room, named after Standard Oil founder and Clevelander John D. Rockefeller, who was thought to have worked in the building. There is a gift shop selling beer, along with apparel and barware. Tours are available on the weekends.[5] Since its inception, Great Lakes has also served as an incubator for Northeast Ohio brewers, with brewmasters at nearby Market Garden and Goldhorn Brewery in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood both being alumni of Great Lakes.[6][7]



As of 2012, Great Lakes' products are heavily distributed in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. They can be found in Columbus, Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, Southeast Michigan, Indiana, and west to Minnesota and Wisconsin, south to Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, and east to Syracuse, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.[8]



Beer Pack % ABV IBU Description
Dortmunder Gold 6/12 5.8 30 An award-winning Dortmunder-style lager which was originally named The Heisman after the famous football player and Cleveland native. It is GLBC's first beer, as well as the brewery's best seller.[9][10]
Eliot Ness Amber Lager 6/12 6.2 35 An Amber Lager named after Eliot Ness, the famed prohibition agent and eventual Director of Public Safety in Cleveland. Ness frequented a tavern which is now the site of the GLBC's brewpub, and also has a connection to the Conway family: GLBC co-founders Pat and Dan's mother served as one of Ness's stenographers during his time in Cleveland.[10][11]
Burning River Pale Ale 6/12 6.0 45 An award-winning American Pale Ale named for the infamous 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River.[12]
Commodore Perry IPA 6/12 7.5 80 An India Pale Ale named in honor of American Naval Officer, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, whose contributions in the War of 1812 include the Battle of Lake Erie.[13]
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter 6 5.8 37 A Porter named for the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, a ship that frequented Cleveland ports and sank in 1975 with many Northeastern Ohioans aboard. Consistent with the Conway brothers environmentally-conscious objectives, the local Cleveland ice cream manufacturer, Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream, uses the GLBC's leftover porter to make a flavor known as Edmund Fitzgerald Chocolate Chunk. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is often named in the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) as the most stylistically correct representative of a porter within the porter category.[10][14]
Turntable Pils 6 5.4 35 A Czech-style Pilsner commemorating Ohio's musical legacy. Sold in cans packed in collaboration with Boston's Harpoon Brewery.[15][16]
Lightkeeper Blonde Ale 6 6.6 30 A Blonde ale named after the Marblehead Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. Only sold in cans packed in collaboration with Boston's Harpoon Brewery.[17][16]
Holy Moses White Ale 6/12 5.4 20 A Belgian Wit-style Ale, brewed with orange peel, coriander and chamomile, named for Cleveland founder Moses Cleaveland .[18]
Great Lakes IPA 6 6.5 50 An American IPA, brewed in celebration of the company's recent transition to an Employee Stock Ownership company.[19]


Beer Pack % ABV IBU Availability Description
Conway's Irish Ale 6 6.5 25 January–April Named after Patrick Conway, a Cleveland policeman who directed traffic for 25 years near the brewery, and the grandfather of brewery owners Patrick and Daniel Conway.[20]
Chillwave Double IPA 4 9.4 80 February A double IPA named as a tribute to Lake Erie surfers.[21]
Rye of the Tiger IPA 6 7.5 92 April An IPA brewed with rye malt.[22]
Sharpshooter Session Wheat IPA 6/12 4.8 40 June Inspired by Ohio's "little sure shot", Annie Oakley, this Session Wheat IPA is peppered with rounds of whole orange peel and fully loaded with Jarrylo hops.
Lake Erie Monster 4 9.1 72 May–July An unfiltered Imperial India Pale Ale, named to honor Bessie, the monster allegedly living in Lake Erie.[23]
Oktoberfest 6 6.5 20 July–October GLBC's interpretation of this Bavarian festival's namesake Märzenbier, a tribute to Cleveland's German heritage.[24]
Nosferatu 4 8.0 75 September–October An Imperial Red Ale Named for the 1920s German movie Nosferatu.[25]
Ohio City Oatmeal Stout 6 5.4 25 October–November An Oatmeal Stout for the start of Cleveland's notoriously cold fall and winter.[26]
Blackout Stout 4 9.0 85 November–January A Russian Imperial Stout named in commemoration of the 2003 North America blackout.[27]
Christmas Ale 6 7.5 40 November–December Produced for only eight weeks, during the holiday season, it is the GLBC's second-biggest seller.[10][28]

Pub exclusivesEdit

A bottle of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold pale lager beer

GLBC brews many beers which are only available at their brewpub and restaurant or are sometimes seasonally available on tap in some Northeastern Ohio pubs including Hop Madness and Moondog ESB.[29][30]

When the Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship, the city of Cleveland's first major sports championship since 1964, the Great Lakes Brewery celebrated by bringing back its Belgian-style wit beer, renamed in commemoration of the end of 52-year title drought, "The Wit is Over." It was the same formula as 2015's "Wit til next year." The beer offers flavors of cardamom, coriander, green peppercorn and orange peel with a 4.8% ABV. [31]


Great Lakes Brewing Company has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote sustainability, including recycling promotional materials to create fuel for heating an outdoor structure, the use of straw-bale construction (incidentally the first straw-bale structure in Cleveland), the composting of leftovers from the brewery's restaurant, and the use of local and organic food. The brewery also provides barley left over from the brewing process to local farmers for use as feed and to local bakers who use it to produce bread and pretzels.[32] In addition, the delivery trucks are equipped to use biodiesel and are fueled with left-over vegetable oil from the restaurant. The brewery also uses outside air for cooling during winter months, rather than conventional refrigeration units.[33] The organization is growing, with 5800 members in 2008.

Great Lakes Brewing Company also hosts the meetings of Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, a business network in the Greater Cleveland area focusing on sustainability and entrepreneurship.[33] The brewery has set up displays at a number of sustainability-oriented events, including a 2006 "greener living fair" at Ohio State University,[34] and the "green pavilion" of the 2009 Cleveland Home and Garden Show at the I-X Center.[35]


  1. ^ Mitchell, Sandy. Great Lakes Brewery. Cleveland. June 13, 2008.
  2. ^ Steven M. Schnell, Joseph F. Reese, "Microbreweries as Tools of Local Identity", Journal of Cultural Geography, Vol. 21, 2003.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Breweries of 2015" (Press release). Brewers Association. April 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-25.
  5. ^ Penders, Carl Francis (3 July 2016). "Ohio City, Cleveland's Complete Urban Neighborhood, Rises". Buffalo News. Buffalo NY: Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "GLBC Distribution". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2010-09-22. Retrieved 2010-08-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  9. ^ "Our Story - The Beginning". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-12-10. The first brew, a Dortmunder-style beer originally called The Heisman (named for the famed football player who lived around the corner from Great Lakes Brewing Company) was an overnight success. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ a b c d
  11. ^ "Eliot Ness Amber Lager". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2007-12-11. Named after one of Cleveland's most respected safety directors who frequented the Brewpub's bar during his tenure from 1935-1941 and, according to popular legend, was responsible for the bullet holes in the bar still evident today. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ "Burning River Pale Ale". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2007-09-17. Retrieved 2007-12-10. Named after the infamous 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. ^ "Commodore Perry IPA". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2007-12-10. This monumental India Pale Ale honors the hero from The War of 1812 who battled the enemy on Lake Erie. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. ^ "Edmund Fitzgerald Porter". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on April 15, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2007. Named after the ship that frequently docked in Cleveland and sunk in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975 with many Northeast Ohioans on board. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  15. ^ "Turntable Pils". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b Bona, Marc (22 March 2017). "Great Lakes Brewing Co. to begin distribution of beer in cans". Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "Lightkeeper® Blonde Ale". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Conway's Irish Ale". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-12-10. Named after Patrick Conway, the grandfather of co-owners Patrick and Daniel Conway and a Cleveland policeman who directed traffic for 25 years near the brewery. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  21. ^ "Alchemy Hour Double IPA" (PDF). Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-05-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  22. ^ "Rye of the Tiger" (PDF). Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2013-05-07. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  23. ^ "Lake Erie Monster". Great Lakes Brewing Company.[permanent dead link]
  24. ^ "Oktoberfest". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2008-06-01. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  25. ^ "Nosferatu". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2007-12-10. Named after the notorious German vampire from the 1920s film era. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  26. ^ "Ohio City Oatmeal Stout". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Retrieved 2017-11-04. Dark and roasty yet light and smooth as a fresh coat of snow.
  27. ^ "Blackout Stout". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2008-04-20. Retrieved 2007-12-10. Named after the infamous "Blackout of 2003" that left the northeastern United States in complete darkness, but resulted in old-fashioned neighborhood porch parties and down-home fun. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  28. ^ "Christmas Ale". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-06-01. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  29. ^ "Pub Exclusives". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-06-01. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  30. ^ "Pub Exclusive Beer". Great Lakes Brewing Company. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-03-18. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  31. ^ Bona, Marc (22 June 2016). "Great Lakes Brewing Co., Hofbrauhaus get behind Cavs title". Cleveland: AdvanceOhio. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  32. ^ "Local Brewery Gives Barley To Farmers, Grain To Bakers", Feb. 26, 2009.
  33. ^ a b "Unconventional brewery pours over strategies; Brothers push sustainability in Cleveland.(Pat Conway and Dan Conway of Great Lakes Brewing Co.)", Waste News, Feb. 19th, 2007.
  34. ^ "Ohio State U.: Fair promotes greener living to Ohio State U. students.", The America's Intelligence Wire, Oct. 9th, 2006.
  35. ^ "Cleveland home and garden show opens today at I-X Center, captures beauty of Paris", Norwalk Reflector, Feb. 7 2009.

External linksEdit