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Beers of the Midwest

Looking for the best advice on regional microbrews. What are your favorites? What stout or pale ale makes your mouth water to think of? Thanks!

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  1. I used to love Great Lakes brewing out of cleveland, but I've only had it once since i moved out of pittsburgh. Great Lakes is unpasteurized, so it doesn't travel out of the region. anyway, the burning river ale is quite good as i recall. i need to find another reason to go out there and buy beer.

    1. Most craft beers are unpasteurized, and many travel long distances successfully.

      Great Lakes beers are quite good, as are Bell's, Goose Island, New Glarus (only sold in WI last I heard) ...

      1. The very best of the midwest is Founders. Well, let me qualify that to say that the two best beers I have tasted out of the midwest are the Breakfast Stout and the Kentucky Breakfast Stout.

        All the others mentioned are also quite good.

        1. Wow, my favorite question!! Tyranena Brewing's Bitter Woman IPA
          Capital Brewery's Island Wheat, Fauerbach's Red Ale, Sprecher's Oktoberfest, New Glarus Brewery's Spotted Cow & Squirrel Nut Brown & Rasberry Tart. Two Brothers..anything they make is awesome, Great Lakes..Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and the list goes on..

          1. When I think of Midwest beers I immediately think of Three Floyd's Dreadnaught - rest of the lineup is pretty good too. Dreadnaught is my favorite beer out the hundreds I've tried.

            I also think of Bell's Two Hearted and Founder's Red's Rye and Black Rye. Sprecher Maibock is pretty special too but I haven't had the opportunity to drink it in the last two years.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LStaff

              Yeah, I second that. Dreadnaught IPA is the best beer on the planet... especially on Draft which you can't hardly find anymore. Alpha King Pale Ale is incredible, Behemoth is an other-worldly barleywine if you can find it.

              Bells has one brew that's in the "top of the class": their Expedition Stout. The 2-hearted is good too.

              But Three Floyds, those guys rule.

            2. Oh, I forgot all about Bells, their Oberon is excellent as is there Stout, not sure of the name. I had the stout about 2 years ago and since then haven't seen it. Also, I'd highly recommnend anything from Lake Louie, if you get to Wisconsin, I believe you'd be able to find it in the Dane, Grant, and Iowa counties only.

              1. Is Christian Moerlein still around? When I lived in Kentucky and Chicago, their Cincinnati Select Lager was my favorite beer. I haven't had it in years, though.

                1. Any ideas on purchasing any of these brews in NYC?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mitchell25418

                    Well you might want to try the GingerMan in the 30's or the Blind Tiger (west village isn't it?)... also there's a great microbrew pub down in Alphabet City... Ave. A I think it is, not far north of houston... any new yorker will tell you the name. I've found good brew selections at all these joints.

                    If they don't have these beers on tap, ask them why... they are going to be in the best position to answer the question of availability in NYC.

                  2. Bells is no longer a midwest beer as they are moving to NC (see many posts on here about it). You should start seeing it in NYC in the near future as they broaden their selling up the East Coast. It's already in DC.

                    I used to like Upland's Wheat, but the new recipe is terrible.

                    Three Floyd's has always been a winner for me as has Goose Island. Great lakes is good as well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jpschust

                      jp, Where have you seen Bells in the DC Area? Have you ever been to Stateline Liquors in Elkton, N of B'more? I'll drive 3-4 hours to pick up some Bells. Boy am I in need of some 3rd Coast old ale, now that it's turned cold.

                      1. re: MOREKASHA

                        Bought 2 6 packs of 3rd coast from Whole Foods located at approximately 14th and P NW, though I saw at least 2-3 types of Bells at the Whole Foods in the Clarendon area of NoVA

                    2. As already mentioned, Great Lakes makes several great beers. They have a winter seasonal stout right now, and burning river PA is great.

                      1. Have you checked out all the microbrews in Colorado? I'm from Nebraska and we'd regularly get lots of great stuff. Also, around that area lots of interesting things.

                        Boulevard Pale Ale from Kansas City
                        Empyrean Ale from Lincoln, Nebraska

                        Out of Colorado I really like Flying Dog and Breckenridge (though Breckenridge has a couple real stinkers, they've also got some great ones).

                        I have an untold amount of Pint Glasses from here:


                        Every Tuesday they'd have a "pay $5, get a pint glass and $2 refills all night," event. I went to no less than 20 Tuesdays worth with my gang of non-Creighton interlopers. They do a stupendous job of finding the tiniest of tiny microbreweries in places like Manhattan, KS or Nebraska City, NE and exposing them to everyone.

                        That's where I had my first Sam Adams Triple Bock. Ahhh good times...

                          1. re: ChefD

                            Has to be the best new beer I've tasted in years