Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews


Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Cleveland, OH

Style: Weizen Bock
ABV: 8.0%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Pair With:
• Bananas
• Goose
• Gumbo
• Trout
• Veal
I’ve seen the Glockenspiel in the Marienplatz in Munich. To be honest, it’s a little creepy. Maybe I’m just scared of giant, complex, ornate cuckoo clocks. Couple people I know are afraid of puppets. But they aren’t afraid of Muppets. Weird.

OK, so all that bullshit is just a segue into Great Lakes Brewing’s specialty release, Glockenspiel, named after the famous aforementioned clock. This brew is a weizenbock, basically a meatier version of a Bavarian wheat. Expect a big fruity bouquet and some sharp, smooth sipping.

Glockenspiel pours dark gold, with a moderately sized off-white head. An intensive examination of the bottle bottom reveals no evidence of bottle conditioning. A bit untraditional for the style, but every brewer his own.

The aroma begins with rich, caramelly aroma—the banana notes, while strong, are actually in the background here. Not exactly what I was expecting. But an omen for things to come.

A medium mouthfeel and heavy-ish body greets my first sip. The very front is hard and clean, but succumbs to soft, toffee-like malt. The finish is a bit heavy, with lingering, nutty maltiness. Big sips can even get a bit cloying with the sweetness, and sometimes sport notes of fusel alcohols (I wonder why, with it being 8 percent ABV and all). At the very end I find some fruity, yeasty notes you’d expect to find in Bavarian wheats—including weizenbocks.

Although this is a solid, drinkable brew, I was a bit disappointed in Glockenspiel. I was really hoping for a stellar entry—Great Lakes has got me a bit spoiled—but I thought this one was a bit too big and malty for the style. Then again, I was, unfairly, expecting something along the lines of the ultimate in weizenbocks, Weihenstephaner Vitus, one of the better beers in the world. So if you find yourself wishing your Bavarian wheats were bigger and sweeter, Glockenspiel’s for you. But even if you don’t, it is still a solid, drinkable offering from Great Lakes.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on July 30, 2009.
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