Cleveland fans have something to cheer about this year after all; let’s face it – 2010 was not the best year ever to be a Cleveland sports fan. As a city, we’re finally recovering after this summer’s heartbreaker where Lebron James announced he would be bringing his talents and lack of class to Miami. And the Browns are playing with heart. As for the Indians – um – well, have you heard about how they changed Progressive Field into a giant winter wonderland? Things are looking up for sports fans, but the beer in this city has never been better. For example, Great Lakes has launched a beer that’s guaranteed not to leave a ring (on your glass), but is a certain to bring home a winner any night.
Just a bit of background…this beer is not, as rumored, a beer brewed for “the decision” nor was it meant to be called “witness”. When the rug was pulled out from under Cleveland’s collective feet in July, the brewery had some “Quitness” T-shirts up around the bar and thought that it was such a catchy name that they should name a beer after it. The first casks of Quitness were actually a dry-hopped version of another beer, but this is an entirely separate recipe. This real Quitness debuted for the start of the 2010 NBA season and has returned just in time for Lequit James to step back on the Cleveland basketball court.
The beer is not transparent like it’s namesake. Instead, it is bright orange with some yellow hints. A white, fluffy head has great retention. Some nice lace – wonderful, actually – is left behind. This is a great looking beer that would be perfect if it was more in line with some others that have a cleaner look. This is cloudy and unfiltered with no noticeable carbonation, and that just makes it look a bit too hazy, like the mind of a 26 year old, spoiled-rotten, megalomaniac choke artist man-child. The smell is pleasant and well rounded. It smells like citrus – grapefruit, mango and orange. Some toasted notes and sweet malt set the foundation for the franchise. It’s just not terribly expressive, but is still very pleasant. Honest and understated, much like this year’s Cavs team.
The hop bill is simcoe, nugget, and cascade, and that really dominates in the taste. Notes of mango, orange, pineapple and grapefruit are unquestionably at the top of their game. A bit of sweet malt and a touch of toast drive the lane and score. But this beer just can’t hang with the West Coast style and hall of fame members like Ballast Point’s Sculpin. It still represents on the court and has a taste that tries up to the last minute. While the beer is very flavorful, the carbonation is lower than normal American IPA’s. The body is medium and streamlined. Quitness has a finish that is best described as moderately bitter with a kiss of sweetness. Unlike Lebron who is anything but sweet, or the fans who are totally bitter.
OK, so it’s not a game changer, but this beer made me feel fulfilled. And that’s something that many in this town haven’t felt since “the decision”. At any rate, Great Lakes made a decision we can be proud of by brewing Quitness. It’s a beer that will stay in town until it retires. And that’s something we can all cheer for!
Does Bobby Like Great Lakes ‘Quitness’?
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