Lake Effect IPA from Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke, Ontario is hazy golden orange colour, with a loose off-white head that settles as a bubbly collar and film and leaves long, thin streaks of lace on your glass. This American IPA is loaded with grapefruit, toasted grain and pine aromas that are accented by notes of black pepper, honeydew, coconut flesh and baked apple.
The taste of Lake Effect IPA is quite bitter, clocking in at a solid 80 IBU. Unsweetened grapefruit juice is balanced by fresh and toasted light grain flavours, with an apple or pear note coming forward in the finish. This ale has a medium body with a good amount of fine carbonation. It feels creamy and a bit grainy in the mouth and also has a nice oiliness to it. The aftertaste has a lingering citrus rind tone and residual bitterness.
The label of Lake Effect IPA is printed in turquoise and white, featuring a hand-sketched scene of a grizzly-looking fisherman that is about to be engulfed by a large wave. The back of the bottle has a description of the beer’s origins as well as the brewery’s Tank Ten Series. You will also find an ingredients list and serving suggestions. A date of production is stamped on the neck of the bottle.
Ontario breweries have produced some fantastic American IPAs over the past few years and Lake Effect IPA ranks among the very best of the bunch. It has great balance, a crisp flavour and the bitterness is just right. This beer is a perfect companion to moderately spicy Indian foods such as samosa and it would also work nicely with grilled or fried chicken.
Unfortunately, Lake Effect IPA was discontinued at the LCBO by the time I published this review, but there is still a limited supply available at about 65 stores, as well as at the brewery. I don’t think there are many fans that would object to this beer becoming a permanent addition to the Great Lakes Brewery lineup, especially if it were packaged in cans.
Type: American IPA
Region: Ontario, Etobicoke
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery
Format Purchased: 650 mL
Alcohol Content: 7.0%