Al invited me to the Fulton & Great Lakes Collaboration to taste the shared Baltic Porter recipe at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. The pairing of two beloved breweries, BLB's pad thai and a night with Al combined to get me out on a school night.
Started with an Edmund Fitzgerald by Great Lakes, an excellent beer that I don't seem to drink enough. Based on the waitress' wondering why more weren't ordering the Black Out Stout, I next decided to take that plunge. Infused with mint and cocoa nibs, the freshness of each was powerful, and the stout almost kept up with it.
I sipped from Al's War & Peace, Fulton's on cask with Guatemalan dark coffee beans from Peace Coffee added to Worthy Adversary. Very good but the coffee was too much for a non-coffee drinker like me, so I moved on to the Baltic Porter collaboration ale.
The collaboration was smooth and rich with a subtle complex flavor. Brian of Fulton stopped to talk with Al, Steve and I. He outlined the tasting and talking process to make the beer, noting that the GL lager yeast throws off more than a clean fermentation that adds a unique flavor to this beer (and to many other GL beers). I was an enthused with the described mechanics and passion of the collaboration as much as the beer. Again, the energy and dedication that goes into making great beer is amazing. Fun night and glad I made it.