Great Lakes Chillwave
Once known as Alchemy Hour, Great Lakes annual double IPA comes out each winter around February/March. Judging by GLBC’s proximity to Lake Erie, the name certainly speaks to the cold Cleveland temps during the winter month’s this beer is released. The word itself comes from modern music. Chillwave is perhaps the first genre of music defined by a blogger. With lo-fi “80’s sounding” synthesizers and dance beats, the guy at the page 3 inspired, Hipster Runoff blog dubbed a few bands ‘chillwave’, and off it went. Here is one of the most recognized chillwave acts, Neon Indian:
If you are still awake after than downbeat track, on to the beer…
For many years the craft beer scene has been expanding, and adherents have gone from seeking beers from Europe, or something close to as good locally, to the chase for something new. As we have highlighted in the past, double IPAs are one of these new beer styles that developed in the United States in the last 20 years. Using Mosaic and Nugget hops, Great Lakes Chillwave finally brings this bold style to the GLBC lineup in a bottle. Will Chillwave take the relaxed, old-school path in the way chillwave music does?
Drank this right after it hit shelves and the aromatic hops are fresh and floral, with some citrus notes, and not overly dank. Head is modest with tiny bubbles that linger. The nose starts off sweet with a caramel malt note, followed by some citrus, resin, and tropical fruits. Initially the taste repeats the line sung by the nose, sweet first, with some citrus and other hop notes. After a few sips the bitterness begins to assert itself on the back palate however, leading to a pleasant balance. Bready malt notes also come through, with a very subtle hint at the 9% ABV, most of which is well masked. The carbonation is solid for the higher alcohol content, and the finish leaves you wanting more.
Great Lakes Chillwave turned out to be a a great double IPA. With all the great hops in the nose, this is incredibly delicious and drinkable,. Like the best imperial IPAs, Chillwave brings huge hop flavors, while not doubling down on the residual bitterness, and making one heck of a refreshing brew. While not as aggressively citrus/dank as another recently northeast Ohio favorite Hop Juju, Chillwave succeeds in making hops the focus of a beer that has enough balance to appeal to nearly any craft beer fan. Killer DIPA.