This year, Great Lakes joined forces with fellow CLE brewers Rocky River Brewing Co. and Stoneyard Brewing Company of Brockport, New York to create Dark Stone Waters, a Belgian-style Stout brewed with orange peel.
“The category we were selected to brew for the collaboration required us to use a Belgian yeast,” says Jim Lieb of Rocky River Brewing Co. “None of us had brewed a Belgian Stout, and it sounded interesting.” The brewers incorporated orange peel to differentiate it from other stouts and play off the yeast’s fruity aromas and the dark malt’s chocolate flavors.
Once the beer was brewed, it was time to settle on a name (which is often the hard part). “We wanted to find a connection between our three breweries,” said GLBC’s Luke Purcell. “There’s an Erie Canal port in Brockport, near Stoneyard’s brewery. That same canal connects to Lake Erie. Obviously water is key to brewing great beer, so we thought Dark Stone Waters was a good fit, especially since it’s a darker style.”
Great Lakes Brewing Company has collaborated with Stoneyard in the past, with their Erie Canal Monster Triple IPA brewed with local hops and honey, and their Shagbark Russian Imperial Stout, brewed with ancho chilies and Shagbark Hickory syrup. The latest effort follows suit by challenging both breweries to innovate and experiment with less traditional styles.
Jeffrey Osborne of Stoneyard admits, “We certainly weren’t playing to Stoneyard’s strengths. We typically brew American styles. I think we all wanted to push ourselves a little, make something delicious, and get out of our safe zones.”
Dark Stone Waters will be tapped at Cleveland Beer Week’s Collaboration Kickoff on Friday, October 14. The beer will also be available on tap at Rocky River Brewing Company starting on the Monday of Cleveland Beer Week, and at Stoneyard Brewing Company’s brewery and beer hall in the coming weeks.
In the spirit of collaboration, GLBC will host 16 craft breweries on October 18 during Culture Yourself, a beer & cheese pairing event. We’re also welcoming back our local brewery alumni at the first ever GLBC Alumni Brewmaster’s Dinner on October 20. Find more details on all of our Cleveland Beer Week events here.