Beer Review: Great Lakes Brewery Dortmunder Gold

There’s a lot to understand about beer. From color to clarity to aroma to ingredients and flavor undertones, no two beers are alike. Dortmunder Gold, the first beer and one of the most popular from Great Lakes Brewing Company, located in Cleveland, Ohio, has been rated favorably by many craft beer experts since its inception in 1988. A refreshing balance of sweetness and malt, Dortmunder has long been seen as a staple of the Great Lakes line up. With its distribution limited to the Midwest and parts of the east coast and mid-Atlantic states, finding a Dortmunder Gold with your next craft beer beer club sampler would be a treat you shouldn’t take lightly.


Dortmunder Gold

Dortmunders are pale, clear lagers brewed in a classic German style with a refreshingly crisp taste. Thus, it is only natural that Dortmunder Gold would follow in the same tradition. With a nice balance of hops to smooth out the malts, Dortmunder Gold has a deep, sweet flavor with undertones of honey, pine, and caramel with a slightly bitter and rather dry finish. Where Dortmunder Gold departs from the pack is in its choice of malts and hops; brewed with Harrington 2-Row base malt and Cascade and Mt. Hood hops, Dortmunder Gold’s distinctive, rich flavors put it in a unique class that allows its bold flavors to be easily identified.


Like most Dortmunders and other well-crafted lagers, Dortmunder Gold has a tall, smooth head that dissipates rather quickly. Its clear amber color is reminiscent of caramel and honey, giving it a look as balanced and crisp as its taste. With its golden hues, mild foam and light lacing, Dortmunder Gold is an excellent example of a malty lager with a pleasing appearance.


Like wines, most beers also have their own distinct aromas that tie in with the color, flavor and unique qualities of a particular brew. Dortmunder Gold carries a distinct aroma of malt and pine, clearly presenting the Dortmunder lager experience to the drinker before even taking the first sip.

Food Pairings

As gastropubs have demonstrated, the experience of drinking a perfectly crafted beer can be enhanced with the right food pairings for a beer’s particular attributes. With a light flavor, color and a dry, bitter finish, Dortmunder Gold goes well with mild meals, like summer salads, fish, and chicken dishes. Although a great beer for warm weather with medium carbonation that pairs well with lunch or a light dinner, Dortmunder Gold can also be enjoyed on its own.

With the growing popularity of craft beers, the ability to explore what makes beers differ from one another is becoming easier and easier. While grocery store shelves used to be lined with beers like Bud Light and the occasional six pack of Blue Moon, craft beers are more widely distributed than ever before. With the addition of the craft beer beer club to the beer scene, there are plenty of opportunities to try lagers like Dortmunder Gold and dozens of other well-crafted beers, just waiting to be discovered.

Check our blog in the future for more beer reviews!