Lake Effect
Great Lakes Brewery

Lake EffectLake Effect
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IPA - American
Ranked #259
Ranked #3,818
4.14 | pDev: 8.21%
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada
Lake EffectLake Effect
Notes: 84 IBU
Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 144 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Mysticmage
Mysticmage from Canada

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

winter is coming.....oh’s here....darn...
Will this beer get us through those Edmund Fitzgeraldeqsue storms?
let’s see...
Pours beautifully golden orange with fine collar and just enough opaquey goodness.
A fruity nose of orange and citrus awaits with subtle love.
taste is caramel pineapple sweet with little aftertaste. An excellent finish on this one.
Bring on those lake effect streamers and enjoy this one winter, spring, summer or fall ironically!
Another fine job by Great Lakes!

Dec 22, 2018
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a 473 ml tall boy can. It smells and tastes floral to me, but my spouse said it smells lemon to her. It has a bitter and somewhat sour aftertaste. Potent. I liked hoppy bitterness, but this beer was not entirely what I expected.

Dec 17, 2018
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden and clear with lots of small bubbles, and topped with a finger of white head.

Smells of tropical fruit, mangos, papaya, orchids, pine and caramel.

The taste follows the nose but is much richer in tropical fruit, floral notes and pine. Amazing taste. Catnip and green herbs, as well as a solid but not overpowering bitterness.

Medium body, medium carbonation, and covers the ABV very well.

Got at LCBO, really loving this brew March 30th 2018 in New Hamburg, ON. Reminds me of Lagunitas Sucks, and Phantom Bride.

Mar 31, 2018
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BSmall from Connecticut

4.61/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Brought a four pack of cans with me from my last trip up to Canada, and very glad I did! Hazy golden with a thin stream of carbonation - a pretty beer. Thin head and mild lacing on glass. Very nice beer with a bit of sweetness and fruit, blended with nice hops and pine and a very smooth finish. Not too bitter, not too sweat, not too funky - just nice balance and great mouthfeel and aftertaste - leaves you wanting more. Really great blend of piney/fruity flavors in a New England IPA style. Flavor just as good in my warm last sip as the first (I was doing other things while enjoying). Hope I can find it in the States - this one is worth looking for.

Mar 05, 2018
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Jesterr44 from Canada

3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A pretty decent Ontario IPA. Pours golden with a medium frothy white head which fades moderately quickly. Aroma and taste of grapefruit/citrus & tropical fruit, pine & spice. All fairly mild & well blended. Not a ton of taste here but pretty nice for what it is. Edit: 2nd time around I'm getting a little more sourness & while mouthfeel is still good, taste has been downgraded.

Feb 25, 2018
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MichaelGennings from Canada

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lake Effect IPA from Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, Ontario. 7% alc. 80 IBUs.

The beer is a cloudy golden colour and the head a frothy white. Lots of ascending bubbles and substantial sediment.

The smell is predominately pine as well as faint tropical fruit. The taste attributes mirror the aroma, plus underlying hop bitterness that is quite nice.

Mild carbonation and somewhat smooth, the beer is medium bodied and the finish dry.

This is a delicious beer that has everything going for it. I highly recommend trying. Very easy drinking.

Feb 23, 2018
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eberesford from Canada

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pale golden amber with a slightly frothy off white head and moderate lacing. Aroma: Fresh and clean bitterness lightish hoppy citrus notes and some pine notes - light tropical fruit. Flavour: Layers of hop bitterness from light aromatic citrus notes to slightly grassy bitterness in the body. Layers also of fruity malt pinaple, mango, apple. Outstanding length and body. Another fine contribution from Great Lakes Brewing.

Feb 01, 2018
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LilSipper from Canada

5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank these IPA from the tall boy, and very much enjoyed it. As opposed to the Karma Citra IPA that preceded it, the Lake Effect is a bit drier. It's very crisp, perfect for a winter evening.

Jan 22, 2017
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stotch from Canada

4.69/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 473ml can into my trusty Great Lakes pint glass. New printed can this year looks great! Date on the can is Jan 6 2017.

L: Pours a light orange-gold colour with about an inch of white head that has great retention and lacing throughout.

S: Pineapple, mango, grapefruit, passionfruit, tangerine and a bit of floral hops underneath. Such a lovely, complex tropical aroma.

T: Follows the nose but with the grapefruit being more pronounced with lemon, orange and fresh as hell hops. The finish is pleasantly bitter and dry, but not quite as much as some of their other beers like Canuck and Octopus which I feel go kinda overboard in that department. It's just the perfect amount of bitterness to cut through the sweet, tropical flavours.

F: Medium body and medium combination. Could be more full-bodied but this is still a big, juicy American IPA.

O: An amazing American IPA and my second favourite offering from Great Lakes after Thrust. So glad this made it to the LCBO close to my work this year.

Jan 18, 2017
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Derek from Canada

4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly floral, pleasant bitterness, some alcohol warmth. There are some tropical hop flavours, but I could go for more hops and a bit less booze. Good brew, but not their best IPA.

Mar 16, 2016
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline from Canada

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy pale golden colour, finger of head, some retention and sporadic lacing. Nose is super sweet, candied citrus, nice toffee and caramel malt backbone. Flavours are much the same on the palette, juicy citrus, hints of mango and pineapple. Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness on the finish. These guys have this style dialed in, super tasty and a fantastic rendition of the style.

Jan 23, 2016
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Taybeh from Minnesota

4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Hop Bar in Toronto, served into a nonic. Pours a very slightly hazy apricot orange, with a minimal head and minimal lacing. The nose is full of summery fruitiness -- light pineapple, sweet orange and some melon...maybe a touch of piney resin, too. Once it hits the tongue, it gets even more interesting...there's a nice biscuity backbone that is there throughout, and maybe a little honey too. The melon is there at the end,,,it actually reminds me of 2 hearted, though the feel on this one is a little better (for me) is a little cleaner and has a little more of a hoppy kick at the end. This is the best IPA I had while north of the border.

Jan 13, 2016
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Rukeli76 from Canada

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

473ml can from the 2015 release. No production or bb date but I suspect it's pretty fresh.

A very light pale ale colour. An inch of foamy head. Nice lacing.

Grapefruit and ripe tropical fruit are the dominant aromas at work here. There's a little bit of west coast pine, too.

A whole lot more of the grapefruit and ripe tropical fruit from the hops. It's not especially bitter, but not especially malty or sweet either. The hops are doing most of the work here, which is more than fine by me as long as it's super-fresh.

Fizzy with a remarkably dry finish.

A solid IPA. Drink it fresh. It doesn't age very well.

Jan 13, 2016
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akdo from Canada

4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Look: Dark gold body and moderately unfiltered water. It is possible to see through the glass just a little bit. The beer produces a white head that is two-finger high. It recedes to a creamy crown.

Smell: Floral. Not sweet on the nose, has notes of dry hops. There is a noticeable hint of pine woods. Obviously, Cascadian hops were not used for making this beer. Slight notes of peach and kumquats.

Taste: The beer is on the low spectrum of bitterness. The palate tastes like peaches, orange zest and Middle Eastern kumquats. Afterwards, the finale has a taste of pine woods. There is no trace of spices.

Feel: The texture is smooth and medium-bodied. There is no astringent bite. The alcoholic warmth is very subtle even when the beer is lingering in the throat. The finish is dry and clean.

Overall: This is a good example of a light IPA, which must not be confused with session IPAs. Unfortunately, the ABV, which is at 5.2%, falls under the bare minimum for an IPA (5.5%). Despite a few flaws, I would recommend that beer.

Jan 11, 2016
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leaddog from Canada

4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a warm amber with three fingers of foamy white head.

Smell - Citrus and piney hops, pine resin, grapefruit peel, tropical and citrus fruit, bready malts, caramel.

Taste - Bready caramel malts followed up by great bitterness from the hops, pine resin, and grapefruit peel. Notes of tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Slight stickiness on the palate.

Overall - I wasn't sure what to expect when purchasing this beer, as I'm more of a bottled beer kind of guy instead of aluminum cans. However, Great Lakes has proven me wrong and created something worth being in the top list of IPAs brewed in Canada. Outstanding work.

Jan 10, 2016
Photo of SSS
SSS from Canada

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Hazy golden yellow with a white head that remains on the surface
S-Dank, pine and herbal aroma with a little cara-'something' malt
M-Light mouthfeel and carbonation does not get in the way of flavour
T-Dry, crisp and peppery upfront with an assertive bitterness that lingers on the palate
O-I quite enjoyed this beer, definitely a grapefruit bitterness and smooth west coast feel, I recommend.

Dec 04, 2015
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DaveBar from Canada

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the brewery for $3.25 for a 473ml can. Served at 7deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head that films out in around 3-4mins. Rather weird very light gold colour when it's in front of the computer screen (medium light) and nearly brown outside of it. Almost translucent. Unfiltered.

S- Nice heavy handed hops here. So little malt for an IPA.

T- This must have been brewed this week or something. It has a HUGELY juicy taste of hops and malt. This freshness just does it for me. Hops abound. This one is up there with the best of the best IPA's I've had and am so glad I can get there in an hour.

M- Creamy good! Just wonderful

O- Super good. This one is moving up the ranks to a top shelf grab. So good. Will definitely buy on every release as it's that good.

Food Pairing

This wonderfully tasty brew went well with...... Roasted pork! Nice pork shoulder, rub with salt, pepper, all seasoning and some garlic. Bake low and slow at 275deg F for 6hrs. Keep covered so it doesn't dry out. Take the tin foil off, move it up the rack and hit it with the boiler to get the skin crispy. Pull and mix in some of the juice then strip the skin and sprinkle. Don't let the skin get too close to the juices as it will soak it up and turn chewy!


Nov 27, 2015
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Logan12321 from Canada

3.81/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light golden, 1 1/2 head with moderate retention. Smells very tropical, mango seems to be the dominant smell , little bit of citrus there as well. Flavorful taste, the citrus and mango really comes out. Bitterness is not overwhelming and there is a slight soothing from the alcohol on the finish. Not overly carbonated, definitely can see myself buying this beer for another occasion.

Feb 12, 2015
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OneTuffPony from Canada

4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Hazy, cloudy amber orange. Soapy white head.

Smell: Citrusy. Pine and grapefruit standing out the most.

Taste: Pine, grapefruit, mango, grassy hops, apricots, and some peach.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Overall: A fantastic IPA and one of the best I've tasted out of Canada. Give it a whirl.

Jan 08, 2015
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thehyperduck from Canada

4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled. Having enjoyed pretty much all of the other Tank Ten Series beers that I've tried, this one was pretty much an automatic buy.

Pours a hazy orange-amber colour, capped off with one finger of dense, resilient eggshell-white froth. It gradually seeps away, leaving behind a bubbly film on the surface and a thick, foamy collar crowned by a thin circle of lace. The aroma has a strong tropical fruit theme going on, exemplified by notes of pineapple, mandarin orange, grapefruit and apricot, overlying malty notes of brown sugar and honey. A little piney, with maybe a hint of lemon oil.

After drinking a glass of pale lager, this bold-tasting beer really woke my tastes buds up. The malt backbone is a touch sturdier than some brews of this ilk - a little biscuity, with toffee, honey and a pastry crust-like sweetness that provides a base capable of standing up to the mighty hop flavours that follow. There is a lot of apricot, but as was the case on the nose, tropical fruits rule the day here with plenty of juicy pineapple, passionfruit and citrusy pink grapefruit and orange. Toward the finish, it becomes increasingly pithy, resiny, piney, and just plain bitter, leading into a dry aftertaste that retains a touch of alcoholic warmth. Medium-bodied, with gentle carbonation that barely prickles the tongue, and an exceptionally smooth, luxurious feel on the palate. This beer is just a pleasure to sip, and dangerously drinkable because of that.

Great Lakes' Lake Effect is absolutely delicious, and easily one of the best IPAs I've had the opportunity to try in 2014. I've heard good things about this brewery and its hopped beers for a couple of years now, and I think I'm finally starting to understand why.

[Updated Jan 19 2016]

I'm comparing a few of my top-ranked Ontario IPAs - mostly to see if there's any need for me to re-adjust their relative scores. The tallboy can of Lake Effect that I picked up is drinking as beautifully as last year's batch, there's no doubt of that. In fact, I can't think of any other Ontario IPAs that I would select over this one - save for maybe Thrust! A must-try for hopheads.

Final Grade: 4.48, an A.

Dec 22, 2014
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taxandbeerguy from Canada

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle served fairly cold into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Purchased for $5.95 CDN.

Appearance - Cloudy golden color, hints of orange. Even a gentle pour yielded a giant two and half finger white head. Crazy amount of explosive and lively bubbles. As the head receded a swath of glorious white lacing left behind.

Smell - Yum! Lots and lots of pineapple, some caramel. A little bit of pine, and grapefruit the the pineapple and caramel are the stars. Passionfruit comes out to play as the beer warms.

Taste - Wow. Big pineapple flavor, some sticky caramel and toffee malt to balance everything. A touch pine and a burst of other citrus flavors including a bunch of nectarine and some orange. Almost even a mint flavor blended in. Very intense and very satisfying. This is phenomenal. Fruit comes through a little less as the beer warms and the carbonation subsides to some extent, but the flavors transition towards a delectable passionfruit.

Mouthfeel - Smooth feeling, with good carbonation. A heftier than average body, but it works here with the intensity of the flavors.

Overall - Really impressive stuff, simply had high expectations, and within two sips this vaulted to the top of my American IPA rankings, even better than Red Racer from Central City. The nectarine pineapple blend is incredible and the bitterness is present but not too intense. 80 IBU's are well hidden as well as the alcohol. Great beer.

Update February 13, 2016. Now that Lake Effect is regularly available at the LCBO (at least for a limited time), I find this is my go to beer. Looking at my ratings, I realized how much I've enjoyed IPA's in the last 6-8 months, and this has to be the best one out of the bunch and how I would rather drink this than just about any other beer on the market. Revised score to improve, feel and overall scores to reflect my true feelings about this beer.

Dec 13, 2014
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Mit from Canada

3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Pours a golden clear colour with a creamy head.

The bouquet is dominated by the grapefruit hoppiness....did not get much nose is pretty stuffed up in winter.

Upon first sip i noticed the the hops are kinda muted. Its a little watery with the hops bringing a spicey flavour in tje back of the throat.

Seems a little thin for the abv.

Overall i found this a little weaker than other offerings. I would buy it again as i expect it to improve.

Dec 12, 2014
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cratez from Canada

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great Lakes Lake Effect IPA - 7% ABV American IPA - Consumed December 4, 2014.

A: Clear amber hue with two fingers of white froth and several strands of lacing on the IPA glass. A few bubbles in the body. Head and lace retain for the duration of the beer. A near-flawless look.

S: Huge citric, fruity, and resiny-oily hop aromas with peach, apricot, nectarine and orange rind upfront; lemon zest, caramel, and grapefruit notes follow with a light woodiness in the background. Awesome hop-forward nose, bang on for the style.

T: Woodsy, citric, and peachy hop flavours; caramel, nectarine, sugary malt, and orangey-lemony notes mid-palate; oily-resiny and drying-bitter finish lingers for a while. Beautifully integrated and bold hop flavours without too much bitterness. A stellar US-style IPA.

M: Light side of medium bodied, slick and oily middle, resinous and drying-bitter finish lingers long with more peach, citrus, and woody notes on the cough. Good palate, but it's a bit thin for the weight.

O: Definitely one of the top IPAs brewed in Ontario with its massive hop flavours and complex, layered aromas. Quite the impressive brew.

Dec 11, 2014
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papat444 from Canada

3.85/5  rDev -7%

Thanks to jrenihan for this. Poured from a bomber.

Super fresh citrus aroma mixed with papaya, sweet peaches and lemon zest. Flavor has an initial sweet hop kick then relents to malt. Bit of a clean and conservative IPA. Could stand to color outside of the lines a bit :)

Dec 08, 2014
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MasterSki from Canada

4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the Bloor/Runnymede LCBO. Served in Cantillon tulip.

A - Big, creamy, foam settles to a chunky cap, leaving behind copious lace. Hazed peach body.

S - Loads of tropical fruit, with melon, papaya, pineapple and passion fruit over top of a sugary malt backdrop. Perhaps a touch of grapefruit rind to keep things from getting overly sweet.

T - The taste has a bit more earthy and bitter hopping, with less fruit juiciness and a bit more citrus zest to it. Malt is a bit more bready and peripheral here as well; perhaps a tad crackery.

M - Medium body that seems a tad light for the listed 7%. Pleasant, moderate carbonation, with a bit of grit to the texture. No perceptible alcohol, and some mild residual oiliness on the palate.

D - Nice IPA. Hope they make it regularly, as it's a step up from other Ontario offerings in this category. I'm a bit perplexed by the 750ml format though; seems like it would be better in pint-sized cans.

Nov 20, 2014
Lake Effect from Great Lakes Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 144 ratings