DETROIT — Grand Rapids might be BeerCity USA, but this past weekend, another Michigan city drove in the crowds in the name of great craft beer.
The second annual Summer Beer Fest took place Friday and Saturday at Downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park, featuring more than 60 local and national breweries.
Several Michigan breweries were on hand for the event, including Detroit’s own Atwater Brewery. I tried its Uber Ursa (6.8% ABV), a smooth-drinking Imperial Pilsner. Brewed with two-row and Cara pils malts, as well as Magnum Tettnang and Herkules hops, this brew is a bit on the dryer side, but is clean, crisp and features a minor hop bitterness at the end. It was a perfect start to the hot summer night.
Next up was Frankenmuth’s first canned offering, the recently released Twisted Helles Lager (5.5% ABV). This German-style lager is simple but flavorful, with some orange and lemon citrus flavors coming through at the finish. This easy drinking beer is refreshing, and screams summer.
Tri-City Brewing brought some of its bottled favorites, including the Hell’s Half Mile (5.8% ABV). Another German-style lager, Hell’s Half Mile imparts a clean, smooth mouthfeel with subtle hints of caramel and hops.
One of my favorites of the night had to be MillKing It Productions’ Jet Black IPA (6.5% ABV). Subtle smoke and hop bitterness meet chocolate and oat flavor for a very well-balanced Black IPA. While this was certainly a bit stronger in flavor than the previous three beers, it was still very thin for a dark beer, and one that proved easy-drinking and pretty refreshing.
While this might have been the perfect conclusion to Detroit Beer Month, it was a great start to the summer season in Southeast Michigan, and prepped many for the upcoming Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti.