GRAND RAPIDS — Many craft beer enthusiasts around the world watched this week’s episode of the Esquire Network’s “Brew Dogs,” filmed in Michigan. MittenBrew attended the world premiere viewing at Founders on Wednesday and we’re bringing you more of the inside story.
Founders brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki was chosen by the show’s producer to co-brew with Scotland’s James Watt and Martin Dickie. The intensely flavored eisbock they created was brewed under the ice on Higgins Lake, or “Lake Higgins” as the lads referred to it.
The brew team brainstormed recipes and came up with a list of specialty ingredients to include that would represent various parts of Michigan.
“We worked together to find suppliers. I recommended BLiS for the maple syrup that we used. The ‘Brew Dogs’ folks identified the fermented pepper supplier, The Brinery, out of Ann Arbor,” Kosmicki said.
Spent BLiS maple syrup barrels have been utilized by Founders for aging the backstage series brews Curmudgeon’s Better Half, Canadian Breakfast Stout, Sweet Repute and an extra special version of Sweet Repute XXX, that was aged three years in a barrel.
“We didn’t have a close connection with ‘Brew Dogs’ before filming the show, but of course we were aware of their beers and their brand. They’re known for being experimental and pushing the envelope, and we were excited to be part of showing them Michigan craft beer culture,” Kosmicki said.
The production team also compiled a list of “Top 5 Craft Beer Bars” and “Top 5 Craft Breweries” they visited while in Michigan.
Choices for craft beer bars were Graydon’s Crossing, The Meanwhile Bar, Ashley’s, Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, and HopCat at number one.
Bell’s tops the list of craft breweries, followed by Jolly Pumpkin, Short’s, Dark Horse and Arbor Brewing.
This episode, titled “Brew Dogs: A Subzero Beer Pairing,” is scheduled to re-air on Esquire Network Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. It will also air following next week’s new “Brew Dogs” episode at 11 p.m.