HOLLAND — One of New Holland Brewing Company’s most well-known flagship brews paraded downtown streets Saturday in anticipation of its return to the regular tap rotation today.

Paleooza returns as a mainstay in the pub with much anticipation following an eight-year hiatus.

“It’s one of the big five beers that actually got us to where we are today,” said Shawna Cantu, general manager. “Because there has been such a demand for it, now we’re going to have it permanently.”

While Paleooza has been served on occasion— as recently as April 2012 — it has mostly been reserved for special events at New Holland. To jumpstart its permanent rerelease, the brewery first allowed downtown bars and restaurants to put it on tap Saturday, starting with Skiles Tavern where it was first tapped in 1997.

“Skiles was one of the first places that had it on tap for us,” Cantu said. “We are specifically not having it on tap at our pub (Saturday and Sunday) just so we can show the love to the rest of the restaurants in the community.”

As part of the celebration, a barrel of Paleooza was paraded around town during an event titled Paleooza Pub Crawl. The pub crawl started at 1 p.m. at Modern Beverage, one of New Holland’s distribution company. The parade continued at various times and locations, starting at Skiles with the 2 p.m. first tapping and celebratory toast, and crawling onto:

  • 84 East, 84 East 8th St.
  • Butch’s Dry Dock, 44 East 8th St.
  • 8th Street Grille, 20 W 8th St.
  • Curragh Irish Pub, 73 E 8th St.

The latest tapping of Paleooza also marks a slightly different twist — it’s now brewed entirely with Michigan-grown Cascade hops. Paleooza is an American-style Pale Ale with 5.6 percent ABV and 36 IBU.

“Its slightly sweet malt flavor makes up the base and offers a supporting role to the refreshing hop profile,” New Holland’s website says. “Cascade hops provide a floral, citrus and almost fruity character to this well balanced easy drinking ale.”

New Holland Brewing Company is located at 66 East 8th St. in downtown Holland.

HOLLAND — One of New Holland Brewing Company’s most well-known flagship brews paraded downtown streets Saturday in anticipation of its return to the regular tap rotation today.
Paleooza returns as a mainstay in the pub with much anticipation following an eight-year hiatus.
“It’s one of the big five beers that actually got us to where we are today,” said Shawna Cantu, general manager. “Because there has been such a demand for it, now we’re going to have it permanently.”
While Paleooza has been served on occasion— as recently as April 2012 — it has mostly been reserved for special events at New Holland. To jumpstart its permanent rerelease, the brewery first allowed downtown bars and restaurants to put it on tap Saturday, starting with Skiles Tavern where it was first tapped in 1997.
“Skiles was one of the first places that had it on tap for us,” Cantu said. “We are specifically not having it on tap at our pub (Saturday and Sunday) just so we can show the love to the rest of the restaurants in the community.”
As part of the celebration, a barrel of Paleooza was paraded around town during an event titled Paleooza Pub Crawl. The pub crawl started at 1 p.m. at Modern Beverage, one of New Holland’s distribution company. The parade continued at various times and locations, starting at Skiles with the 2 p.m. first tapping and celebratory toast, and crawling onto:

  • 84 East, 84 East 8th St.
  • Butch’s Dry Dock, 44 East 8th St.
  • 8th Street Grille, 20 W 8th St.
  • Curragh Irish Pub, 73 E 8th St.

The latest tapping of Paleooza also marks a slightly different twist — it’s now brewed entirely with Michigan-grown Cascade hops. Paleooza is an American-style Pale Ale with 5.6 percent ABV and 36 IBU.
“Its slightly sweet malt flavor makes up the base and offers a supporting role to the refreshing hop profile,” New Holland’s website says. “Cascade hops provide a floral, citrus and almost fruity character to this well balanced easy drinking ale.”
New Holland Brewing Company is located at 66 East 8th St. in downtown Holland.

TRAVERSE CITY — The great Mitten State turned 176 on Saturday. What better way to celebrate than with a Michigan craft beer and a “Brewed in Michigan” t-shirt?
7 Monks Taproom in Traverse City partnered with High Five Threads to celebrate the occasion. 7 Monks has been open for less than two years, but has become well-known for its large selection of beer, wine and local food. High Five Threads has also become a local success with their merchandise that boasts Michigan pride.
High Five Threads was there to sell their mitten-inspired merchandise including Michigan bottle openers and a variety of t-shirts.
7 Monks had 26 Michigan brews on tap including beers from Bell’s, Founders and Short’s breweries. I chose to enjoy Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury, which was a nice rich stout with hints of chocolate and coffee. It was the perfect way to celebrate a state that has become known for its food, beer and wine.
In addition to the party at 7 Monks, The Awesome Mitten held TweetUps at various breweries and bars throughout the state to celebrate the occasion. Taking part in the TweetUp were Right Brain Brewery (Traverse City), The Mitten Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids), Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, Ashley’s (Ann Arbor), MBC (Lansing), Ore Dock Brewing Company (Marquette) and the Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room (Detroit).

TRAVERSE CITY — The great Mitten State turned 176 on Saturday. What better way to celebrate than with a Michigan craft beer and a “Brewed in Michigan” t-shirt?

7 Monks Taproom in Traverse City partnered with High Five Threads to celebrate the occasion. 7 Monks has been open for less than two years, but has become well-known for its large selection of beer, wine and local food. High Five Threads has also become a local success with their merchandise that boasts Michigan pride.

High Five Threads was there to sell their mitten-inspired merchandise including Michigan bottle openers and a variety of t-shirts.

7 Monks had 26 Michigan brews on tap including beers from Bell’s, Founders and Short’s breweries. I chose to enjoy Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury, which was a nice rich stout with hints of chocolate and coffee. It was the perfect way to celebrate a state that has become known for its food, beer and wine.

In addition to the party at 7 Monks, The Awesome Mitten held TweetUps at various breweries and bars throughout the state to celebrate the occasion. Taking part in the TweetUp were Right Brain Brewery (Traverse City), The Mitten Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids), Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, Ashley’s (Ann Arbor), MBC (Lansing), Ore Dock Brewing Company (Marquette) and the Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room (Detroit).

GRAND RAPIDS — There is a place for those who know how to pronounce — and how to eat, in tiny portions — things like pâté, rillettes (which does not rhyme with Gillette) and escargot. It is called France, and there they drink wine. In this country, if you order those things with your beer at the pub, you might be called a few French-sounding words, but then you’ll have to settle for your customary burger or wings or nachos or whatever else is actually supposed to go with beer.

Unless you’re dining at Brewery Vivant, in which case your waiter might suggest a beer that pairs well with your garlic-drowned snails.

Yes, at Brewery Vivant, they use the verb “pair” with beer, not wine. It’s not a mix-up. It’s not irony.  One of the brewery’s favorite things to do, declares Vivant’s website, is to pair beer with food to “uplift the enjoyment of both.” In fact, the brewpub provocatively claims that “in many cases, beer is a better choice than wine to pair with food.”

This seems like the stuff of scandal, not to mention entrepreneurial suicide. One would expect the wine connoisseurs to turn up their noses and silently take their business elsewhere. One would expect beer lovers to snort and then do the same. But that hasn’t happened. As many in Grand Rapids already know, Vivant makes great beer and great food, and makes them work together in ways that keep people coming back.

The man behind the food is Drew Turnipseed, whose last name alone is proof that he belongs in the culinary world. Other proofs include his training at the Art Institute in New York City, his tenure at Chateau La Gatte in Bordeaux, and his success in restaurants across the country, from the East Coast to Alaska.

What is an advanced sommelier — indeed, a man who learned his charcuterie on the banks of the Dordogne — doing in beer country? Drew says he was “on his way out” of Michigan when the owner of Brewery Vivant, who had attended his wine-pairing dinner for Michigan’s Hickory Creek Winery, offered him a job, a job in which Drew has been able to combine his classical training and his knack for producing exciting new food.

“The place you work is a kind of medium for your art,” says Drew, and the position at Vivant has allowed him to expand the purview of that art.

Drew does many things as the head chef at Vivant, but perhaps the most important is planning the season’s menu. He brags that it is a group effort because his staff is so talented, but it’s not hard to see his influence in this fall’s French-, Belgian-, and Bavarian-themed menu, a virtual roadmap of his time in Europe. Vivant’s menu also reflects Drew’s classical training; he explains that although the fall menu is not as creative as some of the previous selections, it is as authentic as possible, “straight from the book but really well researched, really well executed.”

“From the book” means continental favorites such as chèvre chaud (hot goat cheese) salad, escargot, and a pâté which Drew describes as the fruit of “two trips to France and a bunch of years of heartbreak.”

The pâté is both traditional and approachable, and diners who resist burying it in the delicious mustard and cornichons that accompany the dish are rewarded by the figs and walnuts within. And although pâté is sometimes served in upscale American establishments, one rarely finds rillettes, much less rillettes that balance the delicacy of France and the heartiness of America.

This balancing act is extended to beer-food pairings, which Drew also oversees. In more ways than one, the food often begins with beer. “I pick apart and conceptualize the beer,” he says, “and then build a menu from that.”

The menu items are often physically built from beer as well — there is “a tremendous amount of beer” that goes into the food, as much as possible, according to Drew. This means that where a classically trained chef would use wine, Drew uses ale. He’ll poach a meat, such as Vivant’s foie gras, in beer, or he might deglaze a pan with beer (though he admits that they do keep a little wine around to use when they can’t avoid it).

 

A marriage between food and beer

While Drew is at the center, the beer pairings at Vivant are no solo effort. Drew spends a lot of time tasting beer with Vivant’s head brewer, Jacob Derylo, and he then holds meetings to collaborate with the kitchen staff. But Drew relies on the brewers to help him detect nuances in the beer, tastes that Drew’s palate absorbs as undertones but might not register as distinct or recognizable flavors.

The language Drew employs — “art,” “conceptualizing beer,” “nuances” and “undertones” — affirms the complexities of his work in pairing food and beer. Still, the fundamentals of a good beer-food marriage are simple and easy to grasp.

The first principle of pairing is commonality. For example, Drew describes a Bohemian dish in which foie gras is studded with truffles, poached in beer, and put inside a trussed pheasant, which is then roasted. He would recommend the Escoffier beer with it, noting that the gaminess of the pheasant complements the similar “barnyard” characteristic of the beer.

The second principle is balance, often achieved through opposition. Sour beers, for instance, are complemented by something sweet, such as cherries or another fruit. In Vivant’s Bohemian pheasant, it’s the foie gras that is “just sweet enough” to balance out the sourness of the Escoffier.

Of course, determining that fattened-goose liver complements sour beer isn’t the finish line for Drew and the Vivant staff. They still have to convince people — stubborn, Midwestern people who might otherwise eat tater-tot nachos with their beer — to try that goose liver.

Understandably, Vivant has encountered what Drew calls “serious roadblocks” in introducing such a sophisticated cuisine, and not just because many Americans find foie gras and bone-marrow tartine strange or even repulsive.

In addition to the sometimes formidable sophistication of the menu, the portions are small. And because of the quality and provenance of the ingredients, the prices are high. Finally, there’s the extra challenge of converting some foodies — the people that already like traditional French cuisine — into beer drinkers.

By now, though, it is clear that any major “roadblocks” are in the past. Vivant might have to fight a few individual skirmishes from time to time, but they’ve won the war. Drop in at just about any time, even at 3:00 in the afternoon as we did, and you’ll find the place humming with customers both eating and drinking.

Drew isn’t surprised. He credits persistence and supportive management for his success. Because the ownership and management are resolved on making Vivant excellent, not big, its product is remarkably authentic. Drew also knows that such a menu is not only possible but normative in other countries. He explains that where the best beer has traditionally been made — that is, Europe — endives, pâté, and Gruyère are standard fare.

The pub’s new general manager, Joel Medina, isn’t surprised either. From the beginning, he witnessed a zealous commitment to quality from everyone involved with the restaurant. The result is satisfying, according to Medina: “We’re achieving a level of experience that is unexpected.”

That means happy customers, very happy customers.

“As long as they’re willing to try it,” says Medina, “I guarantee they’ll leave pleased.”

So if you haven’t tried Vivant, you should. If you have, you should try something different, something braver, something difficult to pronounce. And if you want to try your own hand at pairing or impress your friends before they can ask the waiter, consider the following options, which were suggested by the chef himself.

Try Solitude, Vivant’s trademark abbey ale, with the braised Bavarian pot roast and house-made egg noodles. Or try the Big Red Coq (you may have to wait until this intermittent offering reappears) with the goose-liver-stuffed mushroom caps or something with bleu cheese (a pairing that is strange and inexplicable, according to Drew, but still delicious). You might also consider the Peppercorn Ale with either the braised pork or some form of poultry (perhaps the roasted half-chicken). If none of these pairings attract you, try any food with any beer and you’ll still leave happy.

Whatever you try at Vivant, you can be confident that the craft in your food will match the craft in your beer. So save the tater-tot nachos for your supermarket beers and try some duck confit nachos instead.

Tashmoo.

What is it? What does it mean?

Some may recall the early 20th century Great Lakes steam ship.

Perhaps it evokes memories of the former amusement park on Harsen’s Island.

Or maybe it’s your favorite biergarten located in the West Village of Detroit.

Since fall 2011, Michiganders have more than likely referred to the latter when the word ‘Tashmoo’ comes up.

Tashmoo Biergarten is described as a “family friendly” atmosphere “featuring communal tables and benches, as found in traditional European beer gardens.”

 

How it started

Founders and owners Aaron Wanger and Suzanne Vier selected the location for the venue about a year ago to start their venture.

“We own a house in West Village,” Vier said. “We’re residents and we’re actively involved. From that perspective, it made sense.”

But before the location was ready for residents to partake in food and libations, much work was needed.

“When we approached it, it was just an overgrown lot to get to a liquor store,” Wanger said. “It was a blight area.”

In addition to being an ideal spot after cleaning up, there was also some history included that inspired Tashmoo Biergarten.

A house stood in the now biergarten when the couple first started. The inhabitant of the house was a former engineer on the Tashmoo, an old sidewheeler steamboat on Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron that ran from 1899 to 1936.

 

Community atmosphere

After a successful kickoff in 2011, Wanger said 2012 has also been a success.

“It was a good year. We tried some different things,” he said. “Last year we did five Sundays in a row. This year, we did three weekends.”

And despite some inclement weather, turnout has been positive.

“People have come as far as Europe when they were in town,” Vier said. “It certainly has become a destination.”

Wanger said the setting has become a unique melting pot for patrons to come and have a good time.

“It’s a gathering place,” he said. “You have spectrums of young and old. You have people from Lansing, the west side of the state and people who live a block away. It doesn’t matter who you are and where you’re from.”

In addition to a rustic, community oriented atmosphere, Tashmoo features rotating local food vendors and games like Cornhole, a Detroit favorite.

 

Don’t forget about the beer

What else are you supposed to drink at a biergarten besides, well, beer? Or is it bier?

“We focus on session beers whenever possible,” Vier said. “They’ve ranged from ales to stouts. This year, some of the breweries we featured are Atwater, Dragonmead, Founders, Short’s, Bell’s, North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin, to name a few.”

Vier also said that they’ve gotten “really great response” from all of the breweries Tashmoo has worked with.

“They’re all really excited and they’ve been very open and supportive,” she said.

Wanger said they have formed close relationships and partnerships with the breweries they’ve worked with.

“Working with guys like Atwater and Jolly Pumpkin, they’ve been great when making suggestions or helping out with supplies,” he said.

Tashmoo recently hooked up with Atwater brewery for the brewery’s Blocktoberfest.

“It was so awesome to see all of the tables filled and wall to wall people,” Wanger said.

 

Future plans

The past two years have undoubtedly been a success for Tashmoo. But they’re not stopping there.

“We’re open to what’s next,” Vier said. “We have some ideas cooking.”

Wanger said after the biergarten’s final weekend coming up, there should be more time to plan for the future.

“We’re trying to lock down a permanent location for a four season facility,” he said. “We’re looking in the village areas of Detroit.”

According to Wanger, the original plan of Tashmoo was to a two-part phase, starting with a pop up biergarten to feel it out.

“Now that we’ve done that part, we’re now working on how we can make it a permanent fixture,” he said. “I love the concept of pop ups, but we’re to the point where we should be committing resources to make it permanent.”

While the biergarten has brought joy to many beer lovers and Tashmoo regulars, the feeling is mutual with the founders.

“It fills me with a sense of satisfaction. I’m doing this for these people,” Wanger said. “They’re having the time of their lives. It’s one of the greatest feelings.”

Wanger also sang the praises of all those involved.

“If it wasn’t for all of the volunteers, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are right now,” he said.

Even though Tashmoo may move on to a bigger and better establishment, the plan won’t change, according to Wanger.

“I want to stick with the model of we only serve Michigan beer,” he said.

The Lansing beer scene is about to get a massive makeover with the addition of two craft beer establishments.

Barfly Ventures LLC, owner of three bars and the Grand Rapids Brewing Co., announced Thursday it would open two new businesses in Lansing.

The company will open a second location of its world-reknowned HopCat in downtown East Lansing, offering more than 100 craft beer taps, the largest selection in the state. HopCat in Grand Rapids has been named the No. 2 and No. 3 beer bar in the world on various lists.

Lansing Brewing Co. will open in the Stadium District Apartments in downtown Lansing, across from Cooley Law Stadium, the Lansing Lugnuts’ home field. A brewery operated under the name from 1898 to 1914.

“Lansing and East Lansing have thousands of resident who are passionate about good food and good beer, but the market seems under-served,” Barfly owner Mark Sellers said in a release. “I’m excited to revive the historic Lansing Brewing Co. name downtown and bring HopCat’s unmatched selection of craft beers and high-quality food to downtown East Lansing.”

Sellers is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Broad School of Business.

Barfly project coordinator Sam Short lives in East Lansing with his wife, who works at the Michigan State College of Law. He’ll manage the two new projects.

Both projects are slated to create about 50 jobs and slated to open in late summer 2013.

Day two of Detroit Beer Week Happy Hours continued at Slows Bar BQ on Tuesday in Downtown Detroit.

Bell’s Brewery was the featured happy hour guest at the Michigan Avenue barbecue staple.

Tara Garrity, Manager at Slows Bar BQ, said this is the fourth year the restaurant has done all Michigan beers for Detroit Beer Week.

“We really like to highlight it and bring it into town and bring people out,” she said. “It’s fun to have that energy.”

The Bell’s brews were first tapped around 4 p.m. starting with Hopsoulution, Rye Stout, Bell’s Firkin Porter and the experimental Jazz Series.

“I’m a big fan of the La Batteur and the whole Jazz Series,” Garrity said. “That’s how it kind of started, asking to get those. Bell’s has been one of our favorites.”

Le Batteur, Le Pianiste and Le Contrebassiste are a three-part series of interpretations on the French Biere de Garden style by Bell’s. With a shelf life of six months, availability is typically limited and draft only.

At 5 p.m., two more taps were added: The Oracle and Hell Hath No Fury. And at 6 p.m., This One Goes to 11 and Batch 10,000 were added for consumption.

“Batch 10,000 has been in our cellar for over a year,” Garrity said. “The owners here really let me build a cellar. So, we have some beers down there that allow me to plan events like this to highlight and celebrate how awesome they are.”

The happy hour events during Detroit Beer Week fall directly in line with the overall aim of Slows to keep it Michigan.

“Out of our 20 drafts, we made the conscious decision to always have more than 50 to 60 percent Michigan breweries,” Garrity said. “This week, they’re 100 percent Michigan.”

Garrity also spoke about Slows ownership and doing things the right way.

“They believe in having good products and that means beer,” she said. “Barbecue and beer go hand in hand.”

Michigan is also always top of mind.

“We’ve been building relationships,” Garrity said. “We’ve been to the breweries, we know how awesome they are and we want to keep the money in the mitten.”


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