11% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Dark brown — almost black — with a small head.
Aroma: Chocolate, coffee and some roast-like qualities.
Taste: Roasted malt and coffee beans overwhelm this beer, with some moderate chocolate tones that hep balance it out.
Mouthfeel: Strong bodied.

Dark Horse’s infamous imperial stout — Plead the 5th — is a dark, rich brew that’s perfect on a spring night. While it doesn’t quite live up to the bourbon barrel aged version, chocolate, coffee and roasted malt make this brew very satisfying, and ultimately, is one of the better imperial stouts on the market today.

5% ABV, Bottle
Appearance: Golden yellow. Pours with a small head. Medium size bubbles abundantly flowing.
Aroma: Yeasty, somewhat grainy, obvious but not overstated malt
Taste: A surprising level of hops is apparent early in the drink and continues on, but does not linger. The graininess is the emphasized flavor, it has great balance and has a great lager flavor.
Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied with a crisp and clean feel. Carbonation is perfect for the overall flavor of the brew.
Refreshing lager taste and feel without compromising flavor. It seems to have a German twist, especially in its malty character. The hops are well-done and help add to a great balance of flavor, making Bells Lager of the Lakes and go-to summer brew.

5% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Golden yellow. Pours with a small head. Medium size bubbles abundantly flowing.
Aroma: Yeasty, somewhat grainy, obvious but not overstated malt
Taste: A surprising level of hops is apparent early in the drink and continues on, but does not linger. The graininess is the emphasized flavor, it has great balance and has a great lager flavor.
Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied with a crisp and clean feel. Carbonation is perfect for the overall flavor of the brew.

Refreshing lager taste and feel without compromising flavor. It seems to have a German twist, especially in its malty character. The hops are well-done and help add to a great balance of flavor, making Bells Lager of the Lakes and go-to summer brew.

6.5% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Cloudy caramel color with a high head.
Aroma: Sour with some fruit.
Taste: Semi-dry, with lots of sourness. The fruit isn’t quite as present as it is in the aroma.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied.

A hint of lemon and orange bring life to Jolly Pumpkin’s Luciérnaga — or The Firefly as it’s commonly referred as. This somewhat dry sour ale is light on the tongue and crisp, and very easy to drink, especially for the style.

10.1% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Cloudy caramel with a medium head.
Aroma: Hops with a bit of a fruity smell.
Taste: A bit of citrus, tangy fruit with some moderate bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

This imperial IPA from Greenbush is full of flavor. Featuring an orange and grapefruit front, this brew is moderately bitter to help balance it out. Despite its ABV, Brother Benjamin is a surprisingly drinkable IPA.

11.2% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Black with a small, dark tan head.
Aroma: Vanilla with booze and caramel.
Taste: Lots of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and roasted malt. Some slight coffee bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Strong bodied.

This creamy, luscious specialty brew by Founders is released every spring, and it’s well worth trying to hunt down. KBS is certainly one-of-a-kind, and with a strong bourbon flavor, encompassed by chocolate, vanilla, caramel, roasted malt and even some coffee, this brew is smooth, rich and certainly a sipper at 11.2% ABV. There’s a reason why this brew is so hard to find — on tap or in bottle.

4.7% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Hazy yellow, with a medium head.
Aroma: Yeasty with fruit scents and a slight malt aroma.
Taste: Balanced with a yeasty front and slight hoppiness at the end. Wheat is present, but not overpowering.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied; slightly creamy.

Saugatuck’s latest release, Michigan Wheat, is a great beer to throw back — it’s light without compromising flavor. It has great balance and is crisp and refreshing. This all-Michigan brew screams “Pure Michigan.”

4.2% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Dark brown with some red hues. Medium head.
Aroma: Nutty and earthy.
Taste: Nut, roasted malt, caramel and a bit of yeast.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

A staple of the Mitten’s lineup at Fifth-Third Ballpark this season, Triple Crown Brown is a tasty yet easy-drinking brown ale. The flavors — consisting of nut, roasted malt, caramel and other earthy flavors — are extremely well balanced and go down very smooth. Definitely keep your eye out for this at the ballpark or at the brewery’s Leonard Street home in Grand Rapids.

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