8.5% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Golden clear with a foamy white head.
Aroma: Hints of apple, sweet scents with an overall yeast-forward smell.
Taste: Malty, roasted with a tail end of apple. Malty dominance is well-complemented by the Belgian yeast.
Mouthfeel: Thin bodied with minimal carbonation.

This is quite the brew in that it makes me think Vander Mill has been on the brewing scene for much longer than eight months. Encompassing individual flavors without a bland feel, this beer delivers. The 20 percent cider injection works perfectly with the Belgian yeast. Vander Mill delivers again with a fruit beer (not a fruity beer).

5.7% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Caramel coloring with a very thin head.
Aroma: A little fruity but not a whole lot there.
Taste: A bit of a malty taste with some fruit and caramel. Very balanced.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with some moderate carbonation.

Michigan Beer Cellar’s Golden Blonde is a refreshing, light ale that brings out flavors of fruit, malt and caramel. While its flavor profile isn’t huge, it’s perfect for a blonde ale, and makes the brew very drinkable. I’d be happy to enjoy this again out on the porch. While it doesn’t win any awards for innovation, its balance makes it so that I’d come back to it again and again.

7.5% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Brownish-red with a small head.
Aroma: Minor fruit; a bit boozy.
Taste: Fruity with roasted malts, molasses and raisin.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied; pretty smooth.

Tri-City Brewing Company’s Fortunato is a belgian ale highlighting big flavors of fruit, roasted malt, molasses and raisin. With it being medium bodied, the flavors didn’t shine through as much as you’d expect, but it was still enjoyable and I was able to get enough of them to realize what flavors the brew was playing with.

6% ABV, Draft
Appearance: Gold with virtually no head.
Aroma: Smells like kiwi with a hint of citrus.
Taste: Sour yet still a very sweet kiwi flavor. Just a hint of wheat at the finish.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied; very drinkable.
HopCat’s Kiwi Playhouse is a unique take on a sour ale — one that is full of kiwis. Having never had a kiwi beer myself, this intrigued me, and I was delighted by its sour qualities matched with its sweetness. Being a huge fan of sour ales, I was so pleased with this that I found myself taking a growler home — it’s a great summer beer that’s truly one of a kind.

6% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Gold with virtually no head.
Aroma: Smells like kiwi with a hint of citrus.
Taste: Sour yet still a very sweet kiwi flavor. Just a hint of wheat at the finish.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied; very drinkable.

HopCat’s Kiwi Playhouse is a unique take on a sour ale — one that is full of kiwis. Having never had a kiwi beer myself, this intrigued me, and I was delighted by its sour qualities matched with its sweetness. Being a huge fan of sour ales, I was so pleased with this that I found myself taking a growler home — it’s a great summer beer that’s truly one of a kind.

5.5% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Amber, with a beautiful white head.
Aroma: A little citrusy.
Taste: Nice and hoppy. Crisp with a slight bite on the back end.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied.

The Hideout Beer City Pale Ale is one of ten pale ales created for the celebration of BeerCity USA. On a hot day, you can’t ask for much more than this crisp celebratory drink in the great beer city.

8% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Black with a subtle tan head that lingers.
Aroma: Chocolate along with roasted malt-like qualities. A bit of coffee.
Taste: Very creamy, with a coffee bitterness. Some roasted malts, vanilla and chocolate present as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium to strong bodied.

Dark Horse Brewing Co.’s Too Cream Stout is a creamy, rich blend of chocolate, vanilla, malt and coffee — all wrapped up in a brew that is steadily becoming one of my standards. The creaminess of this brew gives way to a bit of a bitter coffee finish, but otherwise is very rich and appetizing, especially with it only having 8% ABV.

6.1% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Very dark brown, with virtually no head.
Aroma: Coffee and chocolate.
Taste: Perfectly balanced; chocolate, coffee and vanilla.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slight carbonation.

Old Boys’ specialty Magnum Breakfast Stout focuses on what most breakfast stouts do best — the coffee. Brewed with beans from Nunica’s Magnum Coffee Roastery, this brew is on the lighter side for a breakfast stout, and brings chocolate and vanilla to the coffee flavors that are experienced throughout. For those entering into the stout realm for the first time, this is a good entry beer, as it’s doesn’t contain a super heavy flavor or mouthfeel.


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