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Dark Horse Brewing

DETROIT – HopCat Detroit and Dark Horse Brewing Co., of Marshall joined forces this weekend to produce a World Record Tap Takeover featuring 130 unique Dark Horse brews.

The event, dubbed Dark Saturday, broke a record set at HopCat Detroit’s grand opening on Dec. 13, 2014, which featured 120 Short’s Brewing Company beers.

By 11 a.m., a line wrapped around the front of the building as fans waited to try the huge variety of Dark Horse brews.

For HopCat and Dark Horse staff, the day began much earlier.

“It was all hands on deck to get this event together,” Trevor Mapes, captain of beer research at Hopcat, said. “A lot of the logistical elements were planned early on, and barbacks and food runners provided muscle late into the night and early in the morning before opening.”.

The bar filled up quickly as attendees anticipated rare and hard-to-find Dark Horse Brews.

“It’s great to see Dark Horse and HopCat tackling this event in Detroit,” said Damon Ward, Detroit resident and craft beer enthusiast. “It signifies how supportive they are of the local beer community.” Of the 130 beers on tap, Ward was most excited to try the 2014 and 2015 Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th stout.

The all-day event included a special one-day renaming of HopCat Detroit’s Huma Room into the Crooked Tree Room. TV screens showed college football throughout the afternoon, and live music began at 7 p.m. to close out the evening.

“We love Detroit and want to be part of its ongoing renaissance,” said Bryan Wiggs, head of brewery operations and token hippie at Dark Horse. Yes, his business card really says that.

“It is a privilege and it is exciting to be breaking the world record here in Detroit,” Wiggs added.

“We came up with the idea for the tap takeover with HopCat at the Winter Beer Fest in February of 2014, and have been brewing beers specifically for this event since them,” said Aaron Morse, founder and owner of Dark Horse.

On the 12-acre Dark Horse compound in Marshall, Morse makes honey and maple syrup, he grows hops and fruit, and he uses all these elements in his beer.

“We have fun pushing the envelope and doing things people say you can’t,” Morse added.

For a must-try beer, Morse suggested the Rubescent Zhaftig Ghastly, which has all the roasty, creamy characteristics one would expect in a stout, but pours a vibrant red color.

“It is a brain teaser,” he said.

Rochester Mills

Rochester, MI – ‘Tis the season for Rochester Mills’s flagship beer, as the brewery counts down to the holidays with 12 Days of Milkshake Stout.

The progressive tap takeover event will feature 12 specialty and limited edition varieties of Milkshake Stout in addition to the original Milkshake Stout. Each night a new flavor will be tapped.

“With the overwhelming success of last year’s 12 Days of Milkshake Stout, we wanted to spread a little more cheer this holiday season,” said Mike Plesz, Rochester Mills founder. “We’ve brought back some fan favorites and brewed up new flavor combinations to tap at over 40 locations.”

Rochester Mills Beer Co. will be hosting the event, along with select craft beer bars and restaurants throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Florida from December 9–20, 2015. Admission is free at all locations and open to the public, ages 21 and up.

“Based on our fans response on social media, we will be brewing enough of the most popular beers to do special releases on draft and packaged in 16 oz. cans throughout 2016,” Plesz added.

A Rochester Mills representative will be onsite on select nights handing out brewery swag. Guests have the opportunity to receive a Golden Ticket invitation to a future beer release party at the Rochester Mills Production Brewery in Auburn Hills, Michigan. These beers won’t last long so plan accordingly.

Find a location serving the 12 Days of Milkshake Stout near you:
Rochester Mills Beer Co. – Downtown Rochester (of course!)
Buckshot’s – Clarkston
Ale Mary’s – Royal Oak
The Emory – Ferndale
Brown Iron Brewhouse – Washington
Buffalo Wild Wings – Washington
Tilted Kilt – Sterling Heights
Terry’s Terrace – St. Clair Shores
Butter Run Saloon – St. Clair Shores
Grand Trunk Pub – Detroit
MGM Grand – Detroit
Hopcat, Detroit – Detroit
Ashley’s – Westland
Bostons – Fenton
Red Baron – Burton
Lynch’s Irish Tavern – Port Huron
Oak Café – Wyandotte
Bavarian Inn – Frankenmuth
Sidetracks – Ann Arbor
Pete’s Garage – Monroe
Rocky Top BBQ – Jackson
Beer Grotto – Lansing
Stardust Lanes – Saginaw
Tavern 101 – Bay City
Witchcraft – Midland
Lakeview Lounge – Battle Creek
Kalamazoo Beer Exchange – Kalamazoo
Buffalo Wild Wings 44th – Grand Rapids
Tavern on the Square – Grand Rapids
Kristi’s Pour House – Hart
The Mitten Bar – Ludington
TJ’s Pub – Manistee
Kirby’s – Grand Haven
The Buck Burgers & Brew – St. Joseph
Rarebird – Traverse City

The 2015 12 Days of Milkshake Stout Tap List (in random order):

Bourbon Barrel Aged Milkshake Stout
Imperial Milkshake Stout
Blueberry Pancake
Chocolate Cheesecake
Christmas Toffee
Chunky Monkey
Cinnamon Roll
Creme de Menthe
German Chocolate Cake
Peach Cobbler
Toasted Marshmallow
Vanilla Mocha

For more information visit www.beercos.com.

Rochester Mills

Atwater Brewery

DETROIT, MI – Atwater Brewery celebrated the opening of its new Taphouse and Biergarten in the Rivertown district of Detroit this week.

The 5,000 square-foot location is adjacent to the Atwater Brewery and includes a 25-seat bar that spans the length of the brewery. The brewery’s state-of-the-art brewing equipment is on display through a wall-to-wall window behind the bar.

The venue has a total capacity of 125 with community seating available and 20 beers on tap.  Atwater’s spirits, wines and hard cider will also be available.

“We’re especially excited with this new space because it’s an opportunity to connect with customers in our home market and it also allows us to showcase our main brewery,” said Atwater Owner Mark Rieth.

Led by its Dirty Blonde Ale and Vanilla Java Porter, Atwater now offers more than two dozen labels and has launched a new original Rivertown Porter and Lebkuchen Christmas Ale in conjunction with the Grand Opening celebration at the new location.

The new biergarten food menu which will feature items like Gourmet Pizzas, White Bean Shredded Chicken Chili and Fish Tacos. Private dining space is also available.

“This new facility is a signature location for an Atwater biergarten,” said Rieth.  “We’ve said all along that we want to ‘bring Detroit everywhere,’ and now we’re bringing it to the most important place of all – home!  We’ve incorporated our heritage into the DNA of the place and we look forward to sharing our home with all of metro Detroit over the coming years.”

For more information, please visit www.Atwaterbeer.com.

 

GRAND RAPIDS – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.  Not just your average ice cream though – ice cream beer.

Two completely different products, both delivered in a pint, combined forces to support one common goal: to protect our winters against climate change.  New Belgium Brewing Company and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream collaborated to make both of their pints pair together to make a Salted Caramel Brownie two ways.  One being a new delicious flavor packaged in an ice cream pint for Ben & Jerry’s, called Salted Caramel Brown-ie Ale, while the other is constructed into a beer, called Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, delivered in a pint glass for New Belgium.  

This past Monday, New Belgium and the West Michigan Environmental Council (WMEAC) put the pints together. Asher Attick, Michigan Field Marketing Manager for New Belgium and Nicholas Occhipinti, Director of Policy and Community Activism for WMEAC, served up pour overs, or beer floats, at an event called “Pour Over Climate Sessions.”  

A sweet beer seems to be the beer of choice for the float.  Yet one ends up with a double sweet overload. This mistake does not happen with The Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale.  It has enough of the sweet notes subtly peeking through, but it doesn’t overpower the delicious sweetness we all love from Ben and Jerry’s. The perfect sweet success story.

Success also comes through Attick’s duty in Michigan to work with local nonprofits and community outreach, tying it into the regional and national programs that New Belgium is running as a whole.

“We always feel at the size we are, when we go into a new state, it is going to make an impact. And the last thing we ever want to see is a negative impact.  Beer is a competitive business––that is never going to change. We feel it is important going into communities and lending a helping hand to make positive change.  Especially when it is something we strongly believe in as a brewery, like climate change,” stated Attick.

The two brands together with their pints are encouraging communities to write letters to their Governors about the importance of  climate change––not only what may become of our climate in the future, but how it is impacting each and every one of us today.

“Right now in Michigan, there is major climate legislation that is about to come to the forefront, and the only way the politicians care is if you tell them they care. The Fruit Ridge in Michigan was devastated two years ago, and Michigan has already had six 1,000 year floods in the last several years,” Occhipinti said.

With a climate continuing to have patterns of freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw, our crops will suffer.  That means there could be no hops, there could be no apples and there could be no grapes for the libations we love dearly.  As much as we may all love mild winters and dry summers, our crops do not.  No crops means no beer.  No beer means lots of unhappy locals.

Monday night’s event held letter stations, where people were encouraged to fill out a Mad Lib-styled letters to send to Governor Snyder about what is important to them about climate change and the issues that matter specifically to Michigan. At the end of the program, Attick is taking the handwritten letters and mailing them to the Governor Snyder.  Right now there are over 200 letters that will be mailed and end up on the desk of Governor Snyder.  

The donations from the event went directly to benefit WMEAC but from a national standpoint, for every pint of ice cream sold and every 6-pack, a dollar from each benefit #ProtectOurWinters. Buy both to make some beer floats at home and protect our four seasons!

Sponsored by New Belgium – Michigan

Pairing beer with a Thanksgiving day meal can be tougher than one may expect. As I think back to previous experiences of bringing bottles of English Brown Ales, Hefeweizens, and even a three-liter “Jéroboam” Chimay Grand Reserve, I remember how unmanageable it was to pair the beer with all of the dishes that were actually on the table. With so much variety in flavors and textures and styles, how can you choose what will work with your selection and what won’t?

I’d like to help you navigate those beers this upcoming Thanksgiving. I tested out five completely unique Michigan brewery beers that I know will pair well with all the components of your meal during different stages of the day.

Number One: The “I’m-ready-to-party-and-my-palate-is-fresh-as-a-newborn-baby” phase.

All right, you’ve just walked in the door and are greeted by family and friends, which means one thing: you need a drink. It’s going to be a very long day of consumption, so how about we start off with something subtle with lower alcohol content? I’d suggest popping open a bottle of Odd Side Ales Fig Brewton.

ThanksgivingBeer (3)

The Fig Brewton is their version of an English Pale Ale brewed with figs. At 4% ABV this aromatic-forward brew is your ticket to beginning your light buzz on an empty stomach, because why would you eat something before the party? This dark amber and cloudy concoction is full of sweet fig aromatics, notes of brown sugar, light toffee and an earthy/dry fall leaf character. The flavor is very, very subtle. It contains a faint hint at fig and the earthiness with a balancing hop bitterness.

It’s happened. You’ve finally sucked down your first beer of the day and are probably feeling a tingly happiness in your belly. Ready to eat? Good, because we have a great beer for the first round.

Normally at this point there are a few lighter snacky dishes. Dishes such as layered salads, roasted pumpkin seeds, deviled eggs, polish roses, roast squash, and plenty of other food options are offered to the guests. You begin telling stories, gossiping with cousins, updating everyone about your kids, sharing photos and creating that base of food in your belly that you will regret later once you’re in a food coma.

At this pivotal point in the day, we are opening up our palate to various flavors. Pungent onion, bright salads, salty spreads, and so many other flavors are being introduced to our willing bellies. Because we’re in the initial phase of sharing, it’s time to break out a 750mL bottle of Rockford Brewing Company’s Country Ale. It’s a 7.3% ABV Saison that is hazy and a beautiful orange/honey color. The aroma is complex and layered with notes of lemon, white pepper, grape nuts cereal and just a touch of overripe strawberry. It tastes quite similar, but the flavor is more subtle than the robust bouquet. I found that this beer is all about aromatics and mouthfeel.

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The Country Ale is quite bright with balancing acidity and a touch of alcohol warmth and some spice-forward heat and bitterness. It has a soft feel on the tongue with a dry finish. The beer is excellent as it warms up and will be exceptional with all of the brighter but varied flavors of the first round of Thanksgiving food. Use the spritzy carbonation, the pungent spices, and the bright acidity to scrape and lift off fatty foods and sweet flavors. The peppery notes will resonate with spices on the various dishes, while the lemon notes will resonate with vinaigrettes on salads and contrast with fattier foods like egg. Above all, the beer will rinse away any light to medium food flavor so you won’t feel quite as palate fatigued. I mean, come on. You aren’t allowed to get full right away!

The table has finally been set, the children have been wrangled, and your family and friends are now gathered around the table to tuck into the best meal of the year. There are so many dishes on the table that you’re drooling into! Turkey, honey baked ham, green bean casserole, mashed and sweet potatoes, the cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy. For you vegetarians out there, perhaps there are delicious treats such as a mushroom and farro pie, pumpkin orzo with sage or perhaps a butternut squash, kale, and cheddar bread pudding. All in all, we have a literal feast in front of us that is just teeming with savory, salty and sweet flavors. Here comes the most important role for beer all day. We need beers to pair with everything that has been set before us.

My suggestion? Grab two completely different beers and pour them in separate glasses and drink them BOTH during the meal. This time around, I have chosen Pepper in the Rye from Brewery Vivant and the Leroy Brown from Big Lake Brewing.

Pepper in the Rye is a Rye Ale brewed with green peppercorns that comes in at 6.3% ABV. It’s a pretty amber brew that comes in a one-pint can. The aroma gives notes of strong orange peel, a light touch of lemon, some light barnyard funk, a big dose of those green peppercorns that actually make me feel heat in my nostrils, a bit of spicy rye, and bread crust or biscuit notes.

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The beer tastes pretty much the same as it smells. Bright spice notes of the green peppercorn are present, especially as it warms up. I detect cracker-like notes from the malt, and the earthy hops hang out way underneath the more robust characteristics. The Pepper in the Rye is a tart and brisk brew with spice forward bitterness to balance it all out. Alcohol warmth is present and smacks my tongue around just a little. Tartness ensues into the finish to create an overlapping effect to the other mouthfeel-oriented sensations.

It’s well balanced yet quite complex. The Pepper in the Rye is going to use its alcohol warmth, its tart character and its spice-forward bitterness to cut fat and sweet flavors just like what we experienced with the Country Ale. The tartness will balance out yet accentuate saltiness. Try pairing this beer specifically with your stuffing, vegetable casserole dishes like green bean casserole, and ANY of those vegetarian dishes I mentioned. Pumpkin orzo with sage paired with Pepper in the Rye? Forget about it!

We need some malt to sooth salt and resonate with savory meat flavors and sweeter dishes such as sweet potato casserole. Let’s keep it easy-going, malty and delicious with the Leroy Brown from Big Lake Brewing.

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The Leroy Brown is an almost clear and medium to light brown brew with pretty ruby highlights. It’s aromatics lend notes of chocolate, nutella, nuts, and soft breadiness. The flavor gives me notes of toasted biscuit, nuts, and milk chocolate, all on a layer of delicious bread notes. Mouthfeel with this beer is one of the best parts. Quite smooth, approachable, and simple. I feel that many Brown Ales these days tend to roam into porter category or have higher alcohol levels than I’d like, but this one hits the mark. Pair this lovely number with your turkey, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, glazed carrots, gravy, or your mushroom and farro pie.

It’s that time. Your belly aches from too much food and so you’re sitting far away from everyone so you can groan and fart in peace. Perhaps you’ve taken a nap at this point and aren’t sure if you want to go home to finish passing out or keep up your buzz and drink more beer.

For those of you who are willing to rally and end your day with a bit of dessert, look no further than pairing your pumpkin pie with Griffin Claw Brewing Company’s Three Scrooges Winter Ale brewed with orange peel, honey, and spices.

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The Three Scrooges comes in at a manageable 6.5% ABV. It’s a hazy and dark amber beer with strong spice and orange peel aromatics. Get notes of sweet bread, caramel, nutella, cinnamon and raisin? Me too.

It seems to be a trend with the chosen beers, but the flavor is not as punchy as the aroma. It’s subtle but still quite pleasant. I pick out flavors of toast, milk chocolate, light marshmallow, orange peel, and a honey/toffee character.

The Winter Ale is smooth as hell with a tight and dry finish and a touch of alcohol warming. Pumpkin pie, for me, is too often paired with more pumpkin or sweet allspice forward beers. I’d wager that this traditional dessert will pair quite well with the Three Scrooges Winter Ale because of its subtle sweetness and little pop of bitterness and acidity from the orange peel. It’s subtle enough to highlight your pumpkin pie without sweetening the ensemble up too much that you can’t finish the last bite. Layered and lovely, I think these two will get along just fine.

So there you have it. A Thanksgiving meal and a few beers to help you along your journey of palate happiness. Should you feel the need, as I expect you will, to cap off the evening with one last beer, please grab yourself a snifter and pull out your big and bold brews. English Barleywines, Wee Heavys, Imperial Stouts and a variety of beers brewed with fruit truly shine in these moments.

57 Brewpub and Bistro is a family restaurant kind of establishment that may not be right in the beer mecca of Grand Rapids, but provides yet another fun excursion for the nearby city dweller or curious local to come in and see that craft beer is perfect for any town.   
Thomas Payne, the head brewer at 57 Brewpub and Bistro, seems to have locked down the establishment with his American Ale and German Lager-forward brewing program and array of well balanced beers. Understanding the importance of balance, in my book, is crucial to running a beer program in a town that is adjusting itself to the wide world of craft beer.
 
Yellow Jacket Honey Ale
7.3% ABV
31 IBU
Pale and Munich malts combined with local Honey, Cascade Hops from Hopyards of Kent and German Tettnang Hops round out this Hometown Favorite.
I’ve got a light amber colored beer that is clear as day in front of me. I pull it up to my nose to sniff and get strong sweet malt/sweet bread notes. A touch of honey and leafy hops waft up to me as well.
I finally pull it to my lips. After sipping a few times, I notice that I just keep being reminded of chewing on base malt grains, which in this case are pale and pilot malt. The finish has a light tannic quality that latches itself next to the very mild hop bitterness that evens out the whole ensemble.
Mind you, I wouldn’t call this beer “sweet”, but it’s just a simple malt-loving brew with a touch of bready-like sweetness and a reminder of the little bit of honey that was left behind because it’s not a fully fermentable sugar.
Balanced and simple. It’s hard to go wrong with an approach like that.
 
Morrison ESB
5.5% ABV
26 IBU
Malt & hops equally balanced. Copper colored and flavors of toffee & toast with a clean hop finish.
The Morrison is mostly clear but has just a touch of haziness. It’s a gorgeous amber color with burnt orange highlights and an off-white head that just circles around the edges of the glass.
Immediately, I get an earthy hop-forward aroma and flavor. The malt swoops in after and gives me aromatics and flavors of toast and a bit of honey on a biscuit. My flavor assessment leads me to believe that the water was “burtonized” for the style as well.
The finish is a touch tannic and has a balancing bitterness that eventually leaves you with nothing but a prickle from those hops.
Once again, this beer exudes a simple and balancing quality that is sometimes all too hard to find  in this beer world of extremes.
 
Eclipse Schwarzbier
5.2% ABV
17 IBU
Mild malt flavor with light roasted & bitter chocolate undertones w/ a nice dry finish. 100% Cascade hops from Hopyards of Kent. Exceptionally clean due to extended cold conditioning without the burnt coffee flavor typically associated with Black Beers.
As expected, this schwarzbier is opaque and black in color. A light brown colored head is swirling about on top.
My initial assessment tells me that I’ve found a briefly savory character that bursts into a pop of smoke notes before the beer finally settles into its traditional burnt toast flavors and roasty bitterness that lingers into the finish.
A pleasant, light musty-like character creeps around the flavors of burnt toast and oh-so-subtle baking chocolate flavor.
This is a solid example of the traditional German lager. Black with burnt notes and a roasty bitterness. A great beer to have on a menu, especially with the food options that they offer. Use this brew to make your meat-based dishes shine by attaching roastiness to savory meat. The weekend rib special they feature would be a great start.
 
57 Chevy MIPA
6.5% ABV
65 IBU
This Beauty just got back from the shop after a hop overhaul. Greenville MIPA generously hopped with Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and dry hopped with Amarillo.
A very hazy, light amber and orange colored beer sits in front of me. It almost looks like a wheat beer because of the cloudiness. The head didn’t linger but what was leftover was white in color.
Strong green tea as well as pine and cannabis notes make up the aroma. I sip and find numerous flavors of orange peel, green tea, pine, cannabis, and a lingering note of lemon. It’s a dry-hopped brew, and you can taste it.
This beer, I must admit, has a bit of a difficult time with strong tannic sensations. Especially with all that hop bitterness. My preference is to have more of a crisp bitterness in my beers, and after the consistent balancing effect of the other brews, I was expecting that to be the case. However, the aromatics and flavor is quite punchy and displays a great use of Michigan grown hops.
57 Brewpub and Bistro creates an easy-going atmosphere for the locals and provides them with the nourishment of locally made beer. Thomas Payne is delivering a sensible beer program that also leaves plenty of pairing options for the pub’s large meal selection.
Above all, Payne is showcasing the simple, yet wonderful ingredients that make up this beverage that we love in quite an approachable manner. For that, I cheers you.

57 Brewpub and Bistro is a family restaurant kind of establishment that may not be right in the beer mecca of Grand Rapids, but provides yet another fun excursion for the nearby city dweller or curious local to come in and see that craft beer is perfect for any town.   

Thomas Payne, the head brewer at 57 Brewpub and Bistro, seems to have locked down the establishment with his American Ale and German Lager-forward brewing program and array of well balanced beers. Understanding the importance of balance, in my book, is crucial to running a beer program in a town that is adjusting itself to the wide world of craft beer.

 

Yellow Jacket Honey Ale

7.3% ABV

31 IBU

Pale and Munich malts combined with local Honey, Cascade Hops from Hopyards of Kent and German Tettnang Hops round out this Hometown Favorite.

I’ve got a light amber colored beer that is clear as day in front of me. I pull it up to my nose to sniff and get strong sweet malt/sweet bread notes. A touch of honey and leafy hops waft up to me as well.

I finally pull it to my lips. After sipping a few times, I notice that I just keep being reminded of chewing on base malt grains, which in this case are pale and pilot malt. The finish has a light tannic quality that latches itself next to the very mild hop bitterness that evens out the whole ensemble.

Mind you, I wouldn’t call this beer “sweet”, but it’s just a simple malt-loving brew with a touch of bready-like sweetness and a reminder of the little bit of honey that was left behind because it’s not a fully fermentable sugar.

Balanced and simple. It’s hard to go wrong with an approach like that.

 

Morrison ESB

5.5% ABV

26 IBU

Malt & hops equally balanced. Copper colored and flavors of toffee & toast with a clean hop finish.

The Morrison is mostly clear but has just a touch of haziness. It’s a gorgeous amber color with burnt orange highlights and an off-white head that just circles around the edges of the glass.

Immediately, I get an earthy hop-forward aroma and flavor. The malt swoops in after and gives me aromatics and flavors of toast and a bit of honey on a biscuit. My flavor assessment leads me to believe that the water was “burtonized” for the style as well.

The finish is a touch tannic and has a balancing bitterness that eventually leaves you with nothing but a prickle from those hops.

Once again, this beer exudes a simple and balancing quality that is sometimes all too hard to find  in this beer world of extremes.

 

Eclipse Schwarzbier

5.2% ABV

17 IBU

Mild malt flavor with light roasted & bitter chocolate undertones w/ a nice dry finish. 100% Cascade hops from Hopyards of Kent. Exceptionally clean due to extended cold conditioning without the burnt coffee flavor typically associated with Black Beers.

As expected, this schwarzbier is opaque and black in color. A light brown colored head is swirling about on top.

My initial assessment tells me that I’ve found a briefly savory character that bursts into a pop of smoke notes before the beer finally settles into its traditional burnt toast flavors and roasty bitterness that lingers into the finish.

A pleasant, light musty-like character creeps around the flavors of burnt toast and oh-so-subtle baking chocolate flavor.

This is a solid example of the traditional German lager. Black with burnt notes and a roasty bitterness. A great beer to have on a menu, especially with the food options that they offer. Use this brew to make your meat-based dishes shine by attaching roastiness to savory meat. The weekend rib special they feature would be a great start.

 

57 Chevy MIPA

6.5% ABV

65 IBU

This Beauty just got back from the shop after a hop overhaul. Greenville MIPA generously hopped with Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and dry hopped with Amarillo.

A very hazy, light amber and orange colored beer sits in front of me. It almost looks like a wheat beer because of the cloudiness. The head didn’t linger but what was leftover was white in color.

Strong green tea as well as pine and cannabis notes make up the aroma. I sip and find numerous flavors of orange peel, green tea, pine, cannabis, and a lingering note of lemon. It’s a dry-hopped brew, and you can taste it.

This beer, I must admit, has a bit of a difficult time with strong tannic sensations. Especially with all that hop bitterness. My preference is to have more of a crisp bitterness in my beers, and after the consistent balancing effect of the other brews, I was expecting that to be the case. However, the aromatics and flavor is quite punchy and displays a great use of Michigan grown hops.

57 Brewpub and Bistro creates an easy-going atmosphere for the locals and provides them with the nourishment of locally made beer. Thomas Payne is delivering a sensible beer program that also leaves plenty of pairing options for the pub’s large meal selection.

Above all, Payne is showcasing the simple, yet wonderful ingredients that make up this beverage that we love in quite an approachable manner. For that, I cheers you.

German Translation: Grand Opening Celebration

CEDAR SPRINGS – Cedar Springs Brewing Company, a German-inspired, family-friendly microbrewery will soon be warming the heart of Main Street in Cedar Springs.

The brewery’s grand opening celebration will begin on Friday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. with a ribbon cutting and ceremonial first pour.

The festivities will continue throughout the weekend as they unveil the full menu for the first time. While Head Chef and “Curator of Culinary Creation” Shaun Wooden’s main focus will be traditional Bavarian cuisine, the menu will feature a wide variety of food, including a kid’s menu. Once inside, Grand Rapids natives may recognize panels from the former downtown Schnitzelbank restaurant within the microbrewery walls; a nod to the rich German history within Beer City.

The microbrewery will offer a unique bar menu featuring Lagers, Pilsners, Hefeweizens, Pale Ales… oh my! alongside Cedar Cider and Vino131 Wine. For the under-21 group and drivers among us, Cedar Springs Brewing is also offering Old Cedar Creek soda, which includes almost as many flavors as the styles on their beer tap list. The tap list will be updated in real-time on their Facebook page, complete with information on how much of each style of beer is actually left, thanks to the wonderful world of technology – and digitalpour.com

Cedar Springs Brewing’s Head Brewer and “Barley, Malt and Hops Wrangler” Matt Peterson is utilizing traditional German open-fermentation methods to brew Lagers, and will also brew Ales on their 15-barrel brew system with a capacity of 1500 barrels per year. The brewing system didn’t have far to travel, as it came from Psycho Brew out of Belding, Michigan.

In the spring, a Bier Garden will feature a brick patio with trees and tables that will expand seating and face the White Pine Trail, greeting runners, bikers, and even snowmobilers in the winter.

Since Owner and ”Director of Happiness” David Ringler broke ground on this authentic German microbrewery back in October 2014, his goal remains the same: to be a family-friendly, laid-back restaurant, and microbrewery for the community of Cedar Springs—a place where friends can get together to enjoy a meal and a beer after a sporting event, or heading in or out of Beer City, Grand Rapids.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company is located at 95 North Main Street in Cedar Springs.