Posts

black friday

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company released three specialty canned beers to an enthusiastic group of early rising holiday  shoppers in Muskegon, Michigan on Black Friday. Grapefruit Renny, a double IPA (DIPA) featuring, as the name suggests, grapefruit juiciness. Also released was the rare Your Mom on French Toast, now officially dubbed “YMOFT,” an imperial stout featuring maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. The final new canned beer of the day was Your Grandma on French Toast, now called “YGOFT,” which was the star of the show. A bourbon barrel aged variation of YMOFT which is highly sought after and produced one of the longest lines at the Winter Beer Festival this past February in anticipation of its pouring.

The can release was to begin at 10:00 a.m., and despite arriving an hour early a line had already formed some 50 people deep. Foregoing the madness of holiday shopping, a great crowd of warmly clad craft beer lovers stood in line on a relatively mild late November morning. Jamie, Stubby, and Cody were the first three gentlemen in line, but Cody actually arrived first. “I came right from Cap and Cork after their midnight release so I was here about 1:40 a.m.” says Cody with a hearty laugh. Deciding he didn’t want to be first in line, Cody chose to nap in his car despite a couple of interruptions from a random “passer by” who was looking for cigarettes, beer, the time, and to sleep in his car. Cody laughed it all off citing just how stoked he was to be getting one of his favorites—YGOFT.

black friday

A sunny autumn morning was made more pleasant by the brewery with a complimentary breakfast that was served to all patrons. Breakfast samples were brought out to those of us standing in line. Upon entering the taproom from the breezy Western Avenue, the smell of bacon, sausage, pancakes, and syrup grabbed you by the senses and just hugged you all over. The breakfast scent combined with the true brewery aroma created a sweet aromatic melody that made the beer and the food even more rich and satisfying.

“The name Pigeon Hill was a nod to the community. Pigeon Hill was a large sand dune that was mined out for cast iron castings” says Michael Brower, who is a co-owner of the brewery. “When you walk in the taproom it’s basically a living museum. Everything from the wallpaper which features Muskegon street scenes to the lights which are from local factories that have closed. Our tables are made from old virgin white pine that was cut here in Muskegon and sank during the 1880’s.” Michael’s dedication to family, community, and craft were clearly on display as his parents were cooking breakfast, his grandmother (pictured on the YGOFT label) and his wife were all working to serve the thirsty and excited crowd.

Asking Michael about the origins of YMOFT he replied, “‘Your mom on toast’ was actually one of my catchphrases. In fact, I have emails going back to 2008 in which I sign off with that phrase. It means nothing but I loved it and it fit in with my sense of humor. We talked about it from day one, ‘What beer will Your Mom on Toast be?’ We didn’t know if it would be something bready or not but when we tried a french toast beer and decided to make our own it clicked, ‘Your Mom on French Toast.’ I’m not even sure if it was me who came up with the name!”

When asked about the process of making YMOFT, Michael replied “We start with our imperial stout Majestic Beast as the base beer then add maple, vanilla, and cinnamon and really that is the recipe.” I then asked when the idea for grandma came up he laughed, “I think the day we brewed it. We were like, ‘I wonder what this would be like in a barrel?’ When we started we were working out of the tap room and only had 940 square feet so we didn’t have room for barrels. Once we opened our production facility it became a reality. We got our hands on a couple of Buffalo Trace Rye barrels and said ‘let’s see what happens!” Indeed!

black friday

Joel Kamp, Chad Doane, Michael Brower

We were given a small tour of the original taproom and brewhouse as well as the newer production facility located nearby led by Michael and Chad Doane, head brewer. Upon arriving at the doors, we were greeted by an unknown drummer who played very well. Joel Kamp, co-owner of Pigeon Hill Brewing, came out from behind his kit and greeted us warmly as he wiped the sweat from his brow. “I really had a nice groove going there” he said with a smile on his face. A wonderful German lager was poured and the three gentlemen showed us around the facility. There was a very tangible sense of excitement as they talked openly and freely about the obstacles they’d overcome, the work that led to the success of the day at hand, as well as the future for their company.

Cheerz!

 

Photography: Steph Harding

West-Michigan-Beer-Tours-Logo

ST. JOSEPH – If you’ve never really understood or desired to partake in the frenzy of Black Friday shopping, West MI Beer Tours is offering an alternative way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

The brewery tour service is hosting a tour of three of the newest West Michigan breweries on Friday, Nov. 27. Guests will register for the tour at Buck Burgers & Brew in St. Joseph, where they will sample a flight of the highly sought-after varieties of Goose Island’s Bourbon County, a bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout.

Then, guests will have the opportunity to visit Tapistry Brewing, Cultivate Brewing Company, and Arclight Brewing, where they can taste samples and share pints while talking with the staff and touring the facilities. Once the tour is finished, guests are welcome to explore St. Joseph.

Tickets for the tour start at $59.

Those who aren’t from around St. Joseph can take advantage of a special rate being offered by the Hilton Garden Inn for guests of the tour. The tour will include optional pick-up and drop-off for guests who stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. Call (269) 926-5000 ext 4605 to book a room.

GRAND HAVEN — Odd Side Ales boasted a packed house by 10:30 a.m. on Black Friday. Opening at 9 a.m. for the die-hards, Odd Side released its limited edition Morningwood Stout — a 9% ABV barrel aged coffee stout that packs a punch-slightly sour, slightly chocolatey and affably sweet.

Christopher Michner, Odd Side’s owner and ‘Emperor of Ales’ was behind the bar, pouring beers and chatting with customers.

“[Morningwood Stout] is aged in Heaven Hills barrels this year as opposed to Markers Mark [like last year],” he said. “Last year, we had only 400 bottles, this year we have 180 cases, and they are 12 ounce, not 22 ounce bottles. We did 30 barrels as opposed to seven or so we did last year.”

A definite increase in quantity, a slight twist in flavor profile, but overall the same old — ahem — wood that Odd Siders have grown to love.

Them2Guys provided entertainment as the customers — many in pajamas — lounged in the relaxed Odd Side taproom. Many drank pints filled to the brim with the special release; some have brought their own breakfasts. One particular group even setup its own electric griddles on barrels, cooking pancakes, eggs and sausage to order.

Despite the crowd, it was easy to grab a drink in house and a few in bottles for the road. In line, we meet Dale Taylor, a member of the Muskegon Ottawa Brewers (M.O.B.), who shared with us the powers of Morningwood. Get the dirty thoughts out of your head, folks — I’m talking about beer.  Apparently, a few years back, a bunch of guys in PJs got together to drink at Odd Side on release day, and all realized they were homebrewers in some fashion or another. Hence, M.O.B. is born, and with it, Pigeon Hill Brewing and Unruly Brewing — started by members of the group.

After a pint or two, our morning ends as Them2Guys plays the official, unofficial theme song: “Sarah put the kegger on, we’ll all have beer. Damn good beer.”

Indeed.


Home     About     News     Services     Contact Us



Sign Up To Get The Latest Brews