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winter beer fest

Before I worked in the craft industry, I was a beer festival attendee. My perspective only stretched as far as to see the glorious, seemingly never-ending flow of beer from taps. I sought out IPAs and Flanders Reds, but would absolutely try anything. My friends and I would all get different pours and trade them around, forgetting who had what, but enjoying all the different flavors and tastes anyways. People around me would start the beer battle cry and we would all join in, knocking elbows with friendly, slightly intoxicated neighbors and doing our best imitations of freed animals howling at the moon. It was always an atmosphere of (slightly reckless) happiness and friendship.

emilyA couple of years later, I speak from the other side of festival operations as a brewery employee. The air of happiness and friendship is still very much there, but for different reasons. Beer is hard work. As an employee of a Michigan brewery, I now appreciate the science, creativity, innovation, patience, and elbow grease it takes to churn out one magical recipe. I respect brewers for their meticulous natures and passion for creation. I appreciate all of the pubtenders and barbacks for being on the front lines of service. I admire sales representatives and marketing gurus who grow the brand and spread the good word of beer. And I bow down to brave individuals who put every last iota of capital and confidence into opening their own small businesses.

I started as a pubtender in a small brewery to learn the beer and study the brand. I tried out brewing, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t the everyday vocation I wanted to devote myself to. I am now a brewery sales representative who dabbles in marketing. I’m also the lead on festivals and events, working with new people and old friends every day. Like all workers in the craft industry, I wear a lot of hats, and gladly. I am still new to the industry, but I recognize that the best brewery team is one that not only believes in the brand, but also in all of its individual members.

And only the best craft and brewery teams are brought to the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Fest. Not only is it hosted by the largest craft beverage organization in Michigan—this festival takes place in Grand Rapids, known by many as Beer City, USA. For Michigan breweries, this is our semester’s final exam, making all of the festival-goers our very enthusiastic and very opinionated graders.

Like a majority of fellow breweries, we plan our beer list carefully (and usually months in advance). We want to bring recognized favorites, but also new styles and maybe a few surprises. Some of those surprises, like a barrel-aged beer, take months to age, with brewers carefully tasting and testing the product until that exact moment that it’s pronounced perfect. And when we tap that beer, crossing our fingers that it wasn’t damaged in transportation or that the tap lines aren’t too cold to pour through, nothing makes us happier than handing it over to an eager attendee.

The weather for this year’s Winter Beer Fest ran the gamut of possible Michigan forecasts. Friday kicked off the festivities with heavy rains downways, sideways, and everyway, drowning everyone, yet spirits remained high. Saturday ushered in a cold snap, welcoming back some fluffy white snow following a pretty mellow winter season. Luckily, the biggest issue weather caused was a few flyaway tents, so festivities went forward.

winter beer fest

A huge attribute to the success of a festival is the volunteer staff. Sometimes, they are the close friends and family of fellow brewery staff. Sometimes they are complete strangers eager for a new experience. Whatever their motivations, they are often thrust into the thick of things with nothing but their enthusiasm to guide them.

We had a great mix of volunteers pouring with us at this beer festival, all with different experience levels. A couple had never poured beer before, while a few others were volunteer veterans, pouring with ease and fielding questions like they owned the place. This mix of strengths caters to all of the different festival goers as well. First-time attendees want more questions answered while some just want the beer options listed as efficiently as possible. Either way, it’s always good to have help.

Even with advanced planning and care, things don’t always go quite the way we want—weather, forgotten supplies, broken down vehicles, sick workers—it all happens. This is usually the nature of the beer business. Luckily, the Michigan craft industry is known for camaraderie. We all lend out a lot of spare wrenches, air tanks, and even volunteer workers at festivals to ensure that all attendees are allowed the best possible time of their lives. At this year’s Winter Beer Fest, we forgot an air tank, meaning we had no way to push beer through the taplines (sheer will does not work). I knew I could reach out to friends in the industry for assistance, and it was no surprise when someone had an extra they could lend us. Later that day, we helped jumpstart another brewery’s vehicle.

The Michigan craft industry is very much a community—a lot of give with little take. We only want to help each other excel in order to grow the industry into further success as a whole. It all comes down to our beer in a person’s hand. With our whole hearts, every fiber of our being, we want people to enjoy it. But we want honest feedback. We want questions and discussions. Most of all, we want to have a conversation with people about our beer and our brand.

With the number of Michigan breweries growing monthly, Michigan craft-drinkers are becoming more and more educated. They recognize quality, they ask questions about ingredients and brew systems, and they appreciate something new. The constant challenge of fulfilling and exceeding every attendee’s expectation keeps us all on our toes and guarantees an innovative and creative future for the industry as a whole.

Whether craft is a hobby or a career, Michigan craft is all about passion. We believe in what we drink and who pours it no matter what side of the bar we’re standing on.

 

Photography: Amee Rutan

detroit fall fest

Beer festivals happen several times a year. From fest to fest, some things are different—the weather, the breweries, the food. But many things are exactly same from year to year—the 15 tokens in the plastic glass, the good beer, and at least one discovery of a fantastic new-to-me brewpub. This year, I discovered not one, not two, but three new-to-me breweries. It was a good fest.

First, the top five brews from pubs I knew about.

Big Lake’s Leroy Brown appealed to me because of the name and the fact that there were dice on the can. It would have been cool to have the custom Continental and the El Dorado, but the dice were a nice touch. The beer was very nice too! An English brown ale made with four malts and chocolate, it had a smooth finish of toasty bread.

Schmohz Gingerbread Brown was great as always, as was the Mad Tom’s Porter. Brewer Gabi Palmer explained that this beer “is a solid porter—smoky, some chocolate. No hype, no b.s., just a solid beer.” And it was! Slightly bitter with a hint of smoke made for a tasty beer.

The Smoke on the Porter from ROAK was another excellent porter. An imperial smoked porter by style, this beer hit all the right notes. Roasty, dark, and perfectly balanced. But I would expect no less from this outstanding pub.

Unruly Brewing had the Orange Julius beer, which my husband described as “smelling like an Orange Julius, tasting like it, but then finishing like a bourbon barrel aged Belgian wheat.” Orange peel and vanilla beans make this beer what it is.

Lake Charlevoix Double Cookie Stout is one of the tastiest stouts I have had. Made with ten pounds of Oreos, it manages to not be overpowering or too sugary sweet. This is a solid, hearty beer.

The first of the big discoveries at this fest was One Well from Kalamazoo. Their Sweet Water Street was billed as a “coffee and donut” beer and it delivered. Much like the breakfast of champions itself, this beer had a hint of the sugary taste of donut plus all the roasted coffee taste one could want. They also had a Root Beer Stout that—unlike some root beer beers I could mention—managed to not just taste like thick, sappy syrup. It actually had a taste of root beer but never forgot it was a beer—absolutely wonderful!

The second new-to-me pub was Grand Armory from Grand Haven. Their Nutter Your Business Stout tasted like an honest-to-God peanut butter cup. My husband was so thrilled that he got three separate tastes of this beer, just so he could dance around delighting in the peanut butter and chocolate deliciousness (okay, he really didn’t dance around, but it’d be fun to pretend he did).

The top discovery this year was Railtown Brewing Company from Dutton. The brewery won a bronze medal at the recent Great American Beer Fest for its Good Mooed Milk Stout. And to be sure, this solid stout hit all the right notes. We also had their Peanut Butter Cocoa Time porter which conveyed the peanut butter taste while remembering it was a porter, and thus not too heavy or overpowering. The absolute hit for me was their Coffee Blonde, one of the best coffee beers I have ever had. Until this fest, I couldn’t find Dutton on a map but I can now, and I can’t wait to go there.

As I always do, I kept another tradition—ending the fest with Liberty Street’s Punkin Pie Ale. It is still the best pumpkin ale I have ever had, and nothing I’ve had since has changed my mind.

Some things change, some things stay the same, but Michigan beer remains far ahead of all the rest. It was a good fest.

 

Photography: Erik Smith

Detroit, MI — All of the breweries in Detroit, including Atwater Brewery, Batch Brewing Company, Brew Detroit, Detroit Beer Company, Granite City, Motor City Brewing Works, and Traffic Jam and Snug have again partnered in collaboration to celebrate the burgeoning beer industry in Detroit, as well as the Michigan Brewers Guild Fall Beer Festival in Detroit’s Eastern Market on October 21 and 22.

detroit beer experiment

The Detroit Beer Experiment brings together all of the breweries in Detroit to collaborate on a beer theme, which changes every year. Each brewery creates a beer based on the theme and debuts that beer in their taproom, as well as at the Fall Festival in Eastern Market.

This year, each brewery is pairing with non-beer food or drink purveyors from across Detroit to create a collection of food-inspired beer collaborations. All of the beers are made with ingredients or inspired by these non-beer establishments.

Batch Brewing Company has partnered with Bon Bon Bon to create a dessert- inspired after-dinner beer called ‘Tres Bon’, as well as a special beer and bon bon-pairing event on November 21st.

“Bons and beer go together like bons and beer!” said Alexandra Clark, founder of Bon Bon Bon. “We’ve had so much fun collaborating with Batch Brewing Company for the Detroit Beer Experiment and can’t wait for our pairing event.”

Brew Detroit has partnered with three establishments to make three different beers: Mystery Beer (sumac wit) for Green Dot Stables, an English Bitter for Huron Room, and an experimental Ponzu Pilsner, brewed with barrel aged fish sauce for Johnny Noodle King.

“The beer enthusiast ownership of Green Dot Stables, Johnny Noodle King and Huron Room, having known Robert Orler (Brew Detroit) for years, has been looking forward to this type of collaboration. To say we’re excited about these beers would be an understatement,” said Jacques Driscoll.

Atwater has partnered with Slow’s BarBQ to create ‘Smokebox’, a malty smoked ale featuring pilsner malt smoked at Slow’s facility in Midtown.

“Great with BBQ or perfect on its own, like bacon dipped in a glass,’ said Tara Garrity from Slows BBQ.

Detroit Beer Co has partnered with Sweet Potato Sensations on a ‘Sweet Potato Porter’ that includes spiced sweet potato puree Sweet Potato Sensations.

Granite City has partnered with Anthology Coffee to create a coffee infused lager.

Motor City Brewing Works has partnered with GoGo’s Hawaiian Street food to create ‘Gogo’s Coconut Porter’ made with roasted coconut.

Traffic Jam and Snug has partnered with Avalon Bakery to brew a Carrot Cake Dubbel beer called ‘Don’t Care at All’ inspired by Avalon’s vegan Carrot Cake.

“We’re excited to see the growth of the Detroit Beer Experiment in 2016, with the inclusion of Traffic Jam and Snug and Granite City. The nature of the craft beer industry is incredibly collaborative, so this annual partnership is not only natural, but a highlight of what we do every year,” said Stephen Roginson, cofounder of Batch Brewing Company in Corktown.

The Detroit Beer Experiment will debut at each brewery on Thursday, October 20th and will be featured at the Michigan Brewers Guild Fall Beer Festival in Eastern Market on Friday October 21st and Saturday October 22nd.

 

up beer fest

Nothing could stop people from enjoying U.P. Beer Fest this past Saturday.

Not the 10-hour drive to Marquette (for downstate attendees).

Not the monsoon rainfall that started at nine o’clock that morning and didn’t stop until six o’clock that night.

And definitely not the mud pit or creek of flood water that surrounded all of the beer tents.

Everyone was just too determined to have fun and drink great Michigan beer.

It makes sense. Although it may not be official, the term “favorite festival” is uttered by many in regards to this annual September event. For craft staff, September means summer madness is finally slowing down. There is an air of relaxation around it all—a loosening of the tension between shoulders.

As for attendees—a majority are Upper Peninsula residents, and their love for their region is palpable and proud. Nothing at all would sway them to say anything negative about the festival. It’s on their home turf—the beautiful Lower Mattson Park on Lake Superior—providing excellent views and close vicinity to downtown happenings.

Between the great hospitality of Marquette and the impressive organizational skills of the Michigan Brewers Guild, everyone is happy.

The Guild’s only one-day festival on their yearly calendar, there was still plenty of time to experience all the activities surrounding the U.P. festival. Leading up to Saturday was Marquette Craft Beer Week, a whole week dedicated to blending the local craft scene with other breweries from all over the state. Marquette restaurants, taprooms, and bottle shops played host to a variety of awesome happenings: White’s Party Store, an amazing local bottle shop and homebrew equipment destination, hosted multiple tastings with Upper Hand Brewery, New Holland Brewing, and Bell’s Brewery.

Jamie Strand, owner of White’s as well as the head organizer of Marquette Craft Beer Week, said the participation reach-out had been amazing.

“It used to be U.P. Craft Beer Week, but Marquette is such a center for craft beer in this region that it made sense to make the change.”

A Pint Above, a nonprofit organization celebrating Marquette’s craft scene, was on hand to help provide pourers at the festival as well as help coordinate events throughout the week.

Local Marquette brewery Blackrocks held their special release of barrel-aged Gnomas, a delicious and higher gravity twist on the original recipe, at their downtown production facility. Short’s Brewing Company premiered a special pairing menu with Lagniappe’s, a local Cajun Creole eatery. The Recovery Room, a newly opened restaurant and bar in place of the old Rover, hosted a double Tap Takeover alongside Dragonmead Microbrewery and Beards Brewery.

There were plenty other special events to whet the taste buds leading up to U.P. Beer Fest.

This year, the festival itself played host to 6,000 people, 86 breweries, and countless drinking options. To start celebrating fall, many breweries brought beers to highlight the seasonal transition. Oktoberfests, Brown Ales, Barrel Aged Stouts and Porters—they were all popular choices, especially as the day boasted cooler weather and rain that blasted through waterproof gear.

Fetch Brewing Company brought their Mad Swag Triple IPA, a deliciously malt-forward and hop-forward beer that made the taste buds sing with bitterness.

Many people went feverishly from booth to booth, asking after an infamous peanut butter Stout that turned out to be Grand Armory Brewing Company’s Nutter Your Business.

People jumped across a creek of flood water to drink the Tobacconist Porter by Our Brewing Company.

David Gill, President of the local Marquette Homebrewers, said fondly, “It’s been nothing but rain at all of the U.P. festivals this year, so maybe this is just us saving up our karma points for next year. Although weather will never stop people up here from attending a beer fest.”

With so many great distractions from the weather, attendees and breweries alike had a fabulous time. And sure, when the torrential downpour came down like a nonstop wave of water, 6,000 people crushed under all of the beer tents and brew staff held onto their tent poles for dear life; but it was no matter—it just brought people closer together and closer to the beer.

 

summer beer fest

The frozen washcloths helped. So did the shady trees. But the biggest relief from the sweltering heat was the beer. Because that is what this festival is about—beer. Specifically, Michigan craft beer.

Oh, I’ve read the negative reviews. The festival has gotten too big, too noisy, too full of casual drinkers who don’t know a pilsner from a pale ale. To which I say, what of it? This event, these two days in Ypsilanti, are about beer. Getting people to drink local beer—from the “gray beards” who have been brewing since before I was born to the people who were born the year I could have my first legal drink. It’s all about the beer.

And this year, I am once again proud to announce my top five beers of the 2016 Summer Beer Fest.

The Winner—Hands down, the Mauj Cucumber Lime Gose from Arbor Brewing Company won the day. It is what a mojito wants to be. It is what a refreshing beer wants to be. It is what all of us want to be. Perfectly balanced and absolutely perfect for the 105-degree heat index, this is the beer of the summer for me.

While I was at the Arbor booth, I asked Rene Greff which beer I should try, she immediately recommended this one. “It’s super refreshing for a day like today,” she said. “And Mauj means fun and frolick in Hindi and is the word one of our Indian partners uses for ‘cheers!’.” This fact just made the beer all the more enjoyable.

Other Amazing Offerings

Under the tutelage of brewer Gabi Palmer, Schmohz turns out very reliable, solid beers. This year, the women of Fermenta joined her to make a Mint Chocolate Chip Stout. At first, I doubted the idea of a stout on such a hot day, but I quickly changed my mind as I drank this well balanced beer. It was neither heavy nor syrupy sweet. The chocolate and mint tastes definitely came through, but they accented rather than overwhelmed the beer.

Another refreshing taste came from Griffin Claw’s And So It Goes. The brewery’s own Angie Williams recommended this gose beer, adding that it was brewed as part of the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day. When I said that I didn’t want a beer that was too tart, she promised, “It’s got some tartness, but not enough to make your face pucker up.” That turned out to be the perfect description for this well balanced beer. Made with blood oranges, there was just the right hint of salt to add the ideal twang to this wheaty beer.

summer beer fest

Right Brain’s Cake Walk is made with Madagascar vanilla beans and that, like taking the road less traveled, made all the difference in this cream ale. Generally, cream ales are hit or mess for me—some are too heavy and sweet, others seem to have no taste. Right Brain, as usual, hit the perfect spot with this beer.

Pike 51’s Pulp Friction was another home run. I really, really try not to pick a beer based on its name; however, Pulp Fiction is one of my all-time favorite movies. Also, I have never been disappointed by a beer from Pike 51, so I figured it was worth a try to see if it lived up to its namesake and to the soul of Marsellus Wallace. The beer was labeled a “fruit beer,” but it was more of a shandy. A lightly malted wheat ale with just enough citrus made it the perfect beer with which to end the very hot festival. The soul of Mr. Wallace can rest easy in that briefcase.

Another summer beer fest comes to a close. But look on the bright side! Only 363 days until the next one!

 

Photography: Erik Smith

Summer Beer Fest

127 Brewing
Orange Barrel IPA
OK IPA – Double IPA
HammerSchmidt Porter
* Road Trip-pel

51 North Brewery
Paint Creek Tangerine Wheat
Hoppier Than Stout
Rockin Country Kölsch
Safety Meeting – Session IPA
Coconut Cream Ale

Arbor Brewing Co. Brewpub
Anahata Chakra – Honey Lavender Ale
Peninsularity MIPA
Festival Saison
Smoked Lager – Rauchbier
Strength in the Oak – Oak-Aged Old Ale
Summer Ale – British Golden Ale
Party Like it’s 1995 – Wheatwine brewed with Blackberries and Raspberries
Mauj – Gose Brewed with Cucumber and Lime
Shark Jumper – Imperial IPA

Arbor Brewing Co. Microbrewery
* Werewolf on Bourbon Street – Barrel-Aged Beer
* Berry Berry BIGJAM – Barrel-Aged Beer with berries
* Two Jacks – Barrel-Aged Beer
Euchre – Pilsner
Buzzsaw – American IPA
Strawberry Blonde – Fruit Beer
Bliss Wheat infused with fresh peaches – Hefe-Weizen
Mackinac Island Fudge Stout
Phat Abbott Belgian Tripel
Jackhammer infused with bourbon cherries and orange peel – Old Ale
Treebeard – American Pale Ale
Cross Street – IPA
10 Blinks – French Saison
Rum Fudge Stout
* Bully Pulpit – Sour Beer
Demetrius – Sour Beer
Sodibo – Sour Beer
Mafka Brown Sour – Sour Beer
Peches on Regalia – Sour Beer
Flamboyant Sour Red – Sour Beer
* Eik Zon – Sour Beer
* Ypsilambic – Sour Beer

Arcadia Ales
Arcadia IPA
Cheap Date – Session Beer
Whitsun – American Wheat Beer
Sky High Rye – Rye Beer
MI Berry Vice – Fruit Beer
Appolyon – Belgian Strong Ale
Hop Rocket – Imperial IPA
* BA Cereal Killer – Barrel-Aged Beer
Loch Down – Scotch Ale
Arcadia Wadworth XX – Export Ale
Peter’s Mild – English Mild
Right Bower – Session IPA
Imperial Stout

Arclight Brewing Co.
When Grapefruits Collide – IPA
* Berrien County Stout – Barrel-Aged Beer
Cherry Wit – Belgian Witbier
* Opus Mango – Sour Beer
Opus Kriek – Sour Beer

Ascension Brewing Co.
* RBA 800# Gorilla – Barrel-Aged Beer
* BBA I Need Gorillaz – Barrel-Aged Beer
* BBA EZ Stout – Barrel-Aged Beer
* RBA Scottie Knows – Barrel-Aged Beer
Strong Hand – Belgian Strong Ale
NoviPA – Imperial IPA
* Gorilla Juice – Imperial Stout
* You Took Too Much, Too Much – Imperial Stout
Cherry Sanders – Blonde Ale
The Impressionist – Belgian Saison
15 Mile – Porter
* 30 Mile – Porter
Jade & Silent Bob – Double IPA
East Side & Down – American Pale Ale
Land Of Fruits & Nuts

Atwater Brewery
Purple Gang Pilsner
Dirty Blonde – Belgian Witbier
Tart Cherry Blonde – Belgian Witbier (Friday only)
Whango – American Wheat Beer
Biergartenweiss – Berliner Weisse (Friday only)
Traverse City Cherry Wheat
Hefeweizen
Atwater’s Lager Raddler – Munich Helles
* Fuego – Herb & Spice Beer (Saturday only)
Blueberry Cobbler – Fruit Beer (Saturday, Enthusiast hour)
Going Steady Grapefruit Session IPA
Corktown Rye IPA
* Slows Smoked Pineapple Double IPA (6pm Fri. / 3:30pm Sat.)
Chai Amber Ale (Saturday only)
1884 First Brown
Vanilla Java Porter
* Barrel Aged Salvation Cypher (8pm Fri. / 2pm Sat.)

Axle Brewing Co.
Axle IPA
CITY – American Pale Ale
Livernois Lager – Dortmunder
Axle Porter

B. Nektar
* Zombie Killer – Cider
Jasmine Green Tea IPA
Sage Lime Wit – Belgian Witbier

B.O.B.’s Brewery
Peanut Butter Porter
Mango Chipotle – Fruit Wheat Beer
Tangerine Trees – Fruit Wheat Beer
Spooky Action – Double IPA
Hoptics – Kettle Sour – Hibiscus Yuzu Gose

Baffin Brewing Co.
Mango Unchained
The Bob (Bob Barley) – Imperial Stout
DOC – Imperial IPA
De Peach Mode
Mosaic Mo’Problems – Fruit Beer

Bastone Brewery
* Wookie Nookie
* Elvis
Eric’s Favorite Berry
RazzMary Saison
* Thor’s Hammer
* Weizenbock

Batch Brewing Co.
Antwerp’s Placebo – Belgian Quad
Candy Flip Chocolate Wheatwine
Madame du Barry – French Saison
Handsome Stranger – French Saison
Barrel-Aged Dicksmasher
Barrel-Aged Better Together
The Second To Last Word – Sour Beer
Anton’s Animals – Sour Beer
Requited – Barrel-Aged Beer
Blood In Orange Out – Belgian Witbier
Auerbock – Maibock
DAPA Dan – Double IPA
Nearly Noble – IPA
Marta Rita – Sour Beer
Brett Dodson – Wild Ale

Beards Brewery
Amity – English IPA
Serendipity – Sexy Porter
Oh, The Citranity! – Session IPA
Luna – French Saison
Cherry Saison (Friday only)
PineHapple – American IPA (Saturday only)
* Boulevardier – Awesome Sauce

Bell’s Brewery
Oberon Ale – American Wheat Beer
Oarsman Ale – Tart Wheat Sesssion Ale
Oatsmobile Ale – American Pale Ale
Lager of the Lakes – Bohemian Pilsner
Two Hearted Ale – American IPA
Traverse City Whiskey Barrel Aged Expedition Stout
Traverse City Coffee Consecrator Dopplebock – Barrel-Aged Beer
30th Anniversary Ale – Imperial Stout
Mango Habanero Oberon Ale – American Wheat Beer
Quinannan Falls Special Lager Beer – American Pilsner
Sparkleberry Ale – Belgian Tripel
Poolside Ale – Belgian Witbier
Raspberry Wild One – Sour Beer
Double Two Hearted Ale – Double IPA

Big Buck Brewery & Steakhouse
Raspberry Wheat
IPA
Black River Stout
Blood Orange IPA
Blueberry Berliner Weisse
Constant Reminder – Double IPA

Big Lake Brewing
Ryecoe IPA
Lawrence Brown
Citra Session
Sure Shot IPA
Benevolence – Imperial Stout (Friday only)
BB Vanilla Bean Darkstar – Imperial Stout
Muddy Waters (Saturday only)

Black Lotus Brewery
Hip Hops – American IPA
People Mover Pilsner
* Ninja Pirate Barley Wine – Old Ale
* Sky Fall 00Saison
WWW.Wheat – Hefe-Weizen
Sun Ra Summer Wheat
Funk-n A Wheat – Fruit Beer
Dr. Jones & the Randall of Doom – Experimental Beer

Block Brewing Company
Tan Lines – Hefe-Weizen
Crosseyed Moose – Brown Ale
2 Grand Cru – Belgian Strong Ale
Block Pale Ale
Hop Genius – American IPA
Blood Red Orange IPA
Wired – Coffee Beer
Razzle Dazzle – Kölsch

Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery
Citranimal – American Pale Ale
Dry Line Pils – German Pilsener (Friday only)
Left Seat Michigan Wheat
GoldKey Dry-Hopped Saison (Friday only)
Bramling Summer – Summer Ale (Saturday only)
Flancrest Enterprises – Sour Beer (Saturday only)

Boatyard Brewing Co.
Frosted Harbor Dark Raspberry Wheat
Hockey for Life
Midnight Maple
Calleigh’s Irish Stout
Light on the Bow
Lake Effect Double IPA
Hold Fast Pale Ale

Bravo! Restaurant & Cafe
* Citropolous – American IPA
Mole Porter – Herb & Spice Beer
John and the Tarragon Peach – French Saison
Citrus Nose – Blonde Ale

Brew Detroit
Badass – Golden Lager
Badass Black – Schwarzbier
Peach Wheat
Prickly Pear Pale Ale
Rye Saison
Session IPA

Brew Works of Fremont
Batch 1 – Imperial Stout
Fremont IPA
Strawpricot – Fruit Beer
Maple Brown

Brewery Becker
Vargdricka
Vargdricka Braggot
Session IPA
Hefeweizen
Tripel

Brewery Ferment
Totally Twitterpated (Fermenta collab.) – French Saison
Summer Sencha – American Wheat Beer
Aloha Lady – American IPA
Coconana – Fruit Beer
No Pies Harmed – Fruit Beer
Mango Lime Gose
Cucumber Ginger Gose

Brewery Vivant
* Angelina – Sour Beer
* Habanango – Sour Beer
Harvest Breed – Wild Ale
Zaison – Belgian Saison
Tropical Saison
* Devastation – Barrel-Aged Beer
Farmhand – Farmhouse Ale
Big Red Coq – Hoppy Belgo-American Red Ale

Brickside Brewery
Bohemia Rhapsody – Wheat Wine
UPhill Both Ways – Double IPA
Stone Ship Stout
Fine Day – American Pale Ale
Holy Mole – Experimental Beer

Brooks Brewing
Lil’ Duckas Tube Sock Stash – Session IPA
More on Wit – Belgian Witbier
Goblin King – Double IPA
Spoonful – Sweet Stout
Baba Yaga – American IPA

C.J.’s Brewing Co.
Summerbrew – American Wheat Beer
Vatt 33 I.P.A.
Rich-Hagg Red – Amber Ale
Lower-Straits Stout – Chocolate Beer
Mango Face – Fruit Beer
Double Apricot I.P.A.
Tahoma Saison
Maibock

Canton Brew Works
Weizenheimer – Hefeweizen
Gun Nut Brown – Nut Brown Ale
Scary Cherry and the Dope Fat Beets – Belgian Saison
Woken IPA – Coffee IPA

Cedar Springs Brewing Co.
Klästerer Heller Weissbier – Hefe-Weizen
Klästerer Original Weissbier – Hefe-Weizen
Klästerer Salzburger Märzen
Tim the Enchanter – Belgian Strong Ale
That Rabbit’s Dynamite – Belgian Pale Ale

Cellar Brewing Company
The Last Straw-Berry
Michigan Sunshine – Belgian Witbier
Apricot’s Revenge
Honey Rye
Vienna Lager
Jon Brown – Brown Ale
Incapacitated Ale – American Pale Ale
Pub Seisiún – Session IPA
Monkey Wrench – Imperial IPA
* BBA Hyperion – Barrel-Aged Beer
* BBA Oblivion – Barrel-Aged Beer

Cellarmen’s
Crackhead Jimmy – Belgian Amber
Flight of Freya – Falconers Flight IPA
Farmhouse Saison
* PineApple Cider – MI Apple Cider w/ Pineapple and Honey

Cheboygan Brewing Company
Black Cherry Vanilla Porter
Yuzu Pale Ale
Blood Orange Honey – American Wheat Beer
Blueberry Cream Ale

Chelsea Alehouse Brewery
Silo White – Blonde Ale
Ginger Pale Ale
Roosevelt Rye IPA
Morchella Rye Porter
Hillwalker Wee Heavy – Scotch Ale
Barrel Aged Hillwalker Wee Heavy

Clam Lake Beer Co.
Logger’s Daughter – American Pale Ale
Iron City IPA
Strawberry Rhubarb 2.0 – Fruit Beer
Peacock’s Creed – Imperial Ale aged on Slivovitz Plumbs
Skinny Dipper – American Dark Wheat

Cotton Brewing Company
Always Open – IPA
Putin on a Pony – Imperial Stout
Coco Cow – Sweet Stout
* Mighty Monk – Belgian Quad
Straight Outta Edinburgh – Scottish Ale
Paradise – IPA
Guacamolale
Lady Fingers

Cranker’s Brewery
Accuser Belgian Style Golden Strong
Professor IPA
Big In Japan Session IPA
5th Voyage Coconut Porter
Wandering Wizard Wheat Wine w/ Coffee
Ill Connect IIPA
Honey Kölsch
Lauren Sour Red (6pm Friday)
Accuser Belgian Style Golden Strong on Cherries (2pm Sat.)

Cultivate Brewing Company
Explore – Stout
Navigate – IPA
Pursue – Belgian Witbier
Strive – Belgian Saison

Dark Horse Brewing Co.
Crooked Tree IPA
Double Crooked Tree
Crooked TheraTree Black IPA
Smells Like a Safety Meeting IPA
Smells Like a Citra Safety Meeting IPA
Smells Like a Double Michigan Safety Meeting IPA
Bruce’s Spruce Pale Ale
Rain in Blood Orange Pale Ale
Barracuda Blue – Blueberry Pale Ale
Nuptiale Session IPA
CoffPA Coffee IPA
Kamikaze Kaleidoscope – Belgian Style Wit Bier w/ Orange and Lemon Peel
Raspberry Ale
Amber Ale
Boffo Brown Ale
Family Values Imperial Brown Ale
Reserve Special Black Ale
JAA Raspberry Black Ale
Sapient Trip Ale
HomoSapien Cherry Trippel
Thirsty Trout Porter
3 Pairs of Legs Bourbon Barrel Maple Porter
Whisper Biscuit Imperial Cherry Porter
TOO Cream Stout
TRES Blueberry Stout
FORE Smoked Stout
Sarsaparilla 666 Stout
Plead the 5th Imperial Stout
TOONILLA Coffee Vanilla Cream Stout
Bourbon Barrel Scotty Karate Scotch Ale
Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th Imperial Stout
Bourbon Barrel TRES Blueberry Stout
Bourbon Barrel TOONILLA Coffee Vanilla Cream Stout
Misery Whip American Red Ale aged on Cherry Wood

Dearborn Brewing
West Village Wit – Belgian Witbier
Rouge River Red – Red Ale
IPA
Death By Chocolate Porter

Detroit Beer Company
Baseball Beer – American Pale Ale
Peach Pit Wit – Belgian Witbier
Detroit Dwarf – Altbier
Local 1529 IPA
Fermenta Saison

Dragonmead Microbrewery
Final Absolution – Belgian Trippel
Tuhelles Enbock – Maibock
Castlebrite Apricot Wheat
Redwing Raspberry Wheat
Excalibur Barley Wine (Friday only)
Copper Shield Bitter Harvest – Barleywine (Saturday only)
Chocolate Coffee Stout
Sin Eater – Belgian Strong Ale
Jason’s IPA
Under the Kilt Wee Heavy – Scotch Ale
Crown Jewels IPA

Draught Horse Brewery
Foundation IPA
Loko Sol – Summer Ale
Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout
Fermenta Brew Ninkasi Coffee Barley Stout
Tripel Crown Bourbon Conditioned IPA

Dutch Girl Brewery
Trees DIPA – Double IPA
Settler’s Hard Cider (Saturday only)
BBA Raspberry Farmhouse Ale – Barrel Aged French Saison w/ Raspberry Puree (Friday only)
Raspberry Farmhouse Radler – French Saison w/ Raspberry and Lemonade
BBA Dirty Boots Imperial Milk Stout with Peanut Butter and Serrano Chiles – Barrel Aged (Saturday only)
Dirty Boots Imperial Milk Stout with Cinnamon and Madagascar Vanilla – Barrel-Aged Beer (Friday only)
F.T. Banks ESB – English Bitter (Friday only)
Big and Tall Pale Ale
I Got Your Bock Maibock (Saturday only)

EagleMonk Pub & Brewery
Red Eye Rye
Raspberry Wit – Belgian Witbier
Irish Red
British Dark Mild
All Night IPA

Ellison Brewery and Spirits
Crescent Fresh – American IPA
Relativity – Double IPA
Leaven – Belgian Pale Ale
Tiramisu Coffee Stout
Miami Weiss – Hefe-Weizen

Eternity Brewing Co.
For 5 Years I was Stranded on an Island with Only One Goal: Survive – Imperial IPA
Thunderblizzard – Barrel-Aged Beer
STAR S’MORES: Episode IV, A New Mallow (Fermenta Collab.) – Chocolate Beer
Electric Ember – Chardonnay Barrel Aged ESB
Riddler’s Revenge – Bourbon Barrel Aged Golden Stout
Razzpeño – Raspberry Jalapeño Imperial Hefeweizen
Pinot Hopped Grigio
Midnight Coconut Porter
Rebel Heart – Imperial IPA
The Reserved Brewers’ Brewer’s Reserve – Session Beer

Falling Down Beer Company
King Ziggy – Imperial Stout
Ninja Chicken – American Pale Ale
Scurvy Dan Blood Orange IPA
Angry Beaver – Brown Ale

Farmington Brewing Company
Blood Orange Wheat
Call Sign IPA
Hopperation: Hurry Up and Wait IPL
Mt. Olympus DIPA – Double IPA
Amber Wavers
Mother Mary’s Toffee Stout Firkin (Friday only)
SkittleBrau Firkin – Blonde Ale (Saturday only)
Blonde Otter Gluten Free
ESB

Fenton Brewery
Oaked Imperial Red Ale (Fermenta collab.)
2015 Reserve Bloomin’ Berries Imperial Blonde Wildberry Shiraz
Summershine Wheat
* 2015 St. Gin’s Imperial Whiskey Stout (Friday only)
Yes Honey Amber
2016 Bloomin’ Berries
* Swingin’ Berries Double Cream Stout Blackberry Merlot
Infused Summer Beer (Saturday only)
* Octovus Triple IPA (Friday only)
Unbridled IPA

Fetch Brewing Co.
Mad Swag – Triple IPA
White Lake Sunset – Fruit Beer
Distracted – Dank Pale Ale
Angry Sky – IPA
White Lake Sunshine – Belgian Saison
Pleasure Pit – Apricot Wheat
Imperial Tsarship – Imperial Stout
Ginger Ryptide – Rye Beer

Final Gravity Brewing Company
* BBA Sour Mash Eye Opener (7pm Friday)
* BA Vantablack (3pm Saturday)
Eye-Opener – Imperial Stout
Sambasilmint – French Saison
Hoser Hefie – Hefe-Weizen
The Rock – IPA
The One – IPA
Uranus On Fire – Fruit Beer
Rusty’s Big Ass SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop)
Mojito – Blonde Ale
Asimina – Fruit Beer

Fort Street Brewery
Ale Lincoln – Cream Ale
Not Your Mother’s Shandy – Fruit Beer
Smashing Redx IIRA – Imperial Red Ale (Saturday only)
Stone Cored IPA
Shaky Milk Stout
Twitter my Bitter – ESB (Friday only)
Mexican Chocolate Shaky Milk Stout (3pm Saturday)
Hazelnut Milk Stout (6pm Friday)
Wee Bit Peaty – Scotch Ale

Founders Brewing Co.
* KBS – Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout
All Day IPA – Session Ale
* reDANKulous – Imperial Red IPA
* Barrel Aged reDANKulous – Barrel Aged Imperial Red IPA
* Devil Dancer – Imperial IPA
Sleeper Cell – Imperial IPA
Mosaic Promise – Single Hop Ale
Rubaeus – Fruit Ale
Dirty Bastard – Scotch Ale
Imperial Stout
PC Pils
* Mango Magnifico – High Gravity Fruit Beer
Porter

Frankenmuth Brewery
Rummelstiltskin Maple Porter
Oh My Quad! – Belgian Quad
Tangerino IPA
Sweet Tooth Milk Stout
Big Hoppa – Double IPA
Old Mission Cherry Wheat
Oktoberfest – Marzen
The Hef – Hefeweizen
Batch 69 – American IPA
Old Detroit – Amber Ale
Summertime Sour – Munich Helles

Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co.
Yummy Hoppy – Double IPA
Vanilla Porter
* Burning Sun Redd – Amber Ale
* Magic Trick Hefewiezen
* Misneach Dark Irish Stout
* Barleywine (Friday only)
* Triple IPA (Saturday only)
Geyser Brown

Grand Armory Brewing Co.
Crop Duster Citra IPA
Hop Bomb DIPA
Righteous Ryder – Rye Beer
Haven Hef – Hefe-Weizen (Saturday only)
Nutter Your Business – Stout

Grand Rapids Brewing Co.
Silverfoam – Pilsner
Goldenfoam – Hoppy Kölsch
Rosalynn Bliss – Mango Blonde Ale
MacMillian’s Pale Wheat – Cranberry Hibiscus Pale Wheat
Pannell’s Flanders – Flanders Red
Malty McNulty – Craft Malt Liquor
Downtown Dank – Imperial IPA
The Bee’s Knees – Honey Porter

Grand River Brewery
Monkey Mouth – American IPA
Lake Rat – Cream Ale
Pepino Loco w/ Cucumber & Lime
I’m Bock B.A. – Bock
Hunk A Burnin’ Love – Belgian Strong Ale
Sunburn Stout w/ coconut
Feel the Berliner Weisse w/ paw paw fruit
Ryes and Shine IPA – Coffee Beer

Granite City Food & Brewery
The Northern – Low Alcohol / Light
1999 – Pilsner
Burning Barn – Irish Red Ale
Way Up Yer Kilt – Bourbon Oak-Aged Scottish Ale
Gold Fever – Belgian Strong Ale
Cellar Series Blood Orange (Saturday only)
Cellar Series Tequila Agave (Friday only)
The Bennie – Bock
The Duke – American Pale Ale

Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply
The Spruce Is Loose – Spruce TIP Pale Ale
High Five Mango Pale
Escape – Pina Colada Wit
Front Porch – Guava IPA
Hoppy Bliss – Michigan Hopped IPA
Blissome – Maple Wheat Ale
Bliss Stout – Oatmeal Honey Stout
S’mores Stout
T’rye ME – Triple Rye IPA
Brambler – Blackberry Gose

Great Baraboo Brewing Co.
Caribou Wheat – American Wheat Beer
The Great Bairds-aboo British Summer Ale
Baraboo Steam Beer
Nitro Oatmeal Stout
Honey Rye Pale Ale
IPA Lot 2 – Double IPA

Greenbush Brewing Co.
Juicebox Hero – American Pale Ale
Underwater Space Gator – American Pale Ale
Star Chicken Shotgun – American IPA
Scott Toddy – Cocktail Ale
Dark and Stormy – Cocktail Ale
Pain Killer – Cocktail Ale
Suffering Bastard – Cocktail Ale
Zombie – Cocktail Ale
Gin & Tonic – Cocktail Ale
Margarita – Cocktail Ale
Vodka Cranberry – Cocktail Ale
Black Walnut Manhattan – Cocktail Ale
Sidecar – Cocktail Ale
Mimosa – Cocktail Ale
Rum Runner – Cocktail Ale
Singapore Sling – Cocktail Ale
Fire Ball – Cocktail Ale
Appletini – Cocktail Ale
Mudslide – Cocktail Ale
Vesper Martini – Cocktail Ale
God Father – Cocktail Ale
French 75 – Cocktail Ale
Shirley Temple – Cocktail Ale
Sex on the Beach – Cocktail Ale
Aviation – Cocktail Ale
Black Widow – Cocktail Ale
Beggar’s Banquet – Cocktail Ale
Pina Colada – Cocktail Ale
Grasshopper – Cocktail Ale
Jungle Juice – Cocktail Ale
Jack and Coke – Cocktail Ale
Cosmopolitan – Cocktail Ale
LTD – Old Fashioned – Cocktail Ale

Griffin Claw Brewing Co.
Mr. Blue Sky – American Wheat Beer
Bonnie’s Double IPA
* Harry Cherry – Sour Beer (Saturday only)
* Krakatoa – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)
Dark and Foamy – Experimental Beer
* Flying Buffalo – Barrel-Aged Beer (Friday only)
* Flying Buffalo with Coffee – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)
Lou Lelemon – Belgian Trippel
Wit Your Pants – Belgian Witbier
Birminghamerweisse – Berliner Weisse
Equal Hopportunity – American IPA (Friday only)
Oh’Tay IPA – American IPA (Friday only)
* Apridisiac – Sour Beer (Friday only)
* Undertow – Sour Beer (Saturday only)
Saison St. Claire – French Saison
And So It Goes… – Sour Beer
Oops-a-hefe – Hefe-Weizen (Friday only)
* Hyper Oblivious – Barleywine (Friday only)
10^-12 Pekko IPA – American IPA (Friday only)
Easy Peezy Japaneezy – American IPA (Saturday only)

Grizzly Peak Brewing Co.
Table Dance Pils – German Pilsener
Victor’s Gold – Kölsch
Sheerwater IPA
Shank’d it! – Berliner Weisse

Harsen’s Island Brewery
B.anana A.pricot R.aisin F.ig – German Wheat
Hopsticks IPA
Stan the Man – Farmhouse Ale
The Hump – Helles Bock
CIT – American Wheat
Isla Margarita – Gose
Texas Brown IPA
Chili Stout

HopCat
Beer Right Meow – American IPA
Unicorn On Acid – Mixed Culture Sour Ale
Farm To Face (collab. w/ Pilot Malthouse, Michigan Hop Alliance, & Valley View Farms) – Double IPA
Rainbow Universe – Pale w/Blueberry, Raspberry and Lemon Zest
Light Side Of The Sun – Session Pale with Amarillo
Naughty Nicodemus – Ale w/rice, cucumber, juniper and lime zest
Cherry Nymph – Barrel aged pale sour w/tart cherries
Lost Doses – Brett Wheat Ale

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
* Detroit Surf Company Pale Ale
* Matame Ahorita – Sour Beer
* Weizen Bam – Sour Beer
* No Ka Oi – Sour Beer (Friday only)
* La Vida Improvisacion – Sour Beer (Friday only)
* La Roja – Sour Beer (Friday only)
* Tribute – Amarillo – Sour Beer (Saturday only)
* Rosie del Barrio – Sour Beer (Saturday only)
* Calabaza Boreal – Sour Beer (Saturday only)

Kickstand Brewing Company
Long Strange Trip – Belgian Trippel
N.D.A – Double IPA
Pontoon Pale Ale
Sorachi Blonde
Birch Bark Porter
Witness – Belgian Witbier
Deralia – American IPA
Mandatory Milk Stout

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co.
DRIPA – Double Rice IPA
The Fluffer – Session IPA
Thumper – Coffee-Session IPA
White Devil Double Wit
Mango Fluffer
Blood Orange Fluffer
Blueberry DRIPA
Pineapple Saison
Watermelon Blonde
Ruby Red Grapefruit Wit
Peach Apricot Wit
* Tenacious Cassis

Lansing Brewing Co.
Angry Mayor IPA
Amber Cream Ale
Union Golden Ale
Urban Grove Wheat
Ushanka Baltic Porter
The Boss Double IPA
Soul Slayer Imperial Stout
Anthony Gose

Latitude 42 Brewing Co.
Poppin Pils – Bohemian Pilsner
Beach Cruiser – American Wheat Beer
Nectar Of The Goddess – Fruit Beer
Bitchin Camaro
Wanda – Imperial IPA
I.P.EH! – American IPA
Lucifer’s Cuvee’ – Chocolate Beer
Pale 42

Liberty Street Brewing Co.
Eagle Eye PA – Session IPA
Scribble – Berliner Weisse
Clementine Lemon Thyme – American Wheat Beer
‘Swarm Outside – Honey Beer
Waves of Grain – Hefe-Weizen (Friday only)
Liberty 7 Shocker – Sour Beer
Emperor Norton – Imperial Stout (Saturday only)

Lily’s Brewery & Seafood Grill
Propeller Island Pilsner
Willoughby’s Witbier
Fairbanks Point Framboise – Fruit Beer
Sven & Ollie’s I.P.A.
A. Strange Oatmeal Stout
Barrett’s Brown Ale
Pigeon Cove Vienna Lager
Vikingo Rojo – Imperial Red Ale
Black Rock Point Blackberry Ale

Mishigama Craft Brewing
JimmyJack – American Pale Ale
Mooneye – IPA
Blue Racer – American Wheat Beer
Woodruff’s Porter (Saturday only)
Session IPA

Motor City Brew Works
Summer Brew – American Wheat Beer
Motown Bohemian Lager
Le Rouge – Amber Lager
New Jack Cider – Barrel-Aged Hard Cider
Peaches Rocks! – Wheat Beer

Mountain Town Brewing Co.
Train Wreck – Amber Ale
Iron Horse I.P.A.
Railyard Raspberry Wheat – Fruit Beer
Peach Gruit – Fruit Beer
Sacred Gruit – Herb & Spice Beer
Coal Stoker’s Blackberry – Fruit Beer
Wit Dream – Belgian Witbier
Crazy Train – Black IPA
Belgian Salute – Belgian Tripel
Steam Engine Stout
Easy Rider – Amber Ale
Hoptimal – IPA
Nectar Of the Birch – Experimental Beer
Nectar Of the Maple – Experimental Beer

New Holland Brewing Co.
Dragon’s Milk – Barrel-Aged Beer
Mad Hatter – American IPA
The Poet – Oatmeal Stout
Full Circle – Kölsch
Monkey King – French Saison
Michigan Awesome Hatter – American IPA
Imperial Hatter – Imperial IPA
Tasmanian Hatter – IPA
Paleooza – American Pale Ale
Sundog – Amber Ale
Incorrigible – Sour Beer (Friday only)
Incorrigible Reserve – Sour Beer (Saturday only)
Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Lemon & Raspberry – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)
Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Raspberry (Friday only)
Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Chili – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)
Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Chocolate & Coffee – Barrel-Aged Beer (Friday only)
Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Vanilla Chai – Barrel-Aged Beer (Friday only)
Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Triple Mash – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)
Night Tripper – Imperial Stout

New Holland Brewing Co. (Pub)
The Botanist – Gin Barrel Aged Michigan Wild Ale with Fruit
Pure Brew Porter – Cherrywood Smoked Michigan Porter
MI Dream – Michigan Wild IPA
Pilsen On The Lake – Michigan Pilsener
Mashpaddle – Michigan Collaboration IPA
Shepherd’s Knoll – Michigan Hefeweizen

Newaygo Brewing Co.
Coconut Brown (Saturday only)
Uncommon Espresso Stout (Friday only)
Himalayan Gose – Sour Beer
Party In My Peach – American IPA
BBA Rust Bucket – Barleywine
Dancing Pig – Cream Ale

North Center Brewing Co.
Nice Bloobs – Fruit Beer
Bobby English ESB
Habanero IPA
Tripel – Belgian Trippel
True North Raspberry Wheat
Tunnell Pale Ale
Beer of Kings – American Pilsner
Golden Stout
Birthday SMaSH
Over the Top Hopped – Double IPA

North Peak Brewing Co.
Kuytbier
Rambler – American Pilsner
Cherry Hibiscus Ale – Fruit Beer
Diabolical – American IPA
Archangel – American Wheat Beer

Northern Oak Brewery
Augumented Blonde
Fighting Cock – Irish Red Ale
NorOak Fest – Oktoberfest
Succulent Pale Ale
Battle Alley IPA
Black Eye P Aye
Seeing Dubbel
Seeing Tripel

Northville Winery & Brewing Co.
Rock Me Hopadeus – American IPA
Crimson Dew – Cider
Kick Drum Kölsch
Blonde On Blonde
Nitro Bourbon Hollow – Stout
Nitro Coconut Hollow – Stout

Odd Side Ales
I want My HTV – IPA
Bean Flicker Blonde
Blood Orange IPA
Chicka Chicka Yeah – Belgian Witbier
Lemon Party – Fruit Beer
Citra Pale Ale
Mayan Mocha Stout
* Queen of Tarts
Hipster Brunch Stout
Hazel’s Nuts – Stout

Old Nation Brewing Co.
* Cake Czar – Brown Ale
* Ghost Garden – Belgian Trippel
* Ghost Meat – Sour Beer
* Memphis Flash – Hefe-Weizen
* Easy Tiger – Session IPA
Detroit Pilsner
Detriot Dwarf – Altbier
Detroit Radler

Olde Peninsula Brewpub
Blueberry Java Peanut Butter Ghost of Stout Chocula Jr.
Dark Side of the Moon Landing – Black IPA
Stout Chocula
Razberry Wheat
Blueberry Cream Ale
Spanish Cedar Wood Tornado IPA
Sassafras Wood Tornado IPA

One Well Brewing
Xalapa
Bloody Xalapa
Grandpa’s Hard – Cider
Blueberry Sky – Cider
Only Gose To Show – Sour Beer
Deal Gone Down – Double IPA
Zeus’ Sexual Appetite – Session IPA
Professor Nutbutter’s
* St. Julian’s Adz – Barrel-Aged Beer
Sweet Water Street – Porter
Whoppy – IPA

Ore Dock Brewing Co.
Mango Zee Tango – Sour Saison Oak Aged with Mangoes (Fermenta collab.)
Fresh Coast – Belgian Pale Ale
In Excess – Cask Conditioned Sour Dark Ale Oak Aged with Chocolate and Tart Cherries
Bum’s Beach – American Wheat Beer
Reclamation – American IPA
Gong Show – Double IPA Juiced with Pineapple and Grapefruit Peel
Mysterium Tremendum – Cask Conditioned U.P. Dry Hopped Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Baby Blue Sedan – Sour Brown Ale Oak Aged with Blueberries

Original Gravity Brewing Co.
Southpaw IPA
EZ Duz-it – Session IPA
Root Down Ginger Beer – Herb & Spice Beer
440 Pepper Smoker – Herb & Spice Beer
Two-Wheeler – Belgian Witbier
County Street Amber
Milan Coffee Works Porter
OG Saison 979 – Belgian Saison

Our Brewing Co.
Coconut Battle Axe – Wee Heavy Scotch Ale
Apricot Berliner Weisse
Samba IPA
Andes Mint Milk Stout
C3POat – Concord Grape Pale Ale

Paw Paw Brewing Co.
Currently AV ALE ABLE Black Currant
Raspberry Wheat
White Peach Fuzz on your TU-LIPS
Blood Orange Lace
Grapefruit Watermelon Wheat
Red Tart Cherry
White Grapefruit
Blood Orange White Peach
Summer Apple Wheat
Pineapple Squeeze
Lightly Orange Wheat
Strawberry Wheat
Red Grapefruit
Lemon Drop
Cherry Mango
Mixed Grapes
Coconuts
Lovin’ Lime
Water-Melons
Nap-ON-Your Apri-COT
Peach Tides
Watermelon Grapefruit Lime
Kiwi Lime
Pineapple Cherry Blueberry
Blueberry
Pineapple Cherry
Cherry Apple
Pomegranate
Pineapple Melon
White Grapefruit Blueberry
Pomegranate IPA
Raspberry IPA
Raspberry Lime Hefeweizen
Lime Hefeweizen
Coconut Hefeweizen
Pomegranate Hefeweizen
Blood Orange Hefeweizen
Kiwi Hefeweizen
Hefeweizen
Blueberry Banana Hefeweizen
Apple Amber
Amber Coconut
Coconut Stout
Raspberry Stout
Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary Lime
Bloody Mary Tabasco
Bloody Mary Sriracha
Tart Time Lime
50 Shades of Fruit

Perrin Brewing Co.
* No Rules – Porter
Dark New Day – Barleywine
Blackberry IPA
Juicy Imperial Grapefruit IPA
Parental Guidance Suggested Pear Saison
Honey Bunches of Hops Imperial IPA
QStew Light Lager
Cigar City Collaboration Imperial White IPA
98 Problems IPA – Imperial IPA
Lil’ Griz – Barrel-Aged Beer
You’d Bretta Run – Sour Beer
Grapefruit IPA – Imperial IPA
No Problems – Session Beer

Petoskey Brewing Co.
Cranium Crush – Cream Ale
Horny Monk – Belgian Dubbel
Mind’s Eye PA – IPA
Sour Cherry Wheat – American Wheat Beer
Grape Fruit Shandy – Summer Ale
Session Saison
Petoskey Kölsch
Juniper Rye Bock
Belgian Pale
Belgian Quad
Caged Monkey – Barleywine
Pineapple Coconut Ale – Blonde Ale

Pike 51 Brewing Co.
Hopnosis – American IPA
Heavy Soul – Barrel-Aged Beer (Friday only)
Brett Saison – Wild Ale (Friday only)
Crooked Rode – Wild Ale (Friday only)
Pulp Friction – Fruit Beer (Friday only)
Sensual Bean Batch 4 – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)
Dry Hopped Sour – Wild Ale (Saturday only)
Sour Rye Triple – Wild Ale (Saturday only)
Mojito Pants – Fruit Beer (Saturday only)

Railtown Brewing Co.
Peanut Butter Cocoa Time – Imperial Porter
Citra Warrior – Imperial IPA w/ Honey
Hefeweizen
Hold The Crumpets – Earl Grey English Mild
Eh! Imperial Maple Oatmeal Porter

Redwood Brewing Co.
20th Anniversary Ale – Old Ale
Hairy Lil’ Baby Sista – Session IPL
Summer Ale
Touch Heavy – Wee Heavy Scotch Ale

Right Brain Brewery
* Pussy Punch – IPA
* XOCO Golden Chocolate Ale
* Mangalitsa Pig Porter
* Barrel Aged CEO
* Cherry Pie Whole
* Funky Power – Barrel-Aged Beer
* Sour Owl – Barrel-Aged Beer
* Queen Bean – Barrel-Aged Beer
* Thai Peanut – Amber Ale
Spear Beer – Asparagus Pilsner
Spiney Norman – IPA
Cake Walk Vanilla Cream Ale

River Rouge Brewing Co.
Mango Explosion – Fruit Beer
Key Lime Kölsch
Afternoon Dee-Lite Cranberry Ale – Blonde Ale
* Motor City Gas BA Ale Yes – Imperial IPA
Peanut Butter Chocolate Stencel Stout
Star Date 1.3 Intergalactic Brewing – River Rouge collab. Imperial Pale Ale
Red White and Berry Ale – Fruit Beer
Dr. Dubbel – Belgian Dubbel
Americana Kölsch
Orange Saison

River’s Edge Brewing Co.
Moon Over Moore Lake with Grapefruit – American Wheat Beer
Chipotlaway IPA
BB Indubious Dubbel
BB Pentaverate Wee Heavy
Karate Bonfire Coconut Vanilla Stout
Splendor Solis – French Saison
Dirty Frank – Stout
Milford Pub Ale – English Bitter

Roak Brewing Co.
Live Wire – American IPA
Powerboat – Belgian Witbier
Strawberry Powerboat – Belgian Witbier (Friday only)
Mean Street – Amber Ale
Melonfest – American Wheat Beer
Devil Dog – Oatmeal Stout (Friday only)
Rye Bourbon Smoke On The Porter – Barrel-Aged (Friday only)
Around The Clock – Session IPA (Saturday only)
Strawberry/Rhubarb Tart Star – Sour Beer (Saturday only)
Bourbon Kashmir – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)

Rochester Mills Beer Co.
Rochester Razz Radler – Fruit Beer
Off The Hook California Common
Mills Maibock
18th Anniversary Belgian Quad
Old and Bitter – Old Ale

Rochester Mills Production Brewery
Pine Knob Pilsner
BA Silver Moutain Lager – Barrel-Aged Beer
Newton’s ALEchemy – Double IPA
Twenty-FORE-Seven – Session Beer
Milkshake Stout
BA Imperial Milkshake Stout – Barrel-Aged Beer
Blueberry Pancake Milkshake Stout
Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake Stout

Rockford Brewing Co.
Erdbier – Strawberry Weissbier (7pm Friday, 3pm Saturday)
Little George – Imperial IPA
Paradigm – Michigan Pale Ale
Cernunnos – Scotch Ale
Jiggy Wit It – Belgian Witbier
Rogue River Brown

Round Barn Brewery
Kölsch
Hop Dealer – IPA
Electric Fence – Imperial IPA
Separate Quarters #6 Flandering – Sour Beer
Separate Quarters #7 – Undecided – Sour Beer
Raisin Hell #3 – Chocstar – Sour Beer
Raisin Hell #4 Bourbrowngeoisie – Sour Beer

Royal Oak Brewery
Rose & Orange – Oatmeal Stout
Extra Love – Session Beer
Total Eclipse of the Lager – Schwarzbier
Suicide Blond – Belgian Strong Ale
Comrade Jiri’s – Bohemian Pilsner

Rupert’s Brew House
Farmer’s Daughter – Belgian Saison
Blacker The Berry – Sour Beer (Saturday only)
Double hIghPA – Double IPA
Peanut Butter Porter
2wice Licked Kitty – Apricot Ale (Friday only)

Salt Springs Brewery
HopAzacca IPA
Boreal Forest IPA
Ryepalicious IPA
Kick Axe Kölsch
Heavenly Hefe
Old Miner ESB
Sister Ester’s Saison
Big Brown Bunny Porter
Cocoa Joe Stout – Coffee Beer
Crispy’s Tippel – Triple
Dire Wolf Barleywine

Saugatuck Brewing Co.
* Barrel Aged Imperial Neapolitan Milk Stout (6:30pm Fri. / 3pm Sat.)
Barrel Aged Brown
Starburst Wheat
Backyard IPA – Session Beer
Daze On Saison
Mandarina IPA – Imperial IPA
Neapolitan Milk Stout
Blueberry Maple Stout
SSS – Saugatuck Summer Sipper (Shandy)
Kölsch
Cherry Wheat
Brown Standard (Brown IPA)
Cotton Mouth Quencher – Sour Beer
Tweaked Scot (with coffee) – Scotch Ale (Saturday only)
Belgian Blonde (Saturday only)

Schmohz Brewing Co.
Hopknocker – Imperial IPA
Pickle Tink – Strawberry Wheat Ale
John T. Pilsner
Coconut Crusher – Dry Stout
Peach Cream
Pineapple Ginger Ale
Fermenta Mint Chocolate Chip – Dry Stout

Sherwood Brewing Co.
Mistress Jade’s Hemp Ale – American Pale Ale
Buxom BlonDDe Ale
Entire Buzz Honey Porter
Sourwood Kiwi Lime Sour Ale (6pm Friday)
Agua Fresca Watermelon Mint Lime Cream Ale (1pm Saturday)
Cukuler Ale – Summer Ale
Disco Lemonade – Fruit Beer
Lawnmower IPA – Session IPA
Earl’s Green Tea Lemon Ale – Herb & Spice Beer
Wildflower Honey Hibiscus Saison

Short’s Brewing Co.
Erraticus 4 – Cider
* Sweep the Leg Johnny – Barrel-Aged Beer
So the Saying Gose – Sour Beer
* Compression – Barrel-Aged Beer
* Gin and Juice – Summer Ale
Kölsch 45
Power of Love – Summer Ale
* Strawberry Short’s Cake – Fruit Beer
* Kwikriek – Sour Beer
* Tequila Barrel Aged Nectar de la Vida
A Tribe Called Zest – Double IPA
* Bourbon Slow Jam – Barrel-Aged Beer
Gitchy Gitchy Ooh La La – Kölsch
* Cat’s Pajamas – Double IPA
Psychedelic Cat Grass – Triple IPA
Nicie – Summer Ale (Saturday only)
Orange You Glad I Didn’t call You Honey (Fermenta collab.) – French Saison

Stony Lake Brewing Co.
God’s Wrath – Imperial IPA
Hop Flash – Double IPA (Friday only)
Easy Ryder – Rye Beer (Saturday only)
Too Late Pale (Friday only)
Cascade Amber (Saturday only)

Stormcloud Brewing Co.
Rainmaker – Belgian Pale Ale
That Good Good – Belgo-American Malt Liquor Noir
BBA That Good Good – Bourbon Barrel Aged Malt Liquor Noir
Tijuana Buddha – Belgian Imperial IPA aged in Tequila barrels
Citrus & Gin – Starbelly Saison aged in gin barrels
Blueberry Saison
Cherry Saison
Silver Seven’s Saison (7 Monks collab.) – Hoppy Belgian Saison
Mittington’s Saison (Mitten Bar collab.) – Hoppy Belgian Saison
31 Planes: Plane 8 – Belgian Imperial IPA
Legally Wed & Off to Bed (Fermenta collab.) – Belgian Hibiscus IPA
Confederate Gold – Belgian Blonde fermented with Peaches & Pecans

Tapistry Brewing Co.
Rum BA Quadraphonic – Belgian Quad
Whiskey BA Mi. Stout – Imperial Stout
Nelson’s Empire – American Pale Ale (Friday only)
Enigma – Double IPA
Hansel – Hefe-Weizen
Mr. Orange – Belgian Witbier
Handsome Ransome – Cream Ale
Prehistoric Rhetoric – Old Ale
Citranicity – American Pale Ale
My Oh My – Belgian White IPA
Another One – Irish Red Ale
Reactor – American IPA
Heart Full of Napalm – Double IPA (Saturday only)

Tecumseh Brewing Co.
Boston Cooler – Ginger Beer
Hot Kohkuh Jamocha – Stout
A Finer Temptress – Coffee Beer
Amore IPA
Long Black Train – India Black Ale
Hayden’s Hefeweizen
Pink Sidewinder – Raspberry Wheat Ale
ChurchKey Farms Extra Pale Ale
Officer Reese’s – Chocolate Peanut Butter Beer
Summer Kicks – Kölsch

Tenacity Brewing
Basic Bitch Blonde
Notorious Brown Ale
Blue Collar Pineapple Saison
Midwest Coast IPA
Super Unleaded Dark Wheat
Atwood Amber

Territorial Brewing Co.
Big Yellow Truck – German Pilsener
Battle Creek Lager – Springfielder Lager
Gose Like Swayze
Samsquamch Block Party – Lichtenheiner
Optimus Lime – Kölsch
* Ole – Brettanomyces Danish Pils
Harmonia – Hefe-Weizen
* Three Nancies – Maibock

Texas Corners Brewing Co.
Cherry Hard Cider
Blood Orange Fruitridge Wheat
Summer Stampede – Imperial IPA
P-51 Porter

The Livery
* Maillot Rouge – Barrel-Aged Beer
* Chocolate Cherry Love Pump – Imperial Stout
Evergreen Warrior – Double IPA
Silver Queen – Munich Helles
Butterfly Effect – Belgian White IPA
Summit Pale
* Strawberry Silver Queen – Munich Helles (Saturday only)
* Blackberry McGilligan’s – American IPA (Friday only)

The Mitten Brewing Co.
Sour Sahti – Sour Beer
Death to Flying Things – Imperial Stout
Dock’s No-No – Double IPA
Fermenta Collaboration – Sour Beer
Teddy Rasberry – American Wheat Beer
Triple Crown Brown – English Mild
Country Strong – American IPA
Peanuts & Crackerjack – Porter

Third Monk Brewing Co.
* Lyon Pride – English Pale Ale
* Rood Donker – Belgian Dubbel
* Hop Tango – American IPA

Thumb Brewery
Amber Lager
Gose
Quinn’s Irish Red
Oatmeal Stout
Barleywine
Chelsberry Fields Forever – Fruit Beer

ThumbCoast Brewing Co.
Bourbon Barrel Trainbridge – Imperial Stout
Bourbon Barrel Huron Selkie – Scottish Ale
Rise Of The Imperialist – Imperial IPA
Mamie: The Tropical Destroyer – Experimental Beer
Hitchhiker IPA
Poho Pils – German Pilsener

Tibbs Brewing Co.
Strawberry BlondeShell – Fruit Beer
Citra and Take IT – American IPA
Ben Jonesin Chocolate Toffee Porter
Hell-Jen Belgian – Belgian Trippel
Lavander BlondeShell – Herb & Spice Beer
* BA Ben Jonesin’ Chocolate Toffee Porter – Barrel-Aged Beer

Traffic Jam & Snug
Soignuers Noir – Black IPA
ShenghaIPA
Tango Mango – Biere de Garde (Friday only)
Blemon Berry – Biere de Garde (Saturday only)
Rerum Politicarum Porter
Altes – Munich Helles

Trail Point Brewing Co.
CIPApotamus – American IPA
Henry Lee – Old Ale
Toasted Brunette – Brown Ale
Dr. Peelgood – Fruit Beer
Kilt Klutcher – Wee Heavy Scotch Ale
* Kalem Club – Barrel-Aged Beer
Judo Hop – Double IPA

Tri-City Brewing
Hell’s Half Mile – Munich Helles
Vienna Lager
Belgian Wit – Belgian Witbier
Hefeweizen
Cherry Torchon – Fruit Beer
Intergalactic Jack – American Pale Ale
Charity Island – American IPA
Ruckinator – Doppelbock
Belgian Trippel
Giant Slayer – Imperial Stout
* 2014 Shovel Strong – ESB (Friday only)
* Brewbin – Rye Beer (Saturday only)
* Gin Jack – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)
* Reggie’s Little Brother – Barrel-Aged Beer (Saturday only)

Unity Vibration Living Kombucha Tea
* Ginger Beer – Kombucha Beer
* Bourbon Peach – Kombucha Beer
* Elderwand – Kombucha Beer
* Hoochie Boochie – Kombucha Beer
* Green Antheia (green tea hibiscus Fermenta collab.) – Kombucha Beer
* Strawberry Rhubarb (Tea) – Kombucha Beer
* Spice Bunny (carrot ginger Tea) – Kombucha Beer

Vander Mill
Totally Roasted – Cider
IPA
Pilsner
Fruit Beer

White Flame Brewing Co.
Super G – American IPA
Double Tap – Session IPA
* Bourbon Barrel Black Sheep – Black Ale
* Kentucky Kiss – Bourbon Barrel Aged Scottish Ale
Gilligan’s Crush – Ginger Pale Ale
Red Shoes – Habanero Pale Ale

Witch’s Hat Brewing Co.
Train Hopper – IPA
Thrash Punk Coffee Kölsch
Andrew Gose Grapefruity – Sour Beer
Rez Gets Smashed – Double IPA
DragonTrax – Barrel-Aged Beer
Night Fury w/Vanilla bean – Barrel-Aged Beer
Cookies ‘n Cream Night Fury – Barrel-Aged Beer
Chocolate Espresso Night Fury – Barrel-Aged Beer
Royal Canadian Kilted Mirror Thief – Barrel-Aged Beer
Batch 500 Sour Train Hopper – Sour Beer
Wine Barrel Gose – Sour Beer
A Saison Named Marcus – Sour Beer
Fermenta Salted Caramel Brown

Wolverine State Brewing Co.
Gulo Gulo IPL – India Pale Lager
Raucher – Smoked Lager
Faustian – Baltic Porter
Five Shores – Blonde Lager
Verano – Mexican Amber Lager
Cereza Rey – Cherry Cream Stout Lager
Barenmarder – German Pilsener
Carnivora – Belgian-style IPL
Au Sable – Rye IPL
Wolverine Premium Lager – Golden Lager
West Side Wheat – American Wheat Lager
Barista – Coffee Lager
* Massacre ’14 – Imperial Dark Lager aged in Bourbon Barrels (Saturday only)

Woodward Avenue Brewers
ALTwisted (GreenBush Brewing Co. collab.) – Altbier
Rasberry Cream Ale
Detroit Maiden IPA
Passenger – Porter
No Witty Name – Belgian Witbier
Smoked Honey Imperial Blonde
Wee Horse – English IPA
Saratoga Pale

*Two token beers

TOTAL BREWERIES: 137

TOTAL BEERS: 1334

Friday tickets are still available. Purchase here.

winter beer fest

There’s something about having over 1,000 of the most cared for craft beers at your mitten-covered fingertips that makes standing outside in winter weather simply worth it. For the Michigan Brewers Guild’s 11th annual Winter Beer Fest, they recognized the increasing demand for their signature February event and for the second year in a row they re-upped adding Friday making it a well deserved two-day event.

For those who weren’t quick enough to snag a ticket for today, which sold out in minutes, Dianna Stampfler, Public & Media Relations for the Guild, welcomed the public to consider Friday in an effort to be a part of something new. Less crowds, shorter lines and special tappings that might not be repeated today were obvious benefits to making day 1 of WBF the new norm. Truthfully, she acknowledged, “you could actually still get tickets yesterday, too.” However, after the intimate experience yesterday offered, we don’t think it’ll be long before the secret about Friday gets out.

Before the gates opened to the public, members of the Guild were privy to an Enthusiast Hour. A worthwhile membership perk available upon joining, this gave the ultra-dedicated a nearly private hour of being able to sample at their leisure. As soon as the public entered, we met Kara Kanwischer, 21, of Grand Rapids – the first person through. This was her first beer fest experience. When asked about what she looked forward to most, Kanwischer set the tone for the rest of the day — “I’m just pumped to be able to experience all these new beers, and then travel to visit the breweries in person.”

winter beer fest

“Plus, Saturday was sold out,” she added.

Not short on passion or creativity, brewers brought their A game. Known for their wildly ambitious homemade ingenuity, Dark Horse Brewing Co. brought a replica of the Mackinac Bridge as their “booth.” Their owner and fearless leader Aaron Morse casually told us, “Yeah, we just came up with idea this past Tuesday [to do something new and crazy], and built it Wednesday and yesterday.” He joked, half seriously, “We’re kind of known as ‘Last Minute Brewing Co.’” Still, Morse and Co. managed to pull it off. In addition to their large-scale interactive set design, they brought big, higher ABV beers to battle the cold. Morse recommended and poured us a sample of Blueberry Double Crooked Tree. But, there are also blood orange, coffee, and hot pepper variants for when you cross that bridge.

Our state’s craft beer scene is a team sport. Tom Payne, Director of Artistic Fermentation at 57 Brew Pub & Bistro, was all smiles showing off their Rally Round the Family. A wild fermented version of their 57 Chevy Michigan IPA, Payne proudly shared, “In twenty years, that’s the BEST beer I’ve ever made!” He was quick to not take all the credit. Payne made sure to sincerely thank Jeff Williams, head brewer at Pike 51 and Steve Berthel, Head Pub Brewer at New Holland Brewing. Williams shared ten-year-old barrels that were used for his Renegades of Funk, and Berthel supplied the wild cultures. Rage Against the Machine much? Testify.

Payne showed a sincere love for his craft and the people who help him keep it funky. Check out his ShutterBug Cherry Saison, which he brewed with MittenBrew Owner, Steph Harding — lovingly named in her honor because she’s pretty good with a camera, too. When asked what sparked them brewing together, he didn’t hesitate, “Why not? We’re friends.”

Before we switched gears to dark beers, Griffin Claw Brewing Co., turned us on with their Apridisiac – a wild ale soured with apricots that carried an even balance of sweetness to balance the tartness. And then, we took a hard turn to sampling Flying Buffalo, a bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout. Attendees today, however, will get to try its coffee variant — but it’s the Krakatoa, also tapping today, that will likely get you hot and bothered. This Russian imperial stout is aged for a couple days with ghost peppers. Angie Williams, self-proclaimed Cellar Bitch (she’s actually the biggest sweetheart), said she had to wear a mask and gloves when blending the peppers and adding them to the tank. “It was brutal,” she said, “but it’ll warm your gullet.” Andy Jarois, in packaging and design, sold us by promising “it’s a really good throat feel.”  

While you’re waiting for your throat to cool off, go get in line early for one of sixteen Dragon’s Milk Reserve variants at New Holland Brewing’s Stop and Taste trailer. Their campground vibe compound offers a tricked out Airstream (with built-in tap system) to relax in, handcrafted lounge chairs, fire pit and giant Jenga. You’re going to need a place to hang out for a minute if you try to tackle their bourbon barrel stout portfolio.

One of New Holland’s partners and resident “Beervangelist” Fred Bueltmann, also VP of Brand and Lifestyle, said making all the Dragon’s Milk variants happen was “a great marriage between our marketing team and brewers.” It started from a casual roundtable idea late last year that turned into a whiteboard wish list of close to fifty variants. Bueltmann and team take the Michigan Brewers Guild festivals very seriously. “We know the audience is thirsty and wants something special. Our attempt to pull this off is really just a response to that expectation.”

Winter_Beer_Festival16 (14)

While taking our time with our pour of Dragon’s Milk Reserve with coconut aged in a rum barrel, we chatted with Dave Fischer of Grand Rapids, who was enjoying Dragon’s Milk Reserve Sarsaparilla. Fischer, who also attended on Friday last year came prepared yesterday with a short list of essential beers he wanted to try. “I could be here all day and still not try everything I want — there’s just so many good beers.” Well-stocked with a pretzel, meat and cheese necklace, before he excused himself to cross off another beer on his list, Fischer said of anyone hesitating to attend, “I wouldn’t let the cold hold me back. This is such a good time.”

Greenbush Brewing Co. also went all in. Their typical beer fest modus operandi is to bring a few dozen beers, and yesterday was no different. They brought thirty-nine. And, if you don’t dally, you should be able to catch most of them still today. Marketing Director Aaron Darling counted them off for us. Nine were barrel-aged. Six were imperial cream stouts – five of those were variants of their smooth and roasty Pain: Cranberry, Peach, Mint, Peanut Butter and Honey Apple. And, three variants of Mr. Hyde, their coffee cream stout (Strawberry Vanilla, Chocolate and Orange) – all made with coffee from Infusco Coffee Roasters.

Greenbush’s Brewery Operations Manager Tyler Ream explained how, and why, they tackle nearly forty beers. “We love to experiment. With small batches, we can try something we haven’t done before and test whether it could turn into something bigger,” said Ream. They brought an army of fifteen employees as ambassadors to engage with guests for their feedback on what beers work and which ones could be tweaked. Interestingly, aside from the brewers, the festival beers are also a surprise to the staff working their taps – to keep the excitement about what they’re offering fresh and authentic. Greenbush owner Scott Sullivan echoed their philosophy to not deliver something static, “Festivals like this are an opportunity to crush what’s typical.”

The thread among breweries that they care about delivering a special experience to the people was consistent and sincere. Bill White, owner of White Flame Brewing Co., said, “This event is our Super Bowl. It’s our opportunity to prepare for 6-8 months to bring awareness to our modest brewery in Hudsonville.” For the past four years, White and his wife Jenn “The Flame” have worked diligently to constantly improve their increasingly popular bottle releases out of their taproom. The demand for Black Flame, their anniversary bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout with maple, has gotten so high that he intentionally allocates enough for the Winter Beer Fest, he says, “to give as many people as possible a chance to try it.”

To be in the company of over 120 breweries and thousands of your new best friends you haven’t met yet, Winter Beer Fest is an undeniably cool experience. Try a new beer you otherwise wouldn’t, or get another pour of the one you just fell in love with. Either way, bundle up and get here.

 

Photography: Bri Luginbill

michigan craft beer

LANSING, Mich—Craft beer enthusiasts are passionate about Michigan brews…and February is the perfect time to fall in love with rich, chocolaty and fruity beers. As you head out with your sweetheart this year for Valentine’s Day, consider ordering up a pint of one of these deliciously romantic Michigan made libations recommended by the Michigan Brewers Guild.

ARBOR BREWING COMPANY, Ann Arbor

Espresso Love (7.5%ABV | 15 IBUs). Oatmeal and 20 pounds of fresh roasted 100% fair-trade coffee, from the nearby Ugly Mug Café Brewed, contribute to a mildly chalky espresso character balanced by a rich, sweet creamy maltiness. The coffee finish dissolves into chocolate, with a slight roasty bitterness. Pairs well with desserts, especially dark chocolate, raspberries, and cheesecake.

ARCADIA ALES, Battle Creek

Cocoa Loco Triple Chocolate Stout (7% ABV | 39 IBUs). This award-winning beer gets its rich flavor from Simpson Chocolate, Weyerman Chocolate and Crisp Chocolate malts. The addition of lactose lends the beer a creamy quality- not unlike a milkshake- while the Blackstrap Molasses adds rich, burnt, syrupy flavors.  Flavors of baker’s chocolate and espresso dominate, while rich malty flavors and a subtle kiss of hops add nice balance, making this a truly one-of-a-kind BIG beer.

BELL’S BREWERY, Galesburg / Kalamazoo  

Smitten Golden Rye Ale (6.0% ABV | 42 IBUs). This spring seasonal offers rustic flavors from rye malt combined with citrusy, resinous hop aroma from Pacific Northwest varieties to create a crisp, refreshing take on the classic pale ale.

BREWERY TERRA FIRMA, Traverse City

Ancho Chili Dutch Double Chocolate Porter (5.3% ABV). There’s a special magic that happens between chilies and chocolate that was first utilized in ancient Latin America and still weaves its spell today. Ancho Chili Dutch Double Chocolate Porter showcases the perfect balance of chili flavor and warmth combined with dark chocolate. This is not a hot pepper beer – the warmth from the chilies builds slowly, enhancing the character of the beer without becoming dominant. Far from being a novelty beer, the richness of chocolate malts and Dutch cocoa combined with the deep, smoky flavor imparted by whole Ancho chilies while the beer is conditioning will keep them coming back for more.

ETERNITY BREWING, Howell

Imperial Cocoa Cherry (9% ABV | 80 IBUs). This robust imperial stout is like chocolate covered cherries in a glass, complete with a kiss of cherry sweetness—like a loving embrace. This beer will pair well with all of your Valentine’s Day desserts.

FOUNDERS BREWING COMPANY, Grand Rapids

Founders Porter (6.5% ABV | 45 IBUs). Described as “Dark, Rich and Sexy,” this beer pours silk black with a creamy tan head. The nose is sweet with a strong chocolate and caramel malt presence and no absence of hops gives this beer the full flavor you deserve and expect…it’s cozy like velvet. This 2010 World Beer Cup silver medalist is described as “a lover, not a fighter.”

GRAVEL BOTTOM BREWERY, Ada

Lion Heart (6.8% ABV | 36 IBUs). Forget the box of chocolates, let your lover’s sweet tooth indulge in the Lion Heart, an amorous robust porter made even more sensual with the addition of raspberry puree and cacao nibs. Luscious chocolate notes balance against the coffee and roast malt profile with accents of fruity tartness from the raspberry.

Susie Q (4.9% ABV | 16 IBUs). What’s better than a bouquet of flowers for your craft beer sweetheart? A bouquet of flavor from Susie Q, a cream ale brewed with hibiscus and rose hips. Soft smelling as a rose and light as a sunny day, Susie Q exhibits light malt sweetness which transitions to delicate citrus and floral flavors of the rose and hibiscus.

HARMONY BREWING, Grand Rapids  

Winter Nights (8% ABV) – the toasted aroma, smooth maltiness and slight chocolate and coffee notes give this winter warmer the tools to keep you and your loved one warm on a cold winter night!

JOLLY PUMPKIN, Dexter / Ann Arbor / Detroit / Traverse City 

iO Saison (6.8% ABV). Part of the Baudelaire series, this beer will capture the hearts of art and artisan beer lovers alike. Drawn in by the historic elegance of the label design and then held tight by the rapture of flavors, it will be released in limited quantities. iO Saison is brewed in a lovely fashion, with rose hips, rose petals and hibiscus. Yet, don’t be easily deceived by her looks, for like love – she can be oh so dangerous. Available in late February.

LAKE CHARLEVOIX BREWING COMPANY, Charlevoix

Love Fuel (3% ABV | 6 IBUs). This raspberry Berlinerweiss looks like pink lemonade and smells like a fresh combination of fruit and German yeast with a tasty, bubbly flavor.

MOUNTAIN TOWN STATION, Mount Pleasant

Doctor Love (8% ABV | 18 IBUs). This imperial red ale with ale brewed with eight different invigorating herbs and a touch of flavor hops.

Love Potion #8 (7.5% ABV | 32 IBUs). This double chocolate stout is brewed with four different invigorating herbs, to get the blood flowing.

Sacred Gruit (5.8% ABV | 4 IBUs). The flagship gruit brewed with 3 different herbs that stimulate the mind, create euphoria and enhance sexual drive. For a little added fun, try the Peach Gruit, with peace juice added.

Chocolate Vibrant Stout (9% ABV). This imperial stout is full of flavor from chocolate, with aphrodisiacal herbs added for her pleasure.

NEWAYGO BREWING CO., Newaygo

Sweetheart Stout (5.8% ABV | 35 IBUs). This oatmeal stout is blended in three steps, with pureed raspberries.

NEW HOLLAND BREWING COMPANY, Holland

The Poet (5.2% ABV | 37 IBUs). This is a romantic offering for Valentine’s Day. This beer reveals a rich, smooth malt character enveloped in tones of roast and chocolate. A soft mouth-feel brings luxurious flavors and a soothing aroma. The Poet is as versatile as it is delicious – the perfect accent to any chocolate dessert.

NORTH PEAK BEER, Dexter / Detroit

Dubious Black Chocolate Stout (5.3% ABV | 50 IBUs). Sporting its “giant man-eating beaver” icon, this beer pays homage to Northern Michigan’s Beaver Island. This beer has the perfect combination of chocolate with roast and black malts, resulting in a smooth and rich beer. Judicious use of hops brings out a complex, yet subtle bittering, finished off with a big Goldings nose. This swirl of aroma, flavor and body is underscored by the rich, dark chocolate that is added at the end of the boil.

OUR BREWING COMPANY, Holland

Shot Through the Heart (9.5% ABV | 30 IBUs). This imperial porter is aged on cacao nibs, giving it a big, smooth, malty sweetness, with notes of dark chocolate, dried fruit and caramel.

ROCHESTER MILLS BEER CO., Rochester / Auburn Hills

Milkshake Stout (5.3% ABV | 20 IBUs). The combination of four different malts, along with a low hop level creates a deep dark beer featuring rich, roasted, malt flavors. The addition of lactose (milk sugar) adds complexity, body, and a residual sweetness lending a smooth creamy texture to this full-flavored brew. Once a seasonal offering in the pub, now prominently featured in state-wide distribution due to popular demand.

Paint Creek Porter (6.0% ABV | 21 IBUs). This pub-only offering is a robust beer that features a rich, velvety chocolate malt flavor that will compliment any chocolate dessert.

ROCKFORD BREWING, Rockford

Hoplust IPA (7.1% ABV | 70 IBUs). A profoundly hoppy hand-crafted American IPA, with a proprietary blend of six different hop varieties for a unique flavor experience. An intense bouquet of fresh hops will greet you on the nose, followed by the bursting tropical, citrus and piney flavors on your palette. The approach to this IPA is to focus more toward satisfying the craving for hop flavor than bitterness.

SHORTS BREWING, Bellaire

Hot Loins. A beer brewed with aphrodisiacs: Pomegranate, vanilla, honey and the most powerful aphrodisiac of all time – Tongat Ali – aka long jack.

Love Knife (6.7% ABV – 45 IBU) is a brownish red Belgian ale that explodes with aromas of strawberry, banana, and nectarine. Malt sweetness is quite low, allowing for the fruit flavors to be apparent throughout the beer.

Of course, there are countless other beers to LOVE…and the best is the one in your hand. Hopefully, that’s locally-crafted here in Michigan!

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