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batch brewing

Detroit, Mich. — From September 14 to September 16, Batch Brewing Company will be celebrating their 4th Oktoberfest since opening their doors in 2015.

While the brewery dons lederhosen and the requisite decorations, they also reassume their alter-ego as Batch Brauerei, focused entirely on the Oktoberfest experience. Throughout the weekend of celebration, Batch Brauerei’s beer menu will be entirely made of German-style beers, with the exception of their Feelgood Tap collaboration with Hatch Detroit ‘The GORGAntuan’.

batch brewingThe weekend will feature German-style food, as well, highlighting Chef Matt Johnson’s take on Oktoberfest fare, including half roasted chicken, cheese spatzle, and pretzels, among other items.

German music, food, and beer are all a part of Batch Brauerei’s Oktoberfest party, one of the highlights of the brewery’s year. Their Festbier is available on draft at the brewery, as well as in cans. The event is open to the public and free to attend, but a ticketed option exists, which includes a meal, 1L stein, a beer, and reserved seating. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Batch Brewing Company has been voted as Best Microbrewery / Brewpub by both Metro Times and Hour Detroit, Best Brewery in Michigan according to Yelp, and was chosen as the #3 Best New Brewery in Michigan by MLive in 2016. Winners of Hatch Detroit in 2013, Batch Brewing Company opened their doors in early 2015. Batch Brewing Company’s original location is at 1400 Porter Street in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, and recently launched the Batch Brewing Company Funk Room at 2841 East Grand Boulevard.

 

Atwater

Grand Rapids, Mich – As Atwater Brewing approaches its one-year anniversary at its Grand Rapids location, the Detroit-based craft brewery kicks off celebrations with Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 9. This 21 and over event will take place at its downtown Grand Rapids location at 201 Michigan Street NW from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Attendees can expect true Oktoberfest festivities with German-style food, German-style beers, and live music. They can also compete in shuffleboard and the traditional Oktoberfest “mug holding contests.” The winners will receive gift cards and Atwater swag. The first 25 people to attend will get a free mug club membership for a year.

This is an rain-or-shine event with tented outdoor areas. No advance ticket purchases are necessary, but attendees will be asked to show identification at the door.

Other Atwater Brewery News

As parking becomes a growing concern in downtown Grand Rapids, Atwater Brewing will now provide parking validation tickets to visitors, covering one hour of parking. The closest parking lots available to the public are located under DeVos Place and near the government buildings. Street parking is also available on Monroe Avenue and is free after 6 p.m. and all day on Sundays.

DETROIT – An homage to traditional German beer, food, and music was served up at Batch Brewing Company in Detroit this past weekend. Many guests donned Dirndl and Lederhosen as they drank from commemorative beer steins at the brewery’s first Oktoberfest celebration.

“We have a lot of love for German beer, and this is the time of year that you get to worship at that altar,” said Stephen Roginson, Founder and Head Brewer at Batch Brewing Company.

Roginson, inspired by a 2010 trip to Munich’s Oktoberfest, set out to create an alter ego for the brewery for the duration of the festival. The transformation into Batch Brauerei was complete with themed decor, a take on Oktoberfest food by Chef Matt Johnson, and four German-style beers on tap: a Fest Bier, Dunkel, Hefeweizen, and Kolsch.

One hundred forty tickets were pre-sold for each day, and the brewery saw 300 people in attendance on Saturday, and 225 people on Sunday. Ticket-holders began their celebration as early as 1 p.m. and carried on until the festival closed at 1 a.m. Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday.

Fest-goers gathered outside the brewery in a large beer tent that was decked out in Bavarian blue and white decor. They dined on a traditional menu of Bavarian pretzels, roast chicken, spaetzle with Gruyere cheese, sauerkraut, and spiral sliced radishes. In addition to a meal, ticket-holders received a commemorative one-liter stein and a fill-up of their choice.

Dick Wagner & Die Rhinelander band provided a soundtrack of lively German classics throughout both days, and a DJ carried the party atmosphere late into the night.

Though the weekend’s celebration is over, Batch will host an Oktoberfest Stein Club through Oct. 2, offering stein fills at a reduced cost for those who purchased traditional glassware at the festival.

As for next year, Roginson hinted at plans for a bigger celebration.

“I am excited for how Oktoberfest will be developing in Detroit for the broader beer community,” he said.

WARREN — As the last kegs were tapped and the final mugs were filled during the closing weekend of Munich’s Oktoberfest, another celebration was happening closer to home — Kuhnhenn-style.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. in Warren held its own Oktoberfest celebration on Saturday, complete with a tented biergarten, German food, live entertainment and plenty of festbier.

“What’s cool about our Oktoberfest is, well, everything,” said Jon Piepenbrok, Kuhnhenn Director of Marketing and Sales, adding that the brewery tries to schedule the annual event a little later in the season, after other metro Detroit breweries have held their own festivities.

“We don’t like to directly compete with our friends who do Oktoberfest,” he said.

Kuhnhenn’s staff members were decked out in dirndl dresses and lederhosen as they poured and served the brewery’s diverse selection of beer, wine and mead. Kuhnhenn Fest, a traditional märzen-style beer, was especially popular, and visitors even had a chance to take a sip (or two) out of a communal, two-liter glass drinking horn that made its way around the crowd.

Piepenbrok noted that Kuhnhenn Fest is unique in that it’s brewed year-round rather than seasonally, so it can be enjoyed any time. It was one of a few beers, along with Fluffer IPA and Oatmeal Stout, that could be purchased in the biergarten during the daylong celebration.

Oktoberfest also featured food from Dan the Smokin’ Man, who put his own spin on traditional German fare. The menu included bratwurst, krautwurst, weisswurst, knackwurst and eisbein (a smoked pork shank), as well as German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage and apple dumplings.

The day’s revelry continued into the evening, with musical performances by George Heritier and the Orbitsuns.

Kuhnhenn fans can expect even more events down the road, including off-site “tap assaults,” special bottle releases at its popular Winter Solstice celebration and the opening of the brewery’s new production facility in Clinton Township.

“I’d like to have (the production facility) open prior to St. Patrick’s Day,” said Piepenbrok. “Our plan is to have the production facility online at the end of February.”

Next up, Kuhnhenn will release its All Hallows Ale, brewed with locally-grown Michigan pie pumpkins, on Oct. 20.

5.2% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Brown with small white head.
Aroma: Nutty with some spice.
Taste: Nutmeg and cinnamon, with a bit of vanilla and malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, with very low carbonation.

Schmohz’s easy drinking, smooth Oktoberfest is a great autumn-time beer with spices and a bit of sweetness throughout each sip. By leaving out much of the carbonation many are accustomed to, you can get a smooth brew with tastes of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and sweet malt. Overall this is a great introductory fall brew, and one that I rather enjoyed.

6% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Reddish orange hue with a small head.
Aroma: Fruity with some spice.
Taste: Biscuit and malt with some fruity flavors. Decent amount of spice but not overpowering.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Tri-City Oktoberfest features a twist on your typical Marzen style brew — there’s a bit of a biscuity malt feeling. While spice and sweetness are the story of this brew, it isn’t overwhelming and is rather enjoyable. This is a simple, easy drinking brew, but one of my fall favorites.

5.27% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Copper colored with a minor head.
Aroma: A bit hoppy, with some floral notes.
Taste: Malt-forward with some bread-like and caramel qualities.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a bit of bitterness at the finish.

Frankenmuth’s Oktoberfest is a classic version of the fall seasonal, with grain, spices, bread-like qualities and caramel. Hops take away from most of the sweetness that would otherwise be present, and the brew is pretty drinkable for this type of brew.

It’s no surprise well over half of the 52 breweries at Saturday’s Detroit Fall Beer Fest offered at least one fall-specific brew.

While some breweries stuck to typical nutmeg and cinnamon spices, others showcased a bit more creativity at the event, hosted at Detroit’s Eastern Market.

Jolly Pumpkin, out of Dexter, led the way with its pumpkin beer — La Parcela (6% ABV). Its first and only pumpkin beer, this sour ale was orange in color with a slight fruit smell and no head. I was expecting a bit more sour flavor, though its mild taste led way for the pumpkin spices — with some hints of citrus flavors. Overall this was a very good brew, and equally mixed the fall flavors we’ve all become used to with a bit of sourness that only Jolly Pumpkin can be known for.

Wolverine State Brewing Co. also performed strong, with its Oktoberfest (6.5% ABV). A modern twist on the classic we’ve all known to come and love, the Ann Arbor brewery featured a beer with much more spice flavor than most fall beers. I could definitely taste various spices with minor hops and a bit of a sour fruit smell. The brew had minimal head, and was surrounded by a dark orange color. Wolverine also showcased its Curcurbita Smiles Pumpkin Lager at the event.

Right Brain Brewery took a different approach, focusing on pumpkin pie rather than generic fall spices in its Punkin’ Pie Whole (5.5% ABV). A collaboration between Right Brain and the Grand Traverse Pie Company, I could definitely taste nutmeg in this brew — it smelled and tasted very much like pumpkin pie. The light orange brew featured a minor amount of hops and medium head.

Motor City Brewing Works also brought an Oktoberfest (5.2% ABV) to the festival. A brewery that’s becoming more and more known for its hard ciders, this brew was probably the most malty and hoppy fall beer I tried. The amber colored beer featured a well-balanced array of fall spices, and also had a minor fall scent.

But probably one of the brews I was most excited for was New Holland Brewing Company’s Barrel Aged Ichabod. Usually a well-balanced brew with lots of flavor at 5.2% ABV, the barrel aged version toned down on the spices and flavor, and almost seemed too watery. It was still very good, but the balance wasn’t there as I have become so accustomed to. The amber beer poured with little to no head. It was served very, very cold, which might have taken away from the overall enjoyment of it and ability to pull in all the flavors.

While the pumpkin brews weren’t the only beers showcased at the festival, they certainly played a big part. I also enjoyed a Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead the 5th (14% ABV), from Dark Horse Brewing Co., featuring a heavy bourbon flavor and slight oaky smell. The brew was very creamy, with both chocolate and leather-like flavors present. Very strong, it was more of a “sipping” beer, though it was probably one of the best I tried.

Likewise, Short’s Brewing Company also delivered The Bourbon Wizard (11% ABV), with similar overtones. The bourbon wasn’t quite as prevalent, and there were also minor hints of vanilla in the brew. Like most of the brews from Short’s, the brew didn’t disappoint.

The next Michigan Brewers Guild beer festival will take place Feb. 25 in Grand Rapids at Fifth-Third Ballpark. Tickets go on sale Dec. 1.