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7 Reasons I like My Craft in a Can


7 Reasons I’ll take my craft in a can 




1. Recylcemania!

Aluminum cans are the most easily and frequently recycled beverage package in the world. Considering the amount of beer consumed personally and by the general public, it makes sense to ensure that the mass amount of empties are easily recycled. Plus, one recycled can saves approximately 6 oz. of energy, which can then be used to make more beer!

2. Keepin’ it fresh

Because cans block out light and oxygen better than bottles, they are able to protect the beer and keep it fresher for longer

3. Less is more

Living in an upstairs apartment leads to the appreciation of the small things in life; primarily the small, light things that are easier to carry up and down stairs without bags breaking or dropping during the trek.

4. Crushin’ it

Cans are ideal for feats of strength that showcase a hand’s ability to crumple up really thin aluminum. Impressive, right?

5. Unbreakable

Although ideal for hand crushing, they are a far better choice to bring along to fun activities like hiking, golfing, camping. Or, for the couch potato, they won’t break if dropped carelessly on the floor from the couch during a TV watching marathon.

6. Cool Cans

Cans are able to cool much quicker than bottles. In fact, in a pinch, you can speed chill it with this handy tutorial by Alton Brown.

7. CanRevolution – Join in!

The craft CanRevolution officially started with Oskar Blues in 2002 with the distribution of Dale’s Pale Ale in a can. Since then the CanRevolution has blown up as more craft brewers and drinkers realize the myth of the metallic-tasting can and recognize canned craft as an innovative way to provide great product in an environmental package.


Here’s a list of our Brewers who provide craft in cans.


Oskar Blues: Jumpstarted the CanRevolution by choosing to start distributing with cans and never looked back.


Rochester Mills Beer Company: Rochester Mills recently began distributing their beer across the Great Beer State and started off right, with 16 oz. cans in 4 packs.


Six Point Brewing: This East Coast brewery recognized the superiority of the can as a vessel for their product.


New Belgium Brewing: Known for its environmental focus, New Belgium distributes Shift only in cans (recently in 12 oz. cans!).


Blue Point Brewing: Another East Coast brewery committed to creating great product in an environment and user-friendly manner.


Samuel Adams: One of the first breweries of the craft beer movement recently announced to begin canning it’s flagship brew, Boston Lager, and joined the CraftRevolution. 

MI Winter Beer Fest '13 Recap


MI Winter Beer Fest Recap


Yesterday beer lovers from all over congregated to enjoy and celebrate the culmination of GR Beer Week; MI Winter Beer Fest. It was a fantastic and long day as crowds lined up early in participation for the 635 different brews from 74 breweries. Outfits ranged from Tiger and Yetti outfits to extravagant necklaces that had everything from basic pretzels to chunks of jerky and lunchables. Although I didn’t sport one of these fashionable necklaces I’m thankful to the kind-hearted individuals who shared the wealth and let me eat off their necklaces.


Throughout the day, the atmosphere maintained convivial, despite the snow and beery slush dampening clothes and limbs. Love of beer combined with neighborly friendliness as brewers served and mingled with the crowd in the shared passion for quality beer. Personally, as a beer lover, it was a fun and exciting day to try new beers with a group of like-minded friends. It was especially gratifying to see West Side Beer’s awesome Michigan craft breweries showcasing solid product and receiving enthusiastic responses from the crowd.


Although many of us may be hurting today from yesterday’s activities one thing is for certain: We can’t wait until next year!


Check out our Facebook GR Beer Week album to get a glimpse at the crowds, breweries, outfits and fun we had at MI Beer Fest ’13. 

Ultimate Beer Bash Breakfast


Ultimate Beer Bash Breakfast 


Only two days until everyone’s favorite holiday, the Michigan Winter Beer Fest! Now is the time to put some serious planning into the day’s festivities in order to max out on the beer and fun times. Along with making top 10 lists for breweries and outlining a rough path to make through the maze of tents you should also plan ahead for fueling your beer lovin’ body. Although pretzel necklaces and turkey legs will come in handy, let’s focus on the most important meal of the day.


Breakfast time is when you’ll need to pump up the body by pumpin’ up the calories. Beer Fest is not a day to shy away from gluttony. Rather, make sure to embrace the fattening foods since that multitude of calories will keep you feeling toasty and help your body handle the onslaught of beer goodness it will be subjected to all day.


Here’s the Ultimate Beer Bash Breakfast Recipe.



Start with frying bacon.


There is no data to explain this one. It just tastes good and should be involved in any serious breakfast making.


Multitask and fry up sliced potatoes, onion and garlic.


Potatoes are high in vitamin B6, which helps subdue nausea, something that might come in handy during the day. They also contain complex carbohydrates, which take longer to break down so you remain full for longer. Onions and garlic taste good and are great at fighting off sickness.


Add eggs and whatever veggies you like.


Eggs provide a heavy dose of protein that will also help keep your body running for longer. Vegetables are always good for you.


Top with cheese and avocado.


The fat content in the cheese and avocado will help keep you full longer. And they maker everything taste better.


Add the bacon.


Eat breakfast with lots of water so you will be fully hydrated. Then go out and beer it up at the MI Winter Beer Fest with no worries! 

Oskar Blues is coming to town


Oskar Blues is coming to town!

Happy Monday everyone! West Side is super excited to announce that Oskar Blues is coming to town beginning March 4!

If you hadn’t heard of this brewery here are some stats to get to know Oskar Blues a bit better.

Top 5 Reasons Oskar Blues is Awesome

 They started the Canrevolution for craft.

Before anyone else, Oskar Blue started canning Dale’s Pale Ale in 2002 and started the craft can revolution. Since then, craft in cans started to grow into a new movement, all headed by Oskar Blues and their ability to do what they wanted and thought best.  

 All of their beers are award-winning.

Dale’s Pale Ale is known as the best pale ale around, according to the New York Times. From their stable, three beers have won top awards at GABF and three have won tops awards at the World Beer Championships (including G’Knight the 2008 and 2010 Gold Medal winner).

Oskar Blues is known for their bad ass culture.

The best kind of brewery is the kind the that produces beer you not only want to drink but employs the sort of people you want to share a pint with. Oskar Blues’ commitment to their employees and their company’s fun and bad ass culture make it a brewery you can drink and drink with.

They have some of the best names for their brews.

 From Old Chub and Mama’s Little Yella Pils to the Gubna and Deviant Dale’s, their beers are fun to drink and to talk about.

They make some seriously delectable beers.

 Just take a look at these five beers that will be available in the Grand Rapids market starting March 5.

  • Dale’s Pale Ale. 6.5% ABV 65 IBU
    A hoppy nose is accented by pale malt flavors that simultaneously consume and soothe the palette from start to finish.
  • Deviant Dale’s. 8% ABV 85 IBU
    A hop-forward aroma with citrus and pine notes partner with strong malty flavor to crush your soul with this IPA’s bold flavor.
  •  Old Chub. 8% ABV
    This scotch ale is full of semi-sweet cocoa and coffee flavors with a touch of smoke from the beechwood-smoked malt.
  • Mama’s Little Yella Pils. 5.3% ABV 35 IBU
    Made in the proud tradition of the Czech Republic’s Pilsens, this brew comes completely from pale malts. Bavarian hops add to this perfectly balanced and refreshing beverage.
  •  G’Knight. 8.5% ABV 60 IBU
    A dry-hopped double red ale that is full of big hop aroma and flavor, all balanced with a malty backbone.
  • Gubna. 10% ABV 100 IBU
    This imperial IPA keeps it simple in order to create an epic brew; 3 malts and Summit hops combine to produce a beer with a slightly spicy malt character and bitter hops flavor. Dry hopping lends a citrus and grapefruit aroma.

Rochester Mills


Rochester Mills Beer Co.

Friends, Food & Beer

Here at West Side Beer we are celebrating having another amazing Michigan brand in Beer City U.S.A. – Rochester Mills Beer Co. is now in Grand Rapids!  

Rochester Mills opened in 1998 in Rochester Hills, on the east side of the state. Since then, they have been busy brewing up a storm of handcrafted beer for our state. Erik Briggeman (director of brewing operations) and Forrest Knapp head the brewing process in the new 50-barrel production brewhouse. With their new brewhouse they have the potential to eventually annually produce over 200,000 barrels.

Along with their top-of-the-line brewhouse, they are continuing the craft can revolution. In addition to draft selections, Rochester Mills proffers up three of their most popular beer selections in cans. Milkshake Stout, Cornerstone IPA and Rochester Red are all available in cans so keep an eye out for them in the market. And don’t forget to grab a pint of Rochester Mills and welcome this new Michigan brewery into the Grand Rapids market!

Milkshake Stout 5% ABV

Four malts combine to create a stout with sweet, roasted malt flavor. Lactose adds body and sweetness, creating the perfect grown up milk shake.

Rochester Red 5.9% ABV

This English-style red ale pours ruby red. With mild hop bitterness and rich malty notes it goes down smooth.

Cornerstone IPA 6.6%

Dry hopped and full of citrus and pine hop aroma, Cornerstone pours amber and tastes deliciously bitter.

Focus on Midnight Wheat Malt


Focus on Midnight Wheat Malt


There’s a new malt in town that is bringing new level of awesome to your tastebuds and its called Midnight Wheat. Here are the details on the malty goodness.


First, this malt is rising to the challenge posed by the increased popularity of black IPAs. Produced in the U.S. (made from Wisconsin wheat) with 550° Lovibond this malt shows off deep, intense malt color with miniscule bitter and harsh flavors. The result is slightly sweet and subtle malt flavors that wash over the palate. The result is an exceptionally smooth malt character that finishes clean. Midnight Wheat malts are perfect for brewing a roasty dark beer with silky flavors and minor bitterness.


Flavor: coffee/chocolate/roasty wheat malts

Aroma: roasty with hints of chocolate

Color: black



Beers featuring Midnight Wheat


New Belgium Snow Day


Right Brain Midnight Rendezvous  (available in pub only)


ShockTop End of the World Midnight Wheat 

GR Beer Week Events


Grand Rapids Beer Week Events



From February 18 – February 24 Beer City USA will be celebrating all things beer for the official Grand Rapids Beer Week. Fun and, of course, pints upon pints of beer will be had by all. Here’s a list of some of the fun times to be had during the week, where you will be sure to find an array of good times and great beer.


Right Brain Brewery Beer Dinner

Sunday, February 17, 2013. 6 pm – 9 pm

Kick off GR Beer Week by testing your tastebuds with a five-course dinner paired with Right Brain’s brews in Eastown. The dinner starts off with a bit of a beer quiz, with samples of that night’s beer available to be sampled. The challenge is to guess what each mystery brew is in Right Brain’s line up, with prizes for those with winning tasters. Updates and more information on this event and/or tickets can be found on here.


Right Brain Tap Take Over

Monday, February 18, 2013. 6 pm – close

Continue the Right Brain flavor extravaganza over on Ionia Ave. for a tap takeover, starting at 6 pm. Drafts on hand will be Will Power, Satisfaction ESB, Northern Hawk Owl amber and CEO Stout. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


Perrin Brewing
“Beard City USA” beer dinner and beard competition

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 6 pm – 9 pm.

Celebrate "Beard City USA" with Perrin Brewing and Beardcore. The night will feature a three-course dinner paired with Perrin Golden Ale, Black Lager, and Double IPA, as well as a beard competition. the beard competition categories will be best 'stache, best beard and best freestyel. Rush from Beardcore and Jarred, the owner of Perrin Brewing, will be the featured judges. 

Tickets should be bought in advance from the location on Ionia Avenue. For more information and check out the Facebook page.


New Belgium Brewing Tap Takeover

Tuesday, February 19, 2013. 6 pm – close.

 Don’t forget to take a chance on some of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series, which will be on draft for this tap takeover. On draft: Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Imperial Coffee Stout, Biere de Garde (collaboration with Brewery Vivant) and Snow Day. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


Perrin Brewing Tap Takeover

Wednesday, February 20, 2013. 6 pm – close.

Go for round two with Perrin Brewing with a tap takeover over on Division Avenue. Draft selection will include Raspberry Blonde, Imperial Stout, Pale Ale, Double IPA and Nut Brown. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


Right Brain Tap Takeover

Wednesday, February 20, 2013. 6 pm – close.

Get a chance to try a ton of Right Brain brews – 18 to be exact – at this tap takeover taking place over on at the infamous whiskey lounge on Ionia Ave. On draft you will find Shadow Watcher, Naughty Girl Stout, CEO Stout, Fat Lad Imperial Stout, Igor Takes a Digger, Midnight Rendezvous, Irish Goodbye Cream Ale, Flying Squirrel Brown Ale, Dead Kettle IPA, Mangalista Pig Porter, Pecan Pie Whole, Looping Owl bourbon-aged amber, Imperial Brown, Will Power and Satisfaction ESB. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


Arcadia Ales Beer Dinner

Thursday, February 21, 2013. 6 pm – 9 pm.

Celebrate Arcadia’s 16th anniversary with a fantastic five-course dinner featuring Mediterranean fare. Featured brews will include Arcadia’s 16th Anniversary Ale, Sky High Rye, Hopmouth, barrel-aged Imperial Stout and Lochdown Scotch Ale. Updates and more information on this event and/or tickets can be found on here.


Frankenmuth Brewery Winter Wonderland Party

Thursday, February 21, 2013. 6 pm – close.

Have a party celebrating winter’s wonderland with Frankenmuth’s Pilsner and Dunkel on draft. With classically brewed beverages and fun times on hand, a wintry good time will be had by all. For more information check out the GR Beer Week’s events, here. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


Rochester Mills Beer Co. Tap Takeover

Thursday, February 21, 2013. All day.

Find out what Rochester Mills is all about with their tap takeover at this Michigan St. Bar. Drafts of Cornerstone IPA, Snow Daze, Rochester Red and Bourbon Milk Shake Stout will be poured all day long. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


Right Brain Tap Takeover

Thursday, February 21, 2013. 6 pm – close.

Enjoy a draft or six while hanging out with the owner of Right Brain Brewing. Drafts featured will be Igor Takes a Digger, Second Coming IPA, CEO Stout, Will Power, Satisfaction ESB and Northern Hawk Owl. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


Perrin and Rochester Mills Tap Takeover

Friday, February 22, 2013. 6 pm – close.

It’s a two-for-one deal Friday night at one of the top rated beer bars in the world over on Ionia Avenue. They will be featuring a duel tap takeover by Perrin Brewing and Rochester Mills all night. Perrin drafts will be bourbon Rogue Rye, bourbon Double Black Lager, Vanilla Stout, Extra Pale, Strong Pale, Black Lager, Nut Brown and Raspberry Blonde. Rochester Mills drafts will feature Cornerstone IPA, Snow Daze, Rochester Red and bourbon Milk Shake Stout. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


Arcadia Ales Tap Takeover

Friday, February 22, 2013. 6 pm – close.

Over on the north side of town another tap takeover will be taking place. Arcadia ales drafts will be pouring all night with the line up including the following: B-Craft, Hop Rocket, Sky High Rye, IPA and Cereal Killer. Updates and more information on this event can be found here.


With a list of events like this there are endless possibilities for celebrating GR Beer Week. Make sure to do so. 

Brewing Pie Whole with Right Brain


Brewing Pie Whole with Right Brain Brewery


This weekend two of my favorite things came together in a wonderful way at Right Brain Brewery; Right Brain invited me to brew their Pie Whole beer with them. This release ended up being a pecan pie beer, with the beer straight from Right Brain’s neighbor, Grand Traverse Pie Company.


I spent the day with Nick and the Right Brain crew and not only thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip but learned quite a bit. One of the biggest takeaways from the weekend was Right Brain’s culture that promotes a sense of community with other local businesses and focuses on actively participating in the creative, artistic and culinary side of brewing. We started the day sipping on the same coffee they use in their award-winning CEO Stout and tasting the pecan pie they picked up the night before from the bakery. Later on, I helped to shovel the used mash into containers for a local farmer to take for cow feed who, in turn, shares some of his beef. We ended the day at the bar surrounded by local artists’ work and live music thanks to Right Brain’s Art Bomb party.


The entire day ended up being an exploration of the senses. From smelling hop varieties, chewing on malts, tasting barrel-aged beers to repeatedly being surrounded by an amazing aroma, the brewing process ended up being a full-sensory experience.


If you see Pie Whole make sure to try it, knowing it was brewed with love from me to you.


Also, Right Brain crew, you all rock. Thanks again. 

More pictures from brewing at Right Brain can be found on Facebook. 

2013 RateBeer Best


RateBeer’s 2013 Awards


With over 4.5 million reviews, RateBeer, once again, has compiled data to come out with the 2013 RateBeer Best. This is considered the largest beer competition in the world, tallying over 13,000 brewers and more than 180,000 beers. It’s been quite an exciting week as the results from the competitive categories rolled in, especially seeing so many of our brands winning top scores. West Side Beer is incredibly proud and honored to have so many award-winning brands in our portfolio. Here’s a big beer salute to all the brewers, bartenders, cellar man, packagers and lovers of beer for making world-class brews! Here are the award highlights for our brands.


Best 100 Brewers in the World


#9 Stone Brewing Co.

#53 New Belgium Brewing Company

#83 Brooklyn Brewery

#93 Flying Dog Brewery


Top 50 Beers in the World


#38 Stone Imperial Russian Stout; Stone Brewing Co.


2012’s Best New Releases


#25 Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA; Stone Brewing Co.

#29 Stone Enjoy By IPA; Stone Brewing Co.


Best By Style 2013


Pale Lager

Bronze - Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL; Boston Beer Company



Silver – Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale; Stone Brewing Co.

Bronze – Stone IPA; Stone Brewing Co.


Double IPA

Silver – Stone Ruination IPA; Stone Brewing Co.

Bronze – Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary IPA; Stone Brewing Co.


Strong Ale

Silver – Samuel Adams Utopias; Boston Beer Company


Imperial Baltic Porter

Silver – Gonzo Imperial Porter; Flying Dog Brewery



Bronze – Anchor Porter; Anchor Brewing Company



Bronze – Brooklyn-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse; Brooklyn Brewery


Dark Lager

Bronze – Brooklyn Lager; Brooklyn Brewery


Cider and Perry

Silver – Crispin Stagger Lee; Crispin Cider Company 

You must be 21 or older to enter. Are you old enough?
Sorry, you must be 21 or older to enter.

Featured Beer

Bud Light Lemonade Seltzer

Bud Light Lemonade Seltzer


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