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2013 Beer Release Review


2013 Beer Releases Review


2013 is going down in history as the year full of fun and beer. Beer highlights  included new packaging and brand new beers in the market. Here’s a breakdown of the biggest beer introductions in Grand Rapids for the 2013 year. Take a look, reminisce and check out any beers you haven’t gotten your mitts on yet.


Budweiser Black Crown

As the winner from Budweiser’s Project 12 competition, Black Crown launched at the same time as the 2013 SuperBowl. An amber lager aged over beachwood chips it delivers a smooth flavor that made it stand out from the nation-wide competition held, making it the audience favorite and then the newest addition to the Bud Family.


Rochester Mills Beer Co.

Just in time for the Michigan Winter Beer Festival, Rochester Mills Beer Co. (based out of Rochester, MI) began distribution via draft and cans. For many, this was the best belated Christmas present they could get since in Rochester Mills Beer Co. consistently is one of the most sought-after and popular beer pubs in the state and with their distribution launch are now available in Grand Rapids.


Petoskey Brewing

A new brewery from the North launched their beers on draft in the first quarter of 2013. Although the brewery is itself new, the idea is rooted in 100-year history, dating back to 1898 when the original “Old Brewery” used the building for the original Petoskey Brewing facility. Now, Petoskey Brewing once again shines as a brewing landmark while providing artisan beers to the Grand Rapids area and beyond.


Bud Light Straw-Ber-Rita

The Bud Light Rita family gained two new additions this year, beginning with Straw-Ber-Rita in the spring. Straw-Ber-Rita, and then the limited winter specialty Cran-Brrr-Rita, provided more choices to the Rita family for those who wanted a change from the original Lime-A-Rita. And those new choices are mighty tasty together!


Oskar Blues Brewery

This past march the 2013 Craft Brewer of the Year, Oskar Blues Brewery, launched their Cantastic line up in the Mitten State. The brewery is renown for sparking the craft can revolution by being the first brewery to distribute their beers in cans only. Since then, the brewery has grown exponentially, with a new brewery located in North Carolina, which is good since it craft beer drinkers continue to steadily and increasingly gravitate and drink up the fuh-CAN-tastic beers from Oskar Blues.


New Belgium Brewing: Rampant Imperial IPA

Rampant is a well-balanced example of an imperial IPA. Calypso and Mosaic hops combined to create a bright citrus aroma and stonefruit flavor profile in this bitter, copper-colored brew. As a brand new addition to the Explorer Series, Rampant IPA contribute a heaping handful of hops bitterness that leaves you craving more.


Perrin Brewing: Grapefruit IPA

This year Perrin Brewing produced a fantastic line up of new beers from their brewery in Comstock, MI – there wasn’t a bad one in the bunch. However, one that stood out was the summer seasonal, Grapefruit IPA. A sessionable and low IBU IPA that simply burst with fragrant citrus aroma and taste stole the show this summer.


Stella Cidre

This year, Stella Artois introduced Stella Cidre, a European-style cider that showcases an effervescent body with a dry and crisp finish. Since it first launched, Stella Cidre has won multiple accolades, including winning gold at the 2013 North American Beer Awards.


Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Smuttynose Brewing Co. launched Finestkind IPA and Big A IPA drafts through West Side Beer in October, bringing another world-class brewery to Michigan. Based out of Portsmouth, Smuttynose is a leading craft brewer in its home state of New Hampshire while both Finestkind IPA and Big A IPA are top rated beers on BeerAdvocate and RateBeer...and are now available in the Great Beer State


Frankenmuth Christmas Town

Frankenmuth’s newest release, Christmas Town joined the ranks as the brewery’s winter seasonal, ensuring that everyone got into the holiday spirit. A delightful winter warmer, this new addition to the Frankenmuth family helped us end the 2013 year on a happy and beery note.




Stella Artois Haiku


Beware. Drinking of Stella Artois in the middle of a winter wonderland may lead to attempts at haiku writing and general happiness during the holiday season.



Branches of ice dripping

They embrace a placed Stella


Kaleidoscope color.

Give the Gift of Beer


It’s officially one week until Christmas. The mall is now a scary place to visit. It’s time to find some sanctuary in the beer aisle and, while you’re at it, finish holiday shopping. Here’s the ultimate list of booze to get for that hard-to-buy-for (over 21 years old) person on your list.



The Mixologist: Shock Top Choctop

Essentially a beer cocktail kit in a 6 pack, Choctop is a black and tan featuring the winter seasonal Chocolate Wheat and Shock Top Belgian.


The Gluten Free: Angry Orchard Cider

Gluten-free drinking is no longer a problem with the rise of ciders, especially with the range provided by Angry Orchard. Choose between Crisp Apple, Traditional Dry, Apple Ginger or the winter seasonal Cinnful Apple. Or, have all of the above.


The Sweet Tooth: Right Brain Naughty Girl Stout

No longer is sweet treats regulated to the kitchen, beers provide rich, chocolate flavors with a bit more than a sugar kick. Naughty Girl Stout is aptly named since the flavor profile is reminiscent of the popular mint chocolate cookie.


The Snow Bunny: New Belgium Accumulation

Whether its snow or hops accumulating, this winter white IPA is full of bright hop aroma that will warm up anyone after a day on the slopes.


The Hop Head: Arcadia Ales Hop Rocket Imperial IPA

Simcoe hops bring out an assertive aroma that will bring you to the moon and back.


Charitable Giving: Holiday Ornaments


Holiday Ornaments Give Back to Local Food Banks



‘Tis the season for jolly times, lots of full steins and sharing cheer and goodwill.


Join West Side Beer Distributing in doing all three as we work to help raise funds for local food banks this holiday season. It’s easy to do;  buy a paper holiday bulb – or as many as you want – and you’re helping out your neighbor.


According to the USDA, 49 million Americans, or 14.5 percent of all American households are food insecure, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life. This holiday season give the simple gift of life sustenance to those around with these paper holiday ornaments.


As part of our giving program, we ensure the funds raised are kept local. Each holiday ornament represents one dollar that will go towards local food banks in the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing area. Where the ornament is purchased is where the charitable good will stay.

Hold My Beer and Watch This: Nana


Hold My Beer and Watch This: Nana



For those still feeling the sad feels from the ending of the Office, John Krasinski is back, this time with Bud Light.


The funny man and the iconic beer brand teamed up to bring laughs to the masses via a new sketch series that riffs off of the popular internet meme, “hold my beer and watch this.” Far from a second run of the danger and stunt-themed show Jackass, Hold My Beer and Watch this focuses more on sketch comedy. These sketches will be ‘a lot more sketch-oriented rather than danger-oriented,” said John Krasinski in a New York Times phone interview.


The videos, available on Youtube, are short, funny and creative clips of work as part of Krasinski’s partnership with Bud Light to create branded entertainment. The clips are a fun and refreshing change from typical beer commmercials. Rather than relying heavily on stereotypes or bro humor, these clips let smart comedy take the lead. Check out this one, featuring Nana and have a bit of a laugh to start off the work week.

80th Anniversary of Repeal Day


Happy Repeal Day!




Today marks the 80th anniversary of the 21st Amendment, which officially ended Prohibition. Since 1933, the beer industry has come along way, with beer now the most popular alcoholic beverage to drink in America.  All levels of the beer three-tier distribution system is a $246 billion industry that employ more than two million workers across the U.S. In addition, the beer industry ensures to actively contribute to local communities through various sponsorships and aid. In celebration of each fantastic decade of drinking since the ratification of the 21st Amendment, here are eight ways to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Repeal Day.


1. #cheerstobeer


Obviously, make sure to enjoy your favorite brew while toasting to the amendment that ensured our freedom to do so.


2. Rock out


Rock out to the awesomeness that is beer with some drinking songs from AC DC (Have a Drink on Me) and Flogging Molly (Drunken Lullabies).


3. Country up


If head banging isn’t your style, then sip on your beer while getting in touch with your cowboy side with Eli Young Band’s "Drunk Last Night" or Luke Bryan’s "Drink a Beer."  


4. Dance it


If you want to drink and celebrate to something with a bit more bass, check out “Brass Monkey” from the Beastie Boys or maybe you prefer Busta Rhymes and P Diddy, who like to  "Pass the Courvoisier."


5. Hashtag it


The Beer Institute is encouraging everyone to use the hashtag #cheerstobeer to virtually toast the 80th anniversary.


6. Homebrew


To remember the old days of Prohibition, brew up some alcoholic concoction of your own, preferably in the bathtub. Depending on the level of success with your homebrew experiment, you may end up mildly surprised at your own brewing skills or even more grateful that you posses the freedom to legally buy great beer.


7. Beer up your cocktail


Mix up a Beer’s Knees in beery honor of the prohibition cocktail, Bee’s Knees. To make, combine in a shaker with ice the following: 1 ½ ounces of gin, 1 ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce honey syrup (1:1 honey and water). Shake vigorously then strain into a collins glass and top with a hefeweizen beer and garnish with a lemon.  Recipe courtesy of Paste Magazine.


8. Never forget 


Don’t forget these quotes about prohibition in order to better appreciate that brew today.  


Once, during Prohibition, I was was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.

- W.C. Fields

Prohibition has made nothing but trouble.

- Al Capone


Prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer and denies you the beer to cry into.

- Don Marquis 


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Austin Eastciders Original

Austin Eastciders Original


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