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Easter Dinner Beer Pairings

03-29-2013

Easter Food Pairings

 

For those who gave up the good stuff (aka beer) for Lent, congratulations! This weekend your taste buds and beer belly will be set free to enjoy both meat and beer this Sunday! Here are some simply delicious pairings to peruse and consider for your feast.

 

Ham roast with New Belgium Trippel

 

Picture a savory and sweet brown sugar rubbed ham roast. Now picture that paired with a Trippel. New Belgium’s Trippel is brewed with coriander, which adds a spiciness that goes well with the brown sugar and spice rub I typically cook my ham with. The fruit notes will also complement the sweetness of the ham, while the alcohol level helps clean the palate.

 

Scalloped Potatoes with Blue Point Hoptical Illusion IPA

 

Cheesy creamy potatoes are always a staple on the Easter dinner table. Pairing them with a hopped up beer, like an IPA, creates ensures neither the potatoes nor the beer overpowers the other. The strong flavors match the intense cheesiness of the dish while the hops cut through the creaminess.

 

Peeps and Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils

 

Animal-shaped marshmallows are pretty much sugar bombs in the mouth. To help mellow out the sugar bomb, pair Peeps with a light and crisp pilsner, such as Mama’s Little Yella Pils. The pilsner will contrast the sugar-saturated peeps with its crisp finish. 

 

 



Ladies Love Craft Beer

03-28-2013

Ladies Love Craft Beer


Studies show craft beer is edging out wine as young women’s drink of choice

Ladies who love beer, you are not alone. In fact, you are becoming the majority as women aged 18-35 now prefer craft beer to wine as their drink of choice.


Although in general I am not very fond of considering myself as a statistic, as a 23-year-old woman who makes a living from and loves drinking craft beer, I find this heartwarming news. Not that it is any surprise here in Beer City USA, where women tend to head out in droves for a ladies’ night at a brewery or check out cheap pints during happy hours throughout the city. In addition, the increased interest women are giving craft beer makes sense biologically, at least according to
Beer West Magazine.


“Most women have more taste buds than most men, which gives them a substantial edge when savoring the flavors, aromas, and complexities of a well-crafted beer in a properly poured pint. In other words, women, on average, and in general, have broader, better, and more balanced palates than men” – Chad Walsh


Another reason craft beer is gaining popularity with the ladies is that could be that craft beer tastes good and anyone, regardless of their gender, can appreciate something that tastes delicious.


With 12 percent growth in 2012 the craft beer segment continues to grow and with that growth follows an increase in options, allowing each individual can find that intro beer that intrigues their taste buds enough to fall down the proverbial craft beer rabbit hole.


As more beer companies recognize the potential for growth in this particular beer drinking population, women will become more sought after within the industry itself. At the moment it seems like women beer aficionados are still viewed as a bit of a novelty. However, as more women engage in the craft beer community and as the craft beer community recognizes and welcomes them as legit drinkers and sources of knowledge reports like this one won’t seem newsworthy. Hopefully soon it won’t be a surprise to be a knowledgeable craft beer drinker and not just a pretty face in the beer world.


To ensure that day comes, I’ll continue to do my part and continue drinking craft beer.

beer business is good

03-25-2013

(beer) business is good

 

It is an established fact that the beer business is good in Michigan. With more research confirming this fact, it is also obvious that the state of the growing and vibrant craft beer segment in Michigan is not just a positive note for beer lovers but for the state, in general, craft beer is a positive economical force.

 

This shows that Michigan is proving itself worthy of its Great Beer State title (Michigan is 5th in the state in terms of breweries), with Grand Rapids or Beer City USA the epicenter of the craft beer business boom. According to the article, Michigan beat the national craft beer industry growth rate by 8 percent, growing 20 percent for the year 2012 while the average national growth clocked in at 12 percent for 2012. That double digit growth resulted in more than 100 breweries within the state, packing a $133 million positive economic impact in Michigan.

 

The positive force that the craft beer business exudes in Michigan goes beyond just economic profit, however. It is a force within the local movement, as well. I remember hearing that no matter where you are in Michigan, you are within 20 minutes of a fresh water source and I bet pretty soon the same can be said for how close you are to a craft brewery. Already, living in Grand Rapids, I’m within walking distance of seven craft breweries.

 

Although promoting local craft breweries is a great boon to our economy, out of state craft breweries and their own positive impact in Michigan and in their local territories should not be undermined. Out of state breweries also employ local residents to help represent their breweries within the state, often support the same ideals as local breweries in terms of environmental and social awareness, provide support for local causes in their distribution footprint and are a driving source of local economic growth in their own hometowns.

 

At the end of the day, with the beer business succeeding so phenomenally and with the positive impact craft breweries wield in their local and distribution areas, drinking a craft beer in Michigan is not only an enjoyable but a socially responsible act (in moderation), right?

Why Oskar Blues is the Craft Brewer of the Year

03-19-2013

Top 6 Reasons Why Oskar Blues Brewery is the Craft Brewer of the Year


Beverage World Magazine crowned Oskar Blues Brewery with the Craft Brewer of the Year title for 2013. This honor comes after Oskar Blues made Michigan the 30th state in its distribution footprint. For all Michiganders out there, this is a wonderful coincidence, since we now are not only a Great Beer State but also have access to the Craft Brewer of the Year’s product! Now a lot of factors are taken into account when deciding upon who is the craft brewer of the year and to be honest, I am not privy to that sort of information. However, in my opinion, here are the top 6 reasons why Oskar Blues is the 2013 Craft Brewer of the Year.


Top 6 Reasons Oskar Blues is the Craft Brewer of the Year

 

  1. 52% increase in production in 2012
  2. 49% revenue growth in 2012
  3. Capacity to brew up to 130,000 barrels in 2013
  4. Expected 50% increase in production for 2013
  5. Started, and is known as the leader of, the Craft CanRevolution
  6. A brewery made up of great people with great attitudes making phenomenal liquid

    Whitsun

    03-13-2013

    What the What? Whitsun is back!

     


    Spring really is around the corner! Arcadia Ales will be releasing Whitsun ale in celebration of every Irish and non Irishman’s favorite holiday.

     

    Whitsun is an unfiltered wheat beer brewed with local Michigan honey and spiced with orange peel and coriander. A great beer for warmer weather, I’ve enjoyed it as an orange juice replacement. It is incredibly smooth with bready notes and a slight sweetness that complements the light hops perfectly.

     

    Whitsun, as an iconic symbol of warm weather in Michigan, will be available throughout spring and summer months. It is available in draft, bottle or can, another example of the craft CanRevolution that continues to pick up strength. No matter your adventure, Whitsun will have you covered this summer, just keep an eye out for that sunny orange packaging to get some Whitsun of your own. 



    Adults Only Comedy Show

    03-12-2013

    Adults Only Comedy: Bud Light Blue Late Night Comedy Series

     

    Everyone likes a good laugh and everyone likes to get things for free, which means everyone will love the Adults Only Comedy Show tonight. Presented as a part of the Bud Light Blue Late Night Comedy Series, this is a free show featuring raunchy fun adult humor as a part of Gilda’s Laughfest.

    The comedy show starts tonight at the Orbit Room and will feature veterans of the laugh business. The stars of the night include Eric Andre, creator of the Eric Andre show on Adult Swim who is also on ABC’s “Don’t trust the b@#$& in Apt. 23.”

    Neil Brennan from “The Goods” co-writer of “Half-Baked,” co-creator of the Chappelle’s Show, and recent director of a “New Girl” episode will also be raking in the laughs tonight as the another act in the Adults Only Comedy show.

    Gilda’s Laughfest is in its third year celebrating the health of laughter while raising money for the nonprofit Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids.

    History of the Rebel Stout

    03-06-2013


    The History of the Rebel Stout

     

    Murphy’s Stout, a.k.a. the rebel stout, has a long past tied to its homeland Cork, Ireland.

     

    The story begins in 1709, when the Murphy family first moved to Cork Ireland. There they settled in and became pillars of the community. Finally, in 1856, James, the eldest out of fifteen children, started brewing the classic Irish beverage out of his new brewery, Murphy’s. The brewery wasn’t just welcomed by local Cork dwellers but went nationwide and by 1861 it established itself as a major Irish brewery.

     

    In fact, Murphy’s Brewery became such a symbol of Irish pride, it was the choice of drinker by the fighters during the Irish War of Independence.  Cork Ireland was known as a hot spot for these rebel fighters during the war and once again during the Irish Civil War. With a hometown like Cork, which became known as the rebel county, Murphy’s stout soon gained the nickname rebel stout.

     

    For Murphy’s, wartime signified a period of change for the brewery. In 1914 a vat of porter flooded the brewery and even a bit of the town. By 1921 they recovered enough from the flood to start bottling beer. Steadily, Murphy’s Brewery grew until it finally came to the U.S. in 1979, satisfying the thirsts of Irish and non-Irish alike.

     

    Although St. Patrick’s Day is full of merry faces, green oddities and lots of drinking, it is also a time for tradition. For Irish and those who are Irish for a day, celebrate with a true Irish drink and enjoy Ireland’s only rebel stout.

    Happy Oskar Blues Day!

    03-04-2013


    Happy Oskar Blues Day!

     

    It’s everybody’s nonbirthday today and our collective present is drinking Oskar Blues beer in Michigan! Starting today they are available throughout the Great Beer State.  To celebrate, we will be throwing a bunch of fun tap takeovers throughout the week. Make sure to head out to at least one and try a few of Oskar Blues’ righteously named and awesome-tasting beer.

     

    Monday (tonight!) 

    • Oskar Blues will be over on the West Side starting at 6 pm tonight and will showcase 4 draft handles. 

     

    Tuesday

     

    • Head over to one of the world’s best beer bars over on Ionia Ave. and try a selection of four drafts from Oskar Blues.

     

    Wednesday

     

    • Pick up a 6 pack of Oskar Blues to enjoy at home.

     

    Thursday

     

    • Start thirsty Thursday early while sampling Oskar Blues drafts over on 28th Street, starting at 3:30 pm.

     

    • Head downtown to enjoy a classy dinner paired with one of Oskar Blues’ 4 drafts.

     

    • From there, head over to Ionia Ave. to finish the night on a high note that starts and ends with more Oskar Blues.

     

    Friday

     

    • Fill up on wings and Oskar Blues at this downtown sports bar over on Ionia Ave.

     

    Saturday

     

    • Listen to the best jukebox in the downtown area while hanging out at this Commerce Ave. bar and sipping on some Oskar Blues.

     

    • Next, head up to Division Ave. to rock out and fill up on sushi and Oskar Blues to finish the night strong. 

    New Belgium Spring Releases

    03-01-2013

    New Belgium releases 7 new brews. We all rejoice.

    Spring is in the air, although it may not look like with all the snow and ice covering pretty much everything. With the changing of season comes the changing of beer, and New Belgium is celebrating the season in a grand fashion with 7 new beer releases. Keep a look out for these beers on the market, most are limited and incredibly delicious. If you’re lucky you might be able to collect them all.


    Dig Pale Ale: 5.6% ABV 36 IBU

    This spring seasonal highlights the best of the season as a pale ale with a lemon-citrus aroma. Crisp and clean, it is a sessionable ale with citrus and floral hop notes.


    Rampant Imperial IPA:
    8.5% ABV 85 IBU

    As part of the Explorer series, Rampant is the only new addition to New Belgium’s year-long line up. It boasts bitter hops and a citrus aroma for a brew that pours copper and finishes bone-dry.
     

    Hoppy Bock Lager: 6.5% ABV 70 IBU

    Perfect for spring, this lager is the first release in New Belgium’s Hop Kitchen series. It’s full of citrus notes spiced with rye malt and old world hops.


    La Folie:
    6% ABV 15 IBU

    Lips of Faith Series. A sour brown ale wood-conditioned for 1 – 3 years in French Oak barrels. Sour apple notes, dry effervescence and earthy undertones combine to create a collection of goodness.
     

    Transatlantique Kriek: 8% ABV 8 IBU

    Lips of Faith Series. A collaboration between New Belgium and Boon Brewery out of Belgium, this sour cherry ale shows the best of both breweries. It started out in oak barrels, where it aged for two years in Belgium before being shipped over to Colorado for New Belgium’s finishing touches to the full-bodied brew. A cherry aroma with a sour cherry taste that finishes sweetly and tingles the mouth with carbonation is the best way to describe this beer.


    Cascara Quad:
    10% ABV 22 IBU

    Lips of Faith Series. As a Belgium Quad, this beer is dark and strong with a strong malt bill that is spiced with coffee and molasses notes. A heady aroma full of dates and tobacco provide enticement with a warming mouthfeel from the alcohol content and a swift, dry finish.


    Heavenly Feijoa Tripel:
    9% ABV

    Lips of Faith Series. A collaboration with Dieu de Ciel out of Montreal, this beer is brewed with Hibiscus flowers and Feijoa fruit. It has a tropical fruit aroma and with a flavor profile full of spicy notes, sweet-fruit, cranberry tartness and a sharp bit.

     

     

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