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June Beer Releases

06-03-2015

June heralds in the start of summer  throughout the West Side Beer locations with returning and brand new beer releases. Sip on and celebrate summer! 

 

Perrin Brewing Co. VPA 

A returning limited specialty from Perrin Brewing Co. is now available for summer. Brewed in support of the Finish the Mission Veterans Relief Fund, Veteran's Pale Ale is a refreshing pale ale with a heady hop aroma, clean malt body and crisp finish. 5% ABV 40 IBUs. 

 

 

Arcadia Ales Cheap Date 

The newest year-round release from Arcadia Ales is set to last all day (or date). This session ale showcases a citrus hop aroma with a golden malt body and a crisp finish. 4.5% ABV 30 IBUs. Available in Grand Rapids and Lansing. 

 
 

Stone Brewing Co. Specialties 

 
Returning specialties from Stone Brewing Co. are slated to be released intermittently throughout June. First, is the returning seasonal specialty, Saison (6% ABV 45 IBUs) a farmhouse ale with a citric and herbal character. Ruin10 IPA (10.8% ABV 110 IBUs) will be back in all its hoppy glory, as well.Finally, Enjoy By 7/4 will drop in Grand Rapids and Lansing for a month's worth of enjoyment
 
 

Right Brain Brewery Strawberry Fields

 
A cream ale brewed with fresh strawberries, is back on tap.This limited seasonal specialty showcase a bready malt character with a smooth mouthfeel that combines with bright fruit flavor to create an overall flavor profile akin to strawberry shortcake. 5.5% ABV 
 
To find out about upcoming releases on a monthly basis be sure to sign up for our craft beer newsletter! 
 
 

Brewing to be Beer Smart

05-14-2015

 

Unsurprisingly, the team here at West Side Beer Distributing is a little into celebrating beer during American Craft Beer Week. Along with the raising of pints in salute of a delicious brew we also place an emphasis on learning even more about the product we sell.

 

Selling highlights the power of the combined forces of knowledge and passion, both of which we promote here at West Side Beer. One way in which we focus on the knowledge and passion that drives us all is through our beer school program. We integrate active learning processes, reading materials, internationally recognized testing, competitions and unique professional learning opportunities into our multilevel beer school in order to constantly encourage growth among our employees.

 

Part of becoming “beer smart” includes hands-on learning experiences. We, luckily, are able to work closely with our brewery partners to hold one-day brewing internships for our sales team at actual breweries. There, our team joins up with expert brewer to learn first-hand the meticulous and strenuous process of brewing.

 

There is no better way to learn about dry hopping than actually sorting fresh hops, taking a ride up to the top of a fermenter and dumping the buds into the brew yourself. Similarly, one of the best ways to explore the process of aging beer is by tapping into stored kegs and trying different years to taste the nuances that appear at times goes on. Of course, brewing isn’t all about sitting around drinking beer. Nothing is more important to a brewery than cleanliness and our sales team learns that through assisting in the constant cleaning.

 

The experience of a brewery internship instills a new appreciation for the work that goes into each bottle, can or keg that our sales team is responsible for selling. These internships morph what was once an intangible concept into the physical memory of brewing that beer, which can then be accessed whenever our team is out on the streets promoting the product.

 

Our company beer school program goes beyond brewing internships. Beer school is a component of how we integrate our core values, such as continuous improvement into our everyday structure. This structure and continuous learning is how we like to succeed with beer. 

 

7 Beer Experts to Grab a Beer With

04-07-2015

There is no doubt that we’ll be celebrating #NationalBeerDay in good beery fashion. What else are you supposed to do in order to pay homage to the official repeal of Prohibition than to return to the original social networking group and grab a beer with your friends? Although Ranker already reported on the top celebrities to grab a beer with, we think there is no better person to drink with than a beer expert. This list is in no way comprehensive but does serve to highlight some of the absurdly smart, hysterical and trailblazing folks who have helped shape the beer community into what it is today.

 

Jim Koch. Founder, Boston Beer Company

One of the OGs of the craft beer community, Jim Koch knows a thing or two (or a thousand) about the beer industry and can probably entertain you with stories all night. All while teaching you the secrets to not getting drunk.

 

 

Dale Kotechis. Founder, Oskar Blues Brewery

From brewing beer in bathtubs to becoming the 2012 Craft Brewer of the Year, Dale has successfully gone against many accepted methods to further push the boundaries of craft beer. While downing those 19.2 ounce cans of Dale’s you’ll gain new perspectives on craft beer trends and maybe learn how to trick out your bike.

 

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Brett Porter. Brewmaster, Goose Island Brewery

Brett is the man to talk to if you want to learn anything about barrel aged beer, considering Goose Island’s continual success with their program. Based off of his Reddit AMA he’s full of puns and up front information about beer.

 

Mitch Steele. Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co.

I have a personal bias that Mitch Steele is one of the coolest people to drink with, which is why he is on this list.  Beyond personal bias, the guy knows his way around an IPA and his numerous years of experience have provided him with tales to entertain throughout a night of drinking.

 

 

 

Russ Springsteen. Founder, Right Brain Brewery.

Russ founded a brewery focused on intuitive, well-crafted “right brain” beers, which is how he is. Be prepared converse and analyze beer in a whole new light while laughing at his sly wit as you learn how and why he came up with ideas for beers brewed with pig heads and whole pies.

 

 

Kim Jordon. Co-Founder, New Belgium Brewing Co.

Want to learn how to start and run an internationally successful brewery? Sit down with Kim, who co-founded a brewery on the main prospect of being a force of good and made it into a successful business model for New Belgium Brewing Co.  

 

 

Mike Plesz. Founder, Rochester Mills Beer Co.

Thanks to Mike’s focus on impeccable quality, Rochester Mills Beer Co. has been a craft beer staple in Michigan. His enthusiasm for brewing is infectious to the point where a night of drinking with him will pass by in a flash of good beer and great conversation. If you’re lucky, like I was, he might even give you great tips for new ways to cook with beer.

 

 

 

 

New Craft Beer Releases for April

03-31-2015

April showers bring new beers to devour. From returning favorites, brand spankin' new brews to super limited series and widely available seasonals, your beer needs will be covered this month.

 

 

The first of the month will bring Tongue Tied Cherry Saison from Rochester Mills Beer Co. An unfiltered Belgian style ale, Tongue Tied Cherry Saison showcases the perfect blend of sweet and tart, thanks to Michigan-grown cherries. This summer seasonal will be available in draft only.

 

The oddly tasty, super limited annual release from Right Brain Brewery will be available for a heartbeat during April. Brewed with Mangalista pig skulls and bones, this robust porter combines the salty, umami taste of roasted ham and bacon with rich notes of chocolate malts.. 6.6% ABV 28 IBUs

 

 

Introducing itself to the Mitten State for the first time is the spring/summer seasonal from Deschutes Brewery, Twilight Summer Ale. Twilight is is a refreshing, golden-hued blonde ale with hints of lightly browned toast, floral and citrus hops with a crisp and clean finish. 5% ABV 35 IBUs

 

There are only 20 days left to get your hands on Enjoy By IPA 4.20.15 from Stone Brewing Co. Brewed with 12 hop varieties, this double IPA is dank with a hint of peachyness coming through on the tail end of a soothing malt bill. This limited release is available in Grand Rapids and Lansing. 9.4% ABV 88 IBUs

 

Available in Barry County only will be a limited release from Goose Island Brewing Co. Ten Hills Pale Ale from Goose Island Brewing Co. utilizes hops locally sourced from the first ten hills of Elk Mountain Farm in Idaho, with whom Goose Island collaborates with to source hops. Herbal and citrus hops are featured in this classically crafted pale ale. 6.2% ABV 52 IBUs

Enjoy By 07.04.14

06-03-2014

What’s more American than a ridiculously bold and bitter double IPA? Probably nothing. Which is why the next release in the Enjoy By Series from Stone Brewing Co. is meant to be enjoyed by or on America’s birthday. With Mitch Steele,  brewmaster at Stone Brewing Co., in town for the National Homebrewers’ Conference from June 11 to June 14 there is no better time to enjoy this limited release in celebration of craft beer, bold IPAs, and the birth of a nation.

 

 

Bottled just this past Friday, Enjoy By 07.04.14 has a 35-day life span. Designed to be enjoyed ASAP and brewed not to last, this IPA maintains a fresh, hoppy character as it cruises to your gullet. With 88 IBUs and an ABV of 9.4% this ale maintains a balance of overwhelmingly hoppy flavor. Brewed with eleven different hop varieties (Calypso, Super Galena, Simcoe, Delta, Target Amarillo, Motueka, Citra, Cascade, New Zealand Nelson Sauvin and Australian Galaxy) Enjoy By is characterized by layers of bitter complexity. The aroma showcases tropical fruit and light peach while the flavor profile balances complementing hop bitterness.

 

Tacos and Beer Pairing

05-05-2014

 

Cinco de Mayo is upon us, which means its time to celebrate Taco Tuesday a day early and get down on some taco and beer pairings.  

 
First, let's set the stage for this pairing. These tacos are all hypothetically topped with the basic toppings cilantro, onion and lime trio while each taco begins with on a double layer of warm corn tortilla. With those staples on each taco, the focus is on the featured meats flavor for creating a perfect beer pairing. 
 
Carnitas Tacos and New Belgium Fat Tire
 
Carnitas are pig parts braised then pan fried for a crispy, tender combination. New Belgium Fat Tire is an amber ale with a toasted malty sweetness that complements the carmelized meat. The malts are balanced out by a bitter hop edge, which stands up appropriately to the dish's spice while cutting through the fattiness.
 
Barbacoa Tacos and Stone Brewing Co. Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
 
Barbacoa, form of barbecue meat that typically is shredded beef slow-cooked with magic to taste delicious has layers of dark, meaty, smoky and sweet flavors. These tacos demand a brew with the same level of complexity and intense flavor, which is where Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA from Stone Brewing Co. comes into play. The black ale's rich malty flavor is what first reaches the tongue and serves as an accessory to the smoked, rich meat. The bold Northwestern hops provide a whammy of bitterness that cleanly slices through the meat's richness and accentuates the bright lime citrus. 
 
Chicken Tacos and Blue Point Toasted Lager 
 
Toasted Lager from Blue Point Brewing Co.  matches the flavor strength of chicken tacos by providing a lightly toasted maltiness that blends nicely with the grilled chicken flavor while allowing the bright zest of lime to come to the forefront. The smooth lager finish creates a crisp refresher sip between bites that calms any residual spice left on the palate. 
 
Fish Tacos and Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils 
 
The light and delicate flavors found in fish tacos are enhanced by a light pilsner such as Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils. Brewed with pale and German malts for a mild base, which is then accented by Saaz hops, Mama's is a mild beer meant to be paired with light and citrusy fish tacos. 
 
 
 
 

Hot Dogs and Beer Food Pairing

03-25-2014

Hot Dogs and Beer Pairing

Opening Day is around the corner! This is great news for all the baseball fans out there and for people like me who love a great excuse to eat more hot dogs. Plus, thanks to the efforts of Budweiser and all those signatures there is officially a petition out there to make Opening Day a national holiday, which means you should most definitely eat another hot dog in celebration.

 

 

Baseball and hot dogs…the only thing missing is the beer. But not for long when so many styles can pair up with ultimate dogs out there. Beer and hot dogs and baseball are the ultimate pairing. Don’t believe me? Try out these then see what you think.

 

Chili Dog with Arcadia Whitsun

Let the full chili experience takeover with this hotdog while sipping on a Whitsun from Arcadia Ales. The wheat ale will add a light citrus note while the carbonation serves as a palette cleanser.

 

Chicago Dog with Stella Artois

A beef frank topped with yellow mustard, onions, pickle relish, tomatoes, pepper and celery salt and stuffed onto a poppy seed bun needs to take center stage. Let it by pairing it with a light lager that serves as a refresher between bites.

 

New Yorker with Sam Adams Summer Ale

Spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut are balanced out with the light-bodied summer ale from Sam Adams. A bit of pepper spice and hops balance out the full flavors while the hint of lemon peel adds a brightening component.

 

Bacon Cheese dog with Perrin Brewing IPA

Meat meets meat in this dog covered in cheese and topped with bacon crumbles. The classic American-style IPA from Perrin Brewing boasts enough bitter hops to cut through the cheesiness to balance out the smoked bacon.

Perrin Grapefruit IPA

03-20-2014

Grapefruit IPA

Perrin Brewing Co. Grapefruit IPA is brewed and ready to be back on the scene.

 

 

 

 

There may still be snow on the ground but springtime is officially here - Perrin Brewing Co. has officially unleashed Grapefruit IPA on the marktet. The super sessionable ale, will begin popping up on draft throughout the state - it may already be tapped at your favorite bar. In case you have forgotten about the mouthful of gloriousness that is Grapefruit IPA, here’s a refresher course.

 

The pour is a hazy golden color that is topped with a bright white head. The aroma is citrus-laden with hints of sweetness. The flavor is packed with grapefruit accents and balanced by a light hop bitterness that ends on a crisp and refreshing note. Grapefruit IPA is 5% ABV and 35 IBUs.

 

Look for it on draft – it’s coming your way.

Laughfest Success Tips

03-06-2014

 

Happy Laughfest day, one and all!

We are incredibly excited for the wide variety of laughtastic events that will be taking place throughout the festival and are especially pleased that two of our brands, Bud Light and Perrin Brewing Co. are the official beer sponsors.

To keep the good times rolling in true beery fashion, we’ve got some tips on how to have the best possible Laughfest experience. Ever.

1. Get your laughs for free.

With the help of Bud Light, there will be a free comedy show that is open to the public on Tuesday, March 11. The featured comedians will be April Macie and Brad William, two nationally renown standup comedians. The fun starts at 8 pm and is free to all 21 years or older- just make sure you visit the Laughfest website to print your free ticket (required for entry). More info on the comedians and the awesome free show can be found here.

2. Drink a beer (or two).

Make sure to try out Laughfest Lager – the limited release from Perrin Brewing Co. made especially for Laughfest. It’s a Munich style Helles that is slightly addictive and highly drinkable. That alone is enough to sip on the lager but, in addition, a portion of the proceeds go back to support Laughfest and Gilda’s Club, proving that doing good can taste good too.

 

3.  But be a smart drinker.

Make sure you drink responsibly through the marathon of laughs by choosing sessionable beers. Bud Light and Laughfest Lager are both highly drinkable so you can have more than one without feeling foggy.

4. Celebrate Your Individuality.

With a wide variety of comedians and shows, there is ample opportunity to pick and choose your own style of comedy. Remember, not everyone shares a similar sense of humor. Rejoice in the individuality of humor by picking your own shows to attend. The schedule for Laughfest can be found here.

 

5. Surround yourself with smiling faces.

Keep an eye out for the square smileys at your favorite spot – each dollar goes towards Gilda’s Club. Also the smileys brighten up any spot you put it. Really. Just try it and you will soon be smiling.

 

 

 

 

RateBeer Best 2013

02-10-2014

Over the course of last week RateBeer came out with their annual best ratings. Our brands that we sell here in Grand Rapids (and in Barry County, as is the case with Goose Island) did quite well on the RateBeer  Best lists for 2013.  Although it's just a list, it is fun to see how tastes evolve, year to year and it is especially exciting to see some personal favorites on the list, as well. Below are the results.

 

 

The Top Brewers in the World

The Best Beers in the World

  • Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine
  • Goose Island Carolus Cuvee Van de Keiser Blauw/Blue
  • Sam Adams Utopias
  • Stone Brewing Co. Enjoy By IPA
  • Stone Brewing Co. Russian Imperial Stout

The Best Beers by Style Category

  • Double IPA: Stone Brewing Co. Enjoy By IPA. 7th place
  • Stout: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. 3rd place
  •             Goose Island Bourbon County Stout – Coffee. 9th place
  •             Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Proprietor’s 2013. 13th place
  • Strong: Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine. 1st place
  •                 Samuel Adams Utopias. 4th place
  • Imperial Baltic Porter: Smuttynose Baltic Porter. 6th place

Top Releases of 2013

  • Goose Island Bourbon County Barleywine
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Proprietor’s 2013

Breweries by Subregion

  • Illinois: Goose Island Brewing – Best Brewery. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout – Best Beer
  • Maryland: Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter – Best Beer
  • New Hampshire: Smuttynose Brewing – Best Brewery. Smuttynose Baltic Porter – Best Beer

 

 

Enjoy By IPA 02.14.14

01-14-2014

Stone Enjoy by IPA 02.14.14

 

 

The long-awaited day is here!

 

Starting tomorrow Grand Rapids and Lansing Michigan will be privy to the newest installment in the Stone Brewing Co. Enjoy By IPA series.

 

Let’s all take a moment to bask in the hoppy happiness that comes with that knowledge.

 

Brewed specifically to be big, bold and bursting with hop flavor this IPA is guaranteed not to last. In fact. as I type this you have exactly 31 days, 9 hours, 25 minutes and 7 seconds to guzzle down the beer before it’s gone or at least gone bad. In the age of collecting, cellaring and coveting beers to savor at our leisure, why make and make a beer that is designed to go against those hobbies? Well, Stone Brewing Co. is doing something fantastic for the craft drinkers out there – it’s creating a tangible and purposeful teaching moment, one pint at a time with Enjoy By IPA. This is the next level for beer drinkers out there that highlights the importance of pure freshness in a brew.

 

This Enjoy By IPA is made to be drank by February 14, 2014, which is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my opinion. It is a double IPA with a whopping hit of citrus and floral hops. Clocking in with 9.4% ABV and 88 IBUs it is a very dry and bitter brew that conveys a dank hoppiness in the head, with malts that on first sip smooth the way for a hop overload. It finishes dry and bitter, with a slight hint of alcohol warmth in the throat.

 

Find it. Drink it. Enjoy it. 02.14.14.

 

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2013 Beer Release Review

12-30-2013

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.

 

 

 

Beer Sixer for Thanksgiving

11-26-2013

Mixed beer sixer for Thanksgiving

 

 

Beer, historically, has been the go-to gift to for those that lack any sort of culinary inclination and still need to contribute to the holiday feast. The joy that the sight of sixer of beer can elicit from the host’s face is well worth the effort it takes to select a specific beer. But why wait stop at one? This year, make an impression with a sixer featuring individually chosen beers that each enhance the delicious fanfare of Thanksgiving.

 

Rochester Mills Milkshake Stout

Dark and rich chocolate notes make this beer like a dessert in a bottle, ensuring that no one will recall that you forgot to bring the pie.

 

Stella Artois Cidre

With an effervescent body and crisp finish this is a delectable twist on the typical champagne toast.

 

Summit Saga IPA

An assertive bitterness and resiny, grapefruit aroma make this IPA bold enough to serve as an accent to herbed and full-flavored dishes.

 

Shiner Cheer

A seasonal favorite, this ale is brewed with peaches and pecans that lend it a unique sweetness full of dark roasted nut flavor making it a perfect accompaniment to pecan pie.

 

Brooklyn Lager

A remarkably crisp, dry-hopped lager that goes well with roasted turkey, buttery mashed potatoes and herbed stuffing, making it the versatile drink of choice all meal long.

 

Arcadia Loch Down Scotch Ale

Roasted malt and caramel notes join a biscuit aroma to finish crisply. Pair this with mashed potatoes and gravy or roasted turkey to complement the richness.

Most Arrogant Bar Challenge 2013

11-21-2013

Most Arrogant Bar Challenge

 

 

 

Bastards and arrogance abound as the annual Stone Brewing Co. Most Arrogant Bar Challenge is finally here. The contest lets drinkers put their taste buds to work, with each participating bar seeing who can sell the most liquid arrogance and reign as the “Most Arrogant Bar.” There are several bars within the Grand Rapids and Lansing areas that have taken up the challenge to be “Most Arrogant Bar” so make sure to search them out for a chance to support them in their quest for the title.

 

After a week of sipping on liquid arrogance I am already aware of the side effects. These side effects include feeling really good about myself, attempting impossible feats (such as somersaulting), wearing different patterned clothing (now everything looks fabulous on me) and challenging strangers to thumb wrestling contests. In short, my confidence is through the roof and has reached the point of arrogance.

 

Although some of the side effects listed above could be considered dangerous  (too many thumb wrestling matches can lead to severe thumb strains), these risks are well worth it considering the reward for your mouth. Beers that are included in the liquid arrogance list include Arrogant Bastard, OAKED Arrogant Bastard, Lukcy Bastartd and Double Bastard. Try one or all, vote with your taste buds in getting your favorite bar the title of “Most Arrogant Bar” and discover if you are truly worthy to go for Stone Brewing Co.’s bastards.  

Anchor Christmas Ale

11-04-2013

Anchor Christmas Ale

 

The super-secret and ever-changing Anchor Christmas Ale is back!

Here is a really cute video talking about the 39th installment in the Christmas Ale series from Anchor Brewing, along with a press release detailing the 2013 logo and the series, in general.

 

 

 

Press Release:

(San Francisco, CA) – Anchor Brewing Company announces the release of the 2013 Anchor Christmas Ale; a rich, dark spiced ale that marks the 39th year of this Anchor tradition.

 

Every year since 1975 Anchor has brewed a distinctive and unique Christmas Ale, which is available from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s secret recipe is different every year, as is the tree on the label, but the intent with which Anchor offers it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life.

 

“Here at Anchor, we strive to capture the spirit of the holiday season with our annual Christmas Ale,” said Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster at Anchor Brewing. “Much like Christmas morning, everyone anxiously awaits for the day that they can finally crack open a bottle of Christmas Ale and see what this year’s ale is going to taste like. We don’t just change the recipe and the label each year for change sake, each year we are trying to improve and make the best spiced ale we can make. We think beer lovers will be pleased when they taste the complex, spiced flavors of the our 2013 Christmas Ale.”

 

Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew. This year, Anchor Christmas Ale’s tree is the beautiful California White Fir. It was hand drawn by local artist James Stitt, who has been creating Christmas Ale labels for us since 1975.

 

Not everyone who came to California in 1849 came in search of gold. A few came in search of trees. English botanist William Lobb was one such plant hunter. As a collector of California’s exotic flora for English nurseries, the “lynx-eyed” Lobb (born in East Cornwall in 1809; died in San Francisco in 1864) was responsible for the introduction of fifty-eight species of California plants to English gardens, including Giant Sequoia and California White Fir.

 

In its youth, the symmetry of California White Fir’s pyramidal form makes it the ideal Christmas tree. Its shade tolerance allows it to thrive at modest size for years amid groves of much taller Sequoias; yet it can attain heights of up to 160 feet when given the opportunity. The winged seeds of the California White Fir are collected not only by botanists, but also by mountain songbirds, chipmunks, and squirrels.

 

From November through mid-January, Anchor Christmas Ale is available in 6-packs, magnums, and on draught in select restaurants and bars across the U.S., as well as at the Anchor Brewing Taproom in San Francisco.

 

For more information on the history of Anchor Christmas Ale, please visit the link below.

Learn more about Anchor Brewing at www.anchorbrewing.com.

 

# # #

About Anchor Brewing Company
Anchor Brewing Company’s roots date back to the California gold rush making it one of America’s oldest breweries. Its Anchor Steam® Beer is San Francisco’s original since 1896. In 1965, Fritz Maytag acquired and revived the struggling brewery at a time when mass production of beer dominated and seemed unstoppable. Maytag started a revolution in beer that originated today’s craft beer movement. An undisputed icon, Anchor is America’s first craft brewery where beers are handmade in our traditional copper brewhouse from an all-malt mash. At Anchor, we practice the time-honored art of classical brewing, employing state-of-the-art methods to ensure that our beers are always pure and fresh. We know of no brewery in the world that matches our efforts to combine traditional, natural brewing with such carefully applied, modern methods of sanitation, finishing, packaging and transporting. See what we are brewing today at www.anchorbrewing.com.

The 6 Best Beers for Halloween

halloween, holiday, craft beer

The 6 Best Beers for Halloween

 

Halloween, the one day where you can be whatever you want to be. Hopefully, no matter your costume selection, you will choose to imbibe a beer to wash down all that candy. Here are a few beers to get ghoulish with tonight.

 

 

Angry Orchard Cinnful Apple

Although Angry Orchard is a cider, it gets to be included because the name and the drink are that good. Delightfully tart and sweet with a bit of heat from the cinnamon, this cider provides excuse enough to make tonight as cinnful as possible.

 

Blue Point Old Howling Bastard

The perfect beer accessory for those who want to dress up like an angry, old bald man, this barley-wine strong ale (10% ABV) will keep you warm and toasty throughout marathon trick or treating.

 

 

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter

The skeletons out and about tonight will adore this porter’s label while the rest of us enjoy this bold and black beer brewed in honor of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

 

Petoskey Brewing Horny Monk

Petoskey Brewing provides a red, malty and complex Belgian-style ale for all the booze-loving monks and friars that will be out, rather oddly celebrating All Hollows’ Eve.

 

 

 

Right Brain Blue Magic

Eerily floral, this ale brewed with locally-sourced lavender, is no witch’s brew but it will definitely make your mouth taste like magic.

 

 

Stone Brewing  Ruination IPA

Tonight delight in the ruin, doom and gloom as the skies darken while sipping devilishly bitter IPA.

10 Things as Soft as Suede

10-29-2013

10 Things as Soft as Suede




Suede, the fabric, is pretty great. Suede, the beer, is awesome. Part of the reason this brew is so awesome is that the flavor balance and mouthfeel are both as smooth as the soft fabric. Which made me think, what else is super awesome and soft like suede? These are the top ten soft like suede things, personally. What would be on your list? 

 

1. Puppies when they cuddle up next to you

 

2. Deep conditioned and brushed hair (or beard).

 

3. My sheets when I accidentally throw in twelve fabric softener sheets instead of one.

 

4. Those fuzzy socks that make it look like you have furry feet.

 

5. Flower petals. Although, if you rub then on your face you may end up with pollen up your nose and an allergic reaction.

 

6. Frozen yogurt looks and is very soft.

 

7. The snuggie blanket you pretend you don’t own but secretly covet all winter long.

 

8. Chapstick with shea butter or something in it.

 

9. Peanut butter.

 

10. Suede Imperial Porter from Stone Brewing Co. 

9.6% ABV 

Avocado honey, jasmine and calendula flowers infuse this imperial porter with a deep, complex flavor that is as smooth as suede.  Intense floral flavor highlights the dark cocoa and coffee notes, an unusual and tasty combination in an imperial porter.

 


Homebrewing for the First Time

10-15-2013

Homebrewing for the First Time

 

After months of suspense I finally homebrewed. Unsurprisingly, I sucked at it.

 


 

Although the process of brewing is an ancient tradition and typically there are only four ingredients involved, brewing a beer that actually tastes delicious is quite the feat.

 

Luckily, I had some helpful guidance from a coworker and avid brewer who provided equipment and a brewing location. The brewing part ended up being a lot of fun. The air smelled amazing from the brewing beer and I got to sit for a bit and drink a few of my coworker’s homebrews while tending to my own liquid.

 

After transporting the carboy full of my brew back home, I spent the night acting like a brand new mother by checking in on it in the middle of the night and taking way too many photos of the bubbly action. However, I was not a good mother since I forgot to replace the plastic wrap on the top with the air lock. I only realized my mistake when I came home from work to discover the carboy making a loud and scary nose with the plastic wrap about to explode. After a very freaked out phone call to a brewing pal and a bit of clean up later the air lock was on but I started to live in fear of contamination. That is, until I started to neglect my first brewed.

 

I visited my family, work things started to pick up speed and I forgot about my beer baby in the corner. It never got to go through secondary fermentation and instead steeped for a full three weeks before I managed to bottle. After hearing stories about the boring clean up aspect, as well as the tedious labor of bottling I was a bit apprehensive. However, with a couple of beers, a friend and a few hours of my time the beer ended up bottled. 

 

I sampled some during the bottling process and it disappointed me. Although I had every intention of creating a West Coast style pale ale I somehow created a pale amber ale. If I had the supplies to dry hop I may have been able to create something close to deliciousness. Instead, I ended up with a rather unbalanced ale that at least managed to skirt contamination. Hopefully time and bottle conditioning will improve it but if not, or at least until then, I have plenty of fine tasting brews to keep me company. 


Copper Wort Chiller 

 


 


Beer Baby in a Carboy 

 


 


Bottling Station 

 


Happy Birthday Perrin Brewing Company

09-17-2013

Happy Birthday, Perrin Brewing Company!

 




 


This past Saturday Perrin Brewing Company celebrated its first birthday with a Backyard Beer Bash. The all-day event event filled up the brewery's backyard with a beer-centric artist alley, BBQ offerings that were roasted on the spot, some of the best musical acts in town and, of course, lots of beer. The beer tents provided the regular-tiered beers while the Perrin bus served as a beacon for all those searching for specialty brews. But the best part of the Beer Bash definitely ended up being the diverse, beer loving crowd. From a bachelor parties, couples on date night and a Kenny G look alike to an actual wedding party, everyone showed up to enjoy and celebrate Perrin Brewing's inaugural year of beer success. 

Check out our Facebook album to check out a few more photos showcasing the fun. 

 

Smuttynose Brewing Coming to MI

09-12-2013

Smuttynose Brewing Co. Coming to MI 






As we happily announced this past Tuesday, we will be adding Smuttynose Brewing Co. to our craft portfolio in October. Keep checking back for updates on what we will be doing to celebrate being the 23rd state in the Smuttynose distribution footprint. Until then, here’s the official press release announcing their plans to distribute to Michigan. 


Smuttynose Brewing Co. expands distribution to Michigan with West Side Distributing 


Posted on September 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm by Press Release      


(Portsmouth, NH) – Smuttynose Brewing Company is delighted to announce their new partnership with West Side Distributing, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who will bring New Hampshire’s leading craft brewer’s beers to the Wolverine State starting in October, 2013. The deal with West Side makes Michigan the 23rd state (plus Washington DC) where Smuttynose beers are available. 


The relationship between West Side and Smuttynose didn’t develop over night, but over several years of courtship by the largest beer distributor in Michigan. “Whether it was at big beer events like Craft Brewers Conference or just an email here and there, West Side politely and casually let us know they were interested whenever we were ready,” said Peter Egelston, Smuttynose’s President and Founder, “but being at capacity for the last four or five years meant entering a large, craft beer-loving state like Michigan was impossible. With our new brewery project almost ready to come online, I was excited to talk to West Side about moving forward.” 


Michiganders will see Smuttynose beer in four key markets; Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Romulus/Detroit. Initial shipments of Finestkind IPA and Big A IPA will be exclusively on draft for the on-premise trade, while shipments of bottle packages will begin in early 2014. Egelston cited West Side’s plan for building the Smuttynose brand in Michigan as a key factor in making the decision. “We’re really excited to add such a wonderful beer state to the list of places Smuttynose is sold and we can’t wait to grow with West Side.”Initial roll-out events will take place October 9,10,11 when several key Smuttynose employees will make the rounds to introduce themselves and their beers to Michiganders. Details will be announced over Smuttynose social media.


Founded in 1994, Smuttynose is New Hampshire’s leading craft brewery. In 2012, its 50 employees worked to brew, package and sell nearly 41,000 barrels of beer across 22 states and Washington DC. After nearly 20 years in their original home in Portsmouth, the international award-winning brewery will move into its new, LEED Gold-registered brewery and visitors’ center on the historic Towle Farm in Hampton, NH in 2014. 


Family-owned West Side Beer Distributors is the largest beer distributor in Michigan. The Klopcic Family’s roots in the business began in Detroit when Don Klopcic, Sr. opened Don Lee Distributing in 1965. They expanded west to Grand Rapids in 1981, with the acquisition of West Side and have since added the Romulus (2008), Kalamazoo (2009) and Lansing (2012) territories. In addition to their beer distribution responsibilities, all branches of the business are very active in their communities and are proud to support responsible beer consumption and education efforts

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