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New Beer in the City

08-07-2015

 

Our Grand Rapids warehouse is excited to begin distributing some new brands throughout the area. Last week we acquired the amazing, highly-regarded regional brewery, Goose Island Brewing Co. as well as some established imports with the acquisition of the Spaten, St. Pauli Girl and Franziskaner brands.

 

 

Goose Island Brewing Co.

Goose Island was established in 1988 by John Hall and soon extinguished itself as one of the leaders of the craft beer revolution from its brewery based in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago brewery utilizes 32 fermenters while brewing 24/7 on a 50 barrel system within their 143,000 square foot facility.

 

Then there is the beer. Throughout the years, 312 Wheat has become a liquid symbol of the Windy City, even resulting in the creation of its cousin beer, 312 Pale Ale. The brewery’s sought-after Bourbon County Series continues to showcase the Skillman-ship, creativity and expertise that form the foundation for their preeminent barrel-aging system. Then there are the classics such as IPA and Honkers Ale that are perfect to have on hand in conjunction with innovative releases from their Fulton and Wood series. West Side Beer is proud to include this world-class brewery in the Grand Rapids portfolio.

 

Spaten

Imported from Munich, Spaten Premium Lager and Doppelbock bring traditional Germanic brewing tradition to Beer City, USA. First founded in 1397, the brewery first began exporting beer to America in 1909. The two styles are also complemented by the release of their Oktoberfest  seasonal offering.

 

Franziskaner

Also based out of Munich and a part of the Spaten-Franziskaner company since the early 1920s, Franziskaner is a classic and refreshing Weissbier. This traditional hefeweizen style is flavorful and malty with a creamy white head and banana/clove spice aroma.

 

 

St. Pauli Girl

 Based out of Bremen, Germany then imported and now distributed through West Side Beer, St. Pauli Girl is brewed according to traditional Germanic purity brewing laws.  Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions are available of the classic lager style. 

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

5 Stouts to drink for #StoutDay

11-06-2014

The weather outside may be frightful but inside your mouth (and belly) things can still be delightful. Why? Because today is International Stout Day, which means celebrations and libations are in order. For optimum mouth happiness, test out these five stouts to join in on the day's festivities. 

 

 

Right Brain CEO Stout

Voted Michigan's Favorite Stout for two consecutive years, Right Brain Brewery's CEO stout is sure to please. Brewed with chocolate, espresso and oatmeal for the perfect creamy, sweet and dark flavor, CEO Stout is a big and bold flavored American stout. 

5.5% ABV 25 IBU

 

Rochester Mills Milkshake Stout 

For a brew that is sure to bring all the boys or gals to the yard, Milkshake Stout from Rochester Mills Beer Co. is the go-to stout. Brewed with milk sugar, the dark, full-flavored brew showcases layers of roasted malt complexity with each creamy sip that lingers on a slightly sweet note.  

5% ABV 

 

Goose Island Muddy Imperial Stout

Inspired by the Chicago Blues scene, Muddy Imperial Stout from Goose Island Brewing Co. blends molasses, brewer's licorice and Belgian rock candi sugar seamlessly together in this brew. The rich and bold stout is perfect for making a statement. 

9% ABV 32 IBU

 

 

New Belgium Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout 

For a twist on the classic style, go for Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout, the newest out of the Lips of Faith series from New Belgium Brewing Co. The brew combines a Belgian yeast with chocolate sweetness and sprinkling of salt, which accents the sweetness in this dessert in a glass. 

9% ABV 35 IBU

 

Oskar Blues TenFidy

A beer big enough for any celebration, Ten Fidy Imperial Stout from Oskar Blues Brewery pours an opaque black, akin to motor oil. The huge brew is full of caramel, chocolate and roasted coffee flavor, with a hefty wallop of hops wrapped in a blanket of smooth malts. 

10.% ABV 98 IBU

 

 

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

 

 

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