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7 Summer Sippers

05-07-2015

The sun is out and sizzling and it is time to start sipping on some summer brews. From ales brewed with seasonal fruit straight from the Michigan’s farms to lagers light and fresh there's a summer beer out there for all of us. 

 

 

Samuel Adams Summer Ale

Lemon peel, Noble hops and American wheat combine in Summer ale to create a flavor profile with a lively, tangy taste.

Magic Hat #9

A pale ale with a bit of bright hops that accent apricot fruitiness all packaged up in a slightly dry, crisp and refreshing brew.

New Belgium Skinny Dip

A summertime lager that is full-bodied with a sweet flavor and a juicy mouthfeel that finishes crisp.

Deschutes Twilight

A golden-hued ale with a bright aroma full of citrus and pine hoppiness balanced out by a distinctive malt body.

Rochester Mills Tongue Tied Cherry Saison

A Belgian ale brewed with tart and sweet Michigan cherries. Tongue Tied pours a rose hue with a bright white head with a creamy wheat mouthfeel that is highlighted by a hint of herbal spiciness and lemon and orange peel.

Shock Top Banana Wheat

A bright white head with plenty of lacing is followed by a creamy mouthfeel that highlights the citrus, honey, spice and banana combination. 

 

Perrin Grapefruit IPA 

A thirst-quenching IPA build for refreshment in warmer weather. A hazy, golden-hued ale with a citrus-laden aroma bursting with bitter grapefruit flavor.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

March Releases

02-27-2015

Get ready for spring with these releases for March, all bright sippers to celebrate the (hopeful) coming of spring. 

 

Perrin Grapefruit IPA 

On March 16 Perrin Brewing Co. will unleash their citrusy, thirst-quenching Grapefruit IPA. Pick up a pint of this ale to take a breather from your otherwise St. Patrick’s Day themed shenanigans and bask in the tasty, fruity brew. Brewed with real grapefruit, Grapefruit IPA is a seasonal offering from Perrin Brewing Co. that pours a hazy golden hue with an intoxicating grapefruit aroma and sweet fruit flavor with a bitter and crisp finish

 

 

New Belgium Skinny Dip

New Belgium Brewing Co. doesn’t want you to get naked, although they do want you to check out their own Skinny Dip, the upcoming summer seasonal. Skinny Dip is a full-bodied lager a frothy head, sunny citrus flavor and crisp finale.  Bright Cascade hops, peach notes and bready malts blend together to create a tantalizing sipper.
4.2% ABV 20 IBU

 

 

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA 

After patiently waiting since October Deschutes release, we will be able to finally indulge in Deschutes Brewery Fresh Squeezed IPA, both on draft or straight from the bottle. A huge citrus aroma affronts the senses immediately with this super juicy IPA, with light bready and honey malt undertones quietly complementing the grapefruit hop profile. 6.4% ABV 60 IBU

 

 

Arcadia Ales Whitsun Ale 

A true sign of the return of spring – Arcadia Ales Whitsun Ale will be back in the Grand Rapids beginning in March. The wheat ale bursts with a light citrus aroma, a creamy white head and a hazy orange appearance. The flavor profile is a combination of orange peel, coriander, light bready notes and a caramel sweetness from Michigan honey. The wheat provides a creamy mouthfeel while a light hopping adds balance to the ale.
6.2% ABV 17 IBU

 

 

Bud Light Lemon-Ade-Rita

A brand new seasonal, limited edition release from the Bud Light Rita family is here!       Lemon-Ade-Rita combines the juicy, fresh-squeezed qualities of homemade lemonade with the crisp and refreshing body of a Bud Light. This newest edition is currently in house, ready to harken the coming of spring.

8% ABV

Super Bowl Pairing: Chips and Beer

01-28-2015

Play matchmaker with your favorite potato chip and brew with this handy guide to potato chips and beer pairings, just in time for the Super Bowl. 

 

Let the Super Bowl snacking begin! 

 

New Year = New Beers To Try

01-02-2015

Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA 

Fresh Squeezed IPA from Deschutes makes it’s grand entrance into the market this month, on draft, only. Beginning in the springtime, 6 pack bottles will also be available. This juicy, citrusy IPA will be sure to please those with its “new school” IPA style.

 

 

New Belgium Slow Ride IPA 

Take it easy with the newest release from New Belgium Brewing, Slow Ride IPA. The session ale boasts super hopped up goodness in an itty bitty ABV package. With a release date in January, the hoppy goodness will soon be available all year.

 

Samuel Adams Rebel Rider and Rebel Rouser IPAs 

On their way to taps and stores soon are Rebel IPA’s sidekicks, Rebel Rider and Rebel Rouser. Samuel Adams brewed the two IPAs to complement their top selling Rebel IPA, released last year. Rebel Rider is a session IPA while Rebel Rouser is a double IPA. Between the OG Rebel IPA, Rebel Rider and Rebel Rouser, you can tap into your rebellious side all year long, no matter your mood.

 

 

Blakes Cider

Ok, so cider isn’t beer but it’s delicious, especially the farm-to-tap, hand crafted type of cider produced by Blake’s Cider out of Armada, Michigan. With 70s slang inspired names like Flannel Mouth and Catawampus, Blake’s cider will soon be delighting the Grand Rapids market with it’s impeccable liquid and sense of fun.

 

Perrin Lil' Griz 

Ever heard of a session bourbon barrel aged brown ale? We hadn't either, until Perrin Brewing Co. came up with this stunning example. Huge flavor accompanies this relatively low ABV beer, making it the perfect beer to warm up with throughout the long months of winter ahead.  

 

 

Bud Light Lemon-Ade-Rita

Another limited release from the Bud Light Rita family is on its way. Perfect timing for summer, Lemon-Ade-Rita melds the light and crisp flavor of Bud Light with fresh citrus lemonade sweetness.

 

Stone Enjoy After 

For the past year, the Mitten state’s been enjoying the educational and delicious Enjoy By IPA series from Stone Brewing. Beginning in 2014, we will also begin getting a very limited amount of the brand new Enjoy After series, as well. These ales turn the enjoy by concept on its head and are brewed to be drank at least a year after production. The exact styles and availability are yet to be determined but that doesn’t mean we can’t eagerly await its arrival.

2014 Beer Mashup

12-09-2014

As the year comes to an end, it’s time to celebrate all the fantastic beers we’ve discovered over the course of the year. Much like the much-anticipated pop music mashup, each style is a deliciously good way to remember the year individually, although we don’t suggest mashing them all together into a liquid hot mess to choke down.

 

 

New Belgium Brewing Co. Snapshot

Snapshot Wheat hallmarked the spring with its bright and tangy flavor. This unfiltered wheat ale arrived during the throes of the Polar Vortex, bringing with it a bright, citrusy hope for the future. Since then it has yet to disappoint with each tart sip.

 

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

The release of Rebel IPA dared us to try a new IPA from one of the godfathers of craft beer. The IPA showcased the scope of Samuel Adam’s brewing prowess with its well-balanced hop-forward presence, making it the second best-selling IPA in the country in just a few short months.

 

 

Stone Brewing Co. EnjoyBy IPA

The EnjoyBy IPA series from Stone Brewing highlighted the educational component of drinking, in this case the sooner you drink it, the better. Brewed to be consumed within thirty days, each style in the EnjoyBy series showcases the unique characteristics of the hops that result in such a freshly bitter beer.

 

 

Arcadia Rapunzel Wheat IPA

Arcadia Ales helped bring a newly popular style to the Michigan consciousness with Rapunzel Wheat IPA. The ale combined the creamy and smooth mouthfeel of a wheat beer with bright citrus hop bitterness. Representing the Michigan beer landscape even more, the beer incorporates locally-sourced hops.

 

Right Brain Brewery Smooth Operator

The cream ale from Right Brain Brewery came just in time for summer, providing an exceptionally flavored, light-bodied “lawnmower” beer option for the Michigan craft beer sector. The easy drinking beer in the 16-ounce can soon became (and remained) a top hit for those who like to laze the day away with a cold one in hand.

 

Traveler Beer Jolly Shandy

The newest beer project from Alan Newman, Traveler Beer, brought a brand new option to the Grand Rapids area with its craft shandy lineup. When Jacko, a pumpkin shandy, showed up on the scene just in time for witching season, beer drinkers learned how innovative the style could be.

 

Shocktop Shockolate

Roasted cocoa nibs brought a rich, roasted flavor to this Belgian wheat style ale. The style came in just time for a decadent chocolate treat during the cold season.

 

 

Deschutes Brewery

After much anticipation, the 6th largest craft brewery in the country brought its wares to the West Michigan market. Black Butte Porter, the country's best-selling porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Inversion IPA and Jubelale all launched the market in October. After a few months of getting to know these well-balanced and tasty beers, new seasonals and beer styles will soon be available as Michigan continues to get to know (and love) one of the best nationally-ranked craft breweries. 

 

Perrin Brewing Killing Craft

After two long years of anticipation, Perrin Brewing launched its first packaged beer on the Michigan beer scene with the super limited bottle series. The Killing Craft series began with the bourbon barrel aged duo, Kill Em All and With Kindness, which started off this series that is focused on highlighting the artistry of crafting beer. 

Beers Paired with Family Time

11-25-2014

Beer and food pairings for Thanksgiving are popping up like crazy. Although fantastic and incredibly helpful when it comes to picking out that perfect ale for your turkey leg, beer and food pairings for Thanksgiving are overlooking another huge factor of the holiday – family. Use this guide to help you decide which beer will be best for surviving Aunt May’s cheek pinches or the newest crazy girl your brother brought home.

 

 

Your sibling’s significant other: Best with New Belgium Rampant IPA

You’re going to need a big beer to withstand your sister’s boyfriend who looks like he belongs in some boy band or your brother’s new girlfriend who still believes that they will last forever and the two of you are going to be best friends. Rampant, an imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing Co. is there to help. At 8% ABV it has enough alcohol to help you as you attempt to warm up to the person in question. The bold fruity aroma can break through any bleak thoughts you have regarding possibly having to attend their future wedding. And finally the big bitter bite that is present in each sip and finishes on a dry note perfectly mimics the acidic tone you take as you explain in detail what you will do to that person if they ever hurt your sibling’s feelings.

 

 

Grandma’s questions about your love life: best with Bud Light Cran-brrr-rita

Responding to your dear grandma’s eternal questions regarding your single status or attempting to explain that your current love interest really does consider his band as his career can get tiring. Bud Light Cran-brr-rita will remind you that, just like your beverage, your grandmas is truly sweet and well-meaning. The tart and fruity combination of Cran-Brr-Rita will make your mouth happy, which will remind the rest of you to smile. Best part is that at 8 ounces, you will soon need to end the conversation to grab another one.

 

Your overly attached screaming nieces/nephews: best with Perrin Kona Brown

Make sure to have a growler of Perrin Kona Brown ale on hand when the adorable herd of nieces, nephews or little cousins decide to swarm you. The Kona coffee that the ale is brewed with will give you the caffeine kick required to suddenly have herculean strength and carry three children at once as you play horsey. The smooth chocolate malt, likewise, will parch your throat as you slowly read your way through a leaning tower of books once they tire.

 

Watching football with your uncles: best with Right Brain Smooth Operator

Football games seem to last forever so a beer that won’t knock you out at once will be required. This cream ale comes in low at 3.8% ABV so you will be sure to maintain focus throughout the game, even as you take awkwardly frequent sips to keep from getting too bored. Smooth Operator comes in a 16 ounce can so it will bring back fond memories of tailgating in warmer weather. Those memories and your can of beer will keep you entertained as you pretend to watch the game while actually avoiding cleaning up the kitchen at any cost.

 

 

 

Playing card games with your siblings: Best with Stone Brewing Co. Arrogant Bastard

When playing with your siblings, a friendly game of euchre can quickly turn into an ugly competitive match. Prepare for battle accordingly with the over-the-top Arrogant Bastard strong ale from Stone Brewing Co. It’s like liquid confidence, with a malty backbone built to help you withstand any embarrassing childhood nickname that is unburied. The bitter bite to the beer helps set the edge necessary for recalling past traumas that you still blame a certain someone for and also creating the winning hand. But at the end of it all, the beer comes in a bomber so of course you will end up sharing and bonding with them, as long you win.

 

One-on-one with mom: best with Oskar Blues TenFidy

She will want to know what you're doing with your life, bolster your self-confidence and subtly guilt trip you for never visiting enough. You’re going to need a complex brew to match the rollercoaster of emotions that will take place, which is where the full-bodied imperial stout from Oskar Blues comes in. Bittersweet chocolate malt, hints of vanilla and smoke make this a perfect beer to sip on and occupy your mouth so you don’t talk back when you hear the “I told you so” comments. The warming alcohol quality will help to loosen up your emotions until you’re back to calling her “mommy" and are spilling the beans on all your hopes and dreams. For all stages of the one-on-one talk Tenfidy is there for you with its contradictory and complementary layers of flavor.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Beer and Halloween Candy

10-28-2014

Back in the day, I took Halloween very seriously. It was the candy holiday and my family prepared the proper way – by coming up with ridiculous costumes and stealing pillow cases off the beds to use for carrying back our haul. Now, as a grown up, I’ve been forced out of the trick or treating game and beer has replaced the pillow case as the candy accompaniment. Chosen wisely, these two make perfect pairings.

 

 

New Belgium Rampant IPA with sour gummy worms

A perfect example of matching strength to strength, Rampant Imperial IPA from New Belgium Brewing pairs well with the sour gummy worms. The sweet and tart flavors stand up to the bold and bitter brew while the juicy and tropical fruit hop notes complement the gummies’ varied flavors.

 

 

Deschutes Black Butte Porter with malt balls

Milk chocolate coating meets chocolate malt for this candy pairing. The porter is light bodied enough to not overwhelm the palate and the carbonation and dry finish help to clean the tongue between bites.

 

 

Oskar Blues Old Chub Nitro with peanut butter cups

What goes better than chocolate and peanut butter? More chocolate with peanut butter, of course. The smooth and creamy brew can be enjoyed straight from the can. The dark roasted malt is slightly sweet and bitter, perfect to serve as a side to the rich and thick peanut butter chocolate candy.  

 

Samuel Adams Cream Stout with Snickers

The caramel, peanuts and creamy chocolate in Snickers gets to take the main stage for this pairing, with Samuel Adams Cream Stout serving as a refresher. The stout is a dessert itself but proves to be light enough to let the creamy filling and bold chocolate peanut combo shine through.

 

 

Perrin Kona Brown with Kit Kat bars

Sweet milk chocolate and crunchy wafers are given a caffeine boost with this brown ale brewed with locally roasted coffee. The coffee brings out the roasted malt quality which adds another layer of chocolate complexity to the candy, while serving as a base to balance out the sweetness of the treat. 

New Belgium Accumulation

10-23-2014

The snow may not be piling on yet but you can still accumulate some seasonal white stuff with Accumulation White IPA.

 

 

The returning seasonal from New Belgium Brewing Co. is now available for the cold months. To become acquainted with this white IPA, you start with a brilliant golden pour that has just a touch of haze. Topping it off is a heaping head of white foam, much like the snow that will soon be piling up. Bring the glass closer, right by the ol’ schnoz, and take a couple of sniffs. That wonderful smell? That’s the aroma of Accumulation – full of tropical and citrus hops, which can even be reminiscent of fond childhood memories chowing down on fruity pebbles. Now that the prep work is done, take a rewarding slug of the brew. The bold bitterness from a heavy hop dosage should go down smooth, thanks to a wheat creamy mouthfeel. There should be a light caramel malt that provides a stable body to support the hops, as well as a slight fruity sweetness.  The finish is incredibly crisp, leaving the senses just begging for another sip, so go ahead and have another. 

 

 

The Perfect Craft Beer Pairing for the Game

07-01-2014

T minus two hours until the U.S. goes head-to-head against Belgium in another epic World Cup match. As the minutes tick away and everyone hurries through the workday in order to change into red, white and blues and head down to their preferred perch to watch the game there is only one question that is still unanswered.

No, it’s not who will win. That will be the U.S. Obviously. “We believe that we will win,” is the chant, right?

The question is what beer will be best served alongside the cheers and jeers of the soccer game. For a perfect craft beer option, look no further than New Belgium Brewing. The passion for the brewery was born in Belgium, which is where the name derives, and they do brew up many delicious Belgium styles. However, the brewery is U.S. born and thrives throughout the country as one of the top craft breweries. Since the Craft Beer Revolution in the U.S. New Belgium has consistently proven itself as a brewery that supports and takes part in local communities throughout the states. The brewery simultaneously is an emblem of the “American way” while harmonizing patriotic ideals with international know-how. So pony up to your favorite pub’s bar and have them pour you the drink of the game – a pint of New Belgium beer.

 

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. 
 
 
 
 

Nachos and Beer: Super Bowl Pairing

01-31-2014

Nachos and Beer: Your Super Bowl Pairing

As the Super Bowl approaches there is only one thing on my mind – nachos. Maybe it’s multiple types available or maybe it’s the cheese. Whatever the cause, nachos are the ultimate Super Bowl snack. This crispy, cheesey, spicy and salty snack requires a beverage that will be its equal in taste and overall awesomeness. The nachos require a beer (or three) that pairs perfectly with the dish. Depending on personal nacho preferences, here is a list of beer styles and brands to pair with the ultimate Super Bowl snack.

 

 

Classic Cheese Nachos with Jalapenos and Salsa

Pairing: Pale Lagers (Stella Artois, Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils)

Gooey and cheesy with a bright heat from the jalapenos, these nachos require a lager with a complex body. Light hoppiness from the lager will withstand the flavor without overemphasizing the heat. Instead, the clean finish will cut through the cheese gooeyness while higher combination levels with combat and balance out the spiciness.  If you want to take it a step further, check out this recipe for beer cheese made with Stella Artois.

 

BBQ Nachos

Pairing: Ambers (New Belgium Fat Tire) and Dunkels (Frankenmuth Dunkel)

Often made with pulled pork, BBQ nachos combine gooey cheese with sweet and tangy BBQ sauce covering dark meat. The sweet maltiness complements the BBQ flavors while also adding to dark and meaty quality. The clean finish of the dunkel and the dry, slightly bitter finish of the amber both work to dig through the cheesiness.

 

Deluxe Nachos

Pairing: Pale Ales (Summit EPA) and IPAs (Perrin IPA)

So many toppings are on these nachos that your chip is in danger of breaking. Ground beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, olives, salsa, onion, sour cream and avocado are all common toppings on these nachos that boast a complex, spicy, salty and tangy flavor. The hops in both pale ales and IPAs complement the tang in the sour cream while the effervescence and bitter end clear the palette for the next bite. The bold beer flavors provide a strong enough brew to hold its own beside the deluxe nachos.  

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.

 

 

 

Give the Gift of Beer

12-19-2013

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.

 

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