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Now Distributing Ridge Cider Co.

07-01-2015

 

July is chockfull of the fruit of the land, now including pints of locally harvested and fermented cider from Ridge Cider Co. Distributed throughout the Grand Rapids area via West Side Beer Distributing, the company is the result of joint efforts of Bruce Rasch and Matt DeLong to produce a hyperlocal and supremely quaffable liquid.

 

Based out of Grant, Michigan Ridge Cider Co. uses an orchard-to-pint approach to bring traditional hard cider to Grand Rapids. They focus on core styles that showcase the taste of West Michigan apples with a kick of hard cider in each sip. The following styles are available on draft.

 

Roots 5% ABV

Bright apple aroma is complemented by a pungent kick of fresh, spicy ginger

 

RHAC 5.5% ABV

RHAC stands for Ridge Hopped Apple Cider and features a heady aroma of resiny and citrus hops, thanks to a heavy dry hopping with locally grown hops.

 

Cones 5.4% ABV

Made with juniper berries, which are also known as baby pine cones, Cones is a crisp and refreshing cider with a subtle hint of resinous pine and breathe of citrus.

 

Porch Sittin 5.6% ABV

Vanilla and cinnamon collaborate to create a nostalgic and refreshing complementary taste for this dry hard cider.

 

Raschberry 6% ABV

A hard cider brewed with raspberries, lending it a tart and fresh burst of berry flavor that is prevalent throughout the nose and the taste.

 

Peach Ridge 5.9% ABV

A fruity cider boasting crisp apple and layers of juicy, sweet peach flavor.

 

 

 

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. 

Welcoming Deschutes Brewery

08-20-2014

Today is a great day in the world of beer for Michigan – Deschutes Brewery announced their intent to distribute in Michigan, beginning on October 6th in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing. As the 6th largest craft brewery in the country, Deschutes beers have been long anticipated in the mitten state. The brewery will initially release Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Inversion IPA and Jubelale.

 

For more information, check out the official press release below and make sure to look out for Deschutes Brewery on October 6th.  

 

 

 

Press Release

 

Deschutes Brewery Beers Coming to Michigan

Bend, Oregon brewery’s craft beers will be available for fans in Western Michigan the
first week of October, with launch events scheduled for October 8-11

 

August 20, 2014 – Bend, Oregon – Deschutes Brewery announced today its craft beers will be available in Michigan beginning October 6th. The Oregon-based brewery will partner with West Side Beer Distributing for distribution of its beers in the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Lansing areas. 

 

Stacy Denbow, expansion manager for the brewery, said, “We’ve seen a great amount of excitement leading up to our Michigan launch, our last major expansion for the 2014 year. Our fans in Michigan are passionate about their craft beer and we’re looking forward to them being able to get Deschutes in their home state.”

 

Beer is slated to be available October 6th in the three western Michigan cities, with launch events scheduled for October 8-11th. Initially, Deschutes Brewery will offer Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, the nation’s number one selling craft porter, Inversion IPA, and its winter seasonal, Jubelale. The beers will be available in 6-packs (12-oz bottles) and draft.

 

Denbow continued, “We’ve been preparing for expanding our distribution area over the past few years, but we always want to make sure we can provide adequate supply to our entire footprint. We are keeping a close eye on capacity, and that’s why we are focusing only on the western portion of Michigan at this point.”

 

Deschutes launched in Ohio, Kentucky, central and western Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin earlier this year. The western portion of Michigan rounds out the brewery’s geographic expansion for the year. 

 

About Deschutes Brewery

Founded in 1988 as a brew pub in Bend, Oregon, Deschutes Brewery is known for brewing a diverse line-up of award winning beers including the popular Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale. From the beginning, fine ingredients and hand-crafting have been the focus – for both the beer and the food.  In 2008, the brewery opened a second pub in Portland’s Pearl District. Deschutes Brewery now ships beer to 26 states and around the world from its main brewing facility located on the banks of the Deschutes River.  To find out more, visit www.DeschutesBrewery.com or follow on Facebook (/Deschutes.Brewery) and Twitter (@DeschutesBeer).

 

 

Apple of Your Eye

08-05-2014

A is for apple.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

How about them apples?

 

 

The fruit is not only an favorite American produce, it’s gone so far as to infiltrate our language. Now, the apple is reaching even further with beer. No longer satisfied with the cider category (which is, individually, a huge growing category) the apple is launching itself forward with Bud Light Lime Apple-AHHH-Rita.

 

 

Apple-AHHH-Rita is the newest release from the Rita family, perfect timing as we approach apple picking season. This limited edition offering brings bright and crisp apple flavor to sync with the light and refreshing flavor of Bud Light Lime to create a unique twist on the apple margarita. Best served poured over ice, Apple-AHH-Rita is 8% ABV and will be available until the beginning of November.

Check it out  - after first sip it will sure to be the new apple of your eye. 

Arcadia Ales Rapunzel

07-09-2014

Beach, travel and beer – there’s a lot to celebrate in Michigan this month.

 

As the month rolls by, the pints will be pouring as the state celebrates its official craft beer month. One week has already passed us by – it’s time to double down on the craft beer celebrations over the next three weeks. To maximize on this state sanctioned time of drinking, check out the latest and greatest from Arcadia Ales.

 

 

Rapunzel is a tasty twist on the classic fairy tale. This time, instead of handsome princes falling from high towers your taste buds will fall in love with the wheat IPA. Brewed with Michigan hops, Rapunzel is a creamy wheat-based ale with notes of citrus and pineapple hops on the nose with a bit of bready malt sweetness when the liquid first hits your tongue. The bright hop profile adds a balancing bitterness towards the end, with a crisp and dry finish. This beaut clocks in at 5.8% ABV and is available in our Grand Rapids and Lansing locations, both on draft and in 12 ounce bottles.

 

 

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.

 

Perrin Brewing Co. VPA

05-29-2014

 

The newest release from Perrin Brewing Co. is VPA (Veterans’ Pale Ale), brewed in honor and support of the troops, past and present, who have sacrificed for our country.

 

VPA is a sessionable pale ale brewed with a combination of Summit, Centennial and Citra hops, which result in a bold American hop aroma. The flavor is effortlessly balanced between a light and clean malt body that smooths and supports the floral and citrus hop bitterness. The color is clear, bright straw. This ale clocks in at 5% ABV and 40 IBUs.

 

 

For every pint sold of VPA, one dollar will be donated to the Finish the Mission Veterans Relief Fund. This nonprofit's mission is to support local, West Michigan veterans and their families by helping with an array of monetary shortages they are experiencing, including mortgages, dental and health expenses. In addition, Perrin Brewing Co. is a proud sponsor and participant in the Freedom Cruise, which will ride through Grand Rapids June 25-29.

 

Whichever way you pour it, VPA is a do-gooder. Whether that’s supporting those who protect us or simply because it’s an incredibly drinkable and delicious new ale to sip on.

 

 

Traveler Beer Co.

03-28-2014

Traveler Beer Company

 

The Traveler Beer Company began with a phone call between Alan Newman, founder of Magic Hat Brewing, and Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company. That phone conversation begat the Alchemy and Science project, which then produced the Traveler Beer Company.

 

 

The Traveler Beer Company produces a new sort of adventure for the craft drinker – craft shandys. According to the Beer Traveler Company, the story of the shandy goes way back.

 

“The shandy tradition dates back to the 17th century and is typically beer mixed with a citrus-flavored soda or carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale or cider. Today, English publicans pour a blend of traditional English ale with various lemon and lime beverages for their patrons though real lemons or limes are rarely used.” - Beer Traveler Co.

 

Alan Newman and company realized that in the craft beer community that was bursting with barrel aged brews and dank IPAs there was a surprising lack of any craft shandys. That’s when the Beer Traveler Company found its mission.

 

 

The first in the lineup turned into the brewery’s flagship, Curious Traveler, a malt wheat ale infused with lemon and lime puree, lending it a brilliant citrus aroma and taste. The additional options that are available throughout the Grand Rapids market are Time Traveler, which is a strawberry shandy that utilizes fresh strawberries to create a unique and sweet flavor, and Illusive Traveler, a grapefruit shandy that harnesses the bright citric flavor without the fruit’s bitterness.

 

Keep an eye out for these shandys so you can get a bit curious and acquaint yourself to them.

 

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

01-03-2014

 

 

From the brewery's name, that honors a historic figure from the American Revolution, to the brewery's own history, as a part of the craft beer revolution, Samuel Adams always has had a bit of rebellion in their nature. That is celebrated with their newest release, Rebel IPA

 

Rebel IPA is a West Coast style IPA brewed with all American hops. It pours a bright copper color with a heady grapefruit hop aroma, thanks to the doses of Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe and Amarillo hops that are in the brew. The classic, all-American style is well-balanced while still providing that hopped-up bitterness the style is renown for. At the same time, the beer rebels against the huge hop bombs that can leave the palette feeling assaulted. Rather, it highlight's the hop flavor while still retaining a smooth and crisp finish. Try one out and see if you're a rebel, too.  

 

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.

 


Arrrgh! Talk Like a Pirate and Drink Shipwreck Porter!

09-19-2013

Arrrgh! Talk Like a Pirate and Drink Shipwreck Porter!

 

Ahoy there me mateys! Ay, ‘tis National Talk Like a Pirate Day and the official Shipwreck Porter release day!



I happen to love celebrating holidays, especially ones that incorporate reasons to drink beer.  I fully intend to celebrate Pirate Day to the max, even if it means the warehouse crew is weirded out by me calling ‘em all scalawags. If they can’t appreciate the inner pirate in me then they can swim with the sharks, if ya know what I mean. For those swashbucklers ready to go full pirate, include Shipwreck Porter from Arcadia Ales in the plan. Ye inner pirate and palette will thank you.



Shipwreck Porter, a Baltic porter from the reserve series from Arcadia Ales, is so good it will be sure to shiver your timbers. The brew is aged for 12 months in 10-year-old Kentucky bourbon oak barrels in the depths of some of Michigan’s abandoned mines. It pours a dark and alluring hue, with a hint of herbal hop aroma. Robust malt flavor is accented by vanilla, cocoa and coffee undertones with a warming alcoholic finish. Avast! With a 99 rating on Ratebeer, It’s a brew to bring a tear to the eye of any ol’ salty dog.

 

Want more ways to parley as a pirate? Here ya go!

  • Find out your pirate name (mine is Pirate Ramona the Bald). 
  • Review pirate pick up lines.
  • Drink more Shipwreck porter.
  • Wear an eye patch.
  • Buy a talking parrot.
  • Watch these pirate movies.
  • Bury some treasure and make a map with an X where it is buried.
  • Drink some more Shipwreck Porter.
  • Find buried treasure.

No off ye scalawags! 


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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