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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! 
 
 

5 beers to pair with your Cinco de Mayo Feast

05-01-2015

Remember, remember the fifth de Mayo where we celebrate Chicano culture and traditions across the country. Usually this entails copious amounts of delicious dishes and what better way to have a fiesta than with some chilled beer paired up with your favorite Mexican dish? The answer is there is no better way so follow along closely for your perfect pairing.

 

 

Oculto with Guacamole Dip

Creamy and rich avocado heaped onto a crispy and salty tortilla can be almost too much greatness in a bite. Luckily, you can refresh between bites with a sip of the super crisp, light-bodied Oculto that adds a perfect amount of contrast without overpowering the delicate avocado flavor. Blended with beer aged in tequila barrels, Oculto adds a unique agave spin to the classic refreshing light beer. Try it with a lime for the ultimate refreshing sip.

 

Magic Hat Electric Peel IPA with Chile Con Queso

IPAs are strong enough to withstand the strong flavors that come in a cheesy, spicy dish like Chile Con Queso. Additionally, the bitterness cuts through the gooeyness and cleans your palate out after each bit. Chile Con Queso isn’t a particularly spicy dish so it will be safe to overload on the hops with this one. Additionally, the sweet grapefruit flavors in Electric Peel serve as a citrus accent for the dish.

 

from Betty Crocker Beer Pairings

 

Smuttynose Hayseed Farmhouse Ale with Chicken Tacos

Light-bodied with a hay and grassy aroma, Hayseed matches the strength of the chicken tacos perfectly. The esters and slight funk highlight the astringent aspects of the salsa and lime while the light grainy malt body compliments the corn tortillas. Add a dash of green salsa for an extra kick.

 

Right Brain Northern Hawk Owl Amber Ale with Steak Fajitas

The caramel and toasted malts in Northern Hawk Owl complement the grilled and charred portions of the steak and add a sweetness to the meatiness. A quick and bitter finish helps to relieve any lingering sweetness so the next bite will be just as tasty.

 

 

Samuel Adams Rebel Rouser Double IPA with Wet Burritos

Wet burritos are quite an explosion of flavor between the meat, veggies and/or bean filing, red sauce, cheesy goodness and dollop of sour cream (a true wet burrito MUST come with that dollop). A hopped up brew like a double IPA helps to cut through the fattiness, cleansing the palate and providing a bitter refresher from the cheesy, meaty, saucy dish. Typically not a wildly spicy dish, a wet burrito pairs perfectly with the caramel malt backbone while the tropical fruit hop aroma serves as a spritz of citrus between bites.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Beers To Hibernate With

02-06-2015

In a refusal to be overly dramatic, the weather outside isn't the result of an apocalypse of snow (we’ll save that for the zombies) but it sure is cold and snowy. To keep things cozy throughout the next six weeks of winter (thanks groundhog) here is an array of beers to warm your innards with.

 

 

Blake’s El Chavo

Everyone likes to escape to the tropics when winter comes along. For those who can’t afford the plane ticket, pick up some El Chavo so at least your tongue can be swept along with sweet apple and mango flavors, followed by a slow heat from fresh habanero peppers.

 

Right Brain Firestarter Porter

Layers of rich chocolate and roasted malt are accented by a slowly building heat in your throat as you sip on Firestarter. The slow heat combined with the robust flavor make it seem like you have a fireplace your mouth and throat. A really pleasant, tasty one.

 

Stone Old Guardian

A big beer is sometimes needed for to keep at bay the winter chills. Stone Brewing Co. Old Guardian does just that. This barley wine combines a huge malty backbone with a hefty addition of hops, resulting in a rich, slightly sweet and caramel-hued ale, all finishing on a note of dryness.

 

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Roasty and toasty, this American-style brown ale is robust and bound to bring out the nostalgia that winter nights can conjure.  Just like man’s trusty best friend, this classic craft beer is always at hand and sure to please.

 

 

Stella Artois

A classic option for showering your dear ones with love, Stella Artois is a classic option for a night of celebration. Crisp and clean and showcasing a frothy white head, Stella Artois is a bright light in the dim of winter blues.

 

Perrin Big Konas

The fourth installment in the Killing Craft Series from Perrin Brewing Co., Big Konas is as decadent a treat. And there’s no better time to treat yo self than when the winds are blowing up a snow storm. Big Konas is brewed with cacao nibs from Ecuador and Ghana, along with Pacari Piura Nube chocolate bars and Indonesian civet coffee. The combination of these high quality ingredients result in a big ale full of complex dark chocolate and coffee aroma and flavor.

 

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

 

 

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.

 

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.

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