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Juicy, Fruity, Bold: Grapefruit Beer

07-17-2015

The popularity of the grapefruit has ebbed and flowed over the years. Previously popular as a dieting device, the grapefruit is currently enjoying its new position as the trendy new beer flavor.

 

 

What does grapefruit bring to a beer? Juicy, bitter, citrus, sweet, sour and tart are all descriptors for the fruit. These can add a light, new layer of complexity to a beer without weighing down the liquid with too much body. Grapefruit flavors are typically paired with the IPA style to amplify the citrus characteristics of hops used. Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic and Amarillo are all complementary hops found in beers that are also brewed with grapefruit. Fresh, juicy, sweet and tart beers brewed with grapefruit can be a new way to get some Vitamin C while serving as a refreshing choice to escape the summer heat.   

 

 

Perrin Grapefruit IPA

Brewed with real grapefruit, Perrin Grapefruit IPA boasts a bright fruit aroma, with citrus notes throughout and a lightly bitter finish. 5% ABV 30 IBUs

 

Magic Hat Electric Peel IPA

With grapefruit peel added to the brew, Electric Peel IPA accentuates the characteristic hoppy bitterness of a typical IPA with a citrus bitter kick. A juicy nose and fruity accent notes create the full-on grapefruit effect.  6% ABV 65 IBUs

 

Illusive Traveler Shandy

The bittersweet grapefruit characteristics are highlighted in this craft shandy. A bright fruit aroma is swiftly followed by sweet grapefruit flavored carried in on a creamy mouthfeel with a slightly tart finish. 4.4% ABV 7 IBUs

 

Shiner Ruby Red Bird

Pure, Texan ruby red grapefruit is combined with ginger during the brewing process, resulting in a tart, juicy sweet and slightly spiced brew. 4% ABV 13 IBUs 

 

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. 

Jacko Shandy

07-28-2014

Traveler Beer Co. is out with the newest release, Jacko, a pumpkin shandy. Jacko Shandy epitomizes harvest season by representing grains, fruit and vegetables in every sip as a wheat ale brewed with real pumpkin and a fresh squeeze of lemon citrus.

 

 

The shandy pours a dark, orange hue with a pervasive, mouth-watering pumpkin aroma. The beer is medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel that serves as a jumping point for pumpkin pie in beer form, with a hint of malty sweetness. The beer clocks in at 4.4% ABV and 7 IBUs.

 

That’s the beer, now let’s talk the name. Jacko pays homage to the Irish story about “Stingy Jack,” the origin myth of the jack-o-lantern. The story goes that there was once a cheapskate in Ireland called Jack who drank with the devil. Drinking with the devil never ends well. But this Jack thought differently so he convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin to pay for their drinks. He then tossed the coin by a silver cross so the devil was unable to turn himself back into his devilish self. Only on the condition that the devil wouldn’t bother Jack and that he wouldn’t take his soul to hell did Jack free the devil. Pretty smart, except once Jack did die his unsavory antics kept him out of heaven and then the devil refused him at hell’s door, as a part of their previous pact. So now Jack carries around a coal from hell placed in a hollowed out turnip and wanders the earth endlessly. To ward off evil the Irish would hollow out their own turnips and place a light inside. When they migrated to America they switched out the turnip for the pumpkin.

 

So goes the story of “Stingy Jack,” who became jack-o-lantern and now is Jacko,  the shandy from Traveler Beer Co. 

 

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.

 

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