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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.

 

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.

 

 

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. 

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. 

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

 

 

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.  

 

Ugly Sweater Run

11-15-2013

 

 

I’m already grooming my fake mustache and searching for the perfect ugly sweater for the Sam Adams sponsored Ugly Sweater Run.

 

That’s right the “ugliest 5k on the planet” is coming not only to the Mitten State but to Beer City USA itself. Starting at 11 am on December 1st the crowd will gather to drink copious amounts of hot chocolate and get ready walk or run off all those Thanksgiving pounds to the beat of cheesy holiday music.

 

The Ugly Sweater Run is pretty a pretty cut and dry give/get scenario: If you’re over eight years old then register for the race (eight years old or younger run for free), and bring a toy to give to Toys for Tots. All toys will be placed under the giant inflatable holiday tree. Then get a vintage hat to look super cool, a fake mustache for those mustache-deprived and two drink tickets to for Sam Adams Boston Lager, Winter Lager or Angry Orchard Hard Cider. Also, although not as tangible as a cup of hot cocoa or delicious beer, participants will most likely experience a warm fuzzy feeling, thanks to all the holiday cheer, post-run endorphins and the super warm ugly sweater they are sporting.

 

Another reason I’m pretty excited about this run is that the video features the only Mariah Carey song I have admitted ever liking. Check it out for yourself, although you can probably guess which song I am referring to.

 

 

 

One last note: don’t worry about racing. This 5K is seriously fun. I attempted a run outside to condition my lungs to the colder temperature in preparation and then promptly remembered I have cold-induced asthma. I’m still going to participate, although the running might be less of a focus than the competition to see who can drink the most hot chocolate.

 

If you’re into mustaches, ugly sweaters, bottomless hot chocolate, delicious craft beers or crisp ciders, running, walking, holiday music, fun or giving to underprivileged children then here is the link for registration for the Ugly Sweater Run.

 

They are on the Facebook.

They also provide some Pinterest inspiration.

And they tweet about all things involving ugly holiday sweaters.

 

 

Ugly Sweater Run

Saturday, December 1

11 am

Calder Plaza, Grand Rapids MI

You must be 21 or older to enter. Are you old enough?
Sorry, you must be 21 or older to enter.

Featured Beer

Perrin Grapefruit

Perrin Grapefruit

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