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Craft Beer Creativity


Craft Beer Creativity: The Neverending Story  



Craft beer lovers love to try new brews – it’s one of the most attractive aspects of the craft community – and craft breweries love to innovate. But is there a saturation point to creativity in craft beer? How many variations exist? Is creative craft beer the reality version of the Neverending Story?


Perhaps there is no threshold to creativity in brewing, considering research that proves beer is helpful in the creative process.  According to Life Hacker, creativity is when you brain is able to create something original by connecting pre-existing ideas. Because one of the effects of alcohol is that the brain pays less attention to surroundings, allowing more relaxation, the brain is able to work in a manner that produces more creative ideas.


In addition, the brewers themselves, those impressive chemists and innovative thinkers, are not only creative due to their (assumed) beer drinking, but are prone to be more intelligent, according this study regarding evolutionary drinking behavior.


“Since the consumption of modern alcoholic beverages…is evolutionary novel, the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to engage in it, and the empirical data from the UK and the US confirm it.” – Psychology Today


This one-two punch of creativity plus intelligence, which is so often the seedling for many breweries and beers, gives hope that the craft beer world will never be creatively stagnant. Rather, the symbiotic relationships between beer drinkers, brewers and homebrewers will continue to infuse the craft community with new, sometimes novel, brews.


With that settled, lets cheer to the past, present and seemingly bright creative future of craft beer. 

Oktoberfest Infographic


Oktoberfest Infographic

It's chilly and all I want is pumpkin-flavored food and fall beers. Luckily, it's getting to be Oktoberfest beer season. Here is a rundown on the beer, infographic style. 



Fruit and Beer Pairing


Drink Beer, Eat Fruit, Get All Your Vitamins at Once!


I may currently be wearing a hoodie but it is still summertime, which means there is an abundance of fresh fruit for me to gorge myself on. Considering that fruit is high in vitamins, antioxidants and all that other good stuff it must be ok to have as much as you want. Especially, in my opinion, if you pair fruit with a heart-healthy beverage like beer. So go buy some fruit and some beer and have a party.


Strawberries and Raspberries with Stouts or Porters


Although it may seem daunting to pair something as delicate as fruit with such a robust beer, just think about what you like to eat with strawberries and raspberries. Rich chocolate and cream pair well with both, so a stout or porter full of chocolate and coffee malt notes will make a great contrasting beer/fruit duo, too. Look for a beer that is also brewed with oats to lend a creamy mouthfeel that will balance out the tart fruit flavors.




Rochester Mills Milkshake Stout

 5% ABV


New Belgium Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout

10% ABV 39 IBU


Blue Point Oatmeal Stout

 5.2% ABV 30 IBU


Melons with Weissbiers or Krieks


The sweetness of the beer rounds out the fruits’ sugars, while the often-present (in weissbier) coriander and orange peel notes complement the bright melon flavors. The high carbonation of these beers helps to scrub the palate clean of any residual stickiness left over from the melon.




Boon Kriek


Flying Dog In Heat Wheat

4.7% ABV 12 IBU


Belgium National (Beer) Day


Belgian National (Beer) Day


July 21 is celebrated as Belgian National Day and what better way to celebrate that with a myriad of Belgian beer styles?





On July 21 1831 Leopold of Saxe-Coburg became the first king of Belgium when he swore allegiance to the Belgian Constitution. Before then, Belgium had been a part of the Netherlands before breaking away in 1830. The coronation of King Leopold was the last step in finalizing Belgium’s nationhood. Before nationhood, however, the people of Belgium already had a long-lasting affinity for beer that can be traced back to 2800 BCE.


Belgian Beer Styles


The best part about Belgian beers may be the unique styles and vast variety within this beer category.  One feature that makes Belgian styles stand out is the yeast, which sometimes are brewed at higher temperatures, which creates a more fruity and spicy flavor. Other characteristics of a Belgian beer include aromatic hops instead of bittering hops as well as a more malt-focused approach to brewing. Finally, Belgians love their acidic brews, which is why sour beers are so prevalent in this category.


Belgian Beer Suggestions


Abbey, New Belgium Brewing

Abbey (along with Fat Tire) is the firstborn brew from New Belgium Brewing. It stays true to the Belgian Abbey Dubbel style with a creamy malt component and a warming, slightly peppery, roasty chocolate malt flavor.


7% 20 IBU



A Belgian Witbier, meaning white beer in reference to its pale and cloudy appearance. Hoegaarden is named after the town Hoegaarde, which is where the style originated. It has a spicy nose with orange and coriander notes, and a creamy mouthfeel with a slightly sweet and slightly sour citrus flavor.


4% ABV


Leffe Brown

Leffe Brown is a Belgian Dark Ale that possesses a deep brown color and strong, slightly sweet, malty flavor. Dark roasted malts provide a rich complexity while the hop presence is miniscule.


6.5% ABV


Palm Spéciale

This Belgian Pale Ale stays true to the Belgian tradition, with a crisp palate, nutty malt character and a bit of a hop presence. There are also spicy yeasty notes noticeable in both the aroma and flavor, that helps accentuate the balance between the crisp hops and malt finish.  

5.2% ABV 18 IBU 

Beachy Beers


4 Beachy Beers 

We are in the midst of the hottest week of the summer, which means it’s time to head to the beach! For those of us stuck far away from the shores there is beer that can act like a mini mouth vacation, bringing the summer beach to the drinker. Here’s my top 4 list for the beers that have beach in a bottle.



Elderbetty, Magic Hat

Elder berries lend a tart note to this beer, making it both a beachy, beery and berry flavored treat.  

White IPA, Blue Point

This hybrid brings back the cool and bitter sensation of diving into a freezing lake. Creamy mouthfeel is smooth and hops bring bitterness.

Rampant, New Belgium

Mosaic hops leave the mouth feeling like you just gorged yourself on blueberry patches along the beach.

Sweet Action, Sixpoint

Sweet Action has a light enough body and creamy enough mouthfeel to be the perfect beach partner. It also reminds me of the Grease song, Summer Lovin’.


6 Reasons Midwest is the Best for Beer Lovers


6 Reasons Why Midwest is the Best for Beer Lovers




Full disclosure – as a born and raised Michigander I’ve never lived in another state, let alone on a different coast. That being said, I do think living in the Great Beer State here in the Midwest is best for beer drinking fiends.


I’ve heard the assertions about Northwestern beer towns positively saturated with every sort of brewery as well as tales regarding the nearness and character of East coast brewpubs. Still, for availability, activities and culture Michigan, here in the Midwest beats them all. Here’s why.


1. Craft Beer just named Arcadia Ales just as one of the top brewpubs that is helping put the Midwest on the Map, thanks to its excellence beer and food pairings offered on location.


2. Grand Rapids is Beer City USA, thanks to the continuously growing number of breweries in the area, as well as the supportive craft-centric culture that resides in the city.


3. Summer in Michigan is just another opportunity to try craft beer in a can. From woods to beaches, golf courses, parks and ballgames Michigan summers welcome the growing craft can revolution.


4. The perfect location to receive beer from all corners. Being sandwiched in the middle has its advantages. Breweries from both coasts, such as Stone Brewing (California) and Sixpoint Brewery (New York) are able to bring their products here because the state is practically within reach of anyone who wants to be.


5. Homebrewing is alive and well, with the next National Homebrewers Conference slotted for Grand Rapids in 2014.

6. July is the official Craft Beer Month in Michigan so everyone should be nice and agree that Michigan in the Midwest is the Best for Beer. 


I could go on but there is so much awesome beer calling my name that I’ve got to wrap this up in order to go enjoy the Great Beer State. 

Beer and Salad Food Pairing


Beer and Salad Pairing

Corn, Cherry Tomato, Avocado and Shrimp Salad

Summertime, salads and beer all go together so well it seems absolutely necessary to produce a great salad and beer pairing.

This weekend my flight back home was delayed for 2 hours and while meandering around the airport I bought a magazine all about salads. Then I went to a bar and read it and realized what a perfect combination salads and beers are, especially in the summer. So, here is a salad from my salad magazine with suggested beer pairings.

Salad: Corn, Cherry Tomato, Avocado and Shrimp Salad

Suggested Pairings: A light-bodied, crisp beer style will complement the light salad flavors. Choose one with a slight hop bite or drying finish to with cut through the buttery avocado flavor.

Frankenmuth Twisted Helles: The helles beer style works well with lighter food options, including salads and seafood.

Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils: Full of flavor but very light and crisp, pilsners pair well with lighter fare, such as salads.

Brooklyn Summer Ale: Although classified as a pale ale, which can be too overpowering for a salad, Summer Ale is brewed as an English light dinner ale, making it perfect for a seafood salad and with enough hops to cut through the Avocado taste.


Corn, Cherry Tomato and Avocado with Shrimp Salad Recipe


1 ½ lbs peeled and halfed shrimp

2 large, firm avocados cut into ¼ in pieces

½ chopped cilantro

½ cup sliced scallions

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups corn kernels


3 ½ tsp lime juice

½ cup olive oil

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 tsp paprika

Whisk dressing ingredients together. Add Kosher salt to taste. Set aside. Boil and cook corn kernels until tender, drain and cool. Fry shrimp in a pan with a bit of olive oil for three minutes or until caramelized. Combine avocado, tomatoes, scallions, corn, shrimp and cilantro in a bowl.

Pour dressing over salad and toss together.

4 July 4 Beer Crafts


4 July 4 Beer Crafts


The 4th of July is the time to celebrate America’s birthday and enjoy the lovely summer weather. To spice up the holiday a bit try playing with your beer.


Make A Watermelon Keg



Take a beer you would like to have a bit of melon flavor in it (for suggestions see 6 Beers to Celebrate Michigan Craft Beer Week) and use this tutorial to make your very own watermelon keg.


Cool A Beer ASAP

Forgot to cool the beer? No problem! Check out how to cool a beer in 3 minutes, flat so you don’t have to wait to refresh and celebrate with a brew.


Grill With It

Infuse your meats with beery goodness by marinating the meat in it while waiting for the grill to heat up, just make sure to safe a bit for yourself to sip on, too.


Make A Bottle Cap Flag

Once the party is over, upcycle the bottle caps by creating patriotic art, like this bottle cap American flag

6 Beers for Celebrating Michigan Craft Beer Month


6 Beers to Celebrate Michigan Craft Beer Month


Happy July and, more importantly, happy official Michigan Craft Beer Month! With a whole month to celebrate, here are six beers, one from each brewery, to drink to the Great Beer State with.


Right Brain Will Power

This golden-hued pale ale has some great grassy notes, balanced out by a light maltiness.

4.9% ABV


Perrin Grapefruit IPA

Bright citrus notes and hop bitterness blend into an incredibly sessionable and slightly sweet IPA.

4.7% ABV 10 IBU


Arcadia Whitsun

An unfiltered wheat with a cloudy appearance and a creamy mouth feel that is topped with a thick creamy head while lemon and orange peel come across in the flavor.

6.2% ABV 17 IBU


Frankenmuth Twisted Helles

Brewed with noble hops, it is a light bodied, crisp summer lager highlighted by citrus notes.

5.5% ABV 18 IBU


Rochester Mills Cornerstone IPA

 An IPA that bring the bitterness without overbearing the palette it is medium bodied with a balanced bitterness.

6.6% ABV


Petoskey Horny Monk

Along with a memorable name, this Belgian provides an addicting smoothness, with a slight touch of sweetness.

6.9 % ABV 20 IBU


1. 2. 3-4-5-6! Cheers to Michigan Beer Month!  


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