Subscribe to our craft beer newsletter:

How to Make a Pumpkin Keg


How to Make a Pumpkin Keg

Judging from the pumpkin muffins, pumpkin spiced lattes and pumpkin beer now readily available we are in the throes of Pumpkin flavor season. Some may be feeling the pains of a bit of pumpkin over indulgence. I, on the other hand, can't get enough. A new level of pumkin awesomeness can now be attained with this tutorial on how to make a beer keg out of a pumpkin. 

It's easy, it's fun and the end result is a DIY pumpkin-flavored beer (the video uses Sam Adams Octoberfest) and a bunch of pumpkin seeds perfect for roasting and eating. 

Watch it here to make one for yourself. 


5 Oktoberfests You Need to Drink Right Now


5 Oktoberfests You Need to Drink Right Now



Draft Magazine came out with a very persuasive list for why we should all drink Oktoberfest beers right now. To make it even easier to follow the advice from this magazine, here are 5 Oktoberfest beers you should be drinking right now, although maybe not all at the same time.


1. Samuel Adams Octoberfest

It isn’t Oktoberfest season unless you are getting a taste of this beer that is the most popular seasonal style from one of the most well known and long-standing craft breweries.


2. Rochester Mills Oktoberfest

This weekend the brewery will be celebrating Oktoberfest in true beer festival fashion – with lots of beer, live performances, dancing and a carnival atmosphere. However, their draft Oktoberfest can be sampled and celebrated throughout Michigan.


3. Frankenmuth Oktoberfest

Steeped in traditional German brewing culture, this time of year is when Frankenmuth Brewery truly shines. Their Oktoberfest style is a stein of German goodness ‘till the last drop.


4. Brooklyn Oktoberfest

Brooklyn Brewery ensures it stays true to the original styling of this Marzen style brew. Their hard work paid off, with an Oktoberfest beer that has earned multiple gold medals from the World Beer Championships.


5. Blue Point Oktoberfest

The tagline for this beer is to party like the Crown Prince of Bavaria, whose betrothal in 1810 first ignited the brewing of Oktoberfest beer. Now, Blue Point ensures that the Oktoberfest party continues with this annually brewed traditional lager, perfect for royalty or regular citizens.  



Arrrgh! Talk Like a Pirate and Drink Shipwreck Porter!


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! 

Happy Birthday Perrin Brewing Company


Happy Birthday, Perrin Brewing Company!



This past Saturday Perrin Brewing Company celebrated its first birthday with a Backyard Beer Bash. The all-day event event filled up the brewery's backyard with a beer-centric artist alley, BBQ offerings that were roasted on the spot, some of the best musical acts in town and, of course, lots of beer. The beer tents provided the regular-tiered beers while the Perrin bus served as a beacon for all those searching for specialty brews. But the best part of the Beer Bash definitely ended up being the diverse, beer loving crowd. From a bachelor parties, couples on date night and a Kenny G look alike to an actual wedding party, everyone showed up to enjoy and celebrate Perrin Brewing's inaugural year of beer success. 

Check out our Facebook album to check out a few more photos showcasing the fun. 


Smuttynose Brewing Coming to MI


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

Infographic: Beer Myths Debunked


Infographic: Craft Beer Myths Debunked 


Myths, half-truths and old wives' tales abound when it comes to craft beer. This is no surprise, since whenever there is something exciting that gets the crowd talking you can be sure there is also a myth in the making. There are some great theories and ideas about both the community and product itself, but there are some untruths about craft beer that should be straightened out. Luckily, Visual Loop did all the work and created this lovely infographic to help debunk some myths about this alcoholic liquid. 


Now, read on, learn, and dirnk some yummy brews. 

Veggies in Your Brew: Pumpkin Beers


Veggies in Your Brew

Pumpkin Beers


Apart from the whole alcoholic aspect, beer pretty much sounds like a green smoothie. Consider the ingredients. There’s yeast, which provides an alternative bacteria to yogurt eating, a bit of grain, some nice bitter hops and then water. The healthy aspects increase to even higher levels when beers are brewed with vegetables, such as the fall-fashionable pumpkin beer.

all rights reserved: zach.larson



Health Benefits

Pumpkin beers, although not always brewed with the root vegetable itself, are arguably a somewhat healthy lifestyle choice. According to the Beer Babe, many pumpkin beers are around 140 calories, whereas a pumpkin spice latte clocks in at around 250 calories. Caloric content aside, pumpkin beers such as Arcadia Ales Jaw Jacker are brewed with a complex mix of spices to create that pumpkin pie flavor. Nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves are all commonly found in pumpkin ales and have many noted health benefits. With a low calorie count and antioxidant-rich spices, this brew may be a somewhat healthy option for an adult beverage.


These brews also are a part of America’s history, with references to pumpkin beer going back as far as 1643. Pumpkins are a native plant of the American continent and when the first Europeans arrived they used the vegetable to replace malt in the beer mash. The gourds provided the necessary fermentable sugars, although the flavor most definitely varied from what is now the signature flavor profile. By the 19th Century, the popularity of pumpkin beer waned as grains became more available and beer making reverted to the traditional ingredient list.

Just like high-rise pants and Disney child stars resurface and regain popularity, pumpkin beers eventually came back into style. In the early 1990s Buffalo Bill’s Brewery created a pumpkin beer inspired from a recipe belonging to George Washington. This was just one of many pumpkin beers, such as Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin, that helped innovate the vegetable beer recipes while still referencing and respecting the beer’s historical origins.



Of course, the craft beer community is known for innovation, which can be seen with the varying pumpkin beer styles. Samuel Adams Fat Jack is a double pumpkin beer, loaded with 28 pounds of pumpkin meat in each mash. New Belgium Brewing just released Pumpkick, its fall seasonal that is brewed with cranberries for a tart twist to a traditional pumpkin beer.  These innovations are welcome additions to the pumpkin beer world that continues to thrive due to a balance between tradition and change.


Style Notes 

Despite the subtle and not so subtle differences amongst various pumpkin beers, most tend to possess the same style profile. Pumpkin beers are a golden to deep amber color, ranging from hazy to a clear clarity. The nose is full of fall spices with a hint of pumpkin. Many have a low hop level, which allows the pumpkin pie flavors to make a bold statement that is often partnered with robust fall spice and slightly sweet notes. Think Thanksgiving dinner when pairing pumpkin ales with food; roasted ham, turkey and macaroni and cheese are all suitable options.


The most important thing to remember about pumpkin beer, at least for me, is that it tastes like fall and fall is my favorite season.

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

Featured Beer

Blake's Blueberry Lemonade

Blake's Blueberry Lemonade


Subscribe to our craft beer newsletter: