Uncle Pete and I were fortunate to obtain a few cans of this Weldworks treasure from Colorado. This New England style IPA is 7.2% abv and was canned just three weeks ago. Classic hazy, juicy appearance, with a golden orange hue. Tropical fruits dominate the aroma, which makes you want to dive right into the glass. Mosaic and Citra hops are used exclusively along with copious amounts of pineapple and coconut. The result is an amazing concoction that will transport you to your own island paradise. If you’re fortunate enough to find this treasure, buy as much as you can, it’s fantastic!
MichiganBeerGuy.com is pleased to announce that we are partnering with our friends at Christopher Media to produce a weekly craft beer themed podcast. Episodes will be released on Saturdays starting in September, 2015. The shows are hosted by J.R. , Uncle Pete, and Dougout from MichiganBeerGuy.com along with Chris from Christopher Media, who is eager to learn more about craft beer and brewing. Beer Nuts will feature various craft beer topics including beer styles, breweries, home brewing, beer releases and current events in the craft beer world. See list below for available downloads.
JOHN RUSS (“J.R.”) founded MichiganBeerGuy.com in 2013. He has over 25 years of sales experience in the adult beverage industry and has represented beer, wine, and spirits brands at all levels of the three tier system. John first entered the beer business working for a wholesaler during his college days at Penn State in 1983 before moving to the Washington, DC area in 1986. J.R. spent the next 17 years in the beer, wine, and spirits business in Northern Virginia before relocating to Las Vegas in 2004. After 8 years as a sales manager with Scottish & Newcastle and Heineken USA in the competitive Las Vegas market, J.R. relocated to Michigan and immediately developed a passion for the rich craft beer culture in the Mitten State. He is an avid all-grain home brewer and active member of the Brewers Association, American Homebrewers Association, Downriver Brewers Guild, and a Michigan Brewers Guild Enthusiast member. John’s consulting business, Marquis Brands, specializes in helping smaller independent craft beverage producers grow their brands. J.R. is also an instructor at Schoolcraft College where he teaches the Marketing and Operations Management course in the Brewing and Distillation Technology program. He enjoys sharing his passion for craft beer, mead, and spirits and promoting the discovery of better beers with his craft beer and brewing friends, Uncle Pete and Dougout, who are the other “Beer Nuts” on the podcasts.
Hi everyone this is PETE JETT SR. (“Uncle Pete”) raising a pint of craft beer and toasting to all of you. I’m 54 and my earliest craft beer recollection is drinking Strohs Signature – had to be around 1980 or so. I consider it craft in hindsight as it had more of a fresh hop presence than regular Strohs. Disagree if you like but I really dug it. I’m a downriver Detroit Michigan native. ’84 graduate of Michigan Tech way up in Houghton in da U.P. Now there was a beer drinking college town. We loaded our soda pop vending machine in the basement of the frat house with longneck Blatz – you could get one out of the machine for 30 cents (we actually profited about 5 cents on every bottle!) but for cash strapped college guys it was worth every penny. Anyhow I soon got the itch to move on after graduation and ended up living with my brother Bob in the Sacramento CA area, and under his guidance I brewed my first homebrew. A Sierra Nevada pale ale clone (we actually used yeast obtained from Sierra Nevada brewery!). Instantly I was hooked. It’s been fun being part of the craft beer craze over the years and watching it grow – the best part is all the creative variety out there and it just keeps evolving. I recently joined the FORD homebrewers club and the Downriver Brewers Guild, where guys like me and the Michigan Beer Guy and a bunch of other homebrewing craft beer fanatics share our beers and help each other with feedback and tips and tricks of the trade. I invite all of you to join in on the fun, shoot me a line sometime lets talk about craft beer!
DOUG BULTHUIS (“Dugout”) met J.R. as colleagues at Scottish & Newcastle in 2004. Doug graduated in 1990 from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and has previously worked for Goose Island Brewing Co. and Chicago Beverage Systems before relocating to the Detroit area in 2012. Doug is into home brewing and especially enjoys higher gravity stouts, porters, and hopped-up Imperial IPAs.
CHRISTOPHER JOSEPH (“Chris”) joins the Beer Nuts as the producer and guinea pig who is eager to learn more about craft beer. He is the founder and CEO of Christopher Media. With each episode, his palate is advancing towards craft and away from macro. We are delighted to bring him along slowly and aid in his discovery!
ABOUT CHRISTOPHER MEDIA:
Christopher Media specializes in producing quality podcasts featuring a wide variety of shows and topics. Visit http://christophermedia.net to view the entire list of shows available for download.
Thanksgiving is a time to share with others and enjoy time with family and friends. Michiganders have much to be thankful for, and with over 200 breweries, there are many great beers to celebrate the holiday with. Here are a few recommendations on a few of my favorite Michigan beers for you to enjoy throughout the day:
Founders Breakfast Stout– Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so on Thanksgiving Day, why not treat yourself to this iconic breakfast beer? Brewed with copious amounts of chocolate, coffee and flaked oats, it’s the perfect way to start your day. Simply replace your morning cup of coffee with one of these tasty brews, and start prepping your turkey so it’s in the oven well before the Lions game starts.
Speaking of the Lions game, kickoff is still a few hours away and you’ll want to pace yourself. Perrin No Problems is a session IPA that delivers great hop flavor at a modest 4.5% abv. You’ll have “No Problems” crushing a few of these whether you’re tailgating in The D, or watching from home. The can even matches the Lions uniforms! Let’s hope we all hear “Gridiron Heroes” early and often. GO LIONS!!!
Now it’s time for the big Thanksgiving feast, and there are a many great beers that will pair well with your turkey and all the fixings. Brewery Vivant Farmhand is a French style farmhouse ale that is not overly bitter or sweet. It’s crisp and on the lighter side, with a nice effervescent mouthfeel that will enhance your meal without filling you up.
If you’re more into the stuffing and gravy or simply prefer something a bit more malty, Saugatuck Bonfire Brown Ale is one of my favorite brown ales that I highly recommend. It has a light to medium body with a bready malt backbone, with a nutty hint of maple and a slightly smoky finish reminiscent of great times around the bonfire. This beer has won several prestigious awards, including the Gold Medal for American Brown Ales in the 2014 World Beer Cup and Best in Show at the 2013 World Expo of Beer.
After the main course and the traditional cat nap on the sofa while watching more football, it’s time for dessert. If you’re having pumpkin pie, Dark Horse Scotty Karate is a nice match. The rich malty caramel flavors are a nice complement to the roasted pumpkin and brown sugar in the pumpkin pie, and at 9.75% abv, you can savor this well after the pie is finished.
For fruit pies such as apple or cherry, Dragonmead Total Absolution is the perfect match. This Belgian-style Trippel ale yields hints of banana and clove from the Belgian yeast and a slight sweetness from the Belgian candi sugar it is brewed with. These flavors along with a high carbonation level provide a nice effervescent complement to the fruit flavors in the pie. This brew is dangerously drinkable at 10% abv.
My personal dessert of choice is Pecan Pie, and one of my favorite styles of beer is a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. New Holland Dragons Milk is one of the few selections that is readily available on store shelves, and is an ideal choice here. Dark roasted malt flavor with hints of dark fruits, vanilla and oak emerge with a nice boozy bourbon finish that warm the insides and will take your pecan pie experience to another level. If you’re fortunate to find any Dragon’s Milk Reserve, the Coffee Chocolate and Rum Barrel Coconut variants will also pair well with this decadent dessert. What can I say, I like big beers and I cannot lie…
Last but not least, you’ll need a good Michigan beer to wash down those leftovers leading up to the big game on Saturday vs. Ohio. Griffin Claw Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA is one of my favorite local selections that I highly recommend. Fresh hoppy aroma followed by a burst of tropical fruit and citrus balanced by a slightly sweet malt backbone and a pleasant creamy mouthfeel. A delightful beer to wash down that turkey sandwich that tastes even better when accompanied by a rendition of Hail to the Victors!
The Road Warriors format brings Beer Nuts together from around the country who each sample and review a local favorite. In Road Warriors 2, the Beer Nuts introduce two new friends, Ross from NC and Dan from MO, who review local favorites from afar via Skype, while Chris joins us from the road in NJ.
Here is the lineup of beer reviews on Road Warriors #2:
Recently I was lucky enough to spend a long weekend in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area to attend the Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest. While the festival was certainly a blast, the beauty of the Twin Cities is that you can visit any time and experience world class beer.
There are so many bars and breweries in the area. From intimate neighborhood bars to the modern (and huge) new Surly facility, there is truly something for everyone. I saw a little bit of everything, and took notes to share with you. Here are my thoughts on a few places to go…
Town Hall Brewery, www.townhallbrewery.com
Downtown Minneapolis brewpub with above average food choices and good beer. Town Hall produces it’s own beer and maintains a few guest taps. The whiskey selection is a nice bonus. Great place to stop during happy hour for a beer and appetizer. Try their Masala Mama IPA.
Lake Monster Brewing, www.lakemonsterbrewing.com
St. Paul brewery located under a water tower. This newer brewery is starting out with a hip-feeling facility and a line-up of solid beers. If you are in the mood for food, there is usually a food truck right outside. I enjoyed the Empty Rowboat IPA.
This brewery in Robbinsdale is unique in that all the beer seems to be lower abv. The Geno Stout was solid, and only 3.6% (really!). The tap room has bit of a night club feel, which I did not enjoy. If you are having dinner nearby at Travail, it is worth stopping in for a quick drink.
Surly Brewing Company, www.surlybrewing.com
Modern and shiny, Surly’s new Minneapolis facility is absolutely huge. There is a downstairs beer hall featuring 20+ taps, an upstairs Brewer’s Table restaurant, and over an acre of outdoor space to hang out with your beer. If you are the type that likes brewery merchandise, the store is well stocked with lots of cool gear. Try any beer that appeals to you, it’s all good.
Indeed Brewing, www.indeedbrewing.com
This brewery is home to one of my favorite Minneapolis beers, Let It Ride IPA. The taproom is fairly small, the service was great and felt personal. Taps change frequently, try the Wooden Soul series if you get a chance.
Able Seedhouse + Brewery, www.ablebeer.com
It’s simply cool. The Minneapolis tap room has a clean, hip vibe that somehow still feels warm and welcoming. The beer is good, really good, especially the Blk Wlf stout that I was able to try. If I hadn’t been to two other breweries before this, I could have spent the whole evening here. Dogs and kids are welcome (kids until 9pm, but the dogs can stay late).
Dangerous Man Brewing, www.dangerousmanbrewing.com
Located in NE Minneapolis, this brewery was the surprise of the trip. This taproom has the feel of a neighborhood bar and the beer of a great brewery. If you don’t want beer they have cold press coffee on nitro, soda, and Kombucha too. The Big Watt Coffee Porter was my favorite, but mad props to the Black Kolsch and Calypso’s Promise IPA. Go around back to the growler shop for a crowler or three to go. You will want more later.
The Happy Gnome, www.thehappygnome.com
Located in the Cathedral Hill area of St. Paul, this refined neighborhood bar is usually packed with good reason. With 89 craft drafts, you are bound to find something you like. It has an upscale food menu to compliment your beer choices. I enjoyed the steak tartare and ramen bowl. They hold lots of beer events and even host weddings too.
Many thanks to my friend Ben, the “beer guy” at Lakeridge Liquors in Vadnais Heights for showing me around his hometown. You can find him @Ben_TheBeerGuy on twitter if you’d like to learn more about Minnesota beers.
February has arrived, football season is officially over, and the groundhog did not see his shadow predicting an early spring! It’s now time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day, which is just a few days away.
Each day through Valentine’s Day, MichiganBeerGuy.com will be featuring a recommended craft beer selection to help you find the right brew for your special someone. These are suggestions that will appeal to a wide spectrum of sweethearts, ranging from the novice craft beer drinker to the sophisticated connoisseur. Cupid will also recommend food pairings to add some romance to your experience. Everyone focuses on flowers and chocolate; step up and treat your honey to some delicious craft beer!
Evil Twin Brewing has announced that they will release Michigan Maple Jesus later this year. Brewed at Dark Horse Brewing Co., this 12 % Imperial Stout aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels is slated for release in Summer 2016, per Evil Twin’s Instagram account.
The 2015 Michigan Brewers Guild Detroit Fall Beer Festival has arrived and JR, Uncle Pete, and Dougout from MichiganBeerGuy.com and our Beer Nuts Podcast will be there along with thousands of other beer enthusiasts who treasure the best beers the Mitten State has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of 33 beers that we hope to try at the festival, and listed them by location. We’ve attempted to cover a variety of beer styles, but admittedly the list may be skewed towards some of our favorites including barrel-aged brews, stouts and porters, interesting fruit and herb combinations, and hop bombs. We’ve also tried to avoid beers that are readily available, with very few exceptions. Of course, anyone can do the same by downloading the program and creating your own custom wish list. We’ve selected 33 beers here as a wish list, acknowledging that not all beers will be available and that it would be challenging to sample all of these.
If you are a Michigan Brewers Guild Enthusiast Member, you are allowed to enter the festival one hour prior to the general public. It’s an investment that I find to be a bargain and will ensure that you get to try some of the more coveted beers that may not last long. And make sure you don’t miss the traditional Welcome Toast, firkin tapping, and Michigan Beer Fight Song, which will take place at 7:00 pm on Friday and 3:20 pm on Saturday.
Hope to see you at Eastern Market this weekend. Cheers to Michigan Beers!!!
Batch Brewing: Dicksmasher– Imperial Stout. NOTE: If you don’t like dark beers, substitute a Phugget IPA!
Greenbush: Tropicanabush– American Tripel with Orange
The Livery: Maillot Rouge– Sour Barrel Aged Bier de Garde with raspberries
Royal Oak Brewery: Roller of Big Cigars– Porter with Chili Peppers
Saugatuck: Lord Stanley 3 in 6 Stout- brewed with ingredients poured into the batch from the Stanley Cup!
Check back for updates each week to find out what new releases are expected to be available on shelves (or behind the counter) in Michigan craft beer stores. Quantities may be limited, and not all stores carry all items.
The 2015 Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival is here
with over 100 breweries and 900+ Michigan beers available to enjoy. MichiganBeerGuy will be there along with thousands of other beer enthusiasts who treasure the best beers the Mitten State has to offer. I’ve compiled a list of 33 beers that I hope to try at the festival, and listed them by location. I’ve attempted to cover a variety of beer styles, but admittedly the list may be skewed towards some of my favorites including barrel-aged brews, stouts and porters, interesting fruit and herb combinations, and hop bombs. I’ve also tried to avoid beers that I’ve already tried or are readily available, with very few exceptions. Of course, anyone can do the same by downloading the program and creating your own custom wish list. I’ve listed 33 beers here as a wish list, acknowledging that not all beers will be available when I seek them out and that it would be challenging to sample all of these. But after whittling down my initial list, I couldn’t find any more worthy of chopping. Each of these has piqued my interest, so we’ll go with 33.
If you are a Michigan Brewers Guild Enthusiast Member, you are allowed to enter the festival one hour prior to the general public. It’s an investment that I find to be a bargain and will ensure that you get to try some of the more coveted beers that may not last long. And make sure you don’t miss the traditional Welcome Toast, firkin tapping, and Michigan Beer Fight Song, which will take place at 7:00 pm on Friday and 3:30 pm on Saturday.
Enough banter, on to the list. Cheers to Michigan Beers!!!
Bell’s Wildberry Rye- BA Rye Pale Ale with berries and champagne yeast
Block Mo Shugga Creme Brûlée Coffee Stout
Eternity Brewing Deep Fried Twinkie Ale
Greenbush- 31 ice cream flavors, take your pick!
The Livery Half Truth- BBA Black Rye IPA
Territorial BC Cereal City Champagne Berliner Weisse
Final Gravity Uranus on Fire Amber infused with roasted jalapeño peppers
Old Mill Blue Balls Blueberry Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
Sleepwalker Rum Barrel Aged Fenner Maple Wheat
Grand Rapids BC Philanthropist Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
Grand River Brewery Bourbon Maple Bacon Porter
Gravel Bottom Front Porch Guava IPA
Unity Vibration The Elder Wand Blackberry Elderberry Kombucha Beer
Witch’s Hat DragonTrax- Bourbon Barrel Night Fury w/ peanut butter, cocoa nibs, coconut and vanilla beans
Blue Tractor BC Cuke Silver Cucumber Witbier
Brewery Ferment Passion & Pain Imperial Hefeweizen with passion fruit and scorpion peppers
Griffin Claw Tutti Frutti Brett Beer with fruit
The Mitten BC Batch 500 Triple IPA
Odd Side Ales Rum Dankster Rum-aged IPA
Paw Paw BC BBA King James Scotch Ale
Rockford BC Hot Chuck- Ghost Pepper DIPA
By the River:
Dark Horse Cocoa Bourbon Nibbler Cream Stout
Kuhnhenn Cherry Oude Bruin Flemish Brown Ale with cherries
Pike 51 BC Jeff’s Birthday Barleywine BBA English Barleywine
Short’s Key Lime Pie
Stormcloud Gin Barrel Aged Starbelly Saison
Tapistry Quadrophonic Belgian Quad featuring light and dark Belgian candi sugar
Jolly Pumpkin Fist Full of Limes Saison with lime & salt aged in tequila barrels
Schmohz BC Peppercorn Pilsner
White Flame Breakfast Blend golden coffee ale
The Ypsilanti weather forecast looks quite favorable for both Friday and Saturday, with a high in the ’80’s and partly sunny skies. Be sure and drink lots of water and eat some food. Treat the festival like a marathon and not a sprint, it will be much more fun if you pace yourself. And above all, please don’t drink and drive.
Enjoy the festival!
In search of the world's best craft beers. Proud supporter of Michigan Brewers!