#michigan – PorchDrinking.com
Michigan is one of those places that never stops. Despite jokes about two seasons (winter and road construction) the truth is, every season begins and ends and brings with it the sort of activities that seem as if they only happen in movies. There is skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, gardens of wildflowers and baby animals in spring, and hills and landscapes full of red, yellow and orange in the fall. It’s summer, however, when Michigan truly comes alive, mostly because the state is littered with natural and human-made beauties that couldn’t possibly be in one area of the world. It’s with this in mind that for this week’s Ultimate 6er, we have six Michigan summer adventures and the beers that will make them even better.
New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk is an iconic stout in the craft beer industry. It’s the most widely produced barrel-aged stout in the country and is the featured beer in the Michigan brewery’s arsenal.
As more and more breweries pop up, the idea of the neighborhood brewery is becoming increasingly popular. To wit: Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales’ only location outside of Michigan, their Hyde Park location which opened in 2017, is quickly become a gathering space for the community.
This fall and winter, if you’re looking for a dark beer without the thick texture of a stout or porter, look no further than Keweenaw Brewing Company Widow Maker Black Ale.
Located in Houghton, Michigan at the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Keweenaw Brewing Company was an early entry in the craft beer boom of the 2000s. This is unsurprising, given that Houghton is not only a college town (home to Michigan Technological University), but a cold and snowy one, with little to do in the winters but ski, snowmobile and drink. Founders Dick Gray and Paul Boissevain opened up their tap room in the heart of downtown Houghton, and it was an immediate hit with students and staff alike. Widow Maker is one of their “core ales, ” alongside Pick Axe Blonde Ale, Red Jacket Amber Ale and November Gale Pale Ale.
As beer enthusiasts, we’ve all thought about it. Some of us may have even looked into the logistics of trying it, but very few of us could ever truly find the time, the money or the energy to visit every brewery in our home state over the course of one year. But that’s exactly what Emily Bennett accomplished in 2017 when she embarked on the Mitten Beer Quest, visiting every brewery in her home state of Michigan.
Detroit: You’ve heard of us. We’re making a comeback! The real story is Detroit never really left, but the leaps and bounds it has made in the last decade are astounding to anyone who has lived in the area since the rebellion. The Motor City has so much history, art, music, and culture to share, but most importantly for our readers it has tons and tons of beer too!
Summer’s here and in full swing, so going to the beach or hanging around outside are two common activities most people do while drinking beer. Since most people don’t want to wreck themselves, a good idea would be to Czech Yourself with Transient Artisan Ales‘ first lager.
When I was offered an internship for the summer at the Prosecutor’s Office in a small county tucked away in the fingers of Michigan, I immediately knew my summer reading had to include Anatomy of a Murder. Anatomy of a Murder has long been hailed as one of the best examples of how law & order actually work. Besides that, it was supposed to be damned entertaining. I’ve spent the last two months learning the ins and outs of prosecuting a case both in the courtroom and through the eternal, if overly elaborate, wisdom of Robert Travers (aka former Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker) and his Trout-obsessed country lawyer in Paul Biegler.
ABV: 7% | IBU: 55
For most new to beer, and a sizable number of those well-versed in the various styles beer has to offer, trying an IPA is like sneaking a swig of your dad’s whiskey after everyone has gone to bed. It is an unpleasant rite of passage into the craft beer world that I, simply put, did not agree with. There was too much out there to enjoy without forcing myself to drink something I didn’t enjoy.
Every summer, thousands of Michiganders make their trek to the northern part of Michigan for their “Up North Vacation.” What exactly Up North entails depends on who you talk to, as the Detroit Free Press recently pointed out.
If there’s one thing to take away from the 5th annual Cider Summit held in Chicago this past Saturday it’s that the future of craft cider is very bright. While there is definitely a long way to go, the sold out event showcased cider as an emerging beverage in the industry.
On a basketball court located in the Chicago Athletic Association, mixologists from some of Chicago’s best known bars and restaurants concocted unique Stone Fence cocktails for Virtue Cider’s 3rd Annual Stone Fence Competition.
Photo courtesy of Arcadia Ales.
To quote a past professor: I reserve the right to be wrong.
In sixth grade I only once cleaned up after a friend’s Tamagotchi Giga Pet. I belonged to a school district around a farming community and found it was not uncommon for students to walk through cow or horse or pig manure in the morning before school. We knew what sticks were for and this egg-looking pixilated-dog toy had no use-stick button. I had cast aside my childhood then and welcomed cynicism. Since then, I have not succumbed to fads: my first cell phone was out of necessity at twenty, as apartment landlines became expensive and impracticable and employers immediately threw away applications without a phone number; I still have a flip phone, find the constant use of smart phones offensive; I avoided Twitter for eight years; I still don’t exactly understand Tinder or Reddit or what a millennial is or what their duties are or why one young man felt the need to tell me not to whistle while doing laundry because I was appropriating unpaid-labor culture; only now do I think a Tickle-me-Elmo would be fun (however, Gak was great, though I never owned any). And as of recently, I had no desire to fill the void in my life with anything pumpkin-spiced.
Back in the 1990s Greg Hall was seen as a pioneer in craft beer. At a time when the industry was beginning to grow, Hall helped Goose Island become a national leader in craft beer. In 2011 Hall left the brewery to enter a space that was on the verge of experiencing large growth just like the craft beer industry years ago – cider.
Craft beer has always been about the story. If you can make oatmeal, you can probably make beer. That’s the easy part. Beer comes in different shades of colors and styles. Yet, despite the basics of brewing being so simple, we are still drawn to drinking and discovering all the different styles and interpretations brewers put on our favorite liquid courage.
Mitch Steele announces plans for a new brewery, Snoop Dogg’s lawsuit against Pabst is headed to trial, and proposed legislation in Oklahoma would allow for the sale of full-strength beer in grocery stores. If these stories aren’t exciting enough, you can get pumped about the fact that we will not be reporting any AB InBev buyouts this week. Keep reading to catch all of the details in this edition of the Weekly Growler Fill.
What I know about tailors is from the “here’s what they won’t tell you about tailors” had-to-be-there stories from friends I’ve never seen in fitted suits. I leave work late in the evening to drive to Traverse City, Michigan, expecting early the next day to stand bare-assed in front of a five-sided mirror and a woolen man with circular glasses and pins in his teeth. He’ll shift my inner thighs someplace more manageable, while muttering, “No, no, this won’t do.”
I’m not normally a cider guy. I’m spoiled by good non-alcoholic cider in Michigan, and the different taste just confuses me. However, it’s the only type of craft beer that my boyfriend seems to actively enjoy (that’s in not small part to Vandermill of Grand Rapids coming to the Fall Detroit beer festival last year). Therefore, I ventured this summer in order to find something we can both enjoy. And the search came just in time. As The Rio Olympics pointed out in their bummer presentation, it’s historically hot and you gotta find a non-AC blasting way to keep cool on the strings of unbearably hot day. Delightfully, Cherry Creek Winery has decided to branch out from the grape game and created Dancing Elephants Hard Cherry Apple Cider.
Often when I have friends who travel outside of Chicago they’ll text me when they wander into a local brewery and ask if I want them to pick me up any beer. Every time the answer is ‘yes’ and that allows me to try beers from all over the country without having to leave the Second City.
Featured photo by Garrin Ball, courtesy of themittenadventure.com
When Steve and Drew Lutke bought a Groupon for a beer brewing kit they never imagined it would lead to them opening a brewery. After years of talking about the idea, gathering investments, planning the space and actually building a brewhouse, Hop Lot Brewing Co. is celebrating their one year anniversary this month.