#michigan Archives – PorchDrinking.com
In 2020, we entered a new normal. When once we crowded hip-to-hip in breweries and barrooms, we now spread out six feet, stick to our tables, and wear masks whenever we move about. During summertime, since outdoor eating is a norm many people enjoy, it felt a little bit better, a bit less stifled. But in late fall, when cold weather set in and a surge in COVID-19 cases caused a new round of indoor dining closures throughout the country, breweries, bars and restaurants had to get creative. Plastic outdoor igloos began to show up, allowing a private space for groups to gather outside. Some establishments chose to keep their patios “as-is,” installing large space heaters to keep people warm and cozy. But others have gone a different route, to stand out due to cost issues — or because as the weather gets colder, even large space heaters don’t do the trick.
Here at Porchdrinking.com, we’ve decided to highlight the creativity of these establishments to keep their businesses open, even when indoor dining is an absolutely non-starter. Our first profile is Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Brass Ring Brewery, and their colorful ice shanties.
Sunday, December 20, marks the 10-year anniversary for one of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s most celebrated breweries: Brewery Vivant. The brewery is the world’s first LEED certified commercial microbrewery and a Certified B Corporation. It is beloved among Michigan’s beer loving community for their Belgium-style brews, as well as their commitment to the local community. To celebrate 10 years, on December 17 the brewery released J’aison, a Petite Saison brewed with orange peel and Tellicherry black peppercorns. It is currently available on draft and in cans for sale at the brewpub.
One of the most wonderful things about Michigan, given its vicinity to the Great Lakes, is the multitude of mini climates that make the state ideal for growing grapes, hops, wheat and, of course, cherries. However, despite a great deal of hullaballoo over Michigan cherries, it is far from the only fruit grown in the Mitten State. Mirabelle plums, apples, pears and quince are also grown throughout Michigan’s western fruit belt, as well as the luscious and lovely blueberry. It stands to reason, then, that breweries throughout the fruit belt region embrace the blueberry and other fruits as a way to make authentically-Michigan, fruit-based beers from locally grown fruit. Few are more locally grown than Waypost Brewing Company, a farm brewery that prides itself on its ties to the land.
“We define Waypost as a farmhouse brewery, and our beers are created to reflect the place and the people who make it what it is. Whether that’s the water, the fruit or the feeling on the farm the day the beer was brewed, we want our product to be a reflection of this truly unique place,” said Waypost’s co-owner and brewer, Hannah Lee.
A variant of the brewery’s wildly popular Kentucky Breakfast Stout, and an already fine example of how to use coffee in beer, KBS Espresso gets an extra shot of coffee flavor thanks to being aged on espresso beans after being removed from the barrel.
Michigan seemed to have missed the memo on Spring. From late April snow to consistent summer heat in June, Michigan seemed to have missed the memo on Spring. As Michiganders emerge from drinking beer locked inside from COVID-19, to drinking beer on their porches outside, Downey Brewing’s The Razz is here for your cool-down beverage needs.
This was supposed to be a post about how the perfect March Beer was found; A bright St. Patrick’s green colored can that would help the run MSU was sure to go on in the NCAA tourney. But then the world decided to melt down. While unfortunately you can’t obnoxiously scream “GO GREEN” “GO WHITE” with your friends, it’s still possible to enjoy Big Lake Brewing‘s Sparti Parti IPA while barricaded in your own home.
On a rainy May 19, more than 1,000 people showed up to the sleepy, lake town of Bridgman, Mich., all because a dog tricked his owner to get out of bed, so he could have the warm spot.
They came …
Known for beautiful scenery, cherries and wine, Northern Michigan’s Traverse City has also become a hotbed for craft breweries. With a population of just over 15,000, the city has 10 breweries and even more in the surrounding towns. The Traverse City Craft Beer Week is an opportunity to explore the region’s expanding craft beer offerings.
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.