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#michiganbeer Archives – Page 2 of 2 – PorchDrinking.com

Why Patio Season in the Midwest Means More

June 19, 2018 |

Oh, summer. As a native Minnesotan and current Chicagoan, I have a mixed relationship with the best season of the year. I’m used to rationalizing the cold, the rain, the snow, more cold…and even hail, endured during roughly nine months of the year, knowing that the sweet embrace of 70 degrees and sunny skies is right around the corner. Unfortunately, summer in the Midwest can be as fleeting as the last drip of Lager in your glass, which is why Midwesterners go so crazy for the nice days:  because there are so few of them. One of my favorite summer activities is patio drinking. It’s a staple pastime that tans the skin and bloats the belly as you sit outside sopping up suds and some much-needed Vitamin D. Much like its inhabitants, the breweries of the Midwest also rejoice when the first summer forecast comes into the picture. Patio season can even start before Memorial Day – I’ve seen Chicago breweries unveil their patio chairs on an unseasonably sunny day in March. And guess what? That patio was filled. We asked several Midwestern brewers why patio season is so special for their brewery and for their patrons.

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Michigan Beer Chronicles Part 3 | Touring the Caves of Founders Brewing

June 5, 2018 |

There’s few things darker than standing in a pitch black cave. The lack of light heightens your other senses immensely. As the lights went out in the famed Grand Rapids barrel storage cave of Founders Brewing Co., my nose lit up with the smell that any barrel-aged beer fan should be familiar with—bourbon. Founders’ head cellarman Jason Heystek is used to it by now, just like he’s used to scaling the rows of bourbon, tequila and wine barrels that line the former gypsum mine. Five minutes into our tour of the caves, Jason had already found a comfortable seat on-top of a KBS barrel. Much like the booze-soaked liquid that warms the body, Jason exudes a sense of comfort and enjoyment that reverberated throughout the group, making our tour almost 90 feet underneath Grand Rapids, a truly unforgettable experience.

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Michigan Beer Chronicles Part 2 | Traverse City

May 29, 2018 |

Thanks to the permeation of their ad campaign throughout Chicago, my initial impression of Traverse City was that there was going to a brewery every block. That turned out not to be true – and that’s probably a good thing. While a good deal of breweries can be reached via a leisurely stroll on Front St., a lot of the other worthwhile spots are a bit more spaced out, which forces you to explore the unique history and scenery that makes Traverse City one of the better tourist destinations in the Midwest. We got the chance to experience a good deal of what the city had to offer through a variety of brewery stops on Saturday and Sunday, along with a trip up the peninsula to visit the Old Mission Lighthouse and the scenic grounds of the Jolly Pumpkin brewpub. Here are my highlights. Read More

Michigan Beer Chronicles Part 1 | Grand Rapids (plus Bell’s & Dark Horse)

May 25, 2018 | 2

After a five-day excursion with my beer-loving parents through Western Michigan and Traverse City, I’ve come back enamored with many of the local brews… and about five pounds heavier. But it was all worth it: every single brew, cheese board, burger and beer flight. During the trip, we visited over 20 breweries throughout Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Marshall, Ludington and Traverse City. Some were massive, others were upstarts, but each left an impression. To make my recap as readable as possible, I’ve decided to divide my thoughts up into regions, starting with the focal point: Grand Rapids, and the additional visits we took to Bell’s, Dark Horse and Starving Artist located in Kalamazoo, Marshall and Ludington respectively. Here are my highlights.

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Right Brain Brewery | Concrete Dinosaur

June 16, 2016 |

ABV 7.2%

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.

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Saugatuck Brewing Company | Oval Beach Blonde Ale

May 17, 2016 |

Tulips and Blonde Beer. The first two things that come to mind when I think about spring in full swing. For Mother’s Day weekend, the family and I took a lovely trip to Holland, MI to attend the Tulip Time. Michigan in general has some of the most exciting craft beer on the market, so naturally I wanted take advantage of our adventure and drink as the locals drink.
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Brewery Showcase | Hop Lot Brewing Co. (Suttons Bay, MI)

May 10, 2016 |

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.

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Cranker’s Brewery | Fifth Voyage

May 3, 2016 |

Since moving out to a lake, my dad divides his life between Ski Season (meaning winter) and Other Ski Season (meaning there’s no ice and he can water ski/wake board). … Read More

Right Brain Brewery | Naughty Girl Stout

April 19, 2016 |

ABV: 6.4%

I’m a sucker for Girl Scout cookies. When the little ladies are selling door-to-door, I lose control and start checking off order-form-boxes wildly. When they’re sitting at a table outside the supermarket, I slide my arm across the display shoveling all available product into the cart. And of course, I double down on Thin Mints. Read More

Brewery Showcase | Cognition Brewing Company (Ishpeming, MI)

March 3, 2016 |

It is late June, 2014 and my friend and I are asked to volunteer for the Ishpeming Historical Society by giving scripted tours to the second story of a Victorian-style home. My name tag reads Gerald and my tie does not match my shirt. I’m missing a shoelace and nobody notices until the middle of the day when I catch a twenty-something woman staring intently at my shoe. She would be my favorite patron of the day, for we shared a similar disinterest: she, with what I had to say; I, with what I had to say.

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Ore Dock Brewing Company | Ski Bum Wheat

February 19, 2016 |

 

5.5% ABV

I don’t ski in the same way I don’t bowl or attend weddings—if I have to rent special footwear, it’s not worth my time. This nonparticipation can be traced back to 1998, specifically Sonny Bono’s skiing accident. His death fueled a fear within that kept me from a middle school trip to a local hill. My paranoia was further confirmed when a friend returned to school the following Monday with a gash and stitches above his eye; he had caught a tow rope with his face. By springtime, he wore a scar that said he had done (and survived) something substantial. I, however, relishing in my newfound neuroticism, was about the same. Unimpressive as ever.

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Wasatch Brew Pub | Ginger, Apple, Wheat Ale

January 8, 2016 |

4% ABV

When I headed to my hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan for Christmas, a town so steeped in its microbrew culture that it has a semi-pro baseball team called the Growlers, I’d planned to write a beer showcase from Bell’s Brewing’s Eccentric Café, my old college stomping ground. But then I got to Bell’s and saddled up to the bar with some old friends. Read More

Founders Brewing | Breakfast Stout

August 14, 2013 |

ABV: 8.3% | IBU: 60

I used to think this brew was best poured into a wide base tulip on a cool summer’s evening. I have changed my mind. This breakfast beer is best served with breakfast. It’s a big beer but not too big. Grab a mug, pour a Founders Brewing Breakfast Stout and grab a slice of coffee cake. Take a seat on your front/back porch with the morning paper. It’s time for breakfast the way it was intended.

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