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If you are a beer guru or just love to drink beer, the 16th annual Ypsilanti Beer Festival was the place for you this past July. The actual festival is located outside in a scenic riverside setting. There were over 450 different beers from about 80 different breweries up and around the state of Michigan. This was a great opportunity to sample the Michigan domestic beers that we carry at Nino’s. There are so many types of beers that will please the palate of everyone from the everyday beer drinker to the microbrew aficionados.
Here are some of my notes from the event:
Bell’s had three stations altogether, but topping the list was the Uberon, which is classified as Oberon’s stepbrother. It was like Oberon aged in bourbon barrel, and this intrigued me. When I think of the boozy, malty, thick characteristics of bourbon barrel, I don’t exactly think of American wheat that pairs with orange. It was actually very balanced. It smelled boozy and strong but was smooth and still slightly citrusy.
This was an IPA made with orange peels. The Atwater Hop-a-Peel had plenty of citrus from the orange bites through the bitterness of the IPA. It was still bitter but with a delightful back note of orange and acid at the end.
Greenbush Imperial Red IPA: The red really shines through and is quite malty. The bitterness is very faint, especially for it being an imperial. This IPA was alcohol- 9.5 but not overly hoppy.
Greenbush Atomic Tuan Ton Overdrive: Extremely tasty with lots of strawberry and vanilla up front and then BOOM, with lots of spicy habanero. The pallet was thrown for a loop in a very delightful way. It was the hit.
Greenbush Distorter: Had to have something that wasn’t 100 ABV or 1000 IBU, so I had the distorter, a stout/porter hybrid. Smooth but not overly milky like some stout can be and not overly vanilla like some porters can be. It’s just a good combo of two malty styles.
Griffin Claw Berliner Weisse: It is pleasantly sour and makes you pucker but ends with a subtle sweetness. Pours like Champagne. Extremely refreshing!
Griffin Flying Buffalo Imperial Stout: This particular beer had a very boozy nose, and the nose does not lie. It’s very hot, burning down your throat. On the palate, it had lots of vanilla bean and a little bit of cocoa after you got through the booze.
Short’s Strawberry Shortcake: This beer is very well balanced but had more spice in it than I remember. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not just a beer with fruit juice added. When they throw graham cracker and strawberries into the mash, it’s the real deal.
Short’s Wowee Zowee: A golden ale made with mint and mango. The mint really shines through! It’s a great beer for conversations because you won’t feel like your breath is stinky. Instead, it’s quite minty.
Short’s Cinnabilly Dopplebock: It was like drinking a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Not overly spicy but actually quite sweet.
A special thank you to Kyle from Imperial beverage for his thoughts and input.
Take the time to visit a Michigan Beer Festival, and you will be surprised with how many unique Michigan beers there are. The education of different types is reason enough to attend, but the beers are good too.