Tag Archives: Michigan Beer

Michigan Summer Beer Festival

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

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.

Atwater Hop-a-Peel

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

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

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

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.

Summer Beer: Open a Bottle and Release the Summer!

Monday, March 28 began summer for many beer lovers. Though it is a mere 8 days after the first day of Spring, and temperatures were well below the freezing mark, Monday was the release date for Summer’s most beloved Michigan Beer; Bell’s Oberon.  Oberon is a lightly hopped wheat ale, with notes of orange peel and spice.  The alcohol is 5.8% so I don’t recommend having a couple before cutting the grass, but on a lazy summer day by the pool, it fits the bill.  You can buy it by the 6 or by the “designer” Mini Keg!

Though Oberon, followed closely by Leinenkugle’s Summer Shandy – a Weiss beer blended with Lemonade – are the most anticipated beers of the season, many of the craft brewers across the country release light bodied,  refreshing, but still flavorful Summer beers. Here are my picks for tasty summer beers:

Founders Cerise

Bright tart Michigan cherries are blended in to this malty beer five times to get the right balance between tart and sweet.

New Holland Golden Cap Saison

One of my favorite summer beers, medium weight, with light touches of citrus and spice.  This beer has a fruity, wheaty, quality while it still has a dry finish, kind of like Champagne; maybe that’s why I like it so much!

Flying Dog Woody Creek White

A traditional wheat beer, the Woody Creek White has notes of coriander, citrus and banana. Light in alcohol (4.8% abv) this is a nice beer for hot summer days and cold summer salads.

Dogfish Head Festina Peche

This is not your average “fruit” beer. Made in the almost lost Berliner Weisse style, the Festina Peche has a defiantly tart quality to it.  The peach is prevalent on the nose and palate, making it light, fruity, and summery without being sweet.

Summer does not technically start until June 21 this year, but who wants to wait that long? Pick up some summer beers, Brats, and watermelon and give your summer a jump start!

Enjoy!

– Jennifer Laurie