Michigan proved itself on Saturday to be the great beer state. Even with severe weather and flooded grounds, the beer drinkers came out in droves to sample over 400 beers from 50 some breweries at the 13th annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti. In celebration of @JoshSikkega’s birthday, @TimMaleski and @ErickGrimmer (homebrewer extraordinaire) joined my lovely wife and me for a day of boozing in the sun. This blog post is a collection of our thoughts and photos:
1. Strawberry Fields Strawberry Ale from Right Brain Brewery, Traverse City: Right Brain’s new brewmaster’s strawberry ale lived up to the hype, and the fruit beer was perfect for the hot weather.
2. Hangin’ Frank IPA from Short’s Brewing Co., Bellaire/Elk Rapids: Don’t remember why, but it was on our list. Must have been good.
3. Vanilla Java Porter from Atwater Block Brewery, Detroit: Banana bread aroma, it tasted like the name.
1. Ginger Lee Ginger Pilsner from Hideout Brewing Co., Grand Rapids. Super gingery in a great way.
2. AXL Pale Ale from Millking It Productions, Royal Oak: Went into the food tent for a pulled pork sandwich, came out with a microbrew from a can, full pour, a smooth, refreshing pilsner for the oppressive heat.
3. Agave Peach Wheat from Shorts Brewing Co., Bellaire/Elk Rapids: The first beer of the day, a solid start.
4. Ghettoblaster English Mild from Motor City Brewing Works, Detroit: Ghettoblaster wasn’t number one for anyone, but on average, probably ranked the highest.
5. OG Ginger Ale from Original Gravity Brewing Co., Milan: Grown-up version of Vernor’s. Read my Review of Original Gravity.
1. E.T.’s Reese’s Pieces from Kuhnhenn Brewing Co., Warren: Flecks of dry ice made the beer extra cold and billowy with smoke for a nice awe factor. Good dessert beer. Cool E.T. tap handle (see photos).
2. Infernal Chili Beer from Bastone Brewery, Royal Oak: Chili beers are always interesting, but only for a sip or two.
1. Mad Hatter piñata from New Holland Brewing Co., Holland: Can’t beat blind drunks swinging a wiffle ball bat.
2. Woodstock-esque mud sliding and impromptu mud wrestling.
Chatted about the Great Lakes and Michigan’s secessionist movement with AnnArbor.com beer writer, @dbardallis.
3. When great shirts come together: Jesus hates the Yankees, Jesus hates mojitos.
Odds and Ends:
1. Best pours from Right Brain Brewery, Traverse City: Always full cups, rarely took tokens, and very friendly bartenders (wink).
2. Best swag from Keweenaw Brewing Co., Houghton: Pick Axe Blonde bumper stickers for everyone. Read my post, Ten Reasons Keweenaw Brewing is Tops, Eh!
3. Maybe move to higher ground for next year. Sure, those were some freak thunderstorms, but I spent half the day ankle-deep in mud.
4. After the beer fest we hydrated at the homestead, killed three large Domino’s pizzas, and watched a Jersey Shore marathon on MTV - yeah, I was that beat.
One Word Summary:
Tim M: Hoppss