Everything’s better with beer! From fall dinners to summer weekends with friends, beer really makes the world go ’round — especially for West Michigan folk. Fortunately, craft beer lovers across the state are finding new ways to incorporate our favorite beverage into non-alcoholic products. Local makers are utilizing the intense and creative flavors in Michigan’s craft brews to inspire a whole new world of beer-based beauty products and edible delights.
Walking about the lengths of Pure Mitten’s hop bines — rows of them on trellises, tall as a giant’s overalls — it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the sight, and more so, the smell of this farm out in Coopersville. Lupulin particles hitch to nose hairs like burs, lighting up the mind with scents of fresh-cut grass and grapefruit shandy.
In the beginning, there was beer. It was fizzy and we drank it and it was fine. You had it with your family, you had it with your friends, sometimes for dinner, sometimes upside-down, hoisted above a keg, suckling from the spigot like a binkie. Maybe it tasted like old cream soda or a possum’s breath. Then someone had an idea: what if we made beer good? The idea took off like gangbusters. Now, there are roughly a billion craft breweries, and the world will never be the same.
Patrons of New Hotel Mertens may notice that the French restaurant’s cocktail menu is original to the erstwhile hotel in the 1940s. It’s a classic, pre-prohibition era menu gracefully updated with both modern and internationally renowned spirits.
With a newly created IPA variation, craft brewers are offering a novel way to showcase hops in a style that falls on the opposite end of the spectrum from the much-hyped New England IPAs.
There’s something special about a dive bar in the middle of the day during a workweek. Whether you’ve played hooky and hit the golf course in the morning or you’re an industry vet appreciating your quiet before the storm, dives are always a welcome retreat.
Ask Andy Sietsema what makes a good cider, and he’ll tell you it comes down to selecting the best fruit and yeast before fermentation.
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