Friday, 27 December 2013 10:58

January Microbrews: Osgood Brewing Co.

Written by  Ben Darcie
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Osgood Brewing Co. Osgood Brewing Co. PHOTO: Ben Darcie

Brewery of the Month: Osgood Brewing Co.

Osgood owner Ronald Denning had been a homebrewer for years, and, like most homebrewers, gained a passion for opening his own brewery. It wasn't until downtown Grandville started a beautification project in early 2012 that the idea for his brewery took shape.

"My wife Mindy and I had been talking about how Grandville needed a brewery," Denning said. "They did the refit project, and we thought it was a great time to do it."

Denning developed a business plan and started scouting locations, settling on a desired location in downtown Grandville.

"We thought if we didn't do it, someone else would," Denning said. "We really wanted to be downtown, to be a catalyst for growth down here."

Renovation began in January of 2013 and continued into the summer, while another homebrewer, Thomas Payne, was scouting the Wyoming area to open his own brewery.

"I had spent the last four years working on opening my own brewery with two separate partners, and financing fell through for the last time," Payne said. "A homebrewer friend of mine wanted to see where Osgood was going in, so I showed him. Ron, the owner, was outside and we got to talking."

The two took to each other quite easily, and before long, Payne had been hired in as the new head brewer of Osgood Brewing – a month before the doors were set to open. It was crunch time.

"First and foremost, I wanted to have a big set of beers that would hit most people," Denning said. "There were a lot of breweries running out [of beer] after open, and we didn't want that to happen, so we focused on producing a lot of our six standards for open."

Osgood features 12 taps while maintaining their six standards: Sol Seeker Wheat, 358 Pale Ale, Journey IPA, Oakestown Amber, Notley Porter and Big Spring Stout. Other offerings include Bee Line Brown, "Best Day Ever" DIPA, Chipotle Stout, Raspberry Vanilla Porter, a Scotch ale and a barrel-aging program that will feature many offerings, some of which are being released this month at the pub.

"Ron's passion is very true to classic styles," Payne said. "I think we've melded really well. Obviously, he's the owner, I'm here to do what he tells me to, but he gives me some liberties to make some beer that maybe this area isn't seeing right now."

The taproom is surprisingly large, with big windows, a long bar with TVs for sports fans and windows peeking into the cellar space giving you a peek of the glistening steel.

"We wanted an environment that's a community gathering place," Denning said. "A place that's nice and warm, where people can be comfortable and have a good time, like at a friend's house."

Osgood got slammed at its opening in September and the chaos continued for a few weeks until slowing into a steady groove. The brewery offers pints, flights, as well as food by Executive Chef Cody Clements, ranging from unique pizzas to invigorating daily specials for lunch and dinner.

"I just want everybody to know that I pour every ounce of my soul into everything I do," Payne said. "I've been passionate about beer for so long that I make sure that is transferred into each and every pint."

BEER OF THE MONTH: Right Brain CEO Stout

There's no better way to battle mid-winter than with a great Coffee Stout.

CEO pours jet black with a stunning mocha-colored head that smells of coffee, chocolate and roast. At 5.5%ABV, the body isn't too big, which lends to drinkability. The body is full of rich, dark malt flavors, coffee and chocolate with notes of roast and a subtle nuttiness. The beer finishes with a lingering coffee note that will keep your palate begging for more.

Not only is this a great brew for winter, but one that you can keep on drinking through the day or night.

BEER NEWS

- Kalamazoo Beer Week returns Jan. 11-18 and is full of tastings, tap takeovers and other beer events all over Kzoo. Visit kalamazoobeerweek.com for more information.

- Royal Oak Beer Festival, happening at the Royal Oak Farmers Market, is Jan. 18 and features more than 55 breweries, more than 140 beers, cider, wine, spirits and music. Visit royaloakbeerfest.com for more information.

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