A handful of West Michigan craft breweries have started producing sour beers. Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of some of the locally made sours and wild ales.
In America, the IPA reigns supreme among craft beer drinkers. But many beer lovers have discovered a new-found love for some of the oldest of beer styles that date back centuries to the earliest of brewing traditions in Europe.
Back in the day, brewers made sour beers and wild ales because that’s all they could make. They didn’t have the cultured brewers yeast that’s available today. Rather, they relied on the natural “bugs” and open fermentation to do its work.
The styles have undergone a renaissance in recent years and are growing in popularity among local breweries.
West Michigan native Mitch Ermatinger brewed award-winning sour beers at Denver-based Former Future Brewing Co. He and his wife, Whitney, have returned to the region with plans to launch Speciation Artisan Ales, an all-wild brewery. The pair are still working to identify a location in Grand Rapids but the plan is to open a taproom for a bottle release one day per month and later expand to weekly hours. In the meantime, Ermatinger is helping Harmony Brewing Co. to launch its own sour program.
Everyone loves to find a new favorite craft beer.
In this tasting session of new beers that just hit distribution in West Michigan, we’ve found two options we’d happily recommend you seek out — and a host of others worth trying as well.
In the case of Cedar Springs Brewing Co., 95 N. Main St., Cedar Springs, founder Dave Ringler apprenticed at German breweries in the 1990s after graduating from Kalamazoo College and has leveraged that training to bring a true taste of Bavaria to West Michigan.
Detroit’s Atwater Brewery is launching three new beers, and along with them, a new branding scheme. The company tapped Detroit artist Tony Roko for the new designs, which will debut this month.
This month New Belgium Brewing Company invites you and your family to hit the slopes at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, Mich. to sport fun costumes while scouring the snowy hills for clues.
Craft beer aficionados certainly have plenty of reasons to shake the couch cushions and work overtime come late November and early December, when some of the cult favorites — many of them of the bourbon barrel-aged variety — hit the shelves. Brewery Vivant’s Wizard Burial Ground is certainly one to look for.
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