After nearly three years of planning, Kelly Rozema Finchem and Luke Finchem have finally realized their dream of opening a craft brewery in West Michigan. The creators of Dutch Girl Brewing Inc. employed a different startup philosophy than most brewery owners in that they launched their company with plenty of room to grow.
Traverse City may be known for its cherries and wine, but the Northwest Michigan town has been slowly making a name for itself because of its thriving craft beer scene. The city of around 15,000 people has no fewer than 10 microbreweries or brewpubs — and that’s not even counting many more beer producers that continue to pop up in nearby towns like Acme, Lake Ann and Suttons Bay. (Lest you fudgies forget: Short’s Brewing Co. is actually based 40 miles away in Bellaire.)
Once the beer began flowing in Hudsonville, people started to take notice. While it had the dubious distinction of being Michigan’s last dry city, a title it held until 2007, the Ottawa County town now boasts two growing microbreweries that come highly regarded by the region’s craft beer cognoscenti.
Good beer comes to those who wait. The Looman family had been plotting for years to find a way to bring their homebrew concoctions to a wider audience, and they got serious in 2014. Nick and Krista Looman quit their jobs and relocated to Newaygo County to start Newaygo Brewing Company.
Sure, you could drink a beer and eat some chocolate, but many craft brewers have both vices covered with an all-in-one product. Mama, this surely is not a dream; it’s wonderful reality. We assembled 10 chocolate-based beers for a blind taste test, conducted by the following judges:
As yet another high holy holiday of the drinking variety approaches, craft beer fans owe it to themselves and their friends to remember this simple mantra: Friends don’t let friends drink green beer.
While most people likely associate the title of “Beer City” to present-day Grand Rapids, it turns out the city has quite a long history with craft brewing. That was one of the main takeaways author Patrick Evans had in researching his new book, Grand Rapids Beer: An Intoxicating History of River City Brewing, which was published Jan. 26 by The History Press.
Not every occasion calls for a full-bodied IPA. Sometimes, you want the flavor of an IPA without the weight (and responsibility) of a higher alcohol content. That’s why many breweries are debutting new session IPAs, and one of the newest is Slow Ride from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing.
Portage is a new seasonal beer from the veteran brewers at New Belgium Brewing. The label features a gorgeous wooden canoe in a wheeled carrier ready for a portage, reflecting the name of the beer. After prying off the cap, an aggressive pour results in a one-finger head of off-white foam that quickly dissipates.
When winter rolls around, it’s a not-so-subtle cue to start drinking stouts.
There’s just something warming about the roasty and rich coffee flavors featured in so many of the styles that pairs well with the season. These are typically beers with some personality — just like a Pure Michigan winter.
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