GRAND RAPIDS — Forgive Joe Short and his colleagues from Bellaire-based Short’s Brewing Co. if they look a little tired. They had a busy day on Wednesday. That’s when the Northern Michigan brewery released Psychedelic Cat Grass, its triple dry-hopped IPA, across its entire multi-state distribution footprint.
Say you’re headed to Chicago but you have some time to kill or you’re looking for an escape from your normal haunts and want to check out something new. The southwest corner of Michigan offers a quick getaway, and more importantly, plenty of beer options.
OK, I get the picture; we’ve all been there. You have just thrown another $25 into the seemingly bottomless money pit that is the craft brewery market. For the average consumer, this comes with almost as much buyer’s remorse as paying for a Floyd Mayweather fight. The natural reaction to this pang of guilt is to rip down your limited edition brew within a week’s time and begin a long and vexing cycle of reminiscence. But here’s the thing: Resist the temptation and maybe consider the prospect of cellaring your high-gravity beverage.
Peter Steele (R.I.P.) may have been singing about a popular hair dye in Type O Negative’s goth classic “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” but the appreciation of all things dark can certainly carry over to beer as well. Revue wanted to call out some of the best of the dark brews that came out this year. So put some black metal on the turntable (may I suggest King Diamond) and turn yourself over to the darkness. Don’t be scared.
While the Lansing craft-beer scene isn’t a booming mecca like West Michigan — there is some action sprouting up across Capital City and much of it involves one curly-haired, bearded man: Paul Starr. For the past five years Starr, 33, has become the leader of the pack in Lansing-area craft-beer events and news coverage.
This past Labor Day weekend I had the pleasure of spending 24 hours at a woodsy cabin not far from Lake Michigan. Aside from drinking, there was plenty of hiking, swimming, beach play and fireside sitting. Upon return to my humble abode, only two things sounded good as a method of unwinding: A hot shower and a cold beer.
A good beer’s story never begins in the brewer’s tank. Every hop, grain of barley and drop of water in that tank comes from one place: The Earth. Without the fields and the farmers that work to sow them, our mugs would be empty.
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.)
It’s no secret that West Michigan knows beer. According to USA Today, we boast two of the top 15 craft breweries in the United States (Founders and Bell’s, in case you were unaware). In addition to being the best, many new microbreweries pop up in our region on a yearly basis. This month, we’re honoring one of the many things we do best with a look at how the area has grown, a gigantic brewery list, beer gear and more.
Find these Beer Issue stories on our website:
- Beta Theta Pints: West Michigan's Fraternity of Brewers
- Grand Rapids: Building a Foundation for Better Beer
- West Michigan's Lakeshore Ups the Beer Game
- Michigan's Burgeoning Craft Beer Industry: Northern and Mid-Michigan
- Craft beer scene grows in Southwest Michigan
- What Your Beer Says About You?
- What's the Deal with Hard Cider?
© 2020 Serendipity Media, LLC