The Muskrat Mashers booth at the Rat Fest is Citra hopping.
Rate Beer recently came out with their list of the top 50 beers in the world and Michigan had two in the top ten. In at number four was Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout and just two spots lower was Bell’s Hopslam. Of the two only Hopslam will be available on Friday.
Hopslam is one of those beers that is loved by geeks and nongeeks alike. As someone who has recommended a lot of beers to people I used to be hesitant to suggest such a big beer to a macro drinker but not anymore. Sure, it’s a big in ABV and flavor but it’s also extremely drinkable with a comfortable mouthfeel.
You can’t ignore a beer this great especially when it brewed in your own state. I know the beer geek reading this will buy it but please think about sharing it with a newbie. Because the best ad campaign is word of mouth and that mouth should be filled with Hopslam.
Hopslam will be available in good beer stores in Monroe on Friday.
Here is a press release about a brand new Bell’s seasonal beer. I will have more details as the release date nears.
With a new year comes to a new addition to the Bell’s seasonal spring lineup. In early February, Bell’s Smitten Golden Rye Ale will be released on draft and in six-packs – just in time to help transition into warmer days. Coming in at 6% ABV, Smitten pours a hazy gold appearance. “This is the perfect beer to help brighten those gray winter days and help warm your heart,” said Laura Bell, Marketing Director for Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Drawn from one of Larry Bell’s oldest recipes, Smitten began as part of a series of rye beers at the Eccentric Café in downtown Kalamazoo, where a variety of new and old favorites are still brewed right next door at Bell’s original location. That series also included Black Rye, Rye Stout and Kal-Haven Ale. A combination of sharp citrus and resinous flavors from the Pacific Northwest hops with the earthy, rustic overtones of the rye malt yield an interesting and refreshing take on the American Pale Ale. Formerly called Golden Rye Ale, Smitten is the first new regular bottle release since Oarsman Ale debuted as a year round offering in 2010.
For more information on where to find Smitten as well as other Bell’s beers, please visit the Bell’s Beer Finder online or contact your local retailer.
ABOUT BELL’S BREWERY, INC.
Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle. Since then, we’ve grown into a regional craft brewery that employs more than 200 people over an 18 state area, in addition to Puerto Rico and Washington DC. The dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers that started in 1985 is still with us today. We currently brew over 20 beers for distribution as well as many other small batch beers that are served at our pub in Kalamazoo, the Eccentric Cafe. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. We strive to bring an authentic and pleasant experience to all of our customers through our unique ales and beers. For more information, please visit bellsbeer.com.
You can also find Bell’s on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr and foursquare.
By: Kevin Nash
With the start of a new year I have decided to get back to a regular schedule of blogging. I have been struggling with what to do with the blog over the last few months. We started this blog five years ago and a lot has changed since then. The original contributors have had a total of four babies and have started a homebrew club all of which has happily stolen time from the blog. Plus Facebook and Twitter have changed how we get our information. By the time I get around to posting it feels like old news and I might as well be writing about the Hindenburg disaster.
Due to the changes in my life I no longer feel up on Michigan beer. It has become hard to get to events and breweries. It’s not enough to read beer news. You need to taste the news. A new brewery seems to pop up every other week it is an exciting time to be a Michigan beer blogger but only if you have a lot of time to dedicate to it.
So I have decided to get back to the reason I originally joined the blog. To cover the Monroe beer scene as it applies to Michigan beer and home brewing. I have seen a big improvement in the local beer scene recently and it is an exciting time to be a beer lover in Monroe. One of my new year resolutions is to do 26 beer related stories on Monroe County. I may slip in a few Michigan wine stories just for the fun of it. That’s one every two weeks. I was talked out 50 because that is too ambitious.
If you know anyone in the Monroe area please pass our blog onto them. I am hoping they find it interesting.
Michelle Nasers is the co-founder of Craft Beer in Michigan and an incredible woman that we are lucky enough to call a friend and a cancer survivor. Michelle will be hosting a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society this Sunday October 14, 2012 at Original Gravity. Here is a quote from the event’s Facebook page that tells her story…
“I will be running (and walking) in the Detroit Free Press international half marathon on October 21st with the American Cancer Society DetermiNation team – something I never dreamed that I would be able to do when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 5 years ago. This race is my way of celebrating 5 years of survivorship, and in doing so, my goal is to raise $4200 – $100 for each of my years prior to diagnosis – for ACS.”
This event will be a lot of fun. The prizes are incredible and you get to help fight cancer. Here are the event details…
Kegs Kicking Cancer’s Caboose
October 14, 12pm to 6pm
DetermiNation unites athletes with a very important mission – the mission to save lives from all types of cancer! Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back.
Special beer release
Barrel Aged Evil Overlord: a strong dark Belgian ale aged in a bourbon cask for 11 months! Wow!
•Assorted gift certificates (Clubhouse BFD, Thai Bistro, Weber’s Inn and more!)
•A bottle of 1994 Samuel Adams Triple Bock, compliments of Rex and Mary Halfpenny-This beer only had 3 vintage releases; 1994, 1995, and 1997. Brewed with two row malted barley, water, Noble hops and yeast, along with maple syrup, it was then aged several months in oak whiskey barrels before being bottled. At the time it was considered the world’s strongest beer, and a precursor of today’s Extreme Beers.
•A bottle of 2007 Cyser made by Rex Halfpenny with juice from Uncle John’s Cider Mill
•Lifetime OG Brew Crew membership!
•A variety of Swag
Sarah and I are in Marquette enjoying all of the pre UP Beer Festival excitement. Right now we’re enjoying the belgian IPA and the 007 Golden at Ore Dock Marquette’s newest brewery. It’s gonna be a great weekend!
I woke up this morning and thought I should re-post a story from last year about Erie Bread Company and Original Gravity working together to bake a bread that is uniquely Michigan. And there isn’t a better day to do so considering that the bread is released on Wednesday and will be available at both locations.
Original Gravity sells the bread at their weekly farmer’s market which should be running at full steam during this time of year.
One update, I did end up tasting the bread baked from OG’s 440 Pepper Smoker and it was great.
(Originally posted in March 2011)One of the aspects of small locally-owned businesses that big chains can’t replicate is when they work together to create anoriginal product that is unique to the community in which they do business . Erie Bread Company in Monroe and Original Gravity Brewing Company in Milan, (on the Monroe County side of County Street), are doing just that. Spent grains and beer from Original Gravity are being used to craft artisan bread at Erie Bread Company which be sold as loaves at Erie Bread and on sandwiches at Original Gravity.
Erie Bread Company opened in Monroe in the fall of 2010. They serve artisan breads and take-out lunches. Their sourdough is made from wild yeast present in the air of Monroe. Towne Club (made in Detroit) is their soda of choice. They also sell Spillson’ rice pudding, a local Monroe favorite. Being a part of the community is important to Nick and Alisa Seccia, the owners. They’ve even baked with spent grains from our local homebrew club, the Muskrat Mashers. The following is a quote from Nick Seccia, owner and baker at Erie Bread Company.
“We are excited to be working with a local brewer in Monroe County both for the quailty of OG’s beers going into our bread and the opportunity for two local producers to work together for a stronger local food community, and maybe help stimulate the economy a bit.”
Original Gravity Brewing Company has also been supportive of local businesses since they opened nearly three years ago. Brad Sancho, Original Gravity’s owner and brewer, has held events for local charities, brewed beer using hops grown in Monroe County and will host a farmer’s market every Wednesday afternoon beginning April 6. Next week they will start using Erie Bread Company’s sourdough and 7 grain multi-grain on the sandwiches that they serve at the brewpub in Milan. Eventually, Original Gravity will add beer bread to their menu which will be sold as part of a cheese tray. The bread will also be available for sale at their farmer’s market.
Brad Sancho, brewer and owner of Original Gravity had this to say about the collaboration:
“We plan on changing up the beer bread quite a bit. Different beers, different spent grains, and different bread styles will make this an exciting project. I cannot tell you how excited we are to work with Nick Seccia at Erie Bread Company. He shares the same passion for his business, as I do for mine. Nothing goes better together than fresh beer and fresh baked bread.”
We had our first taste of this union last week when, for Saint Patrick’s Day, Erie Bread Company baked “Original Gravity Stout Cheddar Rye.” The rye bread with the stout would be incredible in and of itself but they added chunks of real cheddar cheese which took it over the top. Nick did mention future plans to bake using Brad’s highly acclaimed 440 Pepper Smoker, possibly adding cumin, orange and smoked cheddar cheese or bacon. I can’t express how eager I am to try that bread.
If you asked me offhand, I would say that I would not like lemon zested beer. My fear, you see, would be that it would be like drinking Lemon Pledge. Somehow though, through the magic of I-don’t-know-what, local brewers hit the, er, lemon on the head with some tasty summertime brews.
I’ve had BeerTodd/Copper Canyon’s Summerzest was the first “lemon zesty” beer that I ever had. I can’t describe it to you in detail, as it’s been a long time since I’ve had it, but I think it was a Witbier and I know it had a zangy ginger/lemon taste to it.
Next, I had Clementine Lemon Thyme from Liberty Street. That was an amazing beer also, as the thyme addition balanced out a strong lemon taste. I checked the website, and it appears that this summertime regular is up and running at the pub.
Most recently, Boyfriend Ken and I stopped by Atwater in Detroit. I’d never been to Atwater, as I always seemed to go with they were closed. Indeed, we first swung by at about 2pm on Saturday and the place was deserted. So I asked my trust phone and learned they opened at 4pm. We amused ourselves at Edsel Ford’s estate (day-um, my man had some cool shit goin’ down there) and then headed back.
At first, we were all atwitter as to whether or not we were in the right place. You see, it looked like the brewery was open, but not the bar. Then we realized that the brewery was the bar. So we sort of tiptoed in (picture that user pic of the Kool-Aid man busting in and then realizing he just “OH YEAH”‘ed his way into a church and then backing out slowly? Just picture the backing out slowly, only backing in…you know what? Never mind) and quickly found out that we were in the right place.
We sat at the bar, as I like to do, and got a sampler. To Boyfriend Ken’s dismay, the Decadent Chocolate beer was not on tap, but we were delighted to discover something awesome: Summertime Ale. Again, this is a lemony beer, and again, it manages not to taste like Lemon Pledge. I am not sure of the base beer (I forgot to ask the bartender), but it is a light, “lawnmower” ale type beer with a strong up front taste of lemons and mellow finish. Low carbonation and would be perfect after a day in the sun. It is perfect during a day of cleaning your house with the a/c on, I can tell you from personal experience.
Like summer, these beers are fleeting so take the lemons that life gives you and MAKE BEER, SON (and daughter)!
In beer cellars, coolers, and storage rooms wherever Bell’s is distributed, kegs and bottles of Oberon are awaiting Monday, March 26, 2012 at 12:01 AM so that it can be shared with the public. It is the first sign of summer in Michigan even though this year it follows 4 or 5 days of 80 degree weather.
Harbor Inn & Ale, 129 Lounge and Mugsy’s in Monroe had kegs delivered Friday and hopefully they will have it on tap Monday. It will be in bottles at the usual stores that carry good beer.
Oberon is a fantastic summer beer and once we start getting into the season more places will have it on draft. If your bar is not one of those and you live in Michigan you should question why do you drink there? That is the equivalent of not having Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” in a jukebox in the late 70’s. It is some of the best stuff our state has to offer so have some pride and put it on draft. And don’t try to sell me a Sunset Wheat as a substitute. That is the Terry Jack’s “Seasons of the Sun” of beer. If you remember that song as being good you should go back and listen to it.
Locally, there will be a release party in Flat Rock at Big Bear Lodge. Here are the details…
Mar 26, 2012
Big Bear Lodge Telegraph Road
$3 for 14 oz.
$4 for 22 oz.
drawings and prices
March of Dimes Beer & Wine Tasting
Saturday, March 24
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Harbor Inn & Ale
13993 Laplaisance Rd Monroe, MI
30.00 per person for twelve 3oz. pours featuring Michigan Beer and Wine. Plus there is a buffet!
Tha March of Dimes Monroe Advisory Board and Harbor Inn & Ale are proud to present a Michigan Beer and Wine Tasting. Beer and wine supplied by Rave Associates.
For tickets call:
Pam Levin, 734-761-6331
Darcy Merritt, 734-457-4445