When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Beer Son

<div class=\"postavatar\">When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Beer Son</div>

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)!

Oberon Arrives Monday

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
7-9 p.m
Big Bear Lodge Telegraph Road
Brownstown Township
$3 for 14 oz.
$4 for 22 oz.
$5 appetizers
drawings and prices

March of Dimes Beer & Wine Tasting

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

Where to Find KBS in Monroe

The Founders Kentucky Breakfast release date is upon us! Tomorrow (March 16) KBS hits the stores but since it is a limited release that is in high demand not every store will have it. That is why I am saving my fellow Monroe County citizens some time and effort by letting you know which stores will have it. PLEASE! do not use this information to buy KBS with the intent of selling it on ebay. Let us beer geeks have our beer.

Here are the three stores that will be selling KBS…

Flick’s Package Liquor in Lambertville

Jake’s in Monroe

Broadway in Monroe

Founders is placing an 1/2 case per person limit on KBS but some places may limit you to less than that. I’ll see you tomorrow in the beer aisle.

Hopslam In Monroe

Some people think of Friday the 13th with a sense of doom fearing that something bad is lirking right around the corner. I on the other hand am looking forward to Hopslam arriving in Monroe today knowing that four of my five senses will be very happy tonight.
I found out that kegs are arriving today at McGeady’s and Harbor Inn & Ale. I talked to the owner of HIA and he said that it will be on tap today.
Bottles will be showing up in stores so look for them at Jake’s and Foodtown.

Adrian, MI Couple Hopes to Open Microbrewery

Beer drinkers looking for a reason to make a trip to Adrian, MI may soon have one. Brett and Krista Cotton, a couple from Adriann, has been giving to okay to seek a microbrewery license from the state. Click here for the complete lenconnect.com article.

We wish you luck in your new business adventure. And thank you Chris for passing this onto me.


Charlevoix Seeks Brewery

This summer I received an email from Keith Carey of the Charlevoix Downtown Development Authority. In it he mentioned the DDA’s desire to have a microbrewery in their town so I asked him if he was willing to promote it on our blog. He was.

I agree with Keith. A microbrewery would be a fantastic addition to Charlevoix. Way back in 2007 when people had computer desks and you had to text using your phone dial pad Sarah and I drove through it looking for a brewpub. While we  didn’t find one, what we found was a beautiful city ( it made the Forbes list of America’s Prettiest Towns) in both location and architecture that was bustling with shoppers perusing great shops and dining at local restaurants.

I finally “sat down” for a virtual  Q & A  with Keith this week about the prospects of a brewery in Charlevoix. Here’s what he had to say:

What type of city is Charlevoix?

Charlevoix is a city of 3,000 year round residents that typically swells to 30,000 or more during the summer months. Our community welcomes a significant number of summer residents, or “resorters”, who relocate to their summer homes in Charlevoix between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Downtown Charlevoix is nestled on an isthmus between majestic Lake Michigan and beautiful Round Lake.  Along with its beautiful water views and million-dollar sunsets, Downtown Charlevoix is most noted for its signature drawbridge which opens every hour and half hour and its truly unique waterfront shopping and dining experience.

Downtown Charlevoix is also home to the second most popular municipal marina in Michigan.  This facility, along with the two square block expanse of East Park, received a $13.5 million upgrade less than five years ago.  This massive renovation project expanded the number of full-service boat slips to 75 and included a new harbor master building and state-of-the-art outdoor performance pavilion.  The project resulted in East Park being recognized as one of only ten “Great Public Spaces for 2009” by the American Planning Association.  Charlevoix was also recently recognized as the #2 “Best Yachting Town in the World” by Yachting magazine and its readers in July 2011.

What do you see as the mutual benefits of having a brewery in Charlevoix?

Charlevoix provides an excellent opportunity for a brewery due to its loyal, year-round customer base, strong summer tourism season, unique geographic location, and vibrant events and activities calendar.

The significant upgrades to Downtown Charlevoix’s municipal marina and signature East Park also make buildings within our downtown development authority boundaries eligible for participation in Michigan’s Redevelopment Liquor License program, offering licenses at a reduced cost in exchange for private building improvement investment.

Becoming home to a brewery would broaden Charlevoix’s eatery inventory and aid us in our efforts to make our downtown a must-stop destination for dining and entertainment.

Any brewer would want to know if your water source is Lake Michigan. Is that the case?

Yes, homes and businesses within the Charlevoix city limits, including Downtown Charlevoix, receive their filtered and treated water directly from Lake Michigan.

Can anyone interested in opening a brewery contact you?

I’d welcome any opportunity to speak with folks interested in opening a brewpub here in Charlevoix (or any other business, for that matter).  I can be reached by calling 231 547-3257 or emailing kcarey@cityofcharlevoix.org.  If someone simply wants to learn more about Downtown Charlevoix, they can visit our webpage at www.DowntownCharlevoix.com or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DowntownCharlevoix.

I would like to thank Keith for taking part in this short Q&A. I wish you luck in finding a brewer to make Charlevoix their home.

New Keg Law Coming November 1st

Keg drinkers beware! A new keg law goes into effect on November 1st. Below is an excerpt from an October 23 article from the Monroe Evening News regarding this law…

“Under the new state law, effective Nov. 1 buyers will have to sign a receipt with their name, address, telephone number and driver’s license or state ID card number. Retailers will have to attach a yellow tag on each keg and record the tag number on the receipt.
And if customers return the empty kegs without the tags, they won’t get their $30 deposits back. They also will be subject to fines and jail if they remove the tags.
The new law mainly is meant to keep party planners from supplying beer to minors and to make the beer buyer accountable if the party gets out of hand.”

The use of the word “mainly” is interesting to me. I think it has as much to do with kegs being lost because they are repurposed by us home-brewers and bbqers/smokers for our respective hobbies as it does with underage drinking. Even though one puts a $30 deposit a keg does not mean he gets to keep it. It is still the property of the brewery. This law will be a definite deterrent in this practice.

I’m not happy with the new law and the inconvenience it will cause me but I don’t have the time to start an Occupy Brewpub. I do wonder how this will change filling up your corney keg that may be a thing of the past.

Below is the link for to the whole article…


Night of the Tasty Beer

It’s Halloween!  And if you like classic horror flicks and great and unique craft beer then Original Gravity in Milan is where you want to be Saturday. The beer is a small batch release called Pumpkin Gingerbread Ale. It is a brown ale brewed with pumpkin pies spices, ginger, vanilla beans and molasses.

The movie is the cult zombie classic, “Night of the Living Dead”. I love zombie movies! Especially since vampires have jumped the shark in the last few years. They are walking around brooding with six pack abs in love triangles with werewolves. Werewolves are the Curly Joe Besser of the movie monster world who should be no contest. While vampire movies are playing to the 17 magazine crowd, zombies have have taken over. Movies like “Planet terror”, “28 Days Later”, “Shaun of the Dead”,” Zombieland” and “Bubba Ho-Tep” have been handing vampires their brains for lunch. Mmm… brains! And “Night of the living Dead” is in the grandfather of them all. It’s a great horror film with just enough camp to make it fun to see with a crowd.

Here are the event details.

Brew and Scary Movie Night!!
Come enjoy a glass of our latest Small Batch creation “Pumpkin Gingerbread Ale” and checkout the 1968 Zombie Classic “Night of the Living Dead”!
Small batch on tap @ 6pm, movie starts @ 8pm.