Smitten Golden Rye Ale Available Today

A month ago I posted about a new beer from Bell’s with the promise that I would keep you updated on when it would be released. Good news! that day is today. Smitten Golden Rye Ale hits Monroe’s best beer stores in which include Jake’s and Meijer. You can go to Harbor Inn & Ale if you want to try it on tap.

The drinkers at Beer Advocate is giving this beer an 85 and only 20 cases are being sent to Monroe so get it fast before it’s gone.

Follow this link for a review…

Wolverine State Brewing Company announces capacity expansion

image003(ANN ARBOR, Mich) – The Wolverine State Brewing Company is expanding for the second time in two years.  With the arrival and installation of new fermentation and conditioning tanks being added to its cellaring operation, the brewery’s production capacity is doubling.   Sales in 2012 exceeded company expectations with nearly 1100 barrels sold between retail and wholesale business.

In 2012, the company declared that it is “Leading the Lager Revolution,” and it remains one of the nation’s only lager-centric craft microbreweries with 15 different lagers currently on tap in the Tap Room. The brewery’s three flagship beers—Wolverine Premium, Dark, Amber lagers—are available in six-packs at most major grocery store chains in Washtenaw and Livingston counties including several Meijer, Whole Foods, Busch’s and Kroger stores.  In 2013 a fourth year-round bottled beer will be available:  the unique and highly sought after Gulo Gulo.  This ground-breaking beer is styled as an “India Pale Lager,” and is brewed with over 3 lbs. of hops per barrel and dry-hopped twice.


As a lager-centric small brewery, the Wolverine State Brewing Company is proud to push boundaries for a once-maligned segment of beers. This year, patrons will be able to try numerous new one-of-a-kind lager beers, including:


  • BARISTA – a brown lager made with coffee in collaboration with RoosRoast of Ann Arbor
  • REVILO – an India Red Lager
  • DRAG ME TO HELLES –  Maibock
  • GREENTHUMB – a lower alcohol, more citrusy version of the India Pale Lager, Gulo Gulo
  • CHRYSALIS – a Belgian Wit lager
  • VERANO – a Mexican style lager
  • WOOD AGED SERIES –  including a German-style bock aged on hickory and an India Pale Lager aged on soft maple.

The brewers at the Wolverine State Brewing Company hand craft every batch with care and precision and allow ample time for all the lagers to come into their own. This means that the time “from grain to glass” is much longer, and the amount of beer available for sale or purchase is less, than at ale-centric breweries.  The sales numbers can be deceiving since many ale breweries can produce and sell up to 5000 barrels with the same or similar tank capacity. But when the founders of The Wolverine State Brewing Company decided to “go all lager” they put their time, money and craftsmanship behind this unique and expensive business model.  So far, all signs point to success, with a Tap Room expansion done, and standing room only crowds most nights.

The lagers-versus-ales-debate is one of taste and preference for drinkers, but for breweries, it is a matter of business choice.  The Wolverine State Brewing Company has become a local favorite very quickly. And has more plans for expansion in the works.

Southeast Michigan homebrew club talents on display at annual Rat Fest

RatFest is Corner Brewery’s way of showing our appreciation for all of the amazing homebrewing talent in Southeast Michigan. Each year we invite multiple hom

ratfest_2013_app-01ebrewing clubs to come to Corner and demonstrate their brewing creativity on our 10 gallon brewing system, affectionately known as The Rat Pad. Clubs are encouraged to brew the most outrageous beers they can think of, for your drinking pleasure! This year’s RatFest has a few changes from past competitions. Each club will be brewing one beer that uses the same grain and yeast, but allows the brewers to get creative with their choice of hopsand additional ingredients. The clubs will also be brewing 3 other beers that they’ve selected from a predetermined list of styles. These new parameters should result in some wildly creative brews, the likes of which have never been seen!

This year we will be featuring beers from the following brew clubs: The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild Hopheads, The Ann Arbor Brewers Guild Yeasters, CraftBeerinMi, Brighton Home Brew Club, Detroit Draft Divas, Motor City Mashers, Muskrat Mashers, The Sons of Liberty, and The Ugly Mug. We will offer 36 brews that will definitely run the creative gamut.

Monroe, MI Muskrat Mashers will have four beers on tap:  

  • Bourbon Oak Brown Ale: Chocolate, vanilla, hints of oak and bourbon.
  • Chocolate Rye Porter: Delicious chocolate malt flavors with hints of rye spices.
  • Citra Bomb: Crisp grapefruit citrus flavors shine through this India Pale Ale.
  • Cayenne Cherry Rye: Tart, sweet cherry, spicy rye notes with a subtle cayenne heat finish.

Rat Fest attendees will be able to vote for their favorite beer, favorite group of beers, along with several other categories. The Rat Pad to receive the most votes will be crowned King or Queen Rat. Due to the popularity of the event, Corner Brewery will be closed to the general public during the duration of the event to provide a relaxed atmosphere for ticket holders to talk with and learn from the home brewers and just kick-back to enjoy their new favorite brew.

This year’s RatFest, held on January 26, will be bigger, better and more mindblowingly awesome than any before. The $30 ticket price includes beer samples, appetizers and a commemorative tasting glass. Tickets sold out in advance last year, so make sure you get your tickets early!

Must be 21 and show valid ID at the door to get in. Tickets are available over the phone or in person at Corner Brewery.

At the time of this post, tickets were limited. See Facebook event page for more info.

A Dive into Great Lakes’ Beer Menu


On Sunday I decided to take the family out to lunch. When choosing where to eat I always ask myself do they have a good beer menu? Then I remembered that we hadn’t been to Great Lakes Eatery and Pub in Dundee in a few months. With ten taps dedicated to Michigan beer Great Lakes has a lot of great choices and definitely fits my criteria of places to eat.

The current beer list is a nice mix that included a pale ale, blonde, brown, oatmeal stout, IPA and cider. I went for the Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock. It is such a comfortable beer in your mouth with a smooth malty sweetness and a coffee bitterness. It’s an amazing tasting beer. In a beer menu filled with my favorites Perkulator is “a little more favorite.”

It makes for easy dining decisions when there are places like Great Lakes that care about supporting Michigan. It helps when the food is good.

Great Lakes is located off of I-23 in Dundee right in front of Cabelas.

Man Crushed by Giant Novelty Hop Cone! Experience Leaves Him Bitter

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.

New Bell’s Seasonal, Smitten Golden Rye Ale, Debuts in February

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.


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

You can also find Bell’s on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr  and foursquare.

New Year Resolution?! That’s Last Week’s News!

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.

Kegs Kicking Cancer’s Caboose

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

Original Gravity

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



Pete’s Garage’s New Beer Menu

I am excited to see that Pete ‘s Garage has added more taps and a brand new beer menu that includes Michigan beer. They did a nice job of getting a nice mix of beer too.
This is a good thing for Monroe and my daughter. She loves sitting in their car booths and I love boycotting places that don’t serve Michigan beer so this solves a big problem for us.
Thanks to Pete’s for creating a better eating experience for us beer geeks.