On taps and apps
Michigan craft beer scene gets digital
by Allan I. Ross
You’ve probably noticed the beer selection at your local tavern slowly transforming itself from the same labels that have been there since tube TVs (remember those?) into an ever-widening array of names as colorful as the newfangled tap handles delivering them: Hopmouth. Dirty Bastard. Dragon’s Milk. Dwarf Invasion. Wait a minute — are these real beers or is someone talking about the “Game of Thrones” finale?
The popularity of craft beer continues to rise. And as it does, so does the mystique surrounding it. What is the difference between a pale ale and an India pale ale? Between a brewery, a pub and a brewpub? Between a craft beer and an un-craft beer?
In the second annual City Pulse Beer Issue, we demystify some of the more peculiar facets of the craft beer scene. We understand, there’s a lot going on, and we know you don’t need another set of gatekeepers to make you feel self-conscious about your drink of choice. (We’re looking at you, wine snobs.) And just for fun, weŽll give you a primer on some of those intriguing tap handles that may have you leaning over the bar for a better look. Is that a shotgun?
And, of course, the Information Age won’t let a night at the bar keep you off the grid. A slew of new smart phone apps have been designed to help you rate and keep track of the new beers you try as you try them. They’ll also help you find more brewpubs in your area, connect you with local beer events and even give you an estimate of your blood alcohol level so you know whether you should keep this bar crawl going or call a taxi and start over another night.
You’ll also get to meet the experts. In this year’s guide, we introduce you to travel writer Kevin Revolinski, author of “Michigan’s Best Beer Guide,” who says Michigan is experiencing a Golden Age of beer. And he’d know: He spent the last few years traveling the state and documenting the rapidly expanding number of breweries and brewpubs. Then there are the brains behind “The Michigan Beer Show,” a weekly podcast devoted to talking about craft beer while drinking craft beer, complete with a handy rating system.
Finally, we’ve got a guide to the events in the third annual Lansing Beer Week, which starts Friday and goes through June 28. There will be tap takeovers, limited batch releases and specialty beer/food pairings, all culminating in the second Lansing Beer Fest, which moves out from between the buildings of REO Town and takes over Washington Avenue this year. Live music, swag and beer and cider from 33 Michigan breweries will give you a chance to get acquainted with craft beer, or familiarize yourself with some new styles, as the case may be.
So climb on — the craft beer bubble doesn’t appear to be popping anytime soon, even if the brewers are going to have to get increasingly inventive with their appellations. Which includes brews like Breath of the Dragon Bitter. Oh George R. R. Martin, what hath thou wrought?
American Pale Ale (APA): The even balance of malt and hops gives this style a range of flavor from lightly herbal to highly bitter.
Breakfast Stout: Made by Founder’s. Stouts are dark with a roasted taste. This stout is brewed with Sumatra and Kona coffees, chocolate and oats.
Brewpub: Pub that makes beer and sells at least 50 percent of it in-house. Brewery: An establishment for the manufacture of beer and malt liquor. Craft beer: A highly regionalized beer produced in small quantities (less than 2 million barrels per year) and is independently owned.
Dubbel: A rich, malty Belgian-style beer with spicy and mild alcoholic levels. Imperial: Used to denote a variation on a style of beer that has stronger flavor and higher alcohol content than the standard of the style.
India Pale Ale (IPA): High bitter taste due to high concentration of hops. Also typically high in alcohol content.
Microbrewery: A brewery that produces less than 15,000 barrels of beer per year with 75 percent or more of its beer sold off-site.
Milk Stout: Stouts with a higher amount of unfermented sugars that make the beer sweeter and give it more body.
Nitro: When a beer has a higher nitrogen to carbon dioxide ratio, giving the beer a thick, creamy texture.
Stout: Sometimes aged in whiskey barrels or have chocolate and coffee flavors giving it a dark color.
Tasting room: An area of a brewery/winery where visitors can taste a selection of the product. Some offer light appetizers or allow guests to bring their own food.
Tripel: A Belgian-style beer that uses three times the amount of malt than a traditional brew. Typically darker than the average pilsner, from bright yellow to gold. High in alcohol, it often has spices added to create a fruity, sweet finish.
Can you beer me now?
New apps bring beer enjoyment to the Information Age
Compiled by Eric Finkler
Between all the embarrassing selfies, cracked screens and drunkdialed exes that have resulted from bringing our smart phones with us to the bar, you’d think we would have learned to leave them at home by now. Leave it to technology to make them an actually useful part of the drinking process.
A new slew of apps have made your smart phone even handier now. They were designed to help you through a variety of craft beer situations, such as keeping track of which beers you’ve tasted and how many sit-ups you’ll have to do tomorrow to compensate for the unnecessary calories tonight.
These craft beer-centric apps are all available for immediate download:
Beer Buddy Barcode Scanner (iOS, $3.99) Scan the barcode on your beer to learn more about the beer, its brewery, alcohol content and more. Searches the Ratebeers.com database for reviews and comments from around the world.
Beer Cloud (Android & iOS, FREE) Manages your list of preferred beers and breweries and gives access to custom beer lists, beer searches and local events. It also recommends beer/food combinations.
BeerGram (iOS, FREE) Allows you to buy a beer for a friend if you can’t be there personally, whether he’s just at another bar or several time zones away. (Only works with participating vendors.)
DrinkFit (iOS, $1.99) Tallies the calorie and carb count of your drinks as your night progresses.
DrinkTracker Breathalyzer (iOS, $1.99) Helps calculate your blood alcohol level when you enter your weight, age, what you’ve drank, its alcohol percentage and how much time has elapsed.
Find Craft Beer (Android, 99 cents) Using your phone’s GPS, it searches the beermapping.com database on distances to brewpubs, breweries, beer bars and homebrew shops.
Ibrewmaster (Android & iOS, $7.99-$17.99) Designed for home brewers, it comes with premade recipes and allows you to tweak recipes to fit your taste buds.
Beer Hound (Android & iOS, FREE) Includes events calendars and an interactive user review system on beers, breweries, brewpubs and beer stores.
Pintley (Android & iOS, FREE) Find free beer-tasting events with this app as well as have it recommend beers based on your own previous rankings.
Untappd (Android & iOS, FREE) Use it to rate beer you’ve tasted and get personalized recommendations based on what you like. You can also use it to see what beers are trending and what your friends are drinking.
A select guide to notable Michigan Breweries and Brewpubs
LM = Live Music, F = Food, W = Wine, FB = Full Bar, WiFi = Wireless Internet, OS = Outdoor Seating, RES = Reservations
Less than an hour
BAD Brewing Co. —
With the No Stout About It and Super D’s IPA. 440 S. Jefferson St.,
Mason. 3-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon-midnight, Friday-Saturday;
noon-10 p.m. Sunday. badbrewing.com (517) 676- 7664. LM, WiFi, RES
Barn Brew Pub — Featuring the White Boy Wheat, 7 Island Ale and Z-Type 90 Min. IPA. 207 S. Bridge St., Grand Ledge. 11 a.m.–12:30 a.m. Monday- Saturday; noon- 12:30 a.m. Sunday; (517) 622-8686. LM, F, FB, WIFI, OS, RES.
Dark Horse Brewing Co. — Featuring Crooked Tree IPA and Sapient Tripel Ale. 511 S. Kalamazoo Ave., Marshall. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday. darkhorsebrewery.com, (269) 781-9940. F, WiFi, OS, LM
EagleMonk Pub and Brewery —
With the Red Eye Rye and Irish Red. 4906 W. Mt. Hope Hightway, Lansing.
3-10 p.m. Tuesday- Thursday; noon-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-9 p.m.
Sunday. eaglemonkbrewing. com, (517) 708-7350. F, W, OS
Grand River Brewery — With the Sleeping Bear Brown Ale and Monkey Mouth IPA. 117 W. Louis Glick Highway, Jackson. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday- Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday brunch. grandrivermarketplace.com, (517) 962- 2427. F, W, LM, WiFi, OS
Harper’s Restaurant & Brewpub –
Features Harper’s Ale and Spartan Wheat. 131 Albert Ave., East Lansing.
11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. harpersbrewpub.com, (517) 333-4040. LM, F, OS,
RES, FB, W, WiFi
Midtown Brewing Co. — Featuring the Downtown Dunkel Weizen, Midtown IPA and the English Special Bitter. 402 S. Washington Square, Lansing. 11 a.m.- midnight Sunday-Wensday; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; midtownbeerco.com, (517) 977-1349. LM, F, FB, RES, OS, WiFi
About an hour
51 North Brew Pub — Wind Walker Brown Ale and Velvet Moose Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. 51 N. Broadway St., Lake Orion. 3- 11 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday- Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. 51northbrewing. com, (248) 690-7367. LM, F, W, OS
Arbor Brewing Co. Pub & Eatery —
With Bollywood Blonde and Bavarian Bliss Hefeweizen. 114 E. Washington
St., Ann Arbor. 11:30-1 a.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday.
arborbrewing.com, (734) 213-1393. F, FB, WiFi, OS, RES, W
Arcadia Ales — Hopmouth Double IPA, Sky High Rye Pale Ale. Two locations: 103 Michigan Ave. West, Battle Creek. 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. 701 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo. Noon-1 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday. (269) 963- 9690. LM, F, WiFi, OS
Bell’s Brewery —
Home of Oberon, Midwestern Pale Ale and Kalamazoo Stout. 335 E.
Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo. 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.-2
a.m. Thursday-Saturday; noonmidnight Sunday. bellsbeer.com, (269) 382-
2332. LM, F, W, WIFI, OS
Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery — Featuring the Double Crop West Coast Style, Double IPA and the Belgian-style Ginger Peach Saison. 207 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor. 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11- 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; noon-midnight Sunday. bluetractor.net, (734) 222-4095. LM, F, OS, RES, F, FB, OS
Chelsea Alehouse —
With the Bog Trail Brown Ale and Waterloo Wheat. 420 N. Main St.,
Chelsea. 3-11 p.m. Monday- Wednesday; 12- 11 p.m. Thursday; noonmidnight
Friday-Saturday; noon- 9 p.m. Sunday. chelseaalehouse.com, (734) 433-
5500. LM, F, OS, RES
Founders Brewing Co. — With Red Rye Pale Ale and Curmudgeon. 235 Grandville Ave., Grand Rapids. 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-midnight Sunday. foundersbrewing.com, (616) 776-1195. F, OS, RES, LM, WiFi
Grand Rapids Brewing Co. —
Featuring New Mission Organics and John Ball Brown. 1 Ionia Ave.,
Grand Rapids. 4p.m.- midnight Monday-Thurday; 4 p.m.- 2 a.m. Friday;
11a.m.- 2 a.m. Saturday; 11a.m.- midnight Sunday; grbrewingcompany.com
(616) 458-7000. F, FB, OS, RES, W, WiFi
Griffin Claw Brewing Co. —
With Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA and Grand Trunk Bohemian Pilsner. 575 S.
Eton St., Birmingham. 2-11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 2 p.m.-midnight
Friday; noon-midnight Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday.
griffinclawbrewingcompany. com, (248) 712-4050. F
Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. — Bear Paw Porter and County Cork’s Irish Stout. 120 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor. 11 a.m.- midnight Sunday-Wednesday; 11-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; noon-11 p.m. Sunday. grizzlypeak.net, (734) 741-7325. F, OS, RES, W, FB, OS, WiFi Harmony Brewing Co. — Featuring the Lil Sebastian IPA and Golden Lion Tamarin. 1551 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids. 11 a.m.-midnight Monday- Saturday; noonmidnight Sunday; (616) 233-0063.
Hideout Brewing Co. —
Featuring Hazelnut IPA. 3113 Plaza Drive, Grand Rapids. Noon-1 a.m.
Monday-Thursday; noon-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday; noonmidnight Sunday.
hideoutbrewing.com, (616) 361-9658. W, WIFI, OS, LM
HopCat — With the Zugspitz wheat beer. 25 Ionia Ave., Grand Rapids. 11:30 a.m.- 2 a.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-2 a.m. Sunday. (616) 451-4677. F, OS, FB, W, WiFi
Mountain Town Station Brewery — Steam Engine Stout and Gambler’s Golden Ale. 506 W. Broadway St., Mount Pleasant. 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11:30-9 p.m. Sunday. mountaintown.com, (989) 775-2337. F, FB, OS, RES, WiFi, W
Vivant Brewery — Belgian-style beers include Farm Hand and Triomphe. 925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids. 3-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 3 p.m.-midnight Friday; 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. breweryvivant.com, (616) 719- 1604. F, RES, FB, W, OS
About 90 minutes
Atwater Block Brewery — Featuring the Dirty Blonde and Vanilla Java Porter. 237 Joseph Campau, Detroit. 4-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 2-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday. atwaterbeer.com, (313) 877- 9205. F, W, RES, OS
Bastone Brewery —
Monumental Blonde and Main Street Pilsner. 419 S. Main St., Royal Oak.
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
Saturday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. bastone.net, (248) 544-6250. F, W,
RES, OS, WiFi, LM
Black Lotus Brewing Co. — With Hellahopper Imperial Pale Lager and Red Tao Amber. 1 E. 14 Mile Road, Clawson. 11:30-1 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 11:30- 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday. blacklotusbrewery.com, (248) 577- 1878. LM, F, FB, RES, OS
Detroit Beer Co. —
With the Broadway Light and Steam Tunnel Stout. 529 Broadway St.,
Detroit. 11 a.m.-midnight Monday- Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Friday-Saturday; noon-midnight Sunday. detroitbeerco. com, (313)
Dragonmead Microbrewery — Breath of the Dragon Bitter and Final Absolution. 14600 E. Eleven Mile Road, Warren. 3-11 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday; 1-8 p.m., closed July-Aug. Sunday. (586) 776-9428, dragonmead.com. F, WiFi
Falling Down Beer Co. —
Brewers of the Ninja Chicken Pale Ale. 2270 E. 10 Mile Road, Warren.
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday;
closed Monday. fallingdownbeer.com, (586) 799-2739. F
Fort Street Brewery —
Featuring the Lincoln Lager and Oakenbock. 1660 Fort St., Lincoln
Park. 11 a.m.-midnight Monday- Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday; noon- 2
a.m. Saturday; 1-10 p.m. Sunday. fortstreetbeer. com, (313) 389-9620.
F, FB, RES
Frankenmuth Brewery —
With the Frankenmuth Pilsener. 425 S. Main St., Frankenmuth. 11 a.m.-9
p.m. Sunday- Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
frankenmuthbrewery.com, (989) 262-8300. F, OS, RES
Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. — Featuring the Kuhnhenn Paddle and Fluffer Gone Wild. 5919 Chicago Road, Warren. 11 a.m.- midnight Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday; noon-10 p,m. Sunday. (586) 979-8361, kbrewery.com. W
Lumber Baron Brewery —
Featuring the Toughman Doppelbock. 804 E. Midland St., Bay City. 4-9
p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday; 4-11 p.m. Thursday; noon-11 p.m. Friday-
Saturday; 2-9 p.m. Sunday. (989) 891-0100, lumberbaronsbrewery.com. LM,
New Holland Brewing Co. —
Dragon’s Milk Ale and Mad Hatter IPA. 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 11
a.m.-midnight Monday- Thursday; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11
a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. newhollandbrew. com, (616) 355-6422. LM, F, OS, RES
Odd Side Ales —
Citra Pale Ale and Jackelope Amber. 41 Washington St., Grand Haven.
1-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon-midnight Friday-Saturday; noon-9 p.m.
Sunday. oddsideales.com, (616) 935- 7326. LM, WiFi, OS
Paw Paw Brewing Co. — With the Slik Smoked Porter. 929 E. Michigan, Paw Paw. Noon-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noonmidnight Friday-Saturday; 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. (269) 415-0145, pawpawbrewing. com. F, LM, WiFi, OS, RS
Saugatuck Brewing Co. — Featuring Pathfinder Pale Ale, Bonfire Brown and Boathouse Stout. 2948 Blue Star Highway, Douglas. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday- Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday. saugatuckbrewing. com, (269) 857-7222. LM, F, W, WIFI, OS
Unruly Brewery — Creators of the Foundry Slag Stout and the 1890 Pre- Prohibition-style Cream Ale. 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon. noon-10 p.m. Monday- Thursday; noon-midnight Friday-Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. unrulybrewing.com, (231) 288-1068. LM, F, W, WiFi, OS, RES,
A little bit farther
Big Buck Brewery —
Big Buck Heavy Lager and Black River Stout. S. Wisconsin Ave.,
Gaylord. 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Monday- Thursday; 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday. bigbuck.com, (989) 732-5781.
F, FB, WiFi, W, OS
Brewery Ferment — Featuring the Old Town Brown and Mitten Wit. 511 S. Union St., Traverse City. 3- 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 3 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-midnight Saturday; noon Sunday; breweryferment. com, (231) 735-8113.WiFi
Cranker’s Brewery —
With the Bulldog Red and Professor IPA. 213 S. State St., Big Rapids.
11 a..- 11 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 11- 1 a.m. Friday- Saturday; 1- 11
p.m. Sunday. crankersbrewery.com, (231) 796 1919. LM, F, WiFi, OS, RES
Great Baraboo Brewery — Featuring Kings Peak Caraboo Wheat and Shark Tooth Bay Golden Ale. 35905 Utica Road., Clinton Township.11- 2 a.m. Mondy- Saturday; noon- 2 a.m. Sunday greatbaraboo.com, (586) 792 7397. LM, F, FB, RES, OS, WiFi
Hereford & Hops Restaurant & Brewpub —
With the Whitetail Ale, Cleary Red and Redemption IPA. 624 Ludington
St., Escanaba. 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. Monday- Thursday; 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday; 10 a.m.- 10 p.m. Sunday. (906) 789-1945. F, FB, WiFi,
LM, OS, RES
Jamesport Brewing Co. — Featuring the Dortmunder Lager and Altbier. 410 S. James St., Ludington. 11:30 a.m.- 10 p.m. daily. (231) 845-2522. LM, F, FB, W, WiFi, OS, RES
Jasper Ridge Brewery and Restaurant —
With Ropes Golden Wheat. 1075 Country Lane, Ishpeming. 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.
Sundaymonday; 11 a.m.- midnight Tuesday- Saturday. (906) 485-6017. F,
FB, W, WiFi, RES
Lake Superior Brewing Co. —
The Sandstone Pale Ale and Cabin Fever. 14283 Lake Ave., Grand Marais.
Noon-10 p.m. daily. grandmaraismichigan.com/ lsbc, (906) 494-2337. F
Library Restaurant and Brew Pub —
The Whiteout Wheat and Keweenaw Golden Ale. 62 Isle Royale St.,
Houghton. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.- 11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday. librarybrewpub. com, (906) 487-5882. F, FB, OS, WiFi,
Keweenaw Brewing Co. — Featuring November Gale Pale Ale and Lift Bridge Brown Ale. 408 Shelden Ave., Houghton. 3-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. wThursday-Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday. keweenawbrewing.com, (906) 482-5596.
Ore Dock Brewery —
With Dream Weaver Belgian and Summer Saison. 114 Spring St.,
Marquette. Noon-11 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday- Wednesday; noon-midnight
Thursday- Saturday; closed Monday. ore-dock.com, (906) 228-8888. WiFi
Short’s Brewing Co. —
Soft Parade, Bellaire Brown and Huma Lupa Licious. 121 N. Bridge St.,
Bellaire. 11 a.m.-midnight daily. Shortsbrewing.com, (231) 498-2300. F,
WiFi . LM
Tahquamenon Falls Brewery – With the Harvest Wheat and Black Bear Stout. M-123 Upper Falls Drive, Paradise. 11 a.m.- 8:30 p.m. Sunday-Friday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday. tahquamenonfallsbrewery.com (906) 492-3300. F, FB, RES, W
Lansing Beer Week unites brew fans with specialty releases, events
by Alexa McCarthy
Since the first Lansing Beer Week started two years ago, craft beer popularity has exploded. What began as sevenevents-in-seven-days affair has ballooned out to more than 25 events over nine days, including tap takeovers, beer and food pairings and special beer releases.
Paul Starr, founder of the website I’m A Beer Hound and creator of Lansing Beer Week, said he sees the strong momentum as a good thing for both the craft brew makers and the fans.
“When you go into a brewery, you get the community feel,” Starr said. “(For years) we’ve been focused on worldwide and the regional. We are slowly getting back to buying local and we are starting to get that community back.”
One of the activities was a playful contest that challenged local breweries to create a new beer for the week featuring a distinctly Lansing common ingredient. Traverse City has cherries, Mackinac has fudge and Lansing has … coffee. Well, sort of. The coffee beans Starr decided on come from the Lansing-area micro roaster Craft & Mason Roasting Co.
“I wanted (the breweries) to showcase their own interpretation using coffee and what style beer it can be, whether it is an IPA, a porter or a stout.” Starr said.
BAD Brewing Co. and Haslett’s Gearhead Brewing Co. collaborated on a Vanilla Coffee Porter that will be released Monday at BAD Brewing’s location in Mason. Steve Sneed, co-owner of Gearhead, thought the friendly competition was beneficial for all.
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” Sneed said.
“In the craft beer world we often see it as us against the big breweries,” Starr said. “Collaborations and helping each other out gives everyone a chance to learn and grow.”
Even the Lansing Lugnuts are invested in the future of local craft beer. At the team’s home games next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, visitors can enjoy any craft beer in a special Lansing Beer Week glass pint for $8 from the Good Hops beer stand.
“We are hoping that by us partnering (with Lansing Beer Week), it will promote the event and let people know (Good Hops is) here, so that more people can find out and try the good Michigan beer that Lansing has,” said Lansing Lugnuts special events manager Stephanie Wohlfert.
Brian Rasdal of BAD Brewing says that the goal to mark mid-Michigan as a beer destination is a group effort. The brewery will also be working with the Nuthouse Sports Grill to host a tap takeover on Wednesday, June 25. Its new Strawberry Rhubarb Belgian Triple will make its debut.
“Anything like this that deals with breweries its great not only for us, but other breweries in the area,” Rasdal said.
Lansing Beer Week starts Friday with beer tasting events tied in with the Old Town Festival of the Moon, and culminates June 28 with the second annual Lansing Beer Fest in REO Town. The Lansing Beer Fest will feature 30 breweries, up from the 12 last year, plus 100 craft beers and live music.
So if you like beer, kind of like beer or don’t even know what you think about it, Starr said there’s an event planned for everyone.
“It’s only going to get bigger and better if there’s more than two people invested in it,” he said. “You have to have a big picture in site and really stick to the vision of what you see.”
3rd Annual Lansing Beer Week
Friday, June 20- Saturday, June 28 Various locations in Greater Lansing
Lansing Beer Fest
1-6 p.m. Saturday, June 28
$35/$30 adv. Washington Avenue, REO Town, Lansing lansingbeerweek.com
Talking about brew
The Michigan Beer Show’ gives voice to Lansing’s growing craft beer community
by Eric Finkler
The confluence of local craft beer interest has spawned beer-themed events, festivals and businesses. So the next natural step was to branch into media — doesn’t every hobby have its own show these days? Filling that niche is “The Michigan Beer Show,” a podcast dedicated to spreading the gospel of quality beer.
“Our main goal is to provide a voice to the Michigan beer community,” said Tony Huff, co-founder of the weekly show. “We’re trying to find good Michigan beer and review that.”
Huff, 24, and his longtime friend Brandon Manson, 24, dreamed up the show in late 2012 while they were having a spirited conversation over drinks. Several months later, in February 2013, “The Michigan Beer Show” was born. It started as a monthly podcast, but after being invited to Midtown Brewing Co. in downtown Lansing for a live show, Huff and Manson switched to weekly studio recordings, with the occasional live show tossed in.
New episodes are posted every Friday through several digital media outlets, including iTunes, SoundCloud, Zune and Stitcher. (On July 12, the duo will record their next live show at Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City.)
“The Michigan Beer Show” is self-funded; Manson purchased $2,500 worth of equipment to get a professional sounding show after experimenting live recording in bars. Although the show sometimes interferes with their work schedules — Manson works at Michigan State University as a video producer and Huff is an MSU facilities assistant — they are stillable to enjoy the process. Manson said had been interested in practicing audio production and saw an opportunity to do so while contributing to a community he was passionate about.
Neither Huff nor Manson has a background in beer that extends beyond what you’d get from a college-aged craft beer fan, but they try to include guests to explain the technical side of craft beer. Each show typically takes about two hours to record and publish. The panel arrives a half-hour before recording, supplied with the beers that Huff picks up on his way from his day job.
The show’s lineup has undergone a few changes. The original panel comprised of Huff, Manson and Max Winkler, another friend of Huff. Winkler was added to the show for his home brewing and beer-making experience, but eventually had to leave for medical school.
“(Max was) our fun-loving, scuba diving, home-brewing beer nerd who gave us some actual credibility,” said Manson by email. Soon after Winkler’s departure, Manson started visiting Midtown Brewing Co. for lunch and became friends with Kyle Armstrong, 28, a bartender whose beer knowledge was so impressive they added him.
“Brandon and I knew that we could carry a conversation,” said Huff, “(And when) we all got together (with Kyle), the chemistry was just perfect.”
“The Michigan Beer Show” follows the hosts’ conversation, rife with random beer information, framed around an unconventional ranking that gives that week’s highlighted beer a classification between 2 and 14.
The show also has several recurring guests. Dan Currie, a standup comedian, who also runs Monday night comedy at Mac’s Bar, has been featured on the show. Taylor Anderson is the residential sports guy who appeared on the show’s World Cup preview episode. And Brandon Cook, a beer brewer at Midtown who Manson called a “mad scientist,” has also made an appearance.
And just as different beer recipes yield different styles, so the different lineups create different tones for the show.
But for Huff, it all comes down to providing a service for the people, regardless of whether they can measure their audience (all shows are streaming, and they don’t have analytics for how big their listenership is.)
“My favorite part is having a weekly get-together,” Huff said. “It’s cool to see where we started and where we are now. The show is a labor of love. I like the fact that we can review some beer, have a good time, and if people listen, they listen.”