in town for free camps
OT Hello: Founders Dirty Bastard
If you are that into Dirty Bastard... You need to find Backwoods Bastard. Your perception of beer will be forever changed. Backwoods Bastard is Founders Dirty Bastard aged in Bourbon Barrels. Outstanding brew.
Michiganders are truly spoiled with beer riches, and it is exciting to see the recognition of some great local organizations.
I agree Backwoods bastard is awesome! and it definetly kicks DB up a notch.
I believe Old Dirty Bastard to be the apex. He kicks it up a notch.
You need to try Burton Baton by Dogfish Head. Not Michigan, I know, but they make one of the best IPA's I've ever had, any of their varieties, and the Burton Baton is an Imperial IPA that gets the Barrel Aging treatment. It's absolutely outstanding.
I'll look for it, not sure if there were specialty choices there or just the year-round ones. Saw the two I've heard mentioned most and flipped a coin. Saw on the website there's a new one coming called Dark Penance, that sounds right up my ally... Hoping too see that, though bourbon = good too! thanks.
Back Woods Bastard is Epic my friend!!!!
Backwoods is the best beer founders makes. It's way better than KBS, the chase is getting up there though.
But KBS, Panther Cub, Cranberry Cub, Mackinaw Fudge Donkey Stout are all in discussion.
Hell, they're all delicious.
Such a great beer. One of only a few Michigan IPA's that I still crave since I moved to Oregon.
It's a scotch style ale.
What the hell Founder's am I thinking of? Some Imperial IPA? I did like Dirty Bastard but, yeah, clearly, not an IPA
Not imperial but very good.
...but Red's Rye PA is well thought of, and not just by me. :^)
(from one of the brewers)...the crusty old guy on the bottle is 'Red'...a homeless guy who hung out around the original brewery down by the river. They named the brew after him.
Also, Founder's has been doing Red's Rye for many years. Damn near EVERY brewery has copied Red's Rye (rye pale ale). There are a lot of good rye pale beers but only ONE Red's Rye...still the best.
Ms. ND Sux and I used to go to the brewery back when it first opened. I remember telling her "it's always about the beer." Tastes vary, but Founder's makes the best beers anywhere IMO, and I've been to 128 of the 155 microbreweries currently operating in Michigan. Sadly, the quest will never be completed but it couples nicely with our weekend motorcycle tours.
By the way, if you haven't tried the brews at that Biercamp / Artisan Sausage place in AA, you should. They only had two brews when we went (and no seating), but both were very good. You can only buy growlers, I think.
I don't like the All Day IPA (which seems to be available all over NYC now, but I love the Dirty Bastard (which I've only found once here in the city). Good stuff.
The All Day is certainly the milder version of the IPA, though not a bad option if you're looking to drink for a bit (hence the name). I can't exactly sit through a football game drinking 7-8%ers and be able to stand up by the end, let alone drive.
That said, the Centennial is one of my favorites. For your standard IPA, it's damn good.
is near the top for me too. The Centennial hop variety offers a nice citrusy flavor and aroma, and Founder's doesn't skimp on it.
I once brewed my own version using 4 oz of hops for a five-gallon batch. Homebrewers out there know that's quite a lot. I called it "Four-cent IPA." Damn tasty but not Founder's.
Founder's started All-Day IPA a few years ago, and now all the majors have a session IPA, and many of the smaller brewhouses do as well. Too light for my taste but a great alternative for newbies, and a stepping-stone for people in transition from sweeter to the bitter side.
Are where it's at for me. I would argue it's for the more mature drinker if anything, while the newbies tend to flock to the big beers.
But I'm growing weary of the those big beers (high alc, bitter). I've been there and done that. I don't need to feel like maybe I've been over-served after just a couple beers. I want to drink 3 or 4 and not have a headache in the morning.
I've brewed almost everything over the last dozen years, and I grow Cascade hops that I can dry-hop any time I feel like it, but you always go back to good ol' "drinkability"...
I think Founders is currently the best brewery in MI, and I like the All Day IPA well enough, but I think it's one of their weakest offerings. Dirty Bastard is the best Scottish Ale I've had, and it's really one of the best non-seasonal six-packs that you can pick up for under $10. I agree with a number of the other posters that Bell's has fallen off a bit, but I still prefer their hoppier beers to those of Founders.
To add another beer to the discussion, I've recently been drinking Cranker's Professor IPA (from Big Rapids). I've been really pleased by it, at least on tap. Very bright and delicious. Also, this might be an unpopular opinion, but I like Schmohz's Hopknocker--although I've found their other beers to be poor... and you have to get beyond the Hopknocker being labeled as a "Double IPA," since it's at least as malty as it is hoppy, and it's the darkest "IPA" I've ever seen. I'm not sure I've ever had it in a bottle, though.
If you like Crankers Brewery, and you like Porters they have a Coconut Porter that is AWESOME. Highly recommend.
I'm assuming that's their "Fifth Voyage"? I have to admit that I wouldn't normally grab a beer off the shelf that is advertized as having coconut, but if you think it's good, I'll give it a shot. Sometimes these strange ingredients work well (for another example, see Dogfishhead's "Aprihop"--an apricot infused IPA). Professor IPA is the only Cranker's I've had to this point. Thanks.
Yep it's called "Fifth Voyage". I'm not a big Porter guy, IPA guy myself but the ingredients work very well. The coconut really balances the smoky flavor to it and its not that heavy either.
They have a location near Grand Rapids now, I forgot exactly where - Caledonia maybe? They are opening a third location in Mt. Pleasant soon.
Beer enthusiasts should grab a copy of the Michigan Brewers Guild guide to M breweries. It comes out every other month and is my beer Bible. Lists all current breweries and the "Murmurs in Michigan" section tells what's in the works.
is in Cutlerville on 68th street. Its in what used to be a Schlotzsky's Deli*
*Protip - I worked at said Schlotzsky's Deli when I was 16 yrs old and walked out in the middle of a shift with a Half Baked-esque quitting speech. ~30yr old me is ashamed of 16yr old me.
/s Cool Story bro complete.
The Mt. P location has been open for a couple years (right next to Meijer) but they are doing a reno and adding a brew house to it.
MI Brewers Guild magazine says the brewery portion is being added / licensed, etc.
Crankers in Big Rapids was originally a coney as well.
I had my first All Day IPA last week (also in NYC - Brooklyn actually - Gowanus Yacht Club on Smith Street) and was really disappointed. I though it was really unbalanced and thin. Like drinking grapefruit juice mixed with pine. I don't feel it's representative of what those geniuses at Founders can do. I've had other "sessionable' IPAs (specifically recall Lagunitas DayTime) and have felt similarly disappointed. I don't know enough about brewing to understand why it's difficult to make a beer that's low in ABV, hoppy and still balanced but this seems to be the case. To each his own, of course, but I think I'm done with Session IPAs.
I haven't had one in awhile, but that seems pretty consistent with what I recall. A poster above (WolveInLA, I think) mentioned it being a decent gateway to IPAs--and he may be right--but I actually found that its "lighter" session aspect cut into its potential fullness, leaving it a bit more bitter and astringent than a "bigger" IPA. I might be the exception, but I found that going all the way up to Bell's Hopslam really helped to break me in to drinking IPAs on a regular basis. I used to be an "all malts" kind of guy, but IPAs are my beer of choice at the moment (the warm weather doesn't hurt).
Lowes Food? Is that Lowes the hardware store, but a grocery version?
If so, my mind is blown.
I'd call it a "fancy" grocery store, only comparable one I know is Wegmans in the northeast. Has your basics, but adds the beer garden with rotating draft selection by the growler, a specialty sausage market, pretty good sushi selection, and enormous produce selection. They try to blend everything to a local flavor too... A lot of fresh seafood from the "Murrells Inlet (local) Seafood Dept", the breads are "low country bakery", etc.
If my grocry store had a beer garden...holy shit. "Babe, I'm gonna run to the market and grab a gallon of milk." "But we have two in the fridge." "Can't be too safe. See you in 3 hours."
I see. I guess it is sort of like Whole Foods or Bristol Farms
Just with some nice add-ins... Not so specialty though to quite compare to Whole Foods...
Is probably one of the worst local microbreweries in Michigan. Not that they are bad by any means but Two Hearted Ale is probably the best IPA I've ever had. Hopslam is pretty great too. I really like a few from New Holland as well. Whitsun Ale from Arcadia is pretty great as well.
Just opened a Latitude 42 down the road from me that looks real nice I need to check out too.
There isn't much left in MI to take pride in but our beers are great probably some of the best in the country if not world.
See, Founders is probably my favorite MI brewery and I think Belles is overrated. To each their own.
Might help to know that Bell's isn't spelled with an e.
Because that changes everything.
I actually think Founders is the best brewery in Michigan...
Here is a brief list of things by Founders that will (most likely) change your opinion:
These are some of their more "specialty brews" that are very highly regarded in Michigan and across the country for that matter
You missed Reds Rye. Top 5 all time favorite beer.
is my favorite of their 'semi-regular' lineup. I still cry, though, that it's no longer available year-round like it used to be. As of a couple years ago, Founders moved it into one of their "seasonal" categories and stopped selling it in 6-packs. I was told by a bartender at Founders that this was because Red's Rye didn't keep well, even if refrigerated, and Founders didn't want to sell a product that didn't meet their standards after being on the shelves very long.
Well that's just not true. You might think that the best Founder's beer isn't as good as the best beer from another brewery, but the number if different good-or-better beers that Founder's offers is unparalleled by any of the other Michigan breweries. Founder's has such a variety. That said, there are certainly other very good ones, so this certainly isn't a knock on any of the ones you mentioned.
Yeah don't get me wrong Founders makes some great beer I would never argue that. Many of those beers I have not seen.
I live and work in Kalamazoo about a mile away from Bells so maybe I'm a little biased.
Regardless us Michiganders are a spoiled bunch when it comes to beer.
no matter what style you like, try it at Founder's and it will be among the best you've ever had.
I assume you have never been to Shorts brewpub in Bellaire? They have 20+ different brews on draft every day and rotate them daily. I have been going there several times a year for the last 10 years and they still have at least a few new beers on draft every time I go. I would say they easily have as much variety and inventiveness for new good beers as Founders.
A couple weeks ago I had a bourbon barrel aged triple IPA at shorts that was outstanding (at 9.7% alcohol). Highly recommend everyone making the trip to Bellaire to go to the pub.
I haven't been to shorts, but people I know who have share your sentiment.
You're joking, right?
I go back and forth between Founders and Bells. Arcadia, however, is a Yao Ming step behind.
...but you have to check out Latitude 42. Excellent selection and really creative brewers. They always have something on cask (real beer) and I had my first commercial example of a hot pepper beer there. There is always something interesting on the menu.