Well, it is that time of year again, when I try to recollect everything that happened in the craft beer world this year that I participated in. This is typically the most difficult article of the year for me to write because I go into it thinking, “What the hell did I do this year anyway?”
I know I went on my annual craft beer tour, I know I was able to put on the 8th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, and I know there was at least one brewery closure in the South Bay. I used to end these recaps by predicting what I expect to happen in the following year, but the last two years have been really tough to predict. Unfortunately, there is a lot slated for 2023 that is not exactly positive, but I don’t make the news, I only report it. So, let’s look back at 2022, because I am sure I must have done something more that what I have already mentioned. Continue reading
These photos were taken Tuesday, October 11, day seven of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. As I mentioned in the last article, we headed back towards Ruth’s home in Grand Rapids so that I could hit up a few breweries in the area before I headed back to California. We visited Railtown Brewing Company in Dutton, Broad Leaf Brewery + Spirits in Kentwood, and City Built Brewing in Grand Rapids.
We started off the day by driving south a ways to Dutton, where we visited Railtown Brewing Company, a brewpub that opened in December 2014.
They have a 7bbl system, which offered 15 beers, a hard seltzer, and a cider on the day of our visit, with a nice variety of styles available. Being a creature of habit, I went with their Citra Warrior IIPA, Hophikers Guide to the Galaxy, and Harvest Smash ’22 their wet hopped harvest ale. All were solid, but I have to give the nod to the Citra Warrior as my favorite. Continue reading
These photos were taken Monday, October 10, day six of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. As I mentioned in the last article, my sister Ruth wanted to visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore so we set the GPS for Munising to check it out. We then visited ByGeorge Brewing (also in Munising) and Rusted Spoke Brewing in Mackinaw City.
While I figured that Pictured Rocks must be pretty photogenic, as we approached Munising I started having some concerns because virtually every billboard or sign that I saw mentioning Pictured Rocks seemed to include kayaks or boats; I was wondering how easy it was going to be to photograph this place from land. The GPS was not being very helpful either since dozens of places had “Pictured Rocks” in the name. Eventually we happened upon a helpful Park Service Ranger that told us we wanted to go to Miners Castle and gave us directions to get there. Continue reading
These photos were taken Sunday, October 9, day five of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. Ruth wanted to visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, so we set the destination of Marquette and reserved a hotel room so we would be sure to have somewhere to stay. As a result, we ended up visiting Beards Brewery in Petoskey, Biere de Mac Brew Works in Mackinaw City, and Barrel + Beam in Marquette.
So, for those that do not know what a Yooper is, it is a self-given nickname given to the residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. If you look at a map, which I never did until two weeks later, you will notice that these next three breweries were about as “upper” as you can get on the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday and Saturday, October 7 and 8, days three and four of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. As I mentioned early on, my sister (Ruth) was in a major train accident back in June and was pretty jacked up, so Friday, before we did anything else, I had to take her to get more x-rays. After that we headed up to her cabin in Dublin. On Saturday we visited Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City and Hop Lot Brewing Company in Suttons Bay.
Ruth’s appointment was around noon, and she knew there was a craft beer bar fairly close to the medical center that I could hang out at while she did her thing. She sent me to HopCat, a craft beer bar with numerous locations, this one in Grand Rapids and only sold beer brewed in Michigan. Okay, that is not exactly true; they also sell a wide variety of food, and some hard seltzers. They had about 40 options available.
I have to admit, I was a little bummed that Ruth’s doctor visit only lasted an hour, because I could have had a great time there. I had just finished my Hoplicated Imperial Pale Ale from Odd Side Ales when I was trying to decide between the Bark Lord Imperial Stout from Transient Artisan Ales and a 2018 Founders CBS, when I got the message it was time to pick her up. Bark Lord was phenomenal, but my server offered me a small crowler of the Founders to-go, so that is what I took with me. Continue reading
These photos were taken Thursday, October 6, day two of my Craft Beer Tour 2022. We started off the day looking for trees with leaves changing colors, then worked our way to Newaygo Brewing Company and hit up Coopersville Brewing Company on the way home.
So yeah, while the end goal was to visit new breweries, we did want to check out some of the fall beauty this part of the country offers this time of year, so my sister suggested we take back roads to the town of Newaygo. Unfortunately(?), the weather has been in the 70’s around here and that is not exactly conducive to causing leaves to change colors. Luckily, it got very cold Thursday night, so things should be popping soon. That being said, the first few photos are from Hardy Dam Pond and the Croton Dam. Continue reading
These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon in Grand Rapids, Michigan as I started my annual craft beer tour. Wednesday found me at The Mitten Brewing Company, a microbrewery/pizzeria that opened in November 2012.
For over a year now, my sister Ruth and I have been planning a fall craft beer tour through the northeast as I have very little experience there and it would be cool to visit breweries and watch the leaves change colors. Unfortunately, my sister happened to be a participant in the Amtrak train derailment in Missouri this past June. To say she got jacked up in it would be an understatement (26 broken bones above the waist), but she wanted me to come visit, so we decided we would venture around the state for a week or so. Continue reading
These photos are of the breweries I visited in Michigan; in order, they were Founders Brewing (two visits), Bell’s Brewery, New Holland Brewing, Our Brewing, Rockford Brewing, Perrin Brewing, Elk Brewing, and Greyline Brewing Company.
After driving back and forth between Grand Rapids and Detroit, in the pouring rain, and another four hours of technical work, I was ready for Craft Beer Tour 2017 to get back on course. First stop would be the Founders Brewing taproom.
As we were pulling off the freeway it was easy to spot the huge red brick building with “Founders Brewing” emblazoned with yellow letters. As we were parking I could not but help notice the fermenters in the windows; they appeared to be three stories tall, but I could not see clearly enough to see where their feet were. I hoped I would have a good view of the brewhouse, because it looked a little too busy for me to ask for a quick personal tour like I do at the smaller breweries. Continue reading
These photos were taken at the Founders Brewing Company 20 Anniversary party.
Sorry about the delay, but the days have been long and the Internet has been flaky at best. Just to ensure I get one update done tonight, I am going to go out of order for this article and present you photos from the Founders 20th anniversary party.
When I left off, Craft Beer Tour 2017 landed at Three Floyds; I would have loved to visit other places, but I had a real world appointment in Detroit on Wednesday morning, so I had to get to Grand Rapids that night; especially because my sister wanted to take me to dinner at Founders, I was too late to do it that night, so they would have to wait until I got back from Detroit that night. Continue reading