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Hit the Trails with these Bicycle Themed #MiBeers

By Joe O’Connell

With the weather warming up in Michigan, it’s time to start getting outside more often. While some of the more die-hard cyclists don’t let winter stop them, the start of warmer weather is when the cycling season begins to kick into high gear.

With nearly 1,500 miles of bike trails to explore, what better place is there for cycling than Michigan? And in fitting fashion, Michigan’s breweries serve up several bicycle-themed ales to help you relax after your two-wheeled excursions.

Here are a few:

Cheap Date, Arcadia Ales 4.5% ABV, 30 IBUs  A refreshingly hoppy session pale ale, it hosts a fine white head and gorgeous aroma mirrored by its flavor which is overloaded with tropical Citra hops, citrusy Simcoe hops, and a perfect malty balance. A great anytime beer that pairs well with good, cheap fun.

B2B Trail Ale, Arbor Brewing 3.7% ABV, 30 IBUs  A refreshing session pale ale with a healthy dose of lime peel, a touch of coriander and some citrusy hops that makes it easy drinking, clean and crisp.  Citrus and lime notes in the aroma, followed by a crisp hop bitterness and a clean dry finish.

Rider Down Pale Ale, Paddle Hard Brewing 5% ABV, 48 IBUs  A light, crisp pale ale that picks you up when you fall off your bike!

Ermagerdness IPA, Short’s Brewing 5.8% ABV, 84 IBUs  A light-bodied, golden-colored American India Pale Ale with zesty tangerine and pineapple aromatics.  A simplified malt bill, along with some signature American hops, allows for an awesome burst of tropical fruit flavors up front.  It then shifts toward an interesting herbal tasting bitterness, which builds and lingers on the back of the palate.

Distracted Pale Ale, Fetch Brewing 5.4% ABV, 40 IBUs  A dank pale ale that’s the official beer for the Fetch Cycling Group. The group meets every Thursday and has grown exponentially. Fetch Cycling Group riders wear their Fetch jerseys designed from the Distracted logo drawn by one of the brewery’s bartenders. Official Fetch Cycling Group slogan: Ride focused, drink Distracted.

51K IPA, Blackrocks Brewery 7% ABV, 68 IBUs  Bursting hops all over your face, this American IPA is full of earthy grapefruit, apricot, and piney hop flavors and aromas with a nice balanced yet dry finish.

Of course, pedaling is a great way to burn some serious calories. According to Harvard Medical School, a 155-lb person riding a bike between 12-14 MPH can burn nearly 300 calories after 30 minutes of riding. Not fast enough for you? The same person can burn over 370 calories on a 14-16 MPH ride in the same amount of time. At 140 calories per 12-ounce bottle, that’s over five Cheap Dates per hour! Although, we do advise against drinking that many of any beer – or having that many dates – in such a short period of time.

Here are some more Michigan biking facts:

  • Michigan is one of only two states that have mandatory minimum funding provisions for non-motorized transportation. The other state is Oregon. (MDOT)
  • You can’t drive or ride in a car on Mackinac Island, but you can bring your bike or rent one if you choose!
  • $668 million: the annual impact of bicycling on Michigan’s economy, including $256 million in avoided healthcare costs, according to MDOT.
  • The average annual cost of owning and using a bicycle is less than $300 compared with $3,000 for an automobile, according to MDOT.

And for fun, check out these Michigan biking events and activities:

  • HUB Fest June 10, Adrian – Hadrian’s Ultimate Bicycle Fest. Cyclists will choose their own adventure from four fun-filled routes highlighting historic Adrian and Lenawee County. This one-day event hosted “off the beaten path” will truly offer something for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. Afterward, the fun continues as riders converge on downtown Adrian for a lively after-party, including beer from Michigan breweries Cotton Brewing Company and Tecumseh Brewing Company.
  • Sunrise Adventure June 15-18, Alpena – Cycle your choice of several routes of different lengths that will lead you past historic lighthouses and down forested roads. While you’re in the area, enjoy a Michigan beer at Austin Brothers Beer Company!
  • MUP Bicycle Tour July 9-15, Eastern UP – See majestic waterfalls, dip your toes in three of America’s Great Lakes, and enjoy off-the grid delights as you pedal through old-growth forests. You’ll be mesmerized by the UP’s rugged natural beauty and unique wildlife. And why not make a pit stop at Michigan’s own Soo Brewing Company?
  • Shoreline West Bicycle Tour August 5-12, Western LP – Be a part of an unforgettable seven-day vacation as you pedal tree-lined roadways and past breathtaking waterfront views. Enjoy local wineries, brewpubs, farmer’s markets, crystal-clear lakes, historic resort towns, and the iconic Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Begins in Montague and ends at the head of the world-famous Mackinac Bridge.
  • Mud, Sweat, & Beers Traverse City – A multi-race mountain bike event benefitting the nonprofit ski area, Mt. Holiday.
  • Kayak, Bike & Brew, Traverse City – A Brewery Pub Pedal and Paddle through Traverse City’s beautiful urban TART bike trails, Boardman Lake & River and West Bay, lasting about 4 hours.
  • Motor City Bike & Brew Tours Detroit – Guided bike tours that run May – September with Detroit history themes! Experienced and knowledgeable tour guides, relaxed riding pace for all biking abilities, small riding groups, Michigan beer and food (included) and safe and secure parking.

With nearly 250 breweries and counting, “The Great Beer State” of Michigan ranks sixth in terms of number of breweries with craft beer having an over $1.8 billion impact on Michigan’s economy, according to the Brewers Association. The variety and quality available here provides every reason to Drink Michigan Beer®!

Cheers to the summer ahead, cheers to Michigan beer, and as always please drink responsibly, and do not ride a bike while intoxicated!


When not at his day job of being a budget and policy analyst, Joe O’Connell exploring all things beer is a top interest of his. He has been a homebrewer since 2010, earned his craft brewing certificate, volunteered at numerous beer festivals, and is a co-organizer of the second-longest-running beer festival in the United States.


Raise a Mug to “German Beer Day” in the the Great Lakes State!

Ben Darcie

As we all know, Michigan is overflowing with fantastic beer to be explored in every corner of the state. Today we’re going to be exploring the German side of Michigan, from single bottles to breweries who focus on German-style brews.

You’re sure to find Germany’s influence all over this fine peninsula, from the shelves at your favorite beer store to your local brewery. There are countless taproom only German-style brews to explore, from the smoky Rauchbier to the wonderfully simple and refreshing Hefeweizen, so we’re going to be focusing on beers that you can find on the shelf at your local bottle shop.

And since today, April 23, is apparently “German Beer Day” we thought we’d offer some insights into where to find German-style beers right here in the Great Lakes State!

Firstly, there are a few breweries across this great state that place a heavy emphasis on German-style beers, so we’ll start there.

Frankenmuth Brewing Company

425 S. Main St., Frankenmuth

Established in 1862, the Frankenmuth Brewery sits right downtown in the beautifully idyllic Frankenmuth, Michigan. Featuring a full restaurant and taproom, it makes for the perfect stop while exploring Frankenmuth, and offers a wide range of German-style beers supported by some American styles. Grab a seat in their large, open taproom, which overlooks the Cass River.

Check out:

  • The Hef (Hefeweizen)
  • Brown Hound Dunkel (Dunkelweizen)
  • Little Bavaria (German Pilsner)
  • Oktoberfest

Cedar Springs Brewing Company

95 N. Main St., Cedar Springs

Opening in 2015, Cedar Springs Brewing brought a new and exciting angle to West Michigan – a German Style brewery. With a full restaurant featuring classic German eats, the brewery offers classic German styles with a supporting cast of American styles, and is only a small jaunt north of Grand Rapids and Rockford, while remaining easily accessible from the freeway and the White Pine Trail. Grab a seat at the bar or the large, open taproom, grab an order of Schnitzel and enjoy a variety of their classic German brews. For those wondering, the phrase “Küsterer” refers to Christoph Küsterer, the first German Brewer in West Michigan who started producing around 1844.

Check out:

  • Küsterer Original Weissbier – 2016 GABF Bronze Medal for German Wheat (Historical Bavarian Wheat)
  • Küsterer Heller Weissbier (Modern Bavarian Wheat)
  • Küsterer Bohemian Pilsner
  • Küsterer Salzburger Marzen

Cedar Springs also offers a variety of traditional seasonal offerings:

  • Küsterer Dunkelweizen
  • Küsterer Weizenbock (Bock style wheat beer)
  • Küsterer Pale Bock
  • Küsterer Munich Dunkel
  • Küsterer Schwartzbier (Bohemian Style Black Lager)
  • Küsterer Rauchbier (Bamberg Style Smoked Lager)

Now, let’s move into some of the great German beer styles and pair them with an excellent Michigan-brewed example.


Olde Number 22 by Arbor Brewing Company, Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti (Seasonal)
A surprisingly easy-drinking dark ale. Smooth, malty, and well-balanced; dry without being too bitter; and full-flavored without being too heavy. Very subtle smoky hints. (5.5% ABV | 37IBUs)

Berliner Weisse

Oarsman by Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo (Year-Round)

A flavorful session beer, Oarsman Ale uses a classic German brewing technique to impart a light, refreshing tartness. The grain bill includes a healthy portion of wheat, while light hopping lend citrus and herbal notes to the aroma. Fermented with Bell’s house ale yeast, Oarsman comes in at 4.0% alcohol by volume. Rather than being the dominant flavor note, the tartness in Oarsman takes on more of a palate-cleansing role, making it perfect with meals or purely on its own. (4% ABV | 10IBUs)


Bockefeller, Strong Winter Bock by Atwater Brewing Co., Detroit, Grosse Point Park & Grand Rapids (Seasonal)

Brewed with respect to the season, Atwater’s Winter Bock boasts the body and deep malt flavors matched with a warming, but well blended hint of alcohol. Extended aging reduces the sharpness and acidity typically apparent in strong ales. The aroma and flavor is malty and lightly roasty, with only enough hop character to clear the finish. (7% ABV | 25IBUs)


Uncle Krunkle’s Dunkelweizen by Cellar Brewing Company, Sparta (Seasonal)

A drinkable, dynamic dark wheat ale dipping into dark malty tones. (6.3% ABV | 17IBUs)


Consecrator Doppelbock by Bell’s Brewery, Kalamazoo (Seasonal)

A traditional Doppelbock fermented with an old-world yeast. Reddish brown in color with a mild hop profile, Consecrator is a well-balanced, full-bodied lager with hints of caramel and molasses in its smooth, malty finish after spending 3 months maturing in our fermentation tanks. (8% ABV)


Raspberry Eisbock by Kuhnhenn Brewing Company, Warren & Clinton Twp. (Taproom only release, 375ml and Draft Only)

Consistently rated as one of the top beers in the world by beer ratings websites, this beer has developed a cult following since its first release in 2004. After a very, very long boil, fresh raspberries and raspberry juice is infused into this intense lager, bringing about fresh berry notes with a hint of chocolate, like a chocolate truffle. A wonderful balance of sweet malt and tart fruit lends to the drinkability, while a long aging period mellows the alcohol, making for a great sipper with a long finish. (15.5% ABV)

German Lager

Classic Pilsner by Blackrocks Brewery, Marquette (Year-Round)

The finest German malt, American hops and Lake Superior water collide to create our take on the world’s most popular style. As crisp and refreshing as the Great Lakes, this beer is a nod to European Tradition with a distinct American disobedience. (5.5% ABV | 30IBUs)

Helles Lager

Hell’s Half Mile by Tri City Brewing Company, Bay City (Year-Round)

Hell’s Half Mile is a German-style Helles Lager that is pale gold with a creamy white head. Helles is German for bright. Hell’s Half Mile has an appealing grainy aroma with a slightly sweet malty flavor yet perfectly balanced with traditional noble hop characteristics. Don’t let the light color fool you! This full-bodied beer is complex and refreshing. (5.8% ABV | 20IBUs)


Bliss Wheat by Arbor Brewing Company, Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti (Year-Round)

U.S. Open Beer Champion – named “Best Hefeweizen in America” by the Craft Beer News Service. Classic aromas of banana, clove and floral citrus blossom. Fruity, spicy aromas show a rich yeasty character that follows through on a smooth, medium-bodied palate with a delicately spicy finish. (5.5% ABV | 15IBUs)


Full Circle by New Holland Brewing, Holland & Grand Rapids (Year-Round)

Full Circle is a crisp, refreshing celebration of New Holland’s belief in balance. Biscuity malt character with a low hop profile and slight sweetness. (4.9% ABV | 26IBUs)


Drag Me to Helles Maibock by Wolverine State Brewing Co., Ann Arbor (Seasonal)

A take on the Maibock, a traditional spring beer in Germany. This beer is characterized by its spicy hop aroma and rich malt flavors that are both refreshing and perfect for the onset of spring. We brew our Maibock to hit the top end of color and hoppiness for the style, bringing you a complex and yet easy drinking German-style lager. We use all German malt and 100% German Hallertau hops. (7.4% ABV | 29IBUs)


Ah, Octoberfest. A beautiful, refreshing and complex beer that never ceases to please the palate. There are many local taproom options for this seasonal fall favorite, and you’ll find many Michigan examples on the shelves, including options from Atwater Brewing Co., Bell’s Brewery, Dark Horse Brewing Co., Frankenmuth Brewing Company and Rochester Mills Beer Co.


Sustenence Black Beer by Short’s Brewing Co., Bellaire (Seasonal)

Sustenance Black Beer, classically referred to as a Schwartzbier, is a dark German Lager brewed in the spring. Soft and sweet on the palate, the roasted, dark caramel grains lend to a satisfying drinking experience, while Lager yeast creates a refreshing thirst-quenching sensation. This combination provides a rich, full-flavored, light-bodied brew. (7.3% ABV | 25IBUs)

Some German beer styles don’t have readily available Michigan brewed examples, like the deliciously complex, smoky Rauchbier, and the supremely drinkable Dortumunder Lager and Kellerbier. That doesn’t mean that they won’t appear in your local brewery or brewpub, so keep your eyes peeled!

Michigan offers a wonderful expanse of beer exploration, and as for the German styles, we are certainly not lacking, and they all pair excellently with friends.

Cheers and Prost! Let’s raise a glass to Michigan Beer!


Ben Darcie is based out of Grand Rapids Michigan and is a veteran beer writer, a 12-year homebrewer, public and private beer educator, and is stationed out of Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery & Supply in Ada, MI, just out side of GR.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Michigan Beer Style

By Ashley Dardis

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy these fine Michigan-made, Irish-inspired craft beers – available on draft or bottle/can distribution around the state. Sláinte! (more…)

#MiWBF17 Features 969 Beers & 130 Breweries!

A mixed bag is expected this weekend for the 12th Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival, February 24-25 at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, just north of downtown Grand Rapids. A warmer Friday and a snowy Saturday should make for interesting weather conditions for Michigan’s original winter craft beer celebration — one of four annual events presented by the state’s official trade organization, held by the brewers, for the brewers.

Here is the line-up of 969 beers from 130 breweries that the nearly 10,000 attendees can expect to sample throughout the 2-day event (Friday tickets remain available for $45 in advance and $50 at the gate (if available). You can purchase tickets online here. (more…)

Our Love Affair with #MiBeer

Cheers to a Hoppy Valentine’s Day filled with Michigan Brews! Celebrate this loving holiday with someone to close to you and a Michigan brew that is near and dear to your heart. Try any one of these rich, chocolate, dessert-like, or fruity beers (or one with a sultry, loving or romantic name), and fall in love. (more…)

Warm Up with these Michigan Slopeside Beers

Winter is in full swing the mitten-shaped state of Michigan. It’s the perfect time to hit the slopes or trails and enjoy Michigan’s many winter sports from sledding and snowmobiling to skiing and boarding. While you’re enjoying the snow-filled days, we recommend these Michigan-brewed winter-themed beers. (more…)

Michigan Brewers Guild Presents 2017 Tom Burns Award to Rex Halfpenny – Publisher of Michigan Beer Guide

The Michigan Brewers Guild presented the 2017 Tom Burns Award to Rex Halfpenny, publisher of the Michigan Beer Guide, at its annual conference Thursday night at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo. This is the 20th Anniversary of the Michigan Beer Guide and the Michigan Brewers Guild.

The Tom Burns Award is given to a person who embodies the pioneering spirit of the Michigan brewing industry. This is an individual whose hard work, passion, and perseverance has been a guiding force in creating the Great Beer State while being supportive of the entire craft beer industry in Michigan. Nominees can be brewery owners or employees, can be affiliated with a beer wholesaler or beer retailer or otherwise involved in the industry. Nominees can be part of the industry now or in the past and do not need to be currently living. (more…)

Michigan Brewers Guild Kicks Off 20th Anniversary with Largest Annual Conference & Trade Show to Date

The Michigan Brewers Guild (MBG) kicks off its 20th Anniversary with its largest annual conference and trade show to date, January 11-13, 2017 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo. More than 500 attendees are expected, including 90 businesses exhibiting in the trade show. The conference is presented with The Master Brewers Association of America (MBAA) – District Michigan.

Keynote speakers include Dick Cantwell, Author and Co-Founder of Elysian Brewing Co. (speaking on Wednesday at 2pm) and Jim Koch, Brewer & Founder of Samuel Adams (speaking on Thursday at 3pm). (more…)

Michigan’s Festive Holiday Beers

The holiday season is officially upon us. The decorations are up, the tree is lite, and the presents are bought… so it’s time to grab one of these Michigan Christmas beers and drink up as the snow comes down. The most flavorful craft beer in the world can be served right here in Michigan, and you better believe they didn’t forget about the holidays. There is a variety of Christmas themed brews produced right here in the Mitten, be sure to check out some of the holiday infused ones below. (more…)

Enjoy Michigan Black Ales for Black Friday!


Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, known as the day people start their Christmas shopping. This year mix up your Black Friday tradition by trying these Michigan-brewed black ales.

Black ales or black IPAs (Indian Pale Ale) range from dark brown to pitch black in color. The taste varies from roasted malts notes to a hoppy flavor, there is sure to be a black ale perfect for your Black Friday mood! (more…)

Our mailing address: Michigan Brewers Guild • 225 W Washtenaw, Suite C • Lansing, MI 48933

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