The winter season is upon us – and with that comes hand-crafted beers made right here in Michigan. Whether pairing with your holiday meal, warming up after a day in the snow or giving as a gift for someone special on your gift list, Michigan brews make the perfect selection.
Trappist monks in Belgium have been brewing big, delicious, malty ales since the 11th century. Most brew Dubbels and Tripels which are made with candy sugar and very robust yeast to withstand the higher gravity. Triples are bigger, drier and lighter in color while Dubbels are darker, sweeter, and a bit more mild. Available throughout Michigan, November through January.
Phat Abbot Belgian-Style Dubbel: is a deep mahogany abbey-style ale made with Trappist yeast and dark Belgian candy sugar for a traditional, malty Trappist character. Rich and complex with flavors of toffee, caramel, dried fruits, and subtle woodsy notes. Spicy hops and medium carbonation balance the sweetness for a very drinkable ale.
Phat Abbot Belgian-Style Tripel: A deep golden abbey-style ale made with Trappist yeast and light Belgian candy sugar for a traditional, malty Trappist character. Rich and complex with flavors of toasted bread, tropical fruits, and candied oranges. Spicy hops and medium carbonation balance the sweetness for a very drinkable ale.
Espresso Love Breakfast Stout: This decadent brew combines our creamy, hand-crafted oatmeal stout with fresh-ground, dark-roast, cold-brewed coffee for a bold coffee flavor without the bitter acids. The result is a rich yet delicate brew with a great espresso flavor, soft earthy notes, and hints of dark chocolate. A great beer is more than just the sum of its parts but even the best beers are only as good as the ingredients that go into them. That’s why we use 100% fair trade coffee locally roasted and ground to order by our friends at the Ugly Mug small batch artisan roastery. Available throughout Michigan January through April.
Winter Bock: This malty, sweet, dark amber colored German-Style Bock Beer is brewed with imported malt and hops. Its uncommon smoothness and impeccable taste make it the perfect companion on a cold night.
Single Batch Teufel (Devil in German): A Weizen Dopplebock served in draft, only this year. It is dominated with 60% wheat that imparts a nutty-biscuit flavor. It is sure to warm you up on a cold winter day.
Cherry Stout: Made with Montmorency red tart cherry concentrate, from right here in our home state of Michigan. This is one to be cherished!
Rye PA: Our taste buds have evolved to sense bitterness as a poison and to thus reject it as unpalatable. One has to overcome this hardwired trait and train themselves to like bitterness. This beer has 1.75 times the hops (lbs/bbl) than the Devil’s Peak IPA. So, if you are a hop fan, you might like this beer. It is bitter, with orange and piney hop notes. The rye gives it a dryish-minty character and the other malts give it a slight toasty and a slim caramel character. It is quite strong and would be considered a Double IPA (but not an imperial, since it was never sent to a Czar).
Apple Streudel Tripel: This is what Santa drinks when he gets back from delivering toys on Christmas Eve. This beer is tart and quite reminiscent of apple streudel – apple and all the pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, allspice) are present. The Belgian yeast used imparts hints of bubblegum, clove, and banana making a beer that is not bitter, but is very smooth with a spicy sweetness.
On tap soon…
Detroit Dunkelweizen: This is a lighter form of the Weizenbock, and consistent with the those from southern Germany. This dark beer (German for dark is dunkel) is traditionally served around Christmas. Normally a Weizenbock would be stronger in alcohol, but since there are already some heavy hitters on tap, it’s lighted up a bit. This beer has notes of chocolate and maple, with an earthy roastiness. The traditional German hefe-weizen yeast provides hints of banana and clove. It is smooth, with a limited hop presence.
Come January or February:
Inauguration Ale: A special Belgian ale brewed for this special inauguration. It will be along the lines of a Belgian dubbel, with some special spices added.
ReSession Ale: This beer will be along the lines of a British session beer – one that is lighter, allowing one to drink several in a single session. This will be discounted, so those who may be victims of this recession can enjoy some craft beer at an affordable price.
Enjoy this Holiday Stout Series…
One Oatmeal Stout Ale: Number one in a series of five stouts produced to help ease you through the cold and grey Midwestern winters. This beer is full bodied with hints of chocolate, roasted barley, coffee flavors and a nice creamy head. Available as a fall and winter seasonal.
Too Cream Stout – Number Too: This beer is made with milk sugar (lactose) which gives this beer a nice creamy mouth feel which mingles with hints of chocolate and roasty flavors. Available as a fall and winter seasonal.
Tres Blueberry Stout – Number Tres: A full bodied stout made with all malted barley and blueberry. Flavors of chocolate, roast malt and light blueberry make up the palate with lots of fruity blueberry aroma. Available as a fall and winter seasonal.
Fore Smoked Stout – Number Fore: Brewed with all malted barley and peat malt (smoked malt). This beer is full bodied with chocolate, roasted barley flavors, and a smokey almost BBQ finish. Available as a fall and winter seasonal.
Plead the 5th Imperial Stout – Number 750ml: It’s big and full bodied with lots of roasted malts and balanced with heavy hops to put this imperial in a league of its own.
Black Magic: A big and pitch-black Russian Imperial Stout, offering high alcohol content, with a strong roast/coffee flavor.
Red Rocket Rye: A red ale with 25% malted rye and a good dose of American hops.
Busted Nut Brown Ale: A double brown ale, where rich malt and chocolate mingle with a very healthy dose of Yakima finished hops.
Excalibur Barley Wine: Big, complex and thick, this beer is a meal in a glass. It warms on the way down and for quite a while afterwards. This beer undergoes three yeast fermentations and spending over 120 days in the fermentor. When you are in an adventurous mood, try this international classic.
Copper Shield Bitter Harvest Barley Wine: This wine is produced at the lower end of the barley wine scale. It is fermented to a very drinkable level unlike heavier Barley Wines. It has a generous dose of hops added to an International Bittering Level of 103.
Jul Ol (pronounced Yule Ole) Norwegian Spiced Christmas Ale: This spiced ale makes for great sipping. Jul Ol is brewed in the tradition of a Norwegian dark ale. It is spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. This ale is only available in December and January.
Buck-n-Fur Brown Ale: Second in our tour of English Ales, this beer features subtle roasted nut flavor from roasted and caramel barley malt will delight the taste buds!
Pioneer Maple Porter: Awarded “First Place” in the Porter category at the 2008 World Expo of Beer, this beer is a combination of Grade A Michigan maple syrup, English roasted malts and noble hops.
Four years ago, Founders Porter was removed from the line-up when they had trouble keeping up with demand. Imperial Stout was removed for the same reason the following year. Now, in new and larger facility, it’s time to bring them back. Porter will be available through the year and the Imperial Stout will be available only in January. New to the line-up is a Double Trouble Imperial IPA, available January through March.
Porter: Pours silky black with a creamy tan head. The nose is sweet, with strong chocolate and caramel malt presence. No absence of hops gives Founders robust Porter the full flavor you deserve and expect. The mouthful is full and luxurious…cozy like velvet. It’s a lover, not a fighter.
Imperial Stout: Brewed with 10 varieties of malted barley, this stout is smooth as silk, yet complex and rich in body. Serve this guy at cellar temperature. Put another log on the fire and sit back and enjoy the friendship of this ultimate winter warmer.
Double Trouble Imperial IPA: Brewed to turn your world upside down. This is a well-balanced imperial IPA hopped with a combination of Summit, Simcoe and Amarillo’s. Hops have got you coming and going. Pungent aromatics up front, paired with a malt-balanced backbone and a smooth, bitter finish make this a delicacy in a glass.
More like desserts than just brews, these flavors are as mouth watering as they are fulfilling.
Vanilla Cream Stout
Windmill Cookie Stout
Coffee & Cream Stout
The name Grizzly Peak alone just exudes rustic Michigan, and these beers are waiting be enjoyed as you warm up beside a fieldstone fireplace with a good book or a good friend.
White Christmas White Ale: A strong version of Belgian White Ale, with the same fruity, crisp wheat and spicy character, plus a bit of warming alcohol.
Strang Wullie: A wee-heavy style Scottish Ale with lots of toasted and caramel malt and rich molasses-like flavors.
Yakima Biere: A Belgian ale with American hops.
Uber-Marzen (also known as the Dopptoberfest or Lost Pants Lager): Featuring double the amount of malt and hops, with a cold fermentation followed by two months of cold aging to give this beer a clean and crisp flavor, with rich malt and warming alcohol.
Hopfenkopf Altbier: A “ale/lager hybrid” that has both fruity ale flavors and crisp lager character. It also has rich toasted, caramel malt flavors with generous hop bite.
Edwyn’s Warm-up Ale: An American strong ale, perfect for winter.
Draconus: A Strong Belgian Dark Ale with big fruit, yeast, caramel malt and alcohol character.
Telewhacker: An American brown ale hopped like an IPA, named in honor of Telemark skiers everywhere!
Special C-A Czech style Dunkel: Malty with a spicy Saaz hop finish.
Liverator Grand Reserve: A high gravity German style Doppelbock, aged for 18 months in a Heaven Hill bourbon cask.
5th Dimension: A high gravity Belgian style IPA, aged for six months in two different oak casks then blended, dry hopped and aged three more months.
Carvana: Brewmaster Steve Berthels’ ever-changing birthday ale. Always hoppy, always high gravity, always released in February and available at the Michigan Winter Beer Festival.
Holiday Hand-Crafted Beer Sampler Tool Box (12 Assorted Beers): Includes a selection of Motor City Pale Ale, Motown Lager (Pre-Prohibition Bohemian Style Lager), Ghettoblaster (English Style Mild Ale), Nut Brown Ale, Honey Porter, 120W-90 IPA (an American Style IPA) and 90W-40 Double Pale Ale (an American Style Double Pale Ale).
Belgian Trippel: Golden in color with fruity overtones and extra body and alcohol content.
Winter Warmer: Dark brown in color, this ale is brewed with honey and maple syrup to give it extra body and sweetness.
Cabin Fever Brown Ale: .A toasty, smooth drinking brown ale and a hearty companion for long, mind-bending winters. Its rye, roast and raisin notes play off a subtle caramel sweetness and culminate in a dry finish.
Pilgrim’s Dole Wheatwine: A barleywine-style ale made with fifty percent wheat malt. Pilgrim’s Dole blends warming and slightly sweet flavors with a unique carmelized character. Excellent accent to nutty dishes, fruit crisps or crème brulee.
The Poet Oatmeal Stout: Served all year round, The Poet is a beautiful beer for the winter. Its roasty tones have hints of chocolate and coffee, while oat flakes provide a soft mouth feel and lush creaminess to its body.
Seasonal 12 pack: Six different beers, 2 bottles of each. Available at retailers across the State, it’s the perfect gift, whether you’re headed to a dinner party or a family gathering. Cabin Fever Brown Ale, Ichabod Pumpkin Ale, Mad Hatter IPA, Full Circle Kolsch, Sundog Amber Ale and The Poet Oatmeal Stout.
Brown Ale: A rich, malty beer perfect for taking the chill out of the air. The use of Victory and Brown malts lend a roasted, nutty flavor profile to this winter favorite.
Bourbon-Barrel aged Barley Wine: This beer was brewed one year ago and then aged in bourbon barrels for several months. The resulting flavor profile is a little drier than a typical barleywine, with the added warmth of bourbon flavor and aroma. This beer is meant to be savored slowly in front of the fireplace…or at the brewery in Rochester! Big on malt, big on hops, and big on alcohol.
90 Shillings Scotch Ale: “The 90 Shillings”, as it is known, is one of our most popular seasonals and has come to be associated closely with the winter Holiday season. This festive beer is rich, malty and sweet with a dark copper color. Hop bitterness and flavor are low. Alcohol content is between moderate and high, in keeping with Scottish brewing tradition.
Cup A Joe (coffee creme stout): The perfect morning night capper. Deep aromas of malt, sweet espresso and roasted cocoa. Flavor is robust with big malt character covered with cream and coffee. It’s a favorite coffee stout, rated World Class on BeerAdvocate.com
Über Goober (oatmeal stout fermented on fresh peanuts): A prominent chocolate nuttiness on the nose with a big, chewy, full flavor on the palate. Creamy oatmeal fused with peanut puree compliments rich caramel and roasted malts.
S’more Stout (as in, what you make around the campfire): Graham Crackers, marshmallows and chocolate combine to add a unique flavor to this latest experimental stout. Some serve it with a lit marshmallow thrown in to add another dimension. Over six pounds of marshmallows in every keg.
Mystery Stout: Back for the first time since it was made in 2005. Imperial Oatmeal Stout with cocoa and molasses. It possesses rare flavor combinations which can overload even the most experienced beer connoisseur. Capture every bit of its warmth and wisdom, as it will demand all of your attention.
Uncle Steve’s Irish Stout (classic Irish stout): Classic Irish Stout with a full bodied creamy finished. This is one of the few beers that we brew to style. Available at the pub on a traditional nitrogen line.
Coming in early 2009 from Shorts: Huma-Lupa-Licious, Pandemonium Pale Ale, Soft Parade, and Bellaire Brown in 12 oz Six Packs. Watch the shelves of your local stores!
WOODWARD AVENUE BREWING
Presents its 2nd Annual Winter Brews Beer Tasting on Friday, December 19 from 7-10pm. Limited tickets are available at $40 each. Enjoy a spectacular evening, sampling 18 rare and unique seasonal beers from around the globe, including several Michigan brews like Founders KBS, Arcadia’s BC Russian Imperial Stout, Kuhnhenn Crème Brulee Java Stout and the Woodward Avenue Brewer’s Two-Year Aged X Ale Barleywine.
Sample hundreds of hand-crafted Michigan beers – including seasonal brews – at the 2009 Winter Beer Festival, February 28 at Fifth-Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, just north of Grand Rapids.