Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Road Trippin': Copper Canyon Brewery

Copper Canyon's Todd Parker and some of the many beers he makes.

In late January I finally got to drop by Copper Canyon Brewery in Southfield, home to brewing character Todd Parker, popularly known as "BeerTodd" to his legions of followers on Twitter and throngs of listeners to his "Toddcasts," recorded with the fine folks at Brew Bubbas.

If you're ever out that way, it's worth a trip. Despite being located in a sort of strip mall-esque area, Copper Canyon's interior is simultaneously spacious and cozy, with the centrally located fireplace, especially, lending a "lodge-y" feel.  The bar is also long and roomy, and seven Todd beers were on tap during my visit, four regular house beers and three rotating seasonals.

The house beers were Northwestern Gold Blonde Ale, Copper Canyon Alt, Devil's Peak IPA, and Buffalo Jump Stout. The seasonals included Apple Streudel Tripel, Gingerbread Cookie Beer, and Imperial Mild Ale.

I lost my notes and drank away too many brain cells in the interim, so click on the beer names above to see RateBeer.com reviews. The Gingerbread Cookie Beer managed to combine ginger and malt flavors nicely, but the jokingly named Imperial Mild, a smoothly malty brown ale with hints of roastiness and maple, was, next to the alt, probably my favorite of the day, perhaps owing to my mood.

If you like Todd's beers and can get out to Southfield fairly often, the Mug Club is a good deal: $35 for a year's membership, or $100 lifetime. This includes monthly "free beer" nights on the last Tuesday of the month, where beginning at 5pm Todd picks a beer to serve for free to Mug Club members (limit three).  If, for some reason, you don't like the beer Todd picked, you can instead get $2 pints of seasonal specials. In fact, tonight, Feb. 22, is free beer night!

Todd also hosts regular "Beerposiums" on the first Saturday of the month in which he discourses upon a particular style or aspect of beer and provides a dozen samples or so of what he's talking about. Beerposiums are $20 in advance or $25 the day of and offer a great way to learn more about beer styles from a knowledgeable guide. The next one is March 5 at 4pm and the subject is – what else? – stouts. Call 248-223-1700 to reserve your place.

Todd will, of course, be at this weekend's Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival, where he'll be serving up Northwestern Gold, Devil's Peak, Gingerbread Cookie, Apple Streudel, and Imperial Mild, along with five other Copper Canyon creations. If you're going, be sure to grab a taste or two and say hi to the one and only BeerTodd.

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