Friday, July 20, 2018

Eleven-ish Beers to Try at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival

Pictured: A Girl Named Egypt Double IPA

I’ve never written one of these “Beers I’m Looking Forward to Trying at the XX Festival” posts before, largely because everyone’s tastes and preferences in beer are so diverse – and who, besides me, cares what I like (or think I’ll like), anyway?

Well, there’s a first time for everything. So here, in no particular order, are some beers I’m looking forward to trying at the 21st Annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival next weekend in Ypsilanti. Caveat: The list is a bit biased in favor of me loving good pilsners and local breweries, but, you know, see the paragraph above. Other caveat: There’s more than 11 beers below, but the Rules of Listicle Writing require there be a number in the headline, so here we are.
  1. A Girl Named Egypt Double IPA 
    Arbor Brewing Microbrewery, Ypsilanti
    Many in the local beer community knew Egypt Covington, a former bartender at Fraser’s Pub; singer; and, until her as-yet-unsolved murder last year, a salesperson with Ann Arbor-based distributor Rave Associates. This dangerously drinkable 9% ABV double IPA was brewed in her memory and includes some of her favorite ingredients like elderflower, passionfruit, and mango.
  2. American Harvest Kolsch
    American Harvest Brewpub at Schoolcraft College, Livonia
    Brewed by the students of Schoolcraft’s Brewing and Distillation Technology Program, this crisp, delicious kolsch brought home, among other honors, a silver medal from the 2018 World Beer Cup for good reason.
  3. Postglacial/Proglacial Sour Ale
    HOMES/Speciation, Ann Arbor/Comstock Park (collaboration)
    I was able to try to the Proglacial at the Nucleate Beer Festival in June here in Ann Arbor, and it was delicious, as one might expect from these two breweries. Ready to try Postglacial now as well!
  4. Dames and the Giant Peach Sour Ale
    Witch’s Hat, South Lyon (collaboration w/ Fermenta)
    All right, this one might make the list just because I love the name (literary puns are the best-est), but a sour collaboration between Witch’s Hat and the ladies of Fermenta has to be pretty damn tasty. In fact, it sounds… peachy.
  5. Professional Pils
    Drafting Table, Wixom
    As mentioned, I’ve become something of a fiend for a good pilsner, and this one more than lives up to its name. And as an appreciator of fine botanical spirits, I’m looking forward to the gin barrel-aged version as well.
  6. 19th Anniversary Pils
    Rochester Mills, Rochester
    Pilsner. The Mills. I’m down, man.
  7. Every-damn-thing
    River’s Edge, Milford
    River’s Edge is offering Old Town Czech Pilsner, the go-to Milford Pub Ale, the GABF gold medalist Dirty Frank Stout, and nine other intriguing beers including Hurricane in Kingston Rum Barrel Aged Saison w/ lime and ginger, Eyes of the Muse Belgian Grisette, and – for those who want to touch all the bases – Lykov Imperial Stout aged in bourbon, scotch, rum, and brandy barrels.
  8. Edelbrau IPA
    Edelbrau/Biercamp, Ann Arbor (collaboration)
    Edelbrau Brewing, a project on Ann Arbor’s south side, has yet to officially launch, but you can try two of their beers, brewed in collaboration with Biercamp: Edelbrau IPA and Oat Malt Brown Ale. The former, nicknamed “Vielen Dank” (German for “many thanks,” but also mispronounceable as “feelin’ dank”), features floor-malted barley with Citra and Cascade hops. The latter showcases malty oat flavor with hints of blackberry and currant.
  9. Brut IPA
    Blue Tractor, Ann Arbor
    The latest goofy fad from the Left Coast is something dubbed Brut IPA, which is basically a thin, dry, effervescent beer reminiscent of Champagne, owing to the use of brewing enzyme amylase. Blue Tractor – along with Arbor, Grand Rapids Brewing, and Lansing Brewing – are all offering their takes. No idea if I’ll like it, but even as a curmudgeonly beer writer I have to sometimes pay a little attention to the fads.
  10. 440 Pepper Smoker Amber Ale
    Original Gravity, Milan
  11. Pooh Beer Honey Porter
    Liberty Street, Plymouth
    Two local, perennial favorites make this list, too, just because. Pepper Smoker is an exception to my dislike of smoked and/or chili type beers and pairs excellently with seared animal flesh, of which I hope there is an abundance in the food tent. Pooh Beer is, well, honey porter. Need I really say more?
To see the full list of beers and breweries, go here. See you at the Fest!

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