This was my first opportunity to go to a beer fest like this. It was a lot bigger and there were a lot more people than I expected. Although, I really had no reference point to know what to expect.
Over 60 Michigan breweries represented. Over 450 beers to choose from. A little bit of rain, but well-timed sightings of short lines to get under the tent and grab a beer took care of that.
I tasted some totally awesome beers from breweries I hadn't even heard of before.
My pick for favorite newly discovered brewery is definitely Greenbush Brewing Co. from Sawyer, MI. I tried 3 of there brews. Their 1825 Belgian Strong Ale out of a cask with raspberries was delicious, but I liked there Isole Dubbel even more.
Here are a few other highlights from my tastings:
- Caramel Lager from The Hideout Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids - Definitely sweet with notes of tropical fruit along with the expected caramel.
- 440 Pepper Smoker from Original Gravity Brewing Col in Milan (***brewed with jalapeno peppers***) - Nice smooth amber ale with heat from the jalapeno building in the back of the throat over the course of the 3 oz. taster. There was just a hint of the jalapeno in the aroma and flavor, but that warming effect was great.
- Sour Cherry Tripel from Big Rock Chop and Brewhouse in Birmingham - First time I've had something that sour. It smelled like turpentine when I first took a whiff, quite a shock after having a heavily bittered IPA right before. After I got a couple sips I was getting into it and enjoying it greatly. Birmingham is only a 15 or 20 minute drive for me, and I had no idea this brewery was there. I'll definitely be checking it out in the future.
- various selections with Grateful Dead inspired names from Sullivan's Black Forest in Frankenmuth - Very tasty all around. I know I had the Lost Sailor IPA and the Grateful Red, might have had others too.
There were others as well. I definitely didn't have anything that tasted bad. The ones I listed above were just more inspiring than the rest that I had. The whole event was a blast, even with the rain. Would've liked to make it back today for a chance to make it around to more breweries. But I will be definitely be marking off some time in my schedule for the Detroit Fall Beer Festival in the Eastern Market come October.