I went with my dad again and we hung mostly with Kristen and Natalie (and Willa!). Along the way I ran into a couple of colleagues and a number of other friends and acquaintances.
My notes, as always, are not terribly useful and run from “um, no” and “gack” to “eh” to “bottle that!”
I was actually disappointed in the offerings of some of the big heavies in Michigan brewing. Founders didn’t bring much new/interesting, neither did Bell’s, Dragonmead, or Arcadia. Dark Horse made an interesting play for “top dog” by having booths in every tent. Their Smells Like Weed IPA was delicious – but then it always has been, but I didn’t see anything else in their vast offerings that I needed to try. I hope they don't get to too big for their britches…
Short’s brought many beers and I was delighted to see among them Dan’s Pink Skirt Ale (bottle it!). I’d had it once at Ashley’s a few years ago and couldn’t find it anywhere after that. It was hoppy and lovely (tho too much bitter finish for Dad).
In the “decent beer from places new to me” category, I’d put the Black IPA from Kalamazoo’s Old Peninsula’s Brewpub and Black Magic RyPA from Sparta’s Michigan Beer Cellar. We also had (surprisingly) pleasant selections from Benton Harbor’s The Livery but I failed to note what they were!
I am now realizing that I had several black IPAs. This is a trend that I can get into. In addition to what I’ve already mentioned, Original Gravity from Milan also had a nice one.
And finally, what you really want to know… Worst Beer of the Evening! I declare a tie between the gluten free (I know, I know) Bees Knees Honey Ale from Old Hat Brewery in Lawton and Smokin’ Hatter Smoked IPA from New Holland. On the latter, I leave you with Natalie’s reaction: “Ick, why would you get that?” Ah, the adventure…