The Shed Beer Garden Grand Opening June 3

Look around you my friends in the north. If you wander about Traverse City, Michigan you may just find a new Beer Garden to try out, The Shed Beer Garden.  Personally, I love enjoying the out of doors while partaking a refreshing brew.  There is really something about the fresh air and the sun on my face that makes it all taste so much more satisfying.  I hear what you’re saying, “But Kristoffer, I can’t trust you.  Your taste in beer sucks.”  Well to that good sir, (or madam), all I can say is, “shut your face.”  But also, don’t worry.  The Shed is tapping a fine variety of beers for you. North Peak, Shorts, Petoskey, and Bells.  And being in Traverse City the are of course featuring a selection of wonderful wines for your wine friends.  To go with those beers you will find a wide variety of sliders and fries.  And for your sweet tooth, s’more kits for roasting over either of their two large fire pits.
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Nostalgia is a funny thing.  Something will worm its way into your mind, and then you will start to see it everywhere.  The connection is often extrememly tednuous as well. Sure, sometimes itis obvious.  Sometimes you hear a Cyndi Lauper on the radio that reminds you of that scene in Goonies when you can see the video playing on the tv as they walk past.  Then you are thinking the rest of the day about the Fratellis chasing Rudy and his buddies thru caves to find One Eyed Willie’s treasure (heh).  (did you know that Sloth was in Ice Pirates?)  But other times, that song you heard on the radio, reminded you of a time when you were talking to someone that was telling you about a friend who really liked that song, but all you could think about was how uncomfortable the chairs that you were sitting in were and now your ass is starting to hurt.  And other times, there is no connection at all.  Which brings me to Short’s Brewing Company’s Beard of Zeus.  This beer should make me think of Anchorman, or The Magic Christian (check it out and you will forever after pronounce Zeus, zay-us).  Nope, this beer tastes like Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas.  Go Figure.  Check out my cryptic review after the break. Continue reading

Welcome to a new feature that I am going to try out for a bit to see how it goes. I am going to pick up a sampler pack of beers from a single brewery and go through it one at a time, leaving my thoughts here for you all to read in order to help you become more informed and responsible beer drinkers.  Or, I’m just going to gush of the beers I like and rag on the ones I hate and tell you if a pack is worth picking up or if you should avoid it.  Most samplers have 12 beers in them 3 each of 4 different styles, so I am going to have to say that for a sampler to be worth picking up, 3 of those 4 beers had better be pretty good.  So let’s begin with what I am going to call, “Stuck in the Middle with Brew.”2014-11-18 20.36.09

Today I have the Folly pack from New Belgium brewery.  New Belgium has been around for a while, but they have onlly recently started to distribute in Michigan.  And when they did, it was hard to swing a dead cat without hitting someone singing the praises of Fat Tire and how wonderful it is that we can finally get this wonderful beer that had for so long been something that required a trip out of state. So this may be my first time putting down on record what I think about the beers that have come out of this big little brewery from Colorado.  The Folly comes with their Blue Paddle Pilsner, Snapshot Wheat beer, Ranger IPA, and Fat Tire Amber. Continue reading

My brother used to have a poster on his wall called ship of fools (you can buy it here), depicting a group of ducks on a boat, singing and laughing away, blissfully unaware of the raging storm around them.  Somehow this beer gives off the feeling that I imagine those ducks have.  It feels like it knows what it is doing, and what it thinks it is supposed to taste like, but it isn’t working.  At least not the way it hopes to.  Instead there is a different feel and flavor coming out.  It is a good flavor, but it doesn’t feel intentional.  Another way to describe it, perhaps a clearer explanation(although probably not) can be found after the break.  Enjoy my cryptic review of Odd Side Ale’s Pineapple IPA. Continue reading

If you have five and a half minutes to spare, and have ever thought about what goes into making that delicious brew that you like so much, you could find worse things to do with your time than check out this video. It comes from the PBS series It’s Okay to be Smart, where you can find some great bite-sized information nuggets to fill your brain.  Here they visit Jester King Brewery in Austin, TX to explore the chemical process that goes into making their farmhouse style beers.  They have also linked to some other helpful information in their description including

  • some Beer Chemistry
  • a little Beer History
  • and a few other great resources for a deeper look into, and comes out of beer and alcohol in general

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Sometimes you want to go…  Just had to get that out of the way.  Now this beer review has a little bit of background music going through your head.  I have to admit a healthy amount of skepticism when approaching a beer with such a big name licensing deal going on here.  It kind of stinks of macro beer dullness.  Not literally of course, I haven’t even opened the can at this point.  Upon opening opening the can of Norm’s Amber Ale (and expecting instead a poor imitation of beer)  I found that there was actually a fairly pleasing, if simple, flavor contained within.  I would say that what this beer really has going for it, is the element of surprise.  Check out my cryptic review after the break of Norm’s Amber Ale.
Cheers! (Sorry, i couldn’t help it)
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I seem to be seeing more and more beers lately that have a very… two-sided personality. These binary beers, tend to take on two characteristics, that are not always as complementary as the seem like they should be.  It sometimes appears that the visual characteristics and the saporific characteristics are diametrically opposed.  The point being that age old adage of “not judging a book by its cover” has become more ubiquitous than I previously observed.  And now that I have used up all of my four dollar words, and even at least one five dollar word (my computer is insisting that saporific isn’t a word), It is time to advance you on to my review of the Brown Hound Dunkel Lager, from Frankenmuth Brewery.
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I hope you are all Having a great 4th of July.  and I hope you are all celebrating with your favorite Michigan Craft Beer.  One of my choices today was from the Belgian brewery out of Grand Rapids, Brewery Vivant.  Standing tall and unique in Michigan with Belgian style beer in cans, Brewery Vivant is always in my field of view when I am looking for something new to try.  And today I decided that I would try their Belgian Dark Ale, the Undertaker.  A dark beer with the distinctive Belgian flavor, Undertaker stands out
tall in it’s field.  So check out my review after the break and have a fun and safe 4th of July. Continue reading

Everyone can celebrate Michigan Craft Beer Month

New Holland Brew
New Holland Brew (Photo credit: lincolnblues)
As we roll into July, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is the month that we celebrate, not only our countries independence, but our rich culture of Michigan craft beer.  Michigan stands at #5 if the country in number of Breweries (including brewpubs).  We are “The Great Beer State,” and our legislature officially declared July to be Michigan Craft Beer Month. “How do I celebrate?” you may ask.  It is easy, but first I have to point out that there is kind of an obvious answer to that question.  So besides the obvious (drink Michigan Beer), you can check out your local beer bar.  Any proud Michigan bar will be featuring a wide selection of Michigan-made brews.  If you are in the Lansing area, you have plenty of choices.  Crunchy’s, Reno’s, and Hopcat all feature great selections of Michigan Beers.  Soup Spon Cafe is also one of my favorites, and there are so many more.  If you would prefer something closer to the source, Eagle Monk and Bad Brewing Company are a couple of local area brewpubs.  There are so many breweries here in Michigan that you can hardly throw a Stone in this state without hitting a source for Michigan Beer. For more information on Michigan Craft Beer Month, check out the release below

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Today’s message is about two things. The great feeling of going out camping, and the importance of double-checking that the audio didn’t get screwed up in the video you just shot of yourself reviewing a beer whilst experiencing that nature. Oh, and the beer. Three things I guess. Mostly about the beer. But the audio problems are hard to ignore. But the beer is nice, so at least I’ve got that going for me. Check out my review below. Continue reading