(LANSING, Mich)—With titles like the “Great Lake State” and “Great Beer State” it’s no wonder Michigan is home to dozens of brews focused on its sun, sand and shorelines.


Did you know Michigan boasts more miles of freshwater coastline than any other state (and more overall coastline than any other state in the continental US) at 3177? Did you know Michigan is home to 11,000-plus inland lakes (more than Minnesota, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes)? Did you know the Michigan Brewers Guild has a record 157 member breweries (as of July 1, 2015—and growing).


“The Great Lakes give us so much to be thankful for – and are among the biggest contributors to the ever-growing craft beer industry here in Michigan,” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says in the 2015 issue of Michigan. The Great Beer State magazine.


Consider enjoying one of these craft beers as you head out with family and friends to enjoy summer in Michigan! Please note, the beers listed above may be available at retail outlets, or only at the brewery or select off-premise locations. Seasonal beers go quickly, so don’t delay in seeking out these beach-themed brews.


57 Brew Pub & Bistro, Greenville. Sun Kissed Blonde (5.2% ABV | 16 IBUs). This American blonde ale is a crisp, clean and very easy drinking beer, showcasing locally-grown hops from Hopyards of Kent.


Arcadia Ales, Battle Creek & Kalamazoo. Cheap Date (4.5% ABV | 30 IBUs). If you’re looking for uncomplicated fun, look no further—you’ve got a Cheap Date. Whether you’re relaxing shore side, hitting the competitive lawn game circuit, or just enjoying the seasons and all their splendor, there’s never a bad time for this refreshing hoppy session ale. Keep it casual and enjoy the moment with this standby of high drinkability.


Arcadia Ales, Battle Creek & Kalamazoo. Whitsun (6.2% ABV | 17 IBUs).

Brewed in the style of a mid-19th century English festival ale, this unfiltered wheat beer displays a translucent orange color topped with a creamy, white head. Wheat enhances the mouthfeel of the beer and produces pleasant bread-like notes while Michigan honey provides a caramelized sweetness in the flavor profile. This beer is spiced with orange peel, coriander and small amounts of three hop varieties that perfectly counterbalance the sweetness.


Atwater Brewery, Detroit. Summertime Ale (5.0% ABV | 24 IBUs). A truly unique representation of the American Wheat style, Atwater’s Summer Time Ale, is a study in refreshing crispness. Vienna malt brings a distinct snap to the finish with dark wheat flavors lightly present. The hot wort is briefly exposed to ground lemon peel and grains of paradise which provide a tidy lemon, citrus finish.


Beards Brewery, Petoskey. Luna (6.0% ABV | 12 IBUs). White wheat, 2-row barley and rye create the backbone of this crisp and refreshing Saison-styled American wheat ale while Brewers Gold hops add a balance to this orange brew.


Bell’s Brewery, Comstock. Oberon Ale (5.8% ABV | 26 IBUs). Bell’s Oberon is an American Wheat Ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer.


Bell’s Brewery, Comstock. Oarsman Ale. (4.0% ABV | 10 IBUs). Tart and refreshing, Oarsman Ale is a sessionable wheat beer that presents citrus and lemony aromas and trades sour for finesse. A perfect pairing with any menu.


Bell’s Brewery, Comstock. Lager of the Lakes (5.0% ABV | 34 IBUs). Following in the tradition of Czech Pilsners by offering a combination of firm malt and herbal hop bitterness, Bell’s Lager Beer is as refreshing and crisp as a swim in the Great Lakes. The label has a series of modern map symbols bordering an 18th Century French map of the Great Lakes region.


Bell’s Brewery, Comstock. Third Coast Beer (4.8% ABV | 51 IBUs). A crisply hopped American Pale Ale that offers a refreshing bitterness with floral and herbal aromas. This session beer is a tribute to the Great Lakes region Bell’s has called home since 1985. Twenty-four different front labels map all 3,288 miles of the Michigan coastline, touching four of the five Great Lakes.


Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids. Beach Patrol (6.5% ABV | 9 IBUs).  This crushable cloudy wheat beer is accented with coriander and fermented with our farmhouse yeast. It drinks smooth and easy and the coriander triggers a refreshing essence of lemon. It’s perfect to pass around the bonfire after a long day of swimming laps or soaking up the sun. Released in June.


Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids. Tropical Saison (6.5% ABV | 24 IBUs). A slight spicy character, light effervescence, and the addition of real pineapple & mango juice lift us out of our everyday and plop us, feet in the sand, to our beach front reverie. Not cloying, but refreshing and complex, this beer is a true “salut” to summer. The rustic biere de garde yeast lends just a hint of tartness to our pineapple and mango infused Tropical Saison. Released in July.


Cheboygan Brewing Company, Cheboygan. La Cerveza (4.0% ABV | 14 IBUs).  Brewed in the Mexican-Bohemian tradition with five different styles of malted barley plus flaked maize and noble German hops for a dry crisp character. This beer is great on its own or compliments the addition of a lime perfectly. It’s lower in alcohol content than our Lighthouse Amber and a perfect thirst quencher for the warm days of summer.


Cravings Bistro & Brew Pub, Benton Harbor. Tan Line Brown Ale (6.0% ABV | 21 IBUs). Tan Lines American Brown is the ultimate summer beach beer.  Pour a frosty mug of this delightful beer and note the distinct white on brown tan line that is characteristic of a long summer on the beach.  Malty and not too hoppy for a wonderful summer refresh.


Frankenmuth Brewery, Frankenmuth. Twisted Helles Summer Lager (5.5% ABV | 18 IBUs). Inspired by Michigan summers, Twisted Helles stands as a monument to everything we love about the season: beaches and BBQs, patios and porch swings, friends and fireworks. Tinged with mild yet memorable zests of orange and lemon, this crisp, perfectly quenching lager doesn’t just taste like summer, feels like it.


Greenbush Brewing Co., Sawyer. Sunspot (6.0% ABV | 15 IBUs). This traditional German Hefeweizen is a refreshing avenue to cooling down in the summer heat. A medium-bodied wheat ale with full flavor, as well as banana and clove esters, Sunspot is available on draft and in bottles from through Labor Day.


HopCat, Grand Rapids. Light Side Of The Sun, an American style Pale. Brewed with not only the thought having fun in the sun on a beach, but also of American patriotism: flying on the back of a bald eagle with a flag for a cape while dodging enemy bombs and missiles in the name of freedom. Pretty much a perfect fit.

Latitude 42 Brewing Co., Portage. Lil’ Sunshine Golden Ale (4.8% ABV | 22 IBUs). The perfect introduction to craft beer, this brilliant colored ale tastes crisp and clean with a well-balanced malt profile blended with a subtle floral hopping that is sure to refresh during the dog days of summer.

Latitude 42 Brewing Co., Portage. Beach Cruiser (4.5% ABV | 27 IBUs). This cloudy refreshing ale is brewed with German hops and organic wheat malt to provide a thirst quenching experience with citrus and floral notes. This unfiltered American wheat is served with a slice of lemon.


Lexington Brewing Company, Lexington.  Beach Babe (5.1% ABV | 25 IBUs). Beach Babe is a Kölsch beer: clean, crisp with soft malt and hop character.


New Holland Brewing Co., Holland. Sundog (4.5% ABV | 33 IBUs). Double suns, aka sundogs, have inspired artists and philosophers for centuries. This amber ale pays tribute with toasty caramel tones and a nutty finish.

Ore Dock Brewing, Marquette. Bum’s Beach Wheat (5.8% ABV | 25 IBUs). The carefully crafted companion to a freshwater summer, this American wheat longs for lazy days that turn into night and back again.  Pale Wheat and Pilsner malts lay out their crisp yet creamy rays of ripe citrus through a hazy shade of south shore sun.


Right Brain Brewery, Traverse City. Strawberry Fields (5.5% ABV | 12 IBUs). Extracts are for sissies. We use real ingredients at Right Brain Beer, and Strawberry Fields is no exception. This cream ale is brewed with real Michigan strawberries, but don’t expect to taste fruity hard candy in your beer. The natural tart flavor of the strawberries compliment bready malt characteristics, leaving one with a sensation similar to that of Strawberry Shortcake in a glass.


Rochester Mills Beer Co., Rochester Lazy Daze Lager (5.25% ABV |18 IBUs). With this easy-drinking German-style lager, there’s no need to buy imports. This clear-filtered brew boasts a rich amber color and medium bodied flavor – from a combination of Munich malt for a subtle sweetness and German hops.


Saugatuck Brewing Co., Douglas. Oval Beach Blonde (5.0% ABV | 10.5 IBUs). This is an easy drinking light ale, with subtle malt flavors and aroma perfectly paired with a well-balanced body. Oval Beach Blonde is a great everyday pint and a perfect gateway into the world of craft beer for the newer craft beer drinker.


Short’s Brewing Company, Bellaire & Elk Rapids. Local’s (4.0% ABV | 6 IBUs). Local’s is a light, yet very tasty lager. The light pilsen malt creates a soft and subtle flavor profile that finishes crisp and clean on your palate. Local’s is a perfect beer for the seasoned craft brew enthusiast and someone new to microbrews.


Stormcloud Brewing Company, Frankfort. The Beach Buddha (8.0% ABV | 100 IBUs). This Imperial IPA is for enlightened hopheads.


ThumbCoast Brewing Co., Port Huron. Skinny Dipper Golden Ale (5.8% ABV | 20 IBUs). A brilliant golden colored brew that is nicely balanced and very approachable.  We called Skinny Dipper because it’s a bare bones beer, not too malty or hoppy.  Perfect for lounging on the beach of Lake Huron.


Tri-City Brewing, Bay City. Loons Summer Ale (4.8% ABV | 21 IBUs). Loons Summer Ale is a smooth, refreshing blonde ale brewed from 100% malted barley and Nobel hops.  By the lake, at the cottage, or in the backyard, this beer is the perfect complement to any summer day around the Great Lakes.


Wolverine State Brewing Co., Ann Arbor. Five Shores Blonde Lager (4.5% ABV | 36 IBUs). This beer is Michigan summer in a glass. It’s a sunny, pale golden Blonde Common built on a foundation of Canadian Pils and pale malt, and citrussy hop notes burst forth on the nose and palate with woodsy Northern Brewer adding some warmth. It was dry-hopped on Michigan-grown Cascade hops, resulting in one delicious wave of flavor.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Five Shores Blonde Lager goes towards the Alliance for the Great Lakes to help them further their mission to protect, preserve, and sustain the Great Lakes. (Five Shores = Five Great Lakes!)


Wolverine State Brewing Co., Ann Arbor. Verano Mexican-style Amber Lager (4.1% ABV | 15 IBUs). Wolverine’s signature summer beer. Medium-gold in color, hopped with subtle Hallertau Mittelfruh hops, and made with crisp Vienna malt, Verano practically pushes you out the door and onto the beach. Best enjoyed with a slice of lime. Salud!



The Michigan Brewers Guild was formed in 1997 and held its first festival in July 1998. Today, the Guild hosts four festivals dedicated exclusively to Michigan craft beer produced by its nearly 150 member breweries.


Michigan’s thriving brewing industry conservatively contributes more than $144 million in wages with a total economic contribution of more than $277 million. In terms of overall number breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, Michigan ranks #5 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State.”


The Michigan Brewers Guild is the network of innovative and passionate brewers that serves as the recognized advocate for the Michigan craft beer industry. The mission of the Michigan Brewers Guild is to promote and protect the Michigan craft beer industry with an overarching goal to help craft beer acquire 20% of the market by 2025. Michigan ranks #5 in the nation – thus supporting its claim as “The Great Beer State”.

New Sour Beers: Rojzilla & La Roja du Kriek

(DEXTER, Mich)—Jolly Pumpkin’s quintessential beer – La Roja – may be hard to find, but two new specialty brews will hit the marketplace in limited quantities this month and are sure to quench the thirst of sour beer lovers around America. Rojzilla and La Roja du Kriek will be distributed in Michigan and 34 other states during the brand’s “April Showers Bring Jolly Pumpkin Sours” campaign.

La Roja (7.2% ABV | 25 IBU) was the second beer to be released by Jolly Pumpkin, after opening in 2004. This artisan red ale, brewed in the Flanders tradition, is deep amber in color with earthy caramel, spice and sour fruit notes that are developed through natural barrel aging.

Flanders ales are fermented with usual brewer’s yeast in an unfiltered and unpasteurized fashion, then placed into oak barrels to age and mature. The mature beer is then blended with younger beer, to adjust the taste for consistency. The name comes from the usual color of these ales, which are descendent from English porters of the 17th century.

Due to the extensive time involved in the production of La Roja, it is only released in limited quantities and is considered one of the most sought-after sour ales in the country. Continue reading

A Beer review of Ommegangs most recent Game Of Thrones inspired Beer

Valar Morghulis. But not until trying this beer. It does feel like the winds coming down from the north are carrying an ill breath with them as of late. Is there some unknown danger that lurks beyond the wall? Is it the feeling of forces gathering around me that makes my bones ache as if in a deep freeze? Or is it the ever present knowledge that winter is coming that makes my blood run cold… Nope, it is the fact that it is April here and I just saw it snowing. It is the cold that makes me cold. I have found one way to fend back the harsh bite of what Michigan spring has become, and it comes in a bottle from Brewery Ommegang. Check out my cryptic review of The Three-Eyed Raven. Continue reading

This post was written by KARL SMALLWOOD from

Oxford University
Oxford University is well known for being one of the most prestigious and elite places of learning in history. Over the years, it has seen some of the finest minds the world has ever known pass through its halls. It’s also the place where over six centuries ago a bunch of students and a fair number of townsfolk were killed in a riot over a pint.
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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

I have an opinion about pumpkin beers.  And since I have a website dedicated to craft beers, I suppose that I should not be keeping my opinion to myself.  But as the saying goes, “if you don’t have anything nice to say..”  The End.

But in all seriousness, it isn’t the _all_ pumpkin beers are horrible.  I distinctly remember having a pumpkin beer once.  It was on Gordon street. ahhh, I once new a pumpkin beer on Gordon Street, but that was a long time ago, and its name is now long forgotten.  And to be honest, I have really been trying to find that beer again.  And in doing so I subject myself to all manner of pumpkin beers that I find, but I still haven’t rediscovered that ever elusive, good pumpkin beer.

So I figure, why don’t i just get a sampler of pumpkin beers and bring you all along for the ride.  After all it is the season, judging by the sheer number of these things I see on the shelves, some of you must enjoy them.  So we can work through these beers together, and who knows, we may find gold in them there hills. 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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When the robot uprising occurs, do you think they will be happy or mad that I enjoyed this beer?

Hopcity Hopbot IPAHop City Hopbot IPA.

I have mentioned in the past the rules about buying alcohol based solely on the label.  If you weren’t around for that, or if you have forgotten (I wouldn’t blame you, it was a long time ago, and I don’t usually even listen to me very closely), I will reiterate.  Beer – yes; wine – no.  Now that we have gotten that lesson out of the way let’s move on to the beer review.  This is the reason for that review. A robot themed beer? How can you pass that up? I’ll tell you how.  You can’t.  And it is a good thing you didn’t because if you had you would have missed out on one very solid IPA.  It has a level of sweetness that puts it right on there on the scale of easy to drink IPAs with Two Hearted.  But any beer review can tell you how a beer tastes, I would like to tell you how this beer feels.  check out my cryptic review after the break. Continue reading

Once upon a time, there was a beer. This beer may not be the most prime example of its style.  It is not that it is a bad beer, or even an average beer.  This beer was good.  But this beer had dreams, dreams of becoming great. This beer wanted to be one that would be remembered by everyone who crosses its path.  It didn’t want to be one of those beers that cheated its way to the top by wearing a fancy label and a clever name without trying to actually be great.  It wanted to really be one that could be remembered for the flavor of its character and not the image of its bottle.  This beer felt that the potential of what it had inside was what it should be judged for, and it felt that it could bring itself up to be that beer that would be remembered.  Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero, is not this beer.  But it learned all it knows from that beer.  And it decided that a clever label is acceptable to use too. Continue reading