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General Category => Beer Travel => Topic started by: gmac on September 01, 2011, 04:02:56 PM

Title: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: gmac on September 01, 2011, 04:02:56 PM
Next week I start my yearly travel cycle through the North Central US.  I always like to try local beers when I can but I'm sure that most of the place I go to don't have the real micro/nano brews available.  So, I'm asking for your help.

If you live in one of the states listed above (ND, SD - just the East part) and you have a good recommendation for a beer that I should seek out while I'm out there, please let me know.  I'll probably be in each state for at least a week so I don't mind driving a few miles out of my way to find a good beer.  There are some definitely obvious ones (MI - Bell's) but are there really tiny but great breweries that don't distribute very broadly?  That's what I'm looking to find.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 01, 2011, 04:07:18 PM
You didn't say your route, but in MI you should try Shorts.  In Wisconsin New Glarus.  In MN try Surly.

There are many other good ones in MI that have limited distribution.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: gmac on September 01, 2011, 04:10:17 PM
Thanks for moving Drew.  I wasn't sure where to put this (forgot about Beer Travel).

Please let me know what towns to look in.
Thanks
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: bonjour on September 01, 2011, 04:15:37 PM
I'll start,
 Michigan

Jolly Pumpkin, Ann Arbor-brewpub /Dexter-brewery
You said Bell's
Big Rock, Birmingham, Dan is one of the best brewers in the state
Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids
Short's, Bellaire
Hopcat, Grand Rapids, they have many MI brewpubs beers on tap.
check out http://michiganbeerguide.com/ (http://michiganbeerguide.com/)
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 01, 2011, 04:16:27 PM
I'll be near Eau Claire in WI this weekend and am planning to check out Lazy Monk Brewing which is a local brewery in those parts.

He's also active on the forum.  Their website lists the places you can get their beer.

I also hope to get to New Glarus, but that's been on the list for a loooong time.

Sounds like you're probably going over the UP from Michigan to Wisconsin, but if you're down near Indiana/Illinois Three Floyds is right there in Munster.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 01, 2011, 05:36:00 PM
MI has the Upper and the Lower Peninsulas.  The Lower has many more brweries, and those are the ones I am most familiar with.

Recommendations will differ if you are crossing at Detroit, Port Huron, or at Sault St. Marie.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: gmac on September 01, 2011, 05:48:02 PM
For MI, crossing at Detroit, swinging along the bottom 1/2 of the state in a rough loop back to Port Huron.  Later in the year I'll be going across at Port Huron, swinging North of Lansing upto Shepherd, back along I-75 through Saginaw and back to Port Huron. 

For MN, I'll cover most of the state, for WI, the lower half.  Basically, if you can grow corn there, I'll be there. 
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 01, 2011, 06:04:21 PM
OK - you are in that line of work, so here goes.  Fred linked you to the Michigan Beer Guide, which is something to bookmark.

Kuhnhenn and Dragonmead in Warren, Big Rock in Birmingham.  Ann Arbor has 5 brewpubs + the Corner Brewery in Ypsi.  OG in Milan is making some really clean and balanced beers - the 440 pepper smoker is one that is a little out of the box.

I-94 has breweries from Ann Arbor to the State line.   Local Pub and Brewery in Jackson, Arcadia in Battle Creek, Bells, Paw Paw in Paw Paw, Livery in Benton Harbor and Greenbush in Sawyer (exit 12).

If you are heading up along Lake MI, there is Saugatuck in Douglas and Odd Side in Grand Haven.  

In Sparta, there is Michgan Beer Cellar, making some really tasty IPA's.  The British IPA is based on the owners NHC gold medal winner from a few years back.

Fred covered Grand Rapids, but I hear good things about Hideout Brewery.

Michigan Brewing is in Weberville, they make the Celis line up these days.

Redwood Lodge on the south side of Flint has won many GABF medals and has been Small Brewpub of the year.  The brewer that won those is no longer there of late, so I can't say if the beers are still as good.

Edit - you should be able to find some Shorts in a good beer bar or at a party store (as liquor stores are called here).

Edit #2 - Dark Horse in Marshall.  Great taproom with an "up North feel to it".
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: BrewingRover on September 01, 2011, 06:46:01 PM
Wisconsin has a bunch of small breweries that are putting out some great stuff. I've had good beers from Ale Asylum, Central Waters, and O'so, to name a few. Lakefront in Milwaukee has a great coffee stout and their brewery tour is a lot of fun.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: dannyjed on September 01, 2011, 08:25:48 PM
Short's makes great beers - thanks Jeff for turning me on to them.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: beerhaus on September 01, 2011, 09:10:54 PM
In Minnesota

there are a lot of options - all of the following have websites

Schell's - Especially the Stag series
Brau Brothers - anything
Mantorville Brewing company - pick up a growler of one of the fruit infused beers
Flat Earth Brewing - pick up a growler  of Black Hilicopter

Also check out several brew pubs

Fitger's - Duluth 
Town Hall - Minneapolis
Great Waters- St. Paul

Beer stores

Four Firkins - St. Louis Park
The Ale Jail - St. Paul
Pairings - Eden Prairie
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Kit B on September 01, 2011, 09:57:31 PM
Breweries:

Minneapolis:
Town Hall Brewery
Surly
Fulton

St. Paul:
Summit

New Ulm, MN:
Schell's

Bar/Pub/Restaurant:
St. Paul:
Happy Gnome
Muddy Pig
The Knook

Mpls:
Rock Bottom
The Local
Triple Rock Social Club (if you enjoy the company of punks)


(IMHO skip Flat Earth)
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on September 01, 2011, 10:41:28 PM
Most of the MInnesota breweries/brewpubs have already been mentioned, but I'll also throw Harriet Brewing out there.  I love their West Side IPA (Belgian-style IPA) and Wodan Weizen.  They don't seem to have the marketing prowess of Surly and Fulton, but they've got some very solid brews.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: chezteth on September 01, 2011, 11:02:32 PM
Wisconsin has a bunch of small breweries that are putting out some great stuff. I've had good beers from Ale Asylum, Central Waters, and O'so, to name a few. Lakefront in Milwaukee has a great coffee stout and their brewery tour is a lot of fun.

+1 to all of these.  I would also add Red Eye and Bull Falls in Wausau.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Mark G on September 01, 2011, 11:14:45 PM
If you end up getting to New Glarus, try to stop by the Grumpy Troll brewpub in Mt. Horeb, WI. From what I recall, they're about 15 minutes away from each other.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: MDixon on September 02, 2011, 12:39:07 AM
Grumpy Troll is worth stopping for the food, but IMO, not for the beer unless something has changed over the past few years.

From the Madtown WI area I like:
Lake Louie
Central Waters
Ale Asylum (brewpub)
Great Date (brewpub)
Tyranena

of course NG...
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: BrewingRover on September 02, 2011, 11:44:45 AM
Grumpy Troll is worth stopping for the food, but IMO, not for the beer unless something has changed over the past few years.

From the Madtown WI area I like:
Lake Louie
Central Waters
Ale Asylum (brewpub)
Great Date (brewpub)
Tyranena

of course NG...
Is that  Freudian typo in Great Dane  ;D Ale Asylum also bottles and I always bring some Hopilicious back when I road trip to Wisconsin.

I really like the Old Fashioned in Madison.  They have over 40 taps that are exclusively WI beers and a ton more in bottles.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: phillamb168 on September 02, 2011, 11:58:45 AM
Any recommendations near Milwaukee other than Lakefront? If you had to choose between going to Lakefront and Northern Brewer versus Redamak burgers and Bell's in Michigan, which would you pick?
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 02, 2011, 02:39:59 PM
IMO you cannot beat Redamak's and Bell's, but I'm partial to SW Michigan and have never been to Lakefront.

But you've got me thinking about burgers...  Lots of memories at Redamak's.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: rbclay on September 02, 2011, 03:10:36 PM
The newest micro in MN is Steel Toe Brewing in St. Louis Park (Minneapolis burb). They are still at the point of just having growler sales on Friday's 5:30-7:30. Tonight is just the third Friday and the first night they will have more than one variety available. Can't say it's a "must have" yet, but Jason Schoneman (sp?) is the brewer and he's got some chops...
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Tristan on September 02, 2011, 08:48:39 PM
If you're in my neck of the woods in Wausau, WI; Red Eye Brewing Company (http://www.redeyebrewing.com/) and Bull Falls Brewery (http://www.bullfallsbrewery.com/page.aspx?index=00000001, two blocks from Bull Falls Homebrew Depot) are very good. There is also a Great Dane up in Wausau, but you will be better off visiting the Madison location IMHO.

If you're going through Stevens Point, WI on Highway 51/39, Oso Brewery (http://www.osobrewing.com/Home.php) is right off the highway and brews wonderful beer as well as operates one the state's great homebrew shops, Point Brew Supply.  There is a restaurant in the same area called "Christian's Bistro" (http://www.christiansbistro.com/) that is operated by a Chef who trained under Emeril.  From what I've heard this is one of the area's best restaurants.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on September 03, 2011, 01:14:52 AM
I'll be near Eau Claire in WI this weekend and am planning to check out Lazy Monk Brewing which is a local brewery in those parts.

He's also active on the forum.  Their website lists the places you can get their beer.
Thank you for mentioning us.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: gmac on September 14, 2011, 03:09:27 AM
So this week is Wisconsin/Minnesota.  Had to skip over Michigan but I'll be back.
Today I had lunch at Grumpy Troll and I agree, eat there but don't expect much from the beer.  It was OK but far from great.  I had Surly Furious with supper and I liked it a lot. 
The best beer I've come across so far, to my tastes at least, is Moon Man from New Glarus.  I don't have time to do a brewery tour but next time I'll have to stop by New Glarus and check things out.  I really like the hoppy flavour of this pale ale without the intense bitterness of an IPA.  Very nice.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: jeffy on September 15, 2011, 06:56:10 PM
This is a timely thread as my lovely wife and I will be spending a week in Michigan's lower peninsula early next month.  We will fly in and out of Detroit and so far plan to stay in Traverse City, Holland and Ann Arbor.  Can anyone recommend a scenic town for the first night or two on Lake Huron?  I see that Tawas City has a good brew pub and it's not a long drive from Detroit, so what's the vibe there?  Or is there a more scenic little town not a long drive from Detroit, since we will be tired from the airport ordeal that day.

Looking forward to some cooler weather after working through the Florida heat all summer.  Fall colors, apples, lots of good craft beer..... :)
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: jiggs26.2 on September 15, 2011, 07:50:41 PM
There is a brewry in Spearfish SD( west river), not sure if they ship east river or not.  They are called Crew Peak Brewing and if you can find some 11th hour IPA pick some up or any of their other beers.  11th Hour is my favorite though.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: BrewingRover on September 16, 2011, 04:16:20 PM
This is a timely thread as my lovely wife and I will be spending a week in Michigan's lower peninsula early next month.  We will fly in and out of Detroit and so far plan to stay in Traverse City, Holland and Ann Arbor.  Can anyone recommend a scenic town for the first night or two on Lake Huron?  I see that Tawas City has a good brew pub and it's not a long drive from Detroit, so what's the vibe there?  Or is there a more scenic little town not a long drive from Detroit, since we will be tired from the airport ordeal that day.

Looking forward to some cooler weather after working through the Florida heat all summer.  Fall colors, apples, lots of good craft beer..... :)
Can't help you with the Lake Huron question, but I can recommend a great artery clogging breakfast place in Holland, called the Windmill. Classic little diner. The Holland Lighthouse is fun too. Follow the directions here to get to the south shore entrance. That way you can walk right out to it, but you have to know about this and ask for permission to enter a private development. They have to let you in, though, as the lighthouse is government property:
http://holland.org/locations/372-big-red-lighthouse

New Holland is great and I've heard mixed reviews of Saugatuck Brewing, which is not too far south of Holland. Saugatuck is worth a visit for the artsy vibe that is completely different than Holland.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 16, 2011, 06:03:29 PM
Jeff - What is in Tawas City?  I am not as familiar with the Lake Huron side for breweries.

Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: jeffy on September 16, 2011, 07:13:34 PM
Jeff - What is in Tawas City?  I am not as familiar with the Lake Huron side for breweries.
Wiltses is the name of a brewpub in that town, but I just googled their site and it says it is suspended.  I was looking for a town and a beer not too far from Detroit on the Huron side and that popped up.  It's about a 150 mile drive.
Any other suggestions are appreciated.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 16, 2011, 08:31:46 PM
The following might help for your trip plans. 
http://www.michiganbeerguide.com/

Wiltse's is more in Oscoda.  Using Brwery Guide just under the main banner in the above link, I found this link, looks like they may still be open.  I would call.
http://wiltsebrewpub.com/index.php
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: speed on September 28, 2011, 03:19:58 AM
There is a brewry in Spearfish SD( west river), not sure if they ship east river or not.  They are called Crew Peak Brewing and if you can find some 11th hour IPA pick some up or any of their other beers.  11th Hour is my favorite though.
maybe just a typo but its crowpeak. ;)
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: jiggs26.2 on September 28, 2011, 06:21:08 AM
There is a brewry in Spearfish SD( west river), not sure if they ship east river or not.  They are called Crew Peak Brewing and if you can find some 11th hour IPA pick some up or any of their other beers.  11th Hour is my favorite though.
maybe just a typo but its crowpeak. ;)
Yea it was a typo.  Good looking out.  Typed this up on my iTouch and I sometimes forget to check for all the stupid changes it likes to make to what you type.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopvine on September 30, 2011, 01:14:46 PM
I'm completely baffled as to why Founders hasn't been recommended ONCE in this entire thread as a must-stop in Michigan.  Have I slipped into an alternate dimension where it doesn't actually exist?  You guys have heard of a brewery called Founders, right?

If there is one brewery in MI that can't be missed, in my opinion it's Founders.

Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 30, 2011, 01:51:44 PM
I'm am completely baffled as to why Founders hasn't been recommended ONCE in this entire thread as a must-stop in Michigan.  Have I slipped into an alternate dimension where it doesn't actually exist?  You guys have heard of a brewery called Founders, right?

If there is one brewery in MI that can't be missed, in my opinion it's Founders.


There are many good options on the west side of the state.  Founders is but one in my opinion.  It is listed in the Michigan Beer Guide brewers directory.

Edit - GMAC did say that he knew the obvious ones.  He mentioned Bells, one can assume he knows about Founders.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopvine on September 30, 2011, 04:58:05 PM
There are many good options on the west side of the state.  Founders is but one in my opinion.  It is listed in the Michigan Beer Guide brewers directory.

Edit - GMAC did say that he knew the obvious ones.  He mentioned Bells, one can assume he knows about Founders.

There are many good options indeed, but in terms of quality and brewpub atmosphere, I can't think of any that rival Founders.  I did miss the part where he said that he was primarily interested in really tiny but great breweries that don't distribute very broadly.  Founders doesn't quite satisfy the tiny requirement.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 30, 2011, 09:22:56 PM
I am not one to like booze barrel beers, so most time at Founders, my selections become limited.  Fresh Red's Rye is so darned good there.

Last 2 times in GR, we didn't go to Founders.  Other places in the area, HopCat, Brewery Vivant, and it was time for bed.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: jeffy on September 30, 2011, 09:51:48 PM
'Just got to Michigan today and am having a Founders Centennial IPA as I type.  We had lunch at Sullivan's brew pub in Frankenmuth and are now enjoying the view of Lake Huron from a funky 1950's cabin.  At 41F it is way colder than Florida, but still a nice change.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Kellermeister on September 30, 2011, 10:03:12 PM
Its a toss up whether New Holland or Founders is the best brewery in Michigan.  I lean toward Founders.  Must do more testing...
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopvine on September 30, 2011, 10:56:06 PM
I am not one to like booze barrel beers, so most time at Founders, my selections become limited.  Fresh Red's Rye is so darned good there.

Last 2 times in GR, we didn't go to Founders.  Other places in the area, HopCat, Brewery Vivant, and it was time for bed.

At any given time there are usually 2 - 3 barrel aged beers on tap, out of the ~15 they usually serve.  At the moment, it's 1 out of 10 with Backwoods Bastard.  But to your point, the barrel aged beers aren't always my favorite, Backwoods being one that can come across as a bit too boozy.

Its a toss up whether New Holland or Founders is the best brewery in Michigan.  I lean toward Founders.  Must do more testing...

In my opinion, more testing is DEFINITELY required if this feels like a toss up.  I live in Holland and would love nothing more than to have the best brewery in Michigan right down the road, but it's just not the case in my humble opinion.  New Holland and Founders, in my experience, are opposite in their brewing methodology.  New Holland tends to play it safe and brew beers for the masses; most of their beers appeal to people that want to dip their toes into the craftbrew scene.  This isn't true of all of their beers, as there are one or two that buck that trend; Dragon's Milk comes to mind.  Founders, on the other hand, has the following philosophy (taken from their webpage):
“We don’t brew beer for the masses. Instead, our beers are crafted for a chosen few, a small cadre of renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that pushes the limits of what is commonly accepted as taste. In short, we make beer for people like us.”
They are consistently putting out top notch, creative, best in class brews. 

This may come as a shock, but I'm a huge fan of Founders.  :D
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: gmac on October 01, 2011, 12:14:44 AM
Don't assume anything.  Haven't heard of Founders.  I'll look into it.
I brought home some Bells Pale Ale and two different Shorts beers today (will try them tomorrow). 
Keep up the great recommendations.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: Kellermeister on October 01, 2011, 02:02:03 AM
I have heard that the Livery is pretty good, in Benton Harbor, but never been there.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 01, 2011, 02:17:12 AM
'Just got to Michigan today and am having a Founders Centennial IPA as I type.  We had lunch at Sullivan's brew pub in Frankenmuth and are now enjoying the view of Lake Huron from a funky 1950's cabin.  At 41F it is way colder than Florida, but still a nice change.

39F here as I type.  The lake may keep the temp up for you tonight.

What is the best brewery?  We have so many that could be on the list.  Shorts is very creative.  Bell's is no slouch.  I had the Quinannan Falls Special Lager Beer recently, and really liked it.  This comes from a guy who is brewing a lot of lagers these days.

No one mentioned the Big Rock Chophouse in Birmingham.  More of a restaurant, but they have gotten medals for the IPA, DIPA at the last World Beer Cup.  Did well at the last GABF too.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 02, 2011, 03:54:13 PM
Just had our first frost.  Next week will warm up to the high 70's.  This is the definition of "Indian Summer".  Enjoy it if you are here (Jeff) and if you come on business (gmac).  One of the best times of the year, but then it is followed by the cold, damp, grey month known as November.

Jeff - check out the cider on the west side of the state.  Cider juice and hard cider.  Good stuff.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: jeffy on October 02, 2011, 05:02:30 PM
Thanks, Jeff.  We bought a little bottle of cider at the High School craft fair in Oscoda yesterday.  It was so much more tart and flavorful than what I can get in a store in Florida.  'Heading for Charlevoix now (with a quick stop for an IPA at Big Buck in Gaylord) and hope to have a late lunch at Shorts in Bellaire.  Big Buck is odd in that the lowest ABV on their whole beer menu of 16 beers is 6.2% and that's the Light Beer!
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 02, 2011, 07:18:53 PM
Haven't been to Big Buck in a long time.  They once had 3 pubs in MI, and one in TX.  Now just the original remains.

You will enjoy Shorts.

Don't know if you have time, but there are good cider makers on the Lelenau peninsula.  This link will help.
http://www.greatlakescider.com/map.html

If you want a great drive, the road from Harbor Springs to Cross Village is called the "Tunnel of Trees" for a reason.  Might take you out of your way doing that.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: gmac on October 08, 2011, 01:57:12 AM
Thanks all for the recommendations.  Taking a couple weeks off travel but I'll be back in MI at the end of the month so I'll try to find Founders.

What I've tried (or bought to try) so far that I can't get at home:

New Glarus Moon Man
New Glarus Spotted Cow
New Glarus Staghorn Octoberfest
DogFish Head 60 Minute IPA
Shorts Autumn Ale
Shorts Hopa-luma-licious
Bell's Two Hearted Ale
Bell's Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA
Summit Pale Ale
Surly Furious
Leininkeugel's Octoberfest
Lazy Monk Octoberfest (brought these home, haven't tried them yet)
Lazy Monk Dark Lager
Lazy Monk Pilsner
Milwaukee Brewing Co Saison
Several Grumpy Troll brews (only Kentucky Bourbon Barrel-aged Porter stands out in my memory)
Other brew pub brews not really worth mentioning

The ones I liked best were Moon Man, Two-hearted and DFH 60 (like I said, I haven't tried them all yet). 
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: rbclay on October 08, 2011, 07:18:44 PM
a have a couple thoughts about your list...

you can't get Sierra Nevada Pale Ale where you live? I thought for sure you could get that anywhere these days, even in the Great White North. If you weren't a homebrewer I'd say you need to move!

first time I had New Glarus Staghorn, several years ago now, it was one of the best beers I've ever had. i'll have to seek it out again this year.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: bonjour on October 08, 2011, 07:56:24 PM
No one mentioned the Big Rock Chophouse in Birmingham.  More of a restaurant, but they have gotten medals for the IPA, DIPA at the last World Beer Cup.  Did well at the last GABF too.
Dan has medaled in a lot of different categories over the years.  IMHO he is likely the best overall brewer in the state, but with no distribution.  He is looking at a production brewery.

Did anyone mention Jolly Pumpkin?  Jeff is a true master of barrel arts.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 08, 2011, 09:51:49 PM
No one mentioned the Big Rock Chophouse in Birmingham.  More of a restaurant, but they have gotten medals for the IPA, DIPA at the last World Beer Cup.  Did well at the last GABF too.
Dan has medaled in a lot of different categories over the years.  IMHO he is likely the best overall brewer in the state, but with no distribution.  He is looking at a production brewery.

Did anyone mention Jolly Pumpkin?  Jeff is a true master of barrel arts.

I heard that Big Rock did not medal in the 2011 GABF since they missed the entry deadline.  Same for Kuhnhenn.  Those were 2 locals that could have done well.

I think it is Ron Jeffries that you are thinking about for JP. ;)
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: bonjour on October 08, 2011, 10:09:12 PM
ooops :-[
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: jeffy on October 09, 2011, 12:17:07 AM
Just getting back from our trip to Michigan.  It was nearly perfect weather with trees turning red and yellow all over the state.
I had some really good beers, but did not make any notes on them.  Every beer I had at Shorts in Bellaire was a winner - Pontius Road Pilsner, The Village Reserve (Pale Ale w/ Perle and Centennial), Autumn Ale (ESB), Huma-Lupa-Licious IPA, and Asphasia (old ale on bourbon) plus the sandwiches were awesome.
In Traverse City we hit North Peak (not too impressed), Mackinaw Brewing (nice double IPA), Right Brain Brewing (several IPAs on tap - I had the Rye IPA), and up the peninsula we found what appeared to be a production brewery for Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak.  Nice lunch with Bam Noire and Oro de Calabaza. 
I had a Saison from Brewery Vivant at 7 Monks that smelled and tasted of gym socks (isovoleric acid).  Not my favorite.
In Holland we stayed a half block away from New Holland's brew pub, which had some interesting stuff - another Rye IPA and something dark and Belgian, plus they sell bombers to go, so I got a chance to try their Saison and a tart raspberry pear beer, both delicious.
In Grand Rapids we went to HopCat, thanks to Jeff for the recommendation.  Nice bar!  I had a delicious Citra Pale ale and a Black Rye IPA, one of which was from Arcadia (and mussels).  Then we went to Founders for yet another Rye IPA and a sample of their Breakfast Stout on Bourbon.
We had lunch and another Rye IPA (I think this was the theme of the trip) at Arcadia in Battle Creek.
In Ann Arbor we had a cople of cask ales at Grizzly Peak, which were OK, then met up with Jeff Renner at Arbor Brewing for a cask IPA and a Scotch Ale.
I am now at home, drinking a home brew, which happens to be a Rye IPA with Belgian yeast.
I would recommend Michigan as a beer travel destination.  There is a lot going on.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: gmac on October 09, 2011, 02:23:53 PM
a have a couple thoughts about your list...

you can't get Sierra Nevada Pale Ale where you live? I thought for sure you could get that anywhere these days, even in the Great White North. If you weren't a homebrewer I'd say you need to move!

You can find SN sometimes but not within 50 miles of my place.  Problem with distribution up here is that there are only a few options and a lot of the smaller stores don't carry that many craft beers.  They carry large Europeans a lot more than craft styles.  I can't think of a place that I know for sure I could drive to and get a SN beer around here.  So, you're probably right but it would damn inconvenient.
Title: Re: Local beer recommendations - MI, MN, WI, SD, ND
Post by: brenda.frason@yahoo.com on October 10, 2011, 11:16:42 AM
Thank you a lot for your recommendations in this threat - I will down the most important suggestions and have them with me whenever I come around to those places. I really appreciate your posts! Again: Whenever you find some other cool plces for having a beer or two, then let us know!