Hudsonville’s White Flame Brewing Co.
has had a fantastic first year, with accolades including but not limited to their 2nd place victory in Grand Rapids Museum’s prestigious Brewers Challenge with their Michigan-sourced MI(Pa), their breast cancer research funding Hooterville Wheat, and their contributions to the Beer City collaborative featuring their own “Grand Pumpkin” Cinnamon Cocoa Coffee Pumpkin Stout on nitro. My own personal favorite beer from White Flame’s 1st year of brewing would be the Bourbon Barrel Black Sheep - pulling off all of the correct flavors for an aged IPA is no easy feat but the BB Black Sheep does this exceptionally well.
This being the case, I was particularly excited when I heard that White Flame was marking their 1-year anniversary with the debut of a new beer, the Black Flame Imperial Stout, brewed with locally sourced Maple Syrup and aged for many months in oak barrels. Only 120 bottles were made available for the release and when we arrived mid afternoon only a handful of cases were still left. A draft version was also available, and while aged only a month and featuring brown sugar instead of maple sugar was still superb and a crowd pleaser.
At 4 PM, the doors opened up to the brewhouse, and although White Flame does not usually provide food, this time food was on the house. Free dogs and the “best chili you've ever had,” which was actually good enough that you might agree with their claim. Door prizes included T-shirts, and 2 tickets to this year’s Winter Beer Fest. Live music began at 5 PM and included Funkle Jesse. Other featured brews of the evening included Mint Magic Stout, Amy’s Double Tap, and the Sticke In Yer Eye Alt Beer along with mainstays such as the Ugly Stick Oatmeal Stout on Nitro. White Flame’s first year has certainly been one worth celebrating.