Monday, May 13, 2013

Hopcat and Pike 51 keep hopheads high for 4/20 (“weed day!”)

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Hopcat and Pike 51 keep hopheads high for 4/20 (“weed day!”)

“Weed day” might not be a national holiday (at least not yet, anyway,) but 4/20 has been associated traditionally with the controversial herb for decades dating back to the use of 420 as a police code. A couple of Grand Rapids-area breweries thought they would have fun with using the date to promote a related weed - hops, and have enough IPAs on tap too keep any hophead high throughout the day!
Hopcat branded their 420 celebration “Super Dank Saturday,” featuring a multitude of Imperial and Double IPAs from around the country and some of Michigan’s own finest such as single-hopped variations of Dark Horse Crooked Tree, Michigan Beer Cellar’s Double Top Secret, and Pike 51’s Satisfied Mind. At 3 PM, school was in session with a Double / Imperial IPA class taught by Ben Darcie. Also keeping with the 420 theme, a special Firkin of Founders Double Dry Hopped Double Trouble was tapped at 4:20 PM.

My second 420 visit was to Hudsonville’s Pike 51 for their similar themed IPA day, including food and music and the release of this year’s Satisfied Mind Double IPA. Multiple limited release variations of the Super Kush IPA and Marvin’s Weizen were featured. Food options starting at noon included loaded french fries and Knight’s Brown chili. Events later in the day included DJ OBJ on site to spin records in the evening as the day was also National Record Store Day, and around 8 PM the brewhouse was opened up for a special screening of Half Baked. The Hudsonville Winery’s own Stonefruit Moscato was also available to preview by the glass, and I also highly recommend trying their Upper Peninsula-sourced Maple Wine - which was certainly alone worth making the visit for.

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.