Friday, July 20, 2012

Small Town, Big Beers: Recap of Michigan Beer Cellar 2nd Anniversary

Written by  Dan Miller
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Small Town, Big Beers: Recap of Michigan Beer Cellar 2nd Anniversary

Recently, Michigan Beer Cellar celebrated their second anniversary and I had the privilege of being there to taste some of their beers. It wasn't my first time tasting their beer, but it was my first time visiting the brewery...and I'm glad I did.
In celebration of their two years in business, an evening of special events including live music from Dutch Henry, a local West Michigan band that's opened for Kenny Chesney. Despite the great band performing, I made a point to get there before it got busy and loud so I'd be able to have some good beer conversations.

Just like the people, the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back. It's a very spacious place with a nice long bar for plenty of mug club members (memberships are still available) to belly up to and sip on their favorite beers. And out back is a great beer garden with plenty of room and a nice view of a baseball field. I had the pleasure of sitting next to mug club member #37, whose last name starts with “M”, which is the only letter on his mug so that it says M37...also known as Alpine Ave. and the main road you'd take to get to Sparta if you're coming from out of town.

While chatting with the staff and regulars, I tried their triple IPA Batch 200 (Hop Bomb), American IPA, Vanilla Porter and Black Magic RyPA. And while talking to Rachael Holland, the talent behind the great triple IPA mentioned, Dan the owner gave us generous samples of his Batch 100 Russian Imperial Stout (RIS). All of them are beers I'd happily order again, but the Batch 100 I find myself craving more than any of them. I've had RIS from all across the country and this was one of the best I've ever had.

I could go on and on about Batch 100, but there's another beer worth mentioning. A beer that recently won the gold medal for the Old Ale category at the World Expo of Beer: Michigan Beer Cellar's Not Old Enough Olde Ale. They didn't have any on draft, but luckily I was able to take one of the few remaining 4-packs home with me. If there's any left, I highly recommend getting some before it's gone.

If you like friendly people, good food and a great selection of beers, Michigan Beer Cellar is a great brewery worth checking out. If you live close and haven't been, GO! If you're making a Michigan brewery trip, add this one to the list. And based on the name, I'm looking forward to seeing the beers released that specifically reflect the word “cellar”.