Saturday, July 07, 2012

Hideout Brewing Company launches new collaborative Beer City Pale Ale

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Hideout Brewing Company launches new collaborative Beer City Pale Ale

Hideout Brewing Company was my first stop on my list to try the new Beer City Pale ale, as their brewmaster Wob is a ringleader of sorts for this new Grand Rapids collaborative brew. The hoppy new beer was an immediate hit among my friends and I, and the focus of many conversations overheard throughout the well attended brewhouse - the Michigan hops being a key factor for many, like myself, who prefer to keep things fresh and local.
After ordering our first round of Pale ales, my friends and I made our way to the less crowded upper level to enjoy more beers and popcorn. Additional seating was available via the outside patio, but only a few of the Hideout’s diehards braved the scorching Michigan heatwave to sit on out on the deck and have a cold beverage. I may have chose to sit inside, but keep in mind I also chose to brave the Cayanne Sour Stout while chatting a bit with the brewmaster who very correctly describes the flavor as “intense.” Other popular current offerings included in the Hideout’s dozen available taps were the Nitro Cherry Oak Stout and the Batch 420 Hemp Rye.

Earlier this year, new owners Nick Humphrey and Scott Colson announced plans to expand the brewery into the adjoining space (formerly Hubba Tubba,) increasing the capacity and allowing for future bottling potential. As the brewery expands, this has allowed for greater distribution of their beer and the first few bars and restaurants to look out for the new pale ale include Rocky’s, The Monarch’s Club, and the Pyramid Scheme - but your best bet is to seek one of the participating breweries as the demand is high and supplies are limited. I also stopped by Pike 51 in Hudsonville and spoke to their brewmaster Jeff Williams, who was readying his take on the new recipe for a 4th of July release. He spoke enthusiastically of the collaboration and suggested future collaborations could become a regular thing.

Beer City Pale Ale merchandise is in the works, as well as possible incentives to visit all ten of the participating breweries offered. Here is the list in case you would like to try them all: Harmony Brewing Company, The Hideout Brewing Company, White Flame Brewing Company, Jaden James Brewing Company, Michigan Beer Cellar, Pike 51, The BOB, HopCat, Founders, and Schmohz.

Note that while the majority of the breweries use a similar blueprint for their Beer City ales, a handful such as Vivant chose to rename a variation of an existing recipe to show their participation. The wild card of the bunch is the B.O.B. brewmaster John Svoboda’s take; his new Beer City recipe is actually a dark Porter. The version being distributed to restaurants may in fact be another slight variation, so if you want to be a completist be sure to ask around for it on tap while it’s still available.

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.