Monday, December 24, 2012

Hopcat celebrates Joe Short’s annual Birthday Bash

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Hopcat celebrates Joe Short’s annual Birthday Bash

If you already head up one of the most diverse and adventurous breweries in the State of Michigan producing a wide variety of different beer styles each year - where would you go for your birthday? Shorts Brewing’s own Joe Short can answer that question, of course; Hopcat!
For the 4th year in a row, Joe celebrated and instead of candles on a cake brought a beer for each year of age. (34 for those keeping track.) The newly opened and affiliated Grand Rapids Brewing Company was also featuring select Short’s brews in celebration as well.

I met up with some of my fellow Beer Hound friends and crew to join in on the celebration. This year virtually every beer style was represented including the barrel-aged Bourbon Huma, a variety of Belgian styles such as the Captain Fantasy Saison brewed with pears, and lactose-beers such as the Key Lime Pie and Dirty Sturks nitro-infused Double Chocolate Stout. While my friends sought out some of the more adventurous brews, I played it fairly conservative initially with brews such as the Howlin’ Chinaski, a traditional take on the German Dortmunder Lager, and Cerveza de Julie, a Mexican style lager brewed with lime.

Hopcat’s food menu complimented the many Short's beer styles quite well. At our table, beer was paired with everything from salads, chicken Buffalo Rolls, to Veggie Chilli. I have from a good source (I’m a Beer Hound’s one and only Paul Starr,) that the Killer Mac & Cheese with jalapenos was quite delicious. I had to end the night on an adventurous note, so I braved the very intriguing Short’s Bourbon-aged The Gambler tobacco-inspired IPA which featured the Chinese tea Lapsang Souchong to impart the smoky flavor. If you missed out on the bash, keep in mind you can always find 10 Short’s beers on tap at the nearby The Pyramid Scheme music venue and Wednesdays all Short's pints are half off. Stop in for a pint of the latest seasonal release!

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.