Monday, January 31, 2011

January 2011 Review

Arbor Brewing Company - Ann Arbor, MI
Black Star Co-op Brewery - Austin, TX
Coalition Brewing Company - Portland, OR
Jolly Pumpkin - Ann Arbor, MI
Portlandia Brewing Company - Portland, OR
Rochester Mills Beer Company - Rochester, MI
North Coast Brewing Co - Fort Bragg, CA

Rochester Mills Beer Co

400 Water St.
Rochester, MI 48307
(248) 650-5080
 "I love when my two worlds come together."  My first reaction when I found out that Rochester Mills Beer Company used to be a knitting mill!!!  Very exciting for me.  Plus, the building is really cool.

Alright, I was told that Rochester Mills Beer Co was sister breweries with Royal Oak Brewery and Detroit Beer Co, but I can't find any evidence on the internet.  A link though is the red ales they all have: Rochester Red, Royal Oak Red, and Detroit Red.  I don't know, maybe someone can enlighten me?

Speaking of Reds, the Rochester Red was going to be my choice until Jonah ordered the sampler. "Hey, if I get a sampler too we can try almost every beer on the menu."  This is always the best choice.  It was specifically this time because the red was sour, very unfortunate.  RMB Co has an excellent Lazy Daze Lager (Grandma agreed!), but my prize goes to the Paint Creek Porter.  Delicious.  Thanks Aunt Karol for suggesting this one!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Arbor Brewing Company

 114 East Washington 
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
 Arbor Brewing Company was our second stop in Ann Arbor.  Every beer that I tasted were good enough to get a pint, alas they have so many beers on tap that Jonah would have had to carry me to the car if I did that. 

The Crye Baby Rye was excellent.  I love when breweries have ryes, I will always order it.  It's such a rarity and such a treat, an opinion I share with my cousin Mike Szymula.  There are two pubs for Arbor Brewing Co., we visited the ABC Brewpub (clever name).  The building had a great look to it even though the back room smelled like barf, something you have to live with being in a college town.
All in all, Ann Arbor is a great beer destination if you're in the Detroit area.

Jolly Pumpkin

 311 S. Main St. 
Ann Arbor, Michigan

After Austin Texas, Jonah and I hit the skies again, landing in Detroit MI.  This is my second time in America's high five in search of breweries.  This time Jonah, I, and a handful of the Michigan crew set off to the land of the Wolverines, Ann Arbor.
Here's a picture of all of us, clockwise from the bottom left: Kurt, Lynn. Jonah, me, Kraig, Kristen, Joe, Michael, John, and Karol. (All the K names are siblings of my mom.)
The beer that intrigued me was the Burley-esque, a blood orange Belguim IPA.  This is a good place to go if you want to try some experimental yet still drinkable beers.  Definitely try to stop by for lunch, the food is delicious!!
The use of a pumpkin for the logo threw me off at first, I was worried that it would pigeon-hole the brew-masters to fruity beer and make for some lame merchandise.  Well I was wrong, Jolly Pumpkin does use fruit and spices in many of their beers, but not to an over-whelming or obnoxious level.  Also, the t-shirts rocked!  I am also a fan of the tap handles.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery

7020 Easy Wind Drive, Suite 100
Austin, TX 78752

I didn't know what to expect from the world's first co-op owned and worker managed brewery, but this blossoming pub in Austin Texas did not disappoint.  Jonah and I are visiting his uncle in Texas and Chris suggested this brewery within a bike ride distance of his house.  We visit a lot of breweries and it's always a plus when you get the thumbs up from a local.  After only getting a little lost on our bike ride over, we met up with long-time friend Tyler, a transplant from Oregon, and his lovely girlfriend Katherine.  

The inside decor was very modern and the beers held up to the recommendation.  I started with the High-Esteem, a rye pale ale which turned out to be my favorite of the evening. Jonah had the Recalcitrant Dockhand, a poster with a lot of flavor. Although they only has three of their own beers on tap, they had 20 guest taps and most of them were Texan brews.  I was confused by the names of the beers, they lacked a relationship with the brewery and each other.  Also, there was no music playing, an odd decision for such a music-centric city. 

All in all, it is fun to experience a brewery that is just starting out.  I would like to come back in a few years and see how they evolved.  If you live in Austin, head down there and purchase a share; haven't you always wanted to own your own brewery?  If you're visiting, stop by for a beer and maybe dinner, the food is locally focused and delicious.  Also they are super nice to their employees.  

Thank you Austin.  We had a blast!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Coalition Brewing Co

Coalition Brewing Co.
2724 SE Ankeny
Portland, OR 97214

Coalition Brewing Co. is awesome, hands down awesome.  Jonah and I were riding our bikes from Llyod Center back to SE Portland and just happened across the pub.  Coalition has been on my list since Portland grew 4 breweries while we were in Alaska, and I'm super pleased we rode by.
I started with the King Kitty Red which was an excellently hoppy red ale while Jonah christened the visit with the WU C.R.E.A.M. Ale, a smooth pleasant ale.  For the second round, I drank the Two Dogs IPA, a very solid IPA and Jonah had the complex and satisfying Loving Cup Maple Porter.
Also, the logo rocks.  Go to this brewery.  Seriously GO!


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