There is something special about tap takeovers. There is an excitement in the air as people try new beers (or enjoy old favorites), the brewpub representatives mill about and share news about the brews and friends who haven’t met in a while get reacquainted over delicious beer. Earlier this month, I got to experience some new beers and a totally new (to me) bar in Saline when I went to the New Holland Tap Takeover at Dan’s Downtown Tavern.

The sheer number of available beers was impressive—12 of New Holland’s beers were available including the Imperial Hatter, Sun Dog and the Poet. Boyfriend Ken and I got the sampler and each picked three beers. My favorites are as follows:

1)      Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout: Seriously, can this ever be bad? I’m beginning to think that it could be poured out of a monkey’s behind and it would still taste awesome. Rich vanilla flavor along with roasty malts all wrapped up in an oak bow…smooth and filling.

2)      Did someone mention monkeys? The Monkey King saison was a new to me beer and a terrific example of the style. Fruity, peppery and medium-bodied—this would be perfect on a hot summer’s day.

3)      Another beer I hadn’t tried before was the Paleooza. This is an American Pale Ale which as a style are hit and miss for me. Some are just too hoppy and my opinion is dude, if I want hops then I will get an IPA. The Paleooza definitely had a taste of hops but they didn’t dominate and made for a solid, easy drinking ale.

4)      Pilgrim’s Dole: To my chagrin, I have found that wheat beers give me a migraine headache. I know that causation isn’t correlation but when you get migraines after wheat beers four out of four times, well, that’s enough for me. Since this startling discovery earlier this year, I have had to limit my wheat beer intake. That is very sad when one is faced with a sampler glass of Pilgrim’s Dole Wheatwine. The beer was sweet and malty with a warm mouthfeel. I also picked up some hints of caramel and oh how I hope they come up with a cure for migraines soon!

5)      Full Circle Kolsch. If ever my day job becomes one of manual labor, I want this beer with me. Light malts, light hops and crispy all the way through, this is the beer that I want if ever we revert back to an agrarian based society and I’m up at dawn milking cows and picking up eggs (or whatever).

Special thanks to the one and only Jimmy Alcumbrack-McDaniel, SE Michigan Beer & Spirits Ambassador, for getting this together and being a terrific host! Prost!

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