It’s been a bad couple of months. It started when I broke my foot. Then I had to put my beloved 15+ year old dog down. Then my mom had to go to the hospital. And I lost out on a writing gig that I wanted. And I lost out on something else that I really wanted. (I add these last two so that I don’t hear the chipper “bad things happen in threes!11!lolz!” that well-meaning people tend to say.
I do have some very good things in life, to wit: BOYFRIEND KEN! He surprised me with tickets to the Michigan Brewers’ Guild Fall Beer Festival! We both love fall beers and we had never been. While he knew (correctly) that this would not cure my clinical depression, he also knew (correctly) that it would give us a great night out!
We had a lovely time seeing friends and trying beers. AND we got to eat Slows BBQ without waiting hours for a table. Here are some of my personal favorite beers:
Dragonmead’s Angry Dragon Pre-Prohibition Lager — The nice man at the Dragonmead booth explained that this recipe was (obviously) from before that dark, dark time in American history. I think he said that they tweaked the recipe from a Stroh’s recipe (I’m sorry, I wasn’t taking notes and can’t remember the exact connection so please correct me in the comments if you know!). Wherever it came from, it was delicious. There was something in the nose that I couldn’t (and still can’t) place…this familiar smell in the grain that made me think of something good in my childhood (it was mostly good, so it was hard to nail down). I know that isn’t very helpful but maybe I could just smell old times, nostalgia and a happy sense of place? Whatever it was, it went down smoothly and happily.
Liberty Street’s Punkin Pie Ale — I often say that this is my favorite pumpkin ale. Since I’m not a tool, I honestly only say this about this one beer. It is everything a pumpkin ale should be–the spices are there, but they don’t overwhelm. It isn’t too heavy and you remember that it is an ale with pumpkin and not something that a pumpkin crapped out and into your glass (like some pumpkin beers that just try to damned hard!). Try with a splash of their homemade root beer for the “Windmill Cookie Beer” experience.
All Hallows Ale Pumpkin Ale Kurbis Sour Pumpkin Ale— Wow! A soured pumpkin beer! I wouldn’t have thought that I would like it as much as I did because I’m normally not a fan of sours but I LOVED this beer! The sour taste was enough to let you know it was aged and soured, but I didn’t forget that I was drinking an excellent pumpkin ale. Too often, the bacteria just take over and all you are drinking is SOUR because OMG it’s a sour beer oh yes it is! Kuhnhenn did it just right…the pumpkin ale was very much present and accounted for with the nice added bonus of sour flavors. Might have had two or three of these.
51 North’s Orange Pepon Pumpkin Spice — My first beer of the fest was also one of the best! Another well balanced pumpkin spice beer that kicked off the night perfectly! My only regret is that I couldn’t enjoy it at their lovely brewpub!
Tri-City’s Cherry Bitters Russian Imperial Stout–RIS is one of my favorite styles of beer. I have also recently become enamored with bitters. So seeing the two together was kind of like when the person walked around the corner carrying a jar of peanut butter (as one does) and the other person had the candy bar and bam! You got your bitters in my RIS! What I liked most about this beer was that there was a distinctive taste of cherry bitters and not just cherry (that would have been good too). It was deliciously different and tastefully tart (sorry for that Martha Stewart shit there but it really was).
Other favorites included Cranker’s Green Tea & Honey Kolsch, Detroit Beer Company’s Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, Mt. Pleasant’s Peach Gruit and the Motor City’s two hard ciders–one made with Detroit apples and one made with Michigan apples. There was a difference, friends!)
So big thank you to Boyfriend Ken and all of my brewer friends. Hopefully maybe possibly, things are looking up….