Archive for the ‘Midwest Beer News’ Category

Kuhnhenn Winter Solstice 2011

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

This blog was written just a couple of days before this past Xmas, on my laptop during the ride back to Chicago from the “D”. But I held it to edit, then the holiday blur took over and here we are, more than a week into 2012 and I’m just now pushing out this blog. And I was so proud that I finally figured out how to justify a trip to the Detroit area for Kuhnhenn Brewery’s beer release event.

 

Kuhhenn’s is about a cool small operation that makes an eclectic group of brews, some of which are highly sought after in the discriminating end of the craft beer geek world. The attraction is partly due to the fact that the Kuhnhenn’s focus is on styles that are the smaller segments of the craft brew world. But as with all highly rated brewers, in the end you’ve got to deliver big quality, and a phenomenal tasting beer, that bears your unique stamp.

 

The attraction of Kuhnhenns Winter Solstice event held every year on top of the actual solstice celestial delineation is the fact that it’s basically the only time one can get their brews in a bottle. It took a few years of trips to SW Michigan to figure out there really weren’t any bottles of Kuhnhenns being put into normal distribution channels. Last year, Big Scot talked his brother-in-law from Royal Oak into hitting the festival and grab some bottles for us. But, with few bottles and so little info on what we had, those beers were more of a novelty and a keepsake, than legit drinkers.

 

Our arrival at Kuhnhenns was approximately 8pm on the 21st. The brewery is located in the old village area of Warren, MI. The building was a mid-century retail hardware store, so the front is all big glass and we could tell on the drive by it was packed. We hit the front door and found a big, jovial crowd but it was not impossible to maneuver around. First move was to the bar and grab a brew and then find the bottle queue. The bar is a rectangle in the center of the room and has service on three sides. It was a mash of activity and slightly confusing trying to figure out what was being served. The big chalkboard was our guide for the first round, didn’t seem to have any of the release brews so we went with the Classic American APA. Then we worked around to the other side of the brew pub to the bottle sales area. Maneuvering through the bar it appeared the attendees were a mix of young and old folks, not an obvious craft breed geek crowd.

Before I recap my purchases I’d say that the purchase process at the event was a new version of distribution. I was provided a checklist of the brews available and the prices per 12-oz bottle. A sequence number was already printed on top (mine was 241) and it was simply a matter recording the quantity of each beer you’d like. I liked the aspect of selecting individual beers by single bottle quantities. Especially, with more than a dozen different selections available for purchase. To save the text of listing them all, I’ve included a photo of the order sheet. Then I handed my order form back and was politely told that it would take about 20 minutes to pull my order. Through an open door, we could see into the large bottling storage room where there were piles of cases of beer and a big group of casual friends drinking and pulling orders. Only 10 minutes passed before my box came out.

So why am I so focused on one small Michigan brewery, out of dozens in this craft brewing crazy state of Michigan? I’ve got old personal ties to this village, but haven’t live there since I was five. But that’s not the reason I love the place, it’s just what first caused me to pay attention the Kuhnhenn family. Their story is a Midwestern tale of the little guys succeeding against the man. Originally, the family bought out the old village hardware store, and then got squeezed by the advent of big box retailing. And, what a worse city to be looking for a career change in, than Detroit at the end of 20th century. But here they are, so many years later having a cool party with what appeared to be a bunch of friends. And selling once a year, bottles of their hugely individualistic brews, which are highly sought after by the upper range in the American craft beer geek circles. All the while, nailing obscure styles like the highly accomplished brewers they are.

I imagine Kuhnhenn’s will always matter in the current state of american craft brewing.

 

Oh, here’s what I purchased:

(3) – 12oz bottles, Dark Heathen-Triple Bock @ $7 per

(4) – 12oz bottles, Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine @ $7 per

(4) – 12oz bottles, Fourth Dementia-BB Barley Wine @ $7 per

(1) 12 oz bottle, Nine-Belgian Strong Dark Ale, $6 per

(1) 12 oz bottle, Extraneous-American Barley Wine, $7 per

(1) 6 oz bottle, Tenacious-Fruit Beer, $13 per (limit one pp)

Total purchase = $128.26 for 13 bottles

Half Acre Announces Release of Sticky Fat American Dark Ale

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

With recent news coming out of Half Acre that the brew master is leaving to chase after his own dreams and endeavors, I didn’t think I would hear much, at least for a while, about releases coming out. Well I was wrong as Half Acre announced the release of Sticky Fat American Dark Ale on Friday, September 3rd. The trick is convincing my wife we need to go out there for a taste.

I am curious to see what is in store for this relatively new Chicago brewery as they have done some nice co-operative beers and a few of their own quirky beers. In the Chicago area they already have a good following, now it is a matter of the new brew master proving he can keep the charm rolling forward. Enjoy!

Fulton and Great Waters Releasing New Beers

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Looks like this summer will be a little more fun up in Minnesota as two of the local breweries are releasing new beers, for the summer, per their newsletters.

Fulton Beer will be releasing, tomorrow actually, Lonely Blonde. From their newsletter:

An American style blonde ale, the Lonely Blonde is so named because it is one of the only examples of the style to be found locally. Though the Blonde is American born and raised, its distinct old world roots are clear, thanks to the three German hop varieties we add during the boil. The Lonely Blonde is an exceptionally balanced beer, light enough for the hottest summer day, but complex enough to keep you company any day of the year.

Great Waters Brewing Company will be releasing a new beer for the summer also: Skip & Go Naked. From their facebook account:

Skip and Go Naked has returned! It’s a pushed seasonal made with naked oats, wheat, barley, and lemongrass. Light, clean, delicious!

Looks like some fun should be had in a little north of here. Enjoy!

Flossmoor to Release New IPA: Diesel Rellik

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

I know I have written about this before but Flossmoor Brewery continues to crank out IPAs every six to eight weeks. Why is that so special? Each one is different, released once, and never to be seen again. Each has it’s own personality and idiosyncrasies, making them fun to get and something I look forward every other month. This month is the release of Diesel Rellik. From the site:

We will be tapping our Diesel Rellik on Tuesday, May 25th at 8pm (7pm for Mug Club). This beer is coming along nicely and will be dry hopped today with more than 20# of hops! Designed to be a piney, resinous, IPA with a decent malt backing. This IPA will probably be around 7.5% abv as it is still bubbling just a little today

Now I have to work on old Mom to go get me a bottle of it after release. Enjoy!

Double Daisy Cutter Pale Ale to be Released by Half Acre

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Half Acre Brewing Company will be hosting the closing night of CCBW on Saturday, May 22. Already a big list of American craft breweries are lined up to participate (from the Half Acre blog):

Half Acre
Piece
Three Floyds
Rock Bottom
Gordon Biersch
Revolution
Dogfish Head
Goose Island
Metropolitan
Two Brothers
Sierra Nevada
Lunar
New Belgium

In another batch of news from Half Acre, they will be releasing Double Daisy Cutter Pale Ale as part of the CCBW festivities. It seems they are officially calling it Doble Cortador(?). From their site:

In honor of Chicago Craft Beer week and the fact that we wanted to brew this beer, we’re popping out the Double Daisy Cutter Pale Ale / Doble Cortador. It was an experiment we hope will yield some tasty results. We’re looking at a beefed up ABV and enough hops to recede your gums.

This beer will be available on draft and in 22’s. We will be sending it out to the world in small quantities.

Having all these new breweries in the Chicagoland area is starting to make for a bevy of American craft beer news in my own backyard. Enjoy!

Dark Lord Day 2010

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Two Beer Dudes had a successful Dark Lord Day. Enough said.

Dark Lord Day Eve

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Yes this is going to be one of the countless blogs that will be written over the next few days about Dark Lord Days. How is mine any different, how does mine shed any new light on the day, why do you want to read it? Nothing different, no new light, and there is no compelling reason to read it.

Rich and I are planning on taking plenty of pictures and, barring the expected rain, some video to share on the site with those who couldn’t make the event. We are going to try and get a little bit on every facet of the day.

There is a new post on the Dark Lord Day blog mentioning where people can and cannot park at the event. Hopefully that will make finding a safe spot easier but our 8:30am expected time of arrival will be good enough. Enjoy!

2010 Craft Brewers Conference Part 2

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

This is a continuation of part 1 of 2010 Craft Brewers Conference. Getting everything from the brochure on here is going to be a task, so much of it I will shorten.

Same color scheme as before:
Brewery Dinners
Brewery Specific Events
Rare Beer Tappings

  • Monday, April 5, 2010
    • Erwin – 6:30pm five course menu with Allagash Beer with brewmaster Rob Tod. $55/person.
    • Hopleaf – 7:00pm six course menu with Avery and Lost Abbey with brewmasters Tomme Arthur and Adam Aery. $80/person.
    • The Publican – 5:30 to 10:30pm seating four course menu with collaborative beer with brewmaster Jason Ebel.
    • The Long Room – 7:00pm with five drafts from Stone.
  • Tuesday, April 6, 2010
    • Avec – 5:00 to 10:00pm seating five course menu with Barasserie Dubisson, Vanberg, and DeWulf Imports. $50 for food and $25 for beer.
    • Blackbird – 7:00pm seating five course menu with Allagash’s premier beers. $95/person
    • Hopleaf – 5:00 – 11:00pm seating with five Brewery Ommegang Prix Five beers.
    • Clark Street Ale House – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Allagash Curieux, Bear Republic Crazy Ivan, boulder Oak Aged Mojo Risin’ Double IPA, Green Flash Belgian Stout, Two Brothers Paradise Stout
    • Goose Island Brewing Company – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Bear Republic Crazy Ivan, Moylan’s Moylander Double IPA, The Bruery Wine Cellar 45 Anniversary Imperial Porter, Surly 4th Anniversary Beer, Two Brother Oak-Aged Bare Tree
    • The Map Room – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Moylan’s Old Blarney Barleywine Bourbon Barrel, Bear Republic Racer X Double IPA, Boulder Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter, Allagash Four
    • Bar on Buena – 6:00pm Stone Tapping
    • The Beer Bistro – 6:00pm Stone Tapping
    • The Bluebird – 7:00pm The Bruery Tasting
    • Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap – 7:00pm Surly and Stone Tapping
    • Local Option – All day Shelton Brothers Tapping
    • Mrs. Murphy & Son’s Irish Bistro – Lagunitas Beer Night
    • Paddy Long’s Pub – 8:00pm Two Brothers Rare Beer Tapping
    • Quenchers Saloon – 6:00 to 9:00pm Shelton Brothers Beer Tasting
    • Sheffield’s Beer Garden and BBQ Restaurant – 5:30pm Stone Tapping
    • Smoke Daddy – 7:00pm Two Brothers Cask Tapping
    • Whole Foods Market – 6:00 to 9:00pm Two Brothers Tapping
  • Wednesday, April 7, 2010
    • Hopleaf – 5:00 – 10:00pm seating with five Allagash Prix Five beers.
    • Brasserie JO – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Stone Cali-Belgique IPA, Ska Strong Foreign Stout Aged in Merlot Casks, The Bruery Melange #3, Moylan’s Wet Hopsickle ’09, Two Brothers Oak-Aged Cane & Ebel
    • Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Allagash Curieux, Bear Republic Crazy Ivan, Moylan’s Moylander Doulbe IPA, Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti
    • Jerry’s – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Allagash Interlude, Bear Republic Racer X Double IPA, The Bruery Wine Cellar 45 Anniversary Imperial Porter, Sulry Smoke, Two Brothers White Rye
    • The Map Room – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Ska Strong Foreign Stout aged in Merlot Cask, Great Divide Expresso Oak Aged Yeti, Sulry 4th Anniversary Beer, The Bruery Saison de Lente
    • Small Bar Fullerton – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Allagash Four, Green Flash Palate Wrecker Double IPA, The Burery Saison de Lente, Ska Strong Foreign Stout Aged in Merlot Casks, Two Brothers Oack-Aged Domaine DuPage
    • Twisted Spoke – tapping begins at 6:00pm – Allagash Odyssey, Bear Republic Racer X Double IPA, Green Flash LeFreak, Victory Abbey 5, Two Brother Project 22
    • Big Star – 6:00pm Lagunitas Night
    • The Bluebird 5:00 to 7:00pm Brasserie Artisianale Dieu De Ciel Tasting, 7:00 to 9:00pm Jolly Pumpking Tasting
    • Local Option – All day Shelton Brothers Tapping
    • Hackney’s Printers Row – 7:00pm Two Brothers and Metropolitan Tapping
    • The Publican – 10:30pm to 1:00am brewmasters from Dogfish Head, Stone, and Three Flyods
    • Rodan – 7:00pm Two Brothers Rare Tapping

That is enough typing for one sitting. Thursday and Friday lineup to come tomorrow. Once please excuse any typos or incorrect information as I may have fat fingered. Enjoy!

2010 Craft Brewers Conference

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The 2010 Craft Brewers Conference which is presented by the Brewers Association will be held from April 05 – 10, 2010 in Chicago, IL. Not that this should be news to many if any of you, but I just came across where nightly events, read tappings, will occur throughout the city of Chicago during the conference.

Today will be part one: just a day-by-day listing of the places that will hold these special events. Tomorrow a run down of what will American craft beers you will be able to get your beady little lips on.

Brewery Dinners
Brewery Specific Events
Rare Beer Tappings

  • Sunday: Hopleaf Bar
  • Monday: Erwin, Hopleaf Bar, The Publican, The Long Room
  • Tuesday: Avec, Blackbird, Hopleaf Bar, Clark Street Ale House, Goose Island Brewpub, The Map Room, Baron Buena, The Beer Bistro, The Bluebird, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, Local Option, Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, Paddy Long’s Pub, Smoke Daddy, Quencher’s Saloon, Sheffield’s Beer Garden & BBQ Restaurant, Whole Foods Market
  • Wednesday: Hopleaf Bar, Brasserie Jo, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, Jerry’s, The Map Room, Small Bar Fullerton, Twisted Spoke, Big Star, The Bluebird, Hackney’s Printer’s Row, Local Option, The Publican, Rodan
  • Thursday: Hopleaf Bar, Blackbird, Bar on Buena, Big Star, Binny’s Beverage Depot, Clark Street Ale House, Cobra Lounge, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, Local Option, The Long Room, Small Bar Division, The Publican, Quencher’s Saloon, Reggie’s Music Joint, Rodan
  • Friday: Hopleaf Bar, Brasserie Jo, Clark Street Ale House, Jerry’s, Goose Island Brewpub, Twisted Spoke, Small Bar Fullerton, Small Bar Division, Big Star, Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap, Local Option, The Long Room, Quencher’s Saloon, Rodan
  • Whew. Sorry if I misspelled something or have an event in the wrong category. More to come tomorrow. Enjoy!

Flat Earth Brewing Company Expands Growler Availability

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

flat earth brewing company logo

Flat Earth Brewing Company recently expanded their hours with the direct note that they will make it easier for the locals to pick up growlers. This week the following beers are on tap:

  • Black Helicopter Coffee Stout
  • Cygnus X-1 Porter
  • Double Dry Hopped Angry Planet
  • Element 115 Lager
  • Ovni Biere de Garde
  • Pookha’s Porter – Irish Cream infused Cygnus
  • Unfiltered Angry Planet
  • Unfiltered Northwest Passage IPA

Of course the availability is based on demand. Nonetheless it is quite the lineup of beer from Flat Earth up in Saint Paul, MN. Enjoy!

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