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Friday, July 31, 2015

New Beer Friday, Trail Point Brewing Edition (July 31)

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

If you’re over fifty and have lived in the environs of Beer City USA your entire life you might remember when the community of Allendale was nothing more than a scattering of buildings that you whizzed by on your way to and from the big lake.

That started to change in the mid-sixties when GVSU’s campus began taking root in the fields just west of the Grand River. Today there are a number of good bars and restaurants in the area and my wife Barb and I will often head out that way when we don’t feel like dealing with the traffic and congestion of the city.

Trail Point Partners (from L to R)
Gary Evans, Jeff Knoblock and Greg Evans
With the planned opening of Trail Point Brewing Company on the near horizon there will soon be another good reason to take that pleasant fifteen minute drive west on M-45 out of GR.

This past Tuesday Barb and I stopped at Trail Point to check the brewery’s progress on our way to dinner at the Embassy Bar (excellent enchiladas and a Shorts Bellaire Brown for me, a wet burrito, also excellent, and a Two Hearted for Barb). According to Trail Point partners Gary Evans, Greg Evans and Jeff Knoblock, there’s a good chance that there will be a soft opening in the tap room as soon as next week.

The Taproom at Trail Point
While I sat with head brewer Gary Evans at the bar sampling a very good cream ale and a nicely balanced Citra IPA his wife Lucy showed Barb around that beautiful, repurposed barn wood appointed tap room. Gary expects to have seven or eight beers ready when the brewery opens and plans to eventually have sixteen brews on tap. He is brewing on a seven barrel, steam-fired system.

Trail Point Brewing Company is located on 6035 Lake Michigan Drive. Go to or to their Facebook page for further details regarding the tap room’s official opening.

Preamble Steve enjoying a beer at Trail Point Brewing

New & Returning Beers

  • Volkan Blonde Ale, $3.69/12oz - "A nose of yellow plum, with light malt that develops into a rounded soft ginger tone" (source).
  • Southern Tier Warlock, $9.29/22oz - "Imperial stout brewed with pumpkins. Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own and also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking. Make your own black magic by carefully pouring this Imperial Stout into a goblet" (source).
  • Southern Tier Pumking, $9.29/22oz, $4.19/12oz - "Pumking is an ode to PĂșca, a creature of Celtic folklore, who is both feared and respected by those who believe in it. PĂșca is said to waylay travelers throughout the night, tossing them on its back, and providing them the ride of their lives, from which they return forever changed. Brewed in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, a time of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent. Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow it’s alluring spirit to overflow. As spicy aromas present themselves, let it’s deep copper color entrance you as your journey into this mystical brew has just begun. As the first drops touch your tongue a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds making it difficult to escape the Pumking" (source).
  • Atwater Blocktoberfest, $1.79/12oz - "Octoberfest, a German tradition that celebrates harvest. Now Atwater carries on the tradition with our own special lager "Blocktoberfest". Brewed with 100% German malt for a rich taste and amber color" (source).
  • Atwater Pumpkin Spiced Latte, $2.19/12oz - No commercial description available. The name kind of says it all.
  • Berghoff Rowdy Rootbeer, $1.69/12oz - "Creamy, smooth and malty, Rowdy Root Beer is crafted from a flavorless porter mixed with all natural sugar cane root beer mix to retain the unforgettable aroma of draft root beer. As you sip on the brew, you’ll notice familiarly smooth root flavors along with an additional alcoholic kick. The finish introduces after tones of the delicious malts the beer is carefully brewed with. We worked with Northwestern Extract to achieve the iconic root beer flavor, testing out 15 different prototypes before choosing the final recipe. Your favorite soda can finally give you a great buzz. It’s almost time to grab your blow horns and get rowdy" (source).
  • JK Scrumpy Cider, $3.59/16oz can (new package) - "Orchard Gate Gold is fermented naturally in small artisanal batches from a proprietary blend of organic apples grown here at our Koan Family Orchards in Michigan. We have produced hard ciders here since the 1860s. This is the same traditional recipe that helped save our farm during the great depression. There will be slight variations from batch to batch, just as nature makes no two apples alike! Enjoy our authentic hand bottled American Farmhouse "Scrumpy" Cider with family, friends & food" (source).
  • De Proef Wekken Sour, $15.99/750ml - "Nearly black in color with the roasted malts contributing complex flavors of licorice and blackstrap molasses balanced by herbal hop notes" (source).
  • Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest, $1.69/12oz - "We’re on a mission to explore the roots of Germany’s festival beers. Each year, we’ll partner with one of a handful of incredible German brewers to create a traditional take on the most famous beer style in history. This year we’re working hand in hand with Brauhaus Riegele of Augsburg. Together we created an authentic Oktoberfest beer, true to the roots of the festival, that’s deep golden in color and rich with complex malt flavor from the use of traditional German Steffi barley" (source).
  • Epic Hop Syndrome, $1.79/12oz - "A deliciously hoppy lager, this clean, spicy, yet fruity addition is sure to quench your summer palate just right" (source).

Big News of the Week

Congrats to our friends/customers Jeff Carlson and Nick Rodammer,
two of only three homebrewers to medal in this year's U.S. Open Beer Championships,
a true pro-am event with over 4,000 entries from some of the best breweries
(and homebreweries!) in the world. Photo courtesy of Jeff Carlson.


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