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Friday, April 20, 2012

New Beer Friday - April 20 Edition

I should get one of those for home
(Pike 51 Brewing Company)
By Chris Siciliano

Looks like the next GR-area brewery to hang its shingle will be Pike 51 Brewing Company in Hudsonville, MI. According to head brewer Jeff Williams, formerly of HopCat, the brewhouse (see left) will be up-and-running and producing beer sometime within the next few weeks.

We'll keep in you in the loop with regard to specific dates. In the meantime, if you have an evening free we suggest you cruise on out to Hudsonville now. Even though there isn't any beer to try (Jeff plans to eventually have sixteen on tap), you can and should sample the large variety of wine that owners Ken, Steve, and Ron have been producing and selling on-site for the last three years.

That's the thing about Pike 51. It's also a winery. Hudsonville Winery to be exact. Like Hall and Oates in easy-listening awesomeness, beer and wine will soon happily co-exist in the recently renovated pub/production facility at 3768 Chicago Drive.

I visited for the first time just a few weeks ago and man am I glad I did. Not only was I impressed by the wine they're making (here's a tip, try the Bruno) I felt genuinely welcomed by the owners and the staff. When the beer is finally flowing—and, like I say, even now—this will be (is already) a terrific destination.

New (and Returning) Beer

  • Ovila Dubbel, $3.29/12.7oz - "Clear and deep copper in color, this Abbey Dubbel has a complex and rich malty sweetness with hints of caramelized sugar. The aroma is a heady and layered mix of fruit and spice, with hints of clove, raisin, and black pepper from the use of an abbey style yeast" (source).
  • Brau Brothers Rye Wyne Ale 2011, $16.49/750ml - "One of the few small grains still grown in southwestern Minnesota, malted rye is the base for this one of a kind ale brewed and aged in tiny Lucan, MN. Following a long, slow fermentation, the beer is stored away in used rye whiskey barrels brought north from our friends at Templeton, located in the equally tiny town of Templeton, Iowa" (label).
  • Great Lakes Holy Moses White Ale, $1.79/12oz - "A Belgian wit ale spiced with orange peel, chamomile and coriander" (source).
  • Epic Smoked Porter, $509/22oz - "This nostalgic porter evokes memories of chocolate and coffee around a campfire. The cherry wood smoked malt used in this beer gives it a heavy smokiness that blends smoothly into the chocolate malty body. With a silky finish this porter is ideal for sipping on a cold winters eve" (source).
  • Epic Copper Cone Pale Ale, $6.69/22oz - "Typically this beer is an “over the top” pale ale with a deep copper color and loads of dry hopping going into each batch. The fresh hop aroma of this beer makes it a stand out. Stronger in alcohol and body than CAPT’N CROMPTON’S PALE ALE and appeals to beer aficionados" (source).
  • Epic 825 State Stout, $5.09/22oz - "This stout can range from dry stouts to foreign stouts, creamy or bitter. Flavors EPIC explores within this stout are roast chocolate, toffee, mocha, coffee, burnt marshmallow and roasted nuts or combinations there-of. All these flavors are derived from specialty malts or other grains and hops, no specialty, natural or other flavorings are added in our Elevated Series, look for natural ingredients like real coffee and chocolate in our Exponential Series" (source). No specific information yet available for release #17.
  • Wolverine Premium Lager, $1.69/12oz - "Made with all American ingredients, including water straight from the Huron River in Washtenaw County, Michigan, this brew is designed to quench your thirst for a flavorful, easy-drinking smooth lager beer. The brilliant, golden color enhances the experience of the true malt flavor and crisp finish of your new everyday beer" (source).
  • Wolverine Premium Dark Lager, $1.69/12oz - "Wolverine Dark will win you over with a smooth maltiness balanced by a crisp feel on your tongue without any of the chunky chewy taste that some dark beers have" (source).
  • Jolly Pumpkin Biere De Mars, $13.79/750ml - "A sustaining beer that is brewed to comfort in the gusty Ides of March and welcome in a wealth of warmer weather" (source).
  • Jolly Pumpkin E.S. Bam, $9.49/750ml - "Extra Special Farmhouse Ale. A Bam celebration of excess. More malt, more hops, same vivacious personality" (source).
New Scotch

  • The Macallan 12 Year, $52.94/750ml - "Exclusively matured for a minimum of twelve years in Spanish oak casks, hand-crafted and sherry-seasoned in Jerez, Spain. This delivers a classic Macallan style, wonderfully rich in color with dried fruits, spice and chocolate orange" (source).
  • Glenmorangie 12 Nectar D'Or, $59.95/750ml - "Lime and orange rind, sultanas and dates give a rich fruity flavor laced with tantalizing spices of coconut and nutmeg. Ginger, nutmeg and toasted almonds bring a deep, warming taste interwoven with a syrupy lemon meringue and honeycomb middle. Long and lusciously sweet finish with lemon zest, white chocolate, vanilla and traces of ginger and nutmeg" (source).
Mini Photo Essay of the Week
"Chef Ryan's Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich"

When the kitchen finally opens at Pike 51
Chef Ryan here will be in charge.*

Ryan currently works in the tasting room and slips away
when he can to fire up the grill.

Grilled & marinated mushrooms
(if I remember correctly).

Trust me, the final product was incredible.**

Though a kitchen is definitely in the plans, from what I understand the focus for now is on getting the brewery established. In other words, there is no time table for when food will be available, which would be a shame if it wasn't so logical. Well, it's still sort of shame. I'm telling you, that sandwich was something else.

*Chef Ryan earned his chops in restaurants in New York City. He's excited to be back in West Michigan in part for the chance to work with the huge variety of food that's grown here.

**I built this sandwich for the camera, to show off the different layers that comprise it. The sandwiches Chef Ryan built were constructed with far more skill.


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