Sunday, October 12, 2008


I just picked the last of my hops. These are the Nugget Hops, a high alpha acid hop, used mainly for bittering. They may have a future inside some big, bold beer lurking somewhere in my brew-brain. I figure I got over a pound of dry weight hops out of this one! The final tally will come after the drying process, but it looks like I finished with over fifty-five ounces of free hops this year! My freezer is full and I need to brew...soon!

I just checked out the winners announcement from the Great American Beer Festival in Denver this weekend. Once again, Michigan's fine breweries were scarcely mentioned. It seems pretty weird that only West Coast breweries seem capable of winning in any of the APA/IPA-type categories, when there are exceptional IPA-like beers produced by brewers all over this country (Hopslam, Two-Hearted, Hop Devil, Dogfish Head, Flying Dog, Magic Hat, etc.).

The good news is that, for some reason, Redwood Lodge is always well-received at the GABF. They won the best small brewpub award, as well as a couple of Gold Medals (for Sweet Stout and Dunkel). Congrats to Bill Wamby and his crew! Detroit Beer Company also won Gold for their Detroit Dwarf (Alt), Bastone won Silver for Dunkel and Jolly Pumpkin won Bronze for Saison.

What I want to know is, where are all of the other great breweries from Michigan? Do any of you readers actually think that those four breweries are the best that Michigan has to offer? I'm not dissing these four breweries (I'm a lifetime mug club member at Bastone's, and am a frequent customer of all of them), I'm just saying there are other breweries here that make beer as consistently good or better and never get any awards at this, the greatest of the beer festivals. That seems strange if not wrong.

Short's Brewery, Arcadia, Bell's, Founder's, and many, many other fine establishments in this Great Beer State seem to be up against the West Coast Bias.