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Written by Detroit food writers and photographers Henry Balanon, Joe Hakim, Dave Benjamin, Dave Murray, Angela Watts .

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Posts tagged beer

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Here’s to perpetually filled beers, preferably of Michigan origin

Here’s to perpetually filled beers, preferably of Michigan origin

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If Ron Swanson ate jelly beans, these would be his flavors. They forgot bacon, though.

If Ron Swanson ate jelly beans, these would be his flavors. They forgot bacon, though.

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Breakfast pizza and beer at the Tremont Taphouse in Cleveland, OH. Excellent brunch and a totally impressive beer list - I’ll be returning.

Breakfast pizza and beer at the Tremont Taphouse in Cleveland, OH. Excellent brunch and a totally impressive beer list - I’ll be returning.

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We humans are pretty efficient, eh?

We humans are pretty efficient, eh?

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Hanging with Chef Jonathon Sawyer at the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland on a 2012 culinary press tour.

Hanging with Chef Jonathon Sawyer at the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland on a 2012 culinary press tour.

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Congratulations to Bastone Brewery of Royal Oak, MI. Its Nectar des Dieux Triple scored a Gold Medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

Congratulations to Bastone Brewery of Royal Oak, MI. Its Nectar des Dieux Triple scored a Gold Medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.

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Holy Beer (by TheHungryDudes)
Check out the halo. This beer is heavenly.
Picture taken by Wattyz.

Holy Beer (by TheHungryDudes)

Check out the halo. This beer is heavenly.

Picture taken by Wattyz.

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Beer Review - Blue Tractor

Sweetwater Java Stout



This is a new offering the Blue Tractor offered up for us to try; it’s a Stout that has been dry hopped with Sweetwater Cafe’s coffee.  Java Stout is dark brown to black and cloudy adding to the depth of color, and has a thick and rich head mirroring a Guinness.  This is a rich beer with only a hint of palatable bitterness (and that mostly tastes of coffee and pine), since most of any hops derived bitterness is covered by the rich coffee and chocolate flavors.  Most surprising about this beer is its spiciness and lack of residual hops flavor that can be all too common in Micro-Brews.  The best flavor comparison for me is a mocha, as it has almost dark chocolate as the overarching flavor followed by coffee.  So if you like stouts, or enjoy a little more of a coffee flavored bitterness in beer, or if you just want a smoky and rotund beer; head over to the Blue Tractor and check out their Sweetwater Java Stout.

Malty -|———— Bitter

Light ————-| Dark

ABV: 6%

East Bound & Brown



This is the Blue Tractors offering in an American Brown Ale.  Another dark and cloudy beer with a medium bodied cream colored head.  East Bound has a wonderfully smoky and roasted flavor that compliments the expected nuttiness.  This is contrasted slightly with a pine like bitterness.  For a brown ale East Bound has a wonderful crisp snap on the tongue making it feel lighter and smoother than many other brown ales.  And while the bitterness can linger on the tounge a bit it’s not at all bad.  I would probiblly recomend this to people who enjoy Sam Adams Boston Lager,  and if you like brown ales this is a great addition to the lineup (although it might be a bit lighter than you used to).

Malty —-|——— Bitter

Light ———-|— Dark

ABV: 5.3%

Bumper Crop IPA



Bumper Crop is a Light Colored Medium Bodied IPA and one of Blue Tractors year round beers.  The first thing you will notice about this beer is the floral bitterness that you can even smell on it. This beer has a nice thick head (great lacing) and a citrus flavored start with a bitter snap at the end.  Bumper has hints of mango, grapefruit, and caramel that can be tasted around a floral and pine like bitterness that sits on the tongue.  This is an IPA that hits you and will not let go and Balanon stated at the tasting this is a “face sucker”, and if your love is bitter IPAs with good complexity this may just be for you.  While not as bitter and hopy as say Bells Breweries Hopslam, Blue Tractors Bumper Crop is a wonderful addition to the beer world especially for those among us who enjoy the bitter spiciness associated with IPAs.


Malty ———-|— Bitter

Light —-|——— Dark

ABV: 6.5%

- @iamFournier

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Beer Review - Jolly Pumpkin

Biere De Mars

Biere de Mars from the Jolly Pumpkin is a limited release French style stock ale (specifically only 4 barrels are being released for sale). Mars is a dark almost plum colored beer with a thick cream colored head. Mars has a lightly sweet taste that comes through first followed by a vineagar sourness, and finishes on an an oakey bitterness. This beer is fruity and sour and remindes me of a pinot noir, Mars has great character and is among a unique group of beers the only beer I have had that comes close is an Old English Porter offered by New Glarus (also a limited release).  However if you like dark beers that are sweet and not too bitter like porters or bocks give Biere De Mars a try.

Malty —|———- Bitter

Light  ———-|— Dark

ABV: 7%


Oro De Calabaza

One of the Jolly Pumpkins regular offerings is the sour ale Oro De Calabaza, which has a wonderful golden wheat color and pours with a wonderful medium bodied head and a smell that is reminiscent of orange soda. There are two over arching notes in Oro firstly a sweet citrus flavor and then a spicy almost sour yeast flavor. While those are the over arching tones of there is quite a bit going on in this beer, including an oakey nutty flavor imparted by the oak barrel aging, and other subtle hints hidden within this beer. This is a complex balanced offering which is most reminiscent of Blue Moon or other similar wheat beers. If your looking for a sweet wheat beer similar to Belgium beers give this one a try I also suggest taking your time and enjoying the variety of flavors present. 


Malty —|———- Bitter

Light —-|——— Dark

ABV: 8%

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Beer Review - New Glarus - Spotted Cow


This is the first of a occasional series I’m going to be running (on and off) about Wisconsin beers.  As a son of Detroit living in Wisconsin (for a few more months at least) I figured it would be a good idea to give some of the folks back home and over the internets some incites into beers they might want to try on a visit to Wisconsin.  First up is a Wisconsin classic Spotted Cow.  Spotted Cow is all over Wisconsin it’s as common as Labatt Blue is in Metro-Detroit; in other words if your out at a bar or restaurant you can almost guarantee Spotted Cow will not only be available, but probably on tap. The downside is that with a brewery who’s motto is “drink indigenous” your not likely to find this anywhere outside of Wisconsin, ever.  On the upshot though Spotty (as it’s called locally) has a wonderful aroma of fresh bread with hints of honey and citrus, and a nice golden yellow color and unfiltered cloudiness.  Spotted Cow’s popularity here comes in large part to it’s sweet and clean flavor with a nice hint of flowery bitterness and a thin white head making it not only drinkable, but repeatedly so. One of the nice things about Spotted Cow is that it’s nice and smooth despite the unfiltered cloudy nature of the beer.  It’s got a similar flavor to light ales like 312, but is best described as a lager with character (imagine MGD with some bite to it and your getting there).  A good beer and a Wisconsin classic so if your over in the Badger state give it a try.

Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Co. - New Glarus, WI

Malty —-|——— BitterLight  -|———— Dark
ABV: 4.8%
-Mike Fournier

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