As St. Patrick’s Day weekend raps at the door, many are beginning to make their (long) list of beer requirements for the festivities. While a pint of Guinness or a green-hued beer will be readily available at most brewpubs and restaurants, it’s always good to “shop local” when able, and as we are literally spoiled with great beer in the State of Michigan (and most notably, in the city of Ann Arbor). It is not hard to fuel your celebrations with Irish Reds, Stouts, and Porters from great Michigan Craft Breweries.
The list of great Michigan beers can keep on going (and going), however, here are a few great brews to try out this weekend, either on draft from the source, or in the comfort of your home by the bottle.
Arbor Brewing Company – Ann Arbor, MI
- Michael Faricy’s Irish Stout – ABV 5% – This crowd-pleaser has a dark coffee-like appearance with a creamy head and smoky, roasted grain aromas. It is rich and creamy on the palate with chalky, burnt flavors balanced by lush dark chocolates and never turns too dry through the smoky finish. Full-flavored yet highly drinkable—rich and creamy without being thick or heavy.
- Steamroller Russian Imperial Stout – ABV 8.75% – Biggest, strongest, darkest, and richest stout. Black malt flavors expand into a full-flavored palate bursting with dry, roasted espresso and bittersweet chocolate. The character is generous and warming. Surprisingly drinkable for its obvious weight.
- Espresso Love Breakfast Stout – ABV 7.5% – Oatmeal and 20 pounds of fresh roasted coffee from the Ugly Mug Café contribute to a mildly chalky espresso character balanced by a rich, sweet creamy maltiness. Coffee finish dissolves into chocolate with a slight roasty bitterness.
- Blackheath Sweet Stout – ABV 5.5% – Strong stout brewed in the tradition of Engligh milk stouts-but without the lactose (vegan friendly!). It is smooth, creamy, and complex with a mellow roasted coffee bitterness on the palate, will-blance by a semi-sweet chocolate finish.
Jolly Pumpkin – Dexter, MI (Cafe is located in Ann Arbor)
- Madrugada Obscura “Dark Dawn” – ABV 8.1% – A Belgian inspired stout that is as dark as a moonless midnight, brimming of roasted malts and bitter hops. It will keep you good company in all places, be they light or dark.
Grizzly Peak – Ann Arbor, MI
- Amarillo Shamrock Irish Red – ABV 4.6% – Resonant with intense ruby highlights, rich caramel, toasty and citrus flavors. Subtle dry and fruity notes followed by a spicy hop character, flow over the tongue, gently fading into an exceptionally smooth finish.
- Bear Paw Porter – ABV 6.2% – A dark ale with the flavor of roasted and chocolate malts, full-bodied and smooth with a sturdy hop finish
- County Cork’s Irish Stout – ABV 5.1% – A dry, rich, Irish-style stout, nitrogen-dispensed for creaminess. Big roasted malt, hints of fruit and a dry, slightly acidic finish.
Blue Tractor – Ann Arbor, MI
- Pitmaster Porter – A medium-bodied dark ale with roasted barley and chocolate malts, balanced with American hops and fermented with American ale yeast.
Witch’s Hat Brewing Co – South Lyon, MI
- Witch Hunt Stout – ABV 4.5% – A stout brewed with heaps of roasted barley and a hint of chocolate.
- The Tuscan Coffee Stout – Our Witch Hunt dry stout brewed with locally roasted coffee from the Tuscan Coffee House in downtown South Lyon.
- Chocolate Mint Stout – Small batch release to be released St. Patrick’s Day weekend, full bodied stout brewed with Organic Cocoa and mint.
- Cocoa Oatmeal Stout – Small batch release to be released St. Patrick’s Day weekend, brewed with oats, chocolate malt, and organic cocoa
Chelsea Alehouse – Chelsea, MI
- Winter Wind Oatmeal Stout – ABV 5.9% – A smooth roasty stout to help warm you up after a busy day outside.
Original Gravity – Milan, MI
- Lumpy – ABV 5.2% – Roasty, chocolatey, creamy and smooth Oatmeal Stout served on Nitro.
- Mason Brewer’s Best – ABV 4.1% – English style session beer (English Mild) named after the Brewer Brad’s son, Mason Brewer. Easy drinking beer that is not short on flavor
MillKingIt Productions – Royal Oak, MI
- Brik Irish Red Ale – ABV 4.8% – Five different malts are skillfully blended to create a medium bodied, crowd-pleasing ale. The nose breathes caramel, malt and complexity. The beer is medium bodied, has the appropriate alcohol of 4.8% and is definitely a beer deserving the title, “session beer”.
Bell’s Brewery – Kalamazoo, MI
- Expedition Stout – ABV 10.5% – One of the earliest examples of the Russian Imperial Stout in the United States, Expedition Stout offers immensely complex flavors crafted specifically with vintage aging in mind, as its profile will continue to mature and develop over the years. A huge malt body is matched to a heady blend of chocolate, dark fruits, and other aromas. Intensely bitter in its early months, the flavors will slowly meld and grow in depth as the beer ages.
- Java Stout – ABV 7.5% – Using a custom blend of coffee beans, roasted locally by Water Street Coffee Joint, to generate its intense flavor. Possessing an unmistakable aromatic punch, it has long been one of Bell’s most popular stouts.
New Holland Brewing Co – Holland, MI
- Night Tripper Imperial Stout – ABV 10.8% – Dark, mysterious and poetic, Night Tripper’s abundance of roasted malts, combined with flaked barley create a rich, roasty beer with deeply intense and lush flavors. Night Tripper’s layered, nuanced tones invite intrigue and reward a curious palate.
- Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout – ABV 10% – Roasty malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones, all dancing in an oak bath. Pairings: red meat, smoked foods, balsamic, rich cheese & dark chocolate.
Short’s Brewing Co – Bellaire, MI
- Uncle Steve’s Irish Stout – A version of the classic Irish Stout, complete with a dark color, soft head, and smooth full flavor typical of this lighter bodied style. A simple grist formula provides a base of roasted malt flavors while the infusion of nitrogen adds a creamy drinkability.
Cheers to great beer!