Each and every year the Michigan Brewers Guild have four major festivals in which they collect a huge number of beers from the now over 330 breweries in the state that allow you to sit down and have a beer (and there are more than 65 breweries upcoming). Every July the Summer Beer Festival takes over Ypsilanti, MI. and this year is no different! With 1166 different beers from 151 breweries, the list is the biggest ever. But with over a thousand beers, we tell you the 6 winning brews at the festival! With over 151 breweries to even choose from at this event, obviously we couldn’t try every one, but each was chosen from the hosts! Missing your favorite beer or brewery? Check out our previous LISTS, they may be there!
1. Batch Brewing – Blood In Orange Out Creamsicle Slushie ~ Matt
Beer slushies are nothing new, especially to Batch Brewing. We saw them last year, and this year they came even more prepared with a beer slushie every hour ready to go! Their tag line at Batch is “Beer Makes Me Happy”, and this should make you happier, especially at a 80-90 degree festival day with the sun out!
2. Lucky Girl Brewing Company – FIGHT (Creme Brulee) ~ Rob
This was a favorite of a lot of the hosts, we even discussed it briefly on the most recent episode of Better on Draft, Episode #141 . A perfect balance of coffee and sweetness that serves a smooth finish. We also talked about beer being made for a certain weather, and this is something I’d prefer to go to in the fall as opposed to a yam, sweet potato, or pumpkin beer!
3. Reed City Brewing Co – PB Porter ~ Dan
While we were pouring for Cellarmen’s, Reed City was 2-3 doors down. I can’t tell you how many times I (Ken) had to go get Dan a new fill of PB Porter. I’m pretty sure this is the only thing he drank once he found it, and let me tell you, this was an amazingly smooth beer. You know Better on Draft has an affinity for PB beers, we love our Monkey Butter from Jaden James, but this takes the cake. The peanut butter is on the nose right away but the flavor doesn’t kick you in the face like the smell does. If you’re a fan of PB and chocolate candy bars like a Snickers or Reese’s, this is for you for sure!
4. Witch’s Hat Brewing Co – Boysenberry Ghost Pepper Night Fury ~ Ken
Let’s get this over with. It’s a ghost pepper beer. I hate everything to do with Ghost Peppers (and any spicy beers). Dan had actually offered it to me when we stopped at Witch’s Hat during the enthusiasts hour, I had picked up a different night fury. While I was disappointed in my decision, Dan suggested I take a sip of his. Reluctantly I did, and this was by far the winning beer. First of all, is there ghost pepper in here? If there is, the Boysenberry removed all heat. There was no heat, it didn’t destroy your taste buds, it was smooth, damn it was good! I will seek this beer out again
5. White Flame – Milli Bobbie Brown ~ Nick
We’re always a sucker for catchy names, and this didn’t disappoint with flavor either! Nick couldn’t stop talking about this beer from White Flame which was near the entrance of the event on the water. We walked from the back 40 all the way up there to try it, and we too were not disappointed. A lot of people on Untappd were either loving or hating it, which I think is what makes a good beer. A good IPA should be enjoyed by IPA drinkers, not someone like me, and I think Brown’s are very underrated when it comes to beers because the malt characteristics can hit you hard or soft, and if you make an American version that’s a bit hoppier and bitter, versus an English version, there’s so much to do. But if you like it, then it’s a good beer, and Nick LOVED it!
6. HOMES – Guava Sherbert ~ Angela
A lactose kettle sour, you’re getting an array of flavors from tart, juicy, and guava. A lot of people are starting to brew with lactose, and they should take notes from this HOMES brew. A great intro beer for non-sour drinkers into the realm of sour (and if they can’t get past this tartness, then we know sours aren’t for them). There also aren’t too many gauva beers out there, so when they can this again, we highly suggest getting it!