Unlike the heavily traveled northwestern and central regions of the Lower Peninsula, the rustic northeastern corner requires a high level of intention to navigate it. Nestled on the shores of Lake Huron is the city of Alpena, a quiet, isolated city that captured the attention of a family from Southern California during their cross country adventure. The Austin family pivoted their priorities in order to launch their dreams of starting a microbrewery now known as Austin Brothers Beer Co.
Since the beginning, in both their kitchen and their state of the art brew system, the family has held to lofty goals of local ingredients, high quality, and innovation. Over time Austin Brothers built an excellent reputation for many styles with locals and visitors to their taproom. It has been the broadened exposure through distribution that has spread the news of their delightful offerings far and wide. While known for the multitudes and variety of Milkshake, Double, and Triple IPAs, I’d like to focus upon their constantly evolving line of New England IPAs particularly the Murk series like X Murks the Spot, Murk Twain IPA, Question Murk, Shooter Murkgavin, and Murking Man Blues. Today we dive into their most recent offering released in time for Father’s Day – Dad Shoes Hazy IPA.
At the snap of the can, this energetic ale lunges with a citrus aroma and subtle earthiness to the nose. As quickly as the head builds, there is a marvelous union of stone fruit and pine that one must take a moment to enjoy as the head hastily dissipates to a lacey covering. At first draw, Dad Shoes flashes of grapefruit and a subtle touch of the Mosaic’s mellow earthiness. Rapidly the medium body of this ale builds to tropical fruit tones riding the centering, yet slight bitterness of the Citra hops. This enjoyable amalgamation is one that I would encourage drinkers to linger through the middle so as to not miss the beauty within this brew. As we enter the home stretch, the undertones of the Simcoe’s berry and Mosiac’s faint bubble gum notes appear neck and neck as the grapefruit and bright orange of the Citra break from the pack to cross first into a long, slow fade at the finish.
Dad Shoes Hazy IPA is available on tap in Alpena or in four-pack pint cans. Dad Shoes is scheduled to ship to the shelves of your favorite store within a week.
During the pandemic, Austin Brothers shifted to a to-go model for beer and pared down its menu offerings. While the taproom was closed, the family concentrated on canning product to get out to their distribution partners. This effort led to a growing number of craft beer enthusiasts seeing a larger and varied offering of Austin Brothers cans available on shelves.
As of Father’s Day weekend, their current hours are noon – 8pm Tuesdays through Saturdays with to-go offerings available via online ordering or visiting their taproom to enjoy their covered outdoor dining area.