Twenty Years. To some it is one year short of the Promise land or a year too long of crossing the bridge (Do the kids still do that or am I showing my age… wait that question gave it away didn’t it?) Anyway. Twenty years. That’s A LOT of beer. While I usually focus on new breweries, I thought I’d take the opportunity to tip my hat to one of my favorite Michigan Breweries, Dragonmead.
I still remember my first visit to Dragonmead. I was so new to this crazy world of craft beer that I had no idea what I was walking in to. I couldn’t figure out why my friend was taking me to this place that looked like it housed some type of factory or shipping company. Lots of changes have happened since the first time I walked into that taproom, but I still find myself getting excited every time I walk in.
With over 40 of their own beers on tap, it can be a little overwhelming if you aren’t sure what you want. The board always shows some seasonal offerings though and a highlighted flight for those looking for something new. I’ve always liked that there are half pints available as well for those of us who are coming from afar and want a taste or two of an old favorite or something new.
The newest change though is the food menu. The addition of food has made the journey from the craft beer wasteland a little easier to handle. With Snacks and heartier fare Dragonmead can be the only stop for the night. This can come in handy on the nights they have entertainment.
Dragonmead has been a favorite of mine for years, and it’s not just because they are the home of Final Absolution (though that may or may not have started the love affair). I’ve always been a fan of the renaissance theme. From the beer names to the décor, they have always had my attention. The friendly staff and the welcoming atmosphere are what truly keep me coming back time after time.
Over the years I have watched the brewery grow, their distribution spread and the beer get better and better. This was the first place I tried mixing beers to get a different flavor (my fave will always be the final and the apricot wheat). I barely remember one fine afternoon spent trying mixes that they had written down behind the bar and creating our own. Try it sometime. It makes for an interesting trip.
While I usually don’t use events as inspiration for my reviews, I was seriously excited to make it to the 20th Celebration because of the impact this brewery has had on my love of craft beer. The special releases did not disappoint. Armageddon is delicious as always. The Scotchish collaboration with Eastern Market brewing was delicious. And you know a 4 pack of the Bourbon barreled Under the Kilt made its way home with me. My only disappointment was that Dark Heathen (a collaboration with Kuhnhenn) was missing. I guess I’ll have to go back in the next week or so when its ready to bottle right? You should probably just meet me there!