The State of Michigan has been under a Stay at Home order since mid-March. As of today, in early May, that order is set to be lifted on May 15. Between these two dates was the entire calendar month of April that the Better on Draft crew spent at home.
Better on Draft podcast episodes have been conducted over Zoom and we are all itching to visit our favorite breweries and attend beer festivals. Because of this inactivity in and among the beer industry and community, we have been enjoying brews from near and far and cleaning to fridges and/or cellars.
The following list highlights our favorite beers during the month of April. Beers are in alphabetical order based on brewery name.
The Gentleman 2x IPA – Black Lotus Brewery (Clawson, MI) ~ Bill
“I picked up a handful of bottles of the Gentleman 2X Black IPA from Nick the Brewer after listening to his third and last appearance on Episode 207 of Better on Draft back in February. Nick was the head brewer at the now-closed Black Lotus Brewery and made a name for himself by brewing award-winning beers.
I was blown away by this beer. This beer was aged in a Detroit City Distillery mixed-use rye/cabernet/bourbon barrel and was 12.6%. It was the best Black IPA I’ve ever had because all of the flavors were amplified on top of the additional flavors from the thrice used barrel. Wow! That knocked it out of the park. The hint of cabernet with the Black IPA flavor was a stroke of genius! It was a fantastic beer, and was, sadly, my second to last bottle.”
Orange Drank – The Brewing Projekt (Eau Claire, WI) ~ Rob
“Courtesy of Tavour, I’m going with Orange Drank from The Brewing Projekt. This beer is a pure orange creamsicle. It’s like there’s more orange in this than orange juice. The mandarin overpowers the orange and tangerine in this kettle sour and the marshmallow added comes in as a nice steady jab! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥/ 10!”
RESIST Milkshake IPA – The Brewing Projekt (Eau Claire, WI) ~ Wendy
“Thanks to Tavour, I’m also going with a pick from The Brewing Projekt, RESIST, a Piña Colada Milkshake IPA. Normally, I’m not a big fan of Milkshake IPAs or coconut in beers that aren’t stouts. RESIST tasted like I was on vacation and my wanderlust has been raging lately. The coconut and pineapple were well balanced with the hops. It was delicious, and it made me want to be on a boat.”
BA Side Beast – DeHops Brewing Company & Café (Walker, MI) ~ Ed
“Barrel-aged barleywines have a special place in my heart. There is something about the boozy yet sweet barleywine melding with the strong yet smooth notes of a bourbon barrel. BA Side Beast from DeHops hit all the nails on the head as my favorite from April. I’ve had this beer since last fall and had been keeping it for a rainy day. With no end in sight with the Stay at Home order, I decided it was time to enjoy it.”
Zoe – Maine Beer Company (Freeport, ME) ~ Ken
“The bottle states Zoe is a ‘hoppy Amber Ale’, but this beer has an amazing malt bill that just crushes over any ‘hoppiness’. Clocking in at 7.2%, this beer is one of the flagships of the Maine Beer Company. When drinking this beer, I’m continuously reminded of the great beer they put out that I wish we got in Michigan. If you find yourself in their distro area, check out their other staples, like Mean Old Tom or Lunch.”