As summer winds down and another month passes the Better on Draft team by, more beers were consumed and enjoyed at home, on the show, and in beer reviews galore.

Check out the team’s favorite beers from August 2020 in the middle of a global pandemic. Beers are in alphabetical order based on brewery name.

Whitsun Ale – Arcadia Brewing Co (Bellaire, MI) ~ Ed

“After a brief hiatus, Whitsun Ale is back and it was wonderful to sip on the pale wheat ale again. Superfluid Supply Co, a brand of Short’s Brewing Company, recently purchased the Arcadia Ales recipes to reproduce. Whitsun was the first to be reincarnated.

I had the pleasure of enjoying it on draft at one of my favorite hangout spots in East Lansing, Crunchy‘s. It paired well with the Crunchy Burger and I also enjoyed a few cans throughout August too. I did find a few old bottles of it from the late Arcadia Ales, so a side-by-side is definitely in my future.”

Kayak Attack – Big Buck Brewery (Gaylord, MI) ~ Bill

“August’s favorite beer for me is Big Buck Brewery‘s Kayak Attack, a Honey Kölsch brewed with guava and grapefruit. On our way back from the U.P. we usually stop at Snowbelt Brewing in Gaylord. They weren’t serving burgers and I was craving one, so we stopped into Big Buck instead.

According to the beer menu, Kayak Attack was the 2019 World Expo of Beer People’s Choice winner and I can see why – the honey and guava adds a bit of sweetness, the grapefruit a bit of tartness, and both make for a refreshing beer! The pour is cloudy, like a blonde-colored NEIPA. It comes in at 5.4% ABV and has 27 IBUs. The best part is that it’s in distribution, so you can find it anyplace that carries Big Buck’s products. Stopping in for this beer made the long drive home worthwhile, and even better knowing that I can stock up on it locally.

P.S. If you find yourself in the area and are into seltzers, stop in and try the Buckin’ Seltzer, a 5.8% Key Lime Hard Seltzer. It tastes exactly like a Key Lime. I’m not exactly a seltzer guy, but I came home with a four-pack of it. Mighty good!”

Nordskye – Blackrocks Brewery (Marquette, MI) ~ Chaz

Nordskye Session IPA is session IPA is like none other on the market today. It is the most sessionable beer I’ve ever had and it’s mosiac AF. Usually, lower ABV IPAs lose their luster, either by an artificial hop taste or tasting pretty much like water, but not this gem. It is great for any and all Michigan summer activities when wanting to take in the day in all its glory, and not be face in the sand when night falls. If you’re lucky, enjoy this masterpiece from Blackrocks Brewery in its homeland of Marquette, Michigan viewing a Mother Superior sunset or sunrise, pick your poison.”

Fundamental Observation – Bottle Logic Brewing (Anaheim, CA) ~ Rob

“I was really disappointed with Bottle Logic‘s version of this last year, as it seemed like it just didn’t have the flavors I expected. This year’s Fundamental Observation did not disappoint. It had a very smooth bourbon flavor, slight stout bitterness, and the taste of vanilla and brownies. It was ridiculously good and I would love to get more of it.”

Gretchen Whitbier – Eastern Market Brewing Company (Detroit, MI) ~ Wendy

“I had some hella tasty beers this month! The hands-down winner is Gretchen Whitbier by Eastern Market Brewing Company. There were no gimmicks with this beer as it was a crisp, clean Belgian wit with refreshing bursts of banana, clove, and orange that you would expect. It was a great help through the hot humid days that rounded out August. The beer was released for Women’s Equality Day and was made by the ladies at EMBC, Ferndale Project, Fermenta, and the Detroit Draft Divas. The name is a nod to Governor Whitmer for signing the self-distribution bill into law earlier this year.

My choice may or may not have been influenced by the fact that Gram and I were able to participate in the brew day. Memories were made. Hats off to all of the amazing women that had a hand in making this beer happen. We made a damn tasty beer!”

Photo Credit – Grand Traverse Pie Co

Cherry Pie Whole – Right Brain Brewery (Traverse City, MI) ~ Weasel

“Michigan is among the leaders in our nation when it comes to cherry production. Cherries are everywhere you look in the Traverse City region. From the numerous cherry orchards along the Traverse Bays at every turn you will find menus featuring cherries, cherry coffee, cherry whiskey, cherry ice cream, cherry pies, and many more.

While the year (that shall not be named) has forced the postponement of the annual tradition of Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival, this did not deter a pair of local partners to divert their plans of producing their annual contribution to all things cherry – the amber ale known as Cherry Pie Whole.

Right Brain Brewery prepares an Amber base beer and adds ‘A LOT of real Cherry Crumb Pies’ from Grand Traverse Pie Company. The freshly baked pies are crumbled into bags, boxed up, and transported just over a mile south to Right Brain whose mission is to ‘Keep Beer Curious.’ The pies and additional cherries are added into several phases of production to create additional depths to the overall taste of the beer. Right Brain describes it as, ‘Expect light notes of the crust with a big cherry finish. It’s beer made with pies. It’s not pie. Expect beer made with pies.’

The ale features a welcoming ruby color and slight fruit aromas. The traditionally deeper malt profile of the Amber style helps promote the undertones of the rich baked crust and remaining sweetness from the cherries. While typically a July release around the National Cherry Festival, you can often find this Amber beauty on tap at Right Brain Brewery throughout the latter half of the summer.”

Buenaveza Salt and Lime Lager – Stone Brewing (Escondido, CA) ~ Dani

“Since we were basically robbed of a real summer this year, it’s a good thing Stone Brewing‘s Buenavexa Salt and Lime Lager came along to remind us of what we were missing. This refreshing lime and salt lager had exactly the right amount of tang and just a little bite. It was perfect for relaxing in a backyard kiddie pool (you know, since we couldn’t really go anywhere else this summer). I can’t think of a better way to pass the hot, end-of-summer days than with my legs in a pool and a delicious beer in my hand. Truly … I can’t think of anything.”


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By Ed Norton

Edwin "Ed" Norton was first introduced to craft beer when his designated fraternity Big Brother Vince asked him if he knew anything about the topic. Ed admitted his ignorance and the rest is history as Ed and Vince would split six-packs of craft beers each week during Ed's probationary status. Ed is now a craft beer enthusiast who is always on the lookout for a beer he has not tried when bottle shopping or drinking at breweries and bars. In addition to drinking beer, this livelong Michigan resident enjoys a bunch of hobbies that he doubts you really care about, other than drinking beer and sounding off about it.

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