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The shortest month of the year is behind us. During February, the Better on Draft team enjoyed quite a few tasty beers from both Michigan and a few other states. Check out our favorites! Beers are listed in alphabetical order by brewery name.


Black is Beautiful

Ascension Brewing Company | Novi, MI | Stout – Imperial/Double Pastry | 10%

Selected by Rob | Podcast Co-Host

“This beer was, possibly, one of the best renditions of Black is Beautiful to come out of Michigan. Ascension Brewing Company knocked it out the park! Their version was an imperial stout conditioned on top of candied walnuts, butter toffee pecans, coconut, and vanilla. Sweet, pillowy goodness.”

All the Wines

BAD Brewing Company | Mason, MI | Barleywine – American | 11.7%

Selected by Bill | Webmaster

“I love big, bold flavors like a good Barleywine. One of my all-time favorite Barleywines was Ninja Pirate from the now-closed Black Lotus Brewery. I’ve been looking for a worthy replacement. In February, I stopped in at BAD Brewing Company in Mason, and saw on the menu All the Wines, an American Barleywine punching in at 11.7%. It was described as “a blend of rye, barley, and wheat wines aged in a combination of red wine, wheat, and whiskey barrels.” With a description like that, how could I not try it?

It was outstanding! Subtle, complex flavors that dared me to try to identify, in a mist of red wine and the best Barleywine foundation one could ask for. Boozy as hell, and it had that thick viscosity that defines the style. While I’ll still think fondly of Ninja Pirate, I’ve discovered it’s successor, and it’s superior.”

Primavera Pils

Eastern Market Brewing Co | Detroit, MI | Pilsner | 5.3%

Selected by Dani | Blog Writer

Primavera Pils by Eastern Market Brewing Co is my Beer of the Month. Every year I turn another year older, the more it seems I turn to “basic” Lagers and easily drinkable beers that I can eat food with. I first tasted this beer last summer, on my birthday, and waited months for it to come back. This beer was beautifully golden and crystal clear. It was smooth, slightly bubbly, and bitter. Speaking from personal experience, six pints of it can go down pretty quickly in a night. I look forward to this being a staple of EMBC’s brewing rotation and enjoying to on their patio (or mine).”

Project Porcupine

Eternity Brewing | Howell, MI | IPA – Milkshake | 7.1%

Selected by Ed | Editor in Chief and Lead Blog Writer

“I visited Eternity Brewing on a whim during February and scanned the beer menu looking for a new-to-me beer. Project Porcupine appeared at the top of the second column of the menu as a Honey Guava Milkshake IPA. I ordered a short as it was the first trip of many and was blown away! The guava, honey, and hop combination was deliciously sweet and smooth. The beer wasn’t in your face like a lot of Milkshake IPAs can be. It was an excellent representation of what a Milkshake IPA should be.”

KING COLD BREW – ETHIOPIAN SAKISHA

HOMES Brewery | Ann Arbor, MI | Cream Ale | 7.75%

Selected by Ken | Founder and Podcast Co-Host

HOMES Brewery has a knack for a few specific beer styles and they do them well. Cream Ales aren’t something you find most places. Hell, even most of the time when you think ‘Cream Ale’ the only one you can come up with is Genesee Brewing Company’s Cream Ale. The KING COLD BREW – ETHIOPIAN SAKISHA is smooth, heavy handed on the coffee, and quick to drink. I enjoyed it with their Korean BBQ Wings. It is easily one of my favorite food-and-drink-combos I’ve ever had.”

RELATED: Freakin’ Flights – Cream Ales (2020)

Rising Hope

Parish Brewing Co. | Broussard, LA | Sour – Fruited Berliner Weisse | 4.8%

Selected by Nick | Podcast Co-Host

“My Beer of the Month is Rising Hope from Parish Brewing Co. I’m not a huge fan of sour beers, but this one got me more interested. It reminds me of summer outdoor concerts; fruitful, easy-drinking, sessionable, smashable. Considering you can’t get this in Michigan, it’s a beer that you would want to take extra time to enjoy and savor each sip, which I certainly did!”

Bacon & Eggs

Pizza Port Brewing Company | Carlsbad, CA | Porter – Imperial/Double Coffee | 8%

Selected by Dan | Podcast Co-Host

“My Beer of the Month is Pizza Port Brewing Company’s Bacon & Eggs. This coffee forward Imperial Porter clocks in at a perfect 8% ABV making it the perfect beer to enjoy on an 8° or 80° F winter day.”

Pliny the Younger

Russian River Brewing Company | Santa Rosa, CA | IPA – Triple | 10.25%

Selected by Wendy | Podcast Co-Host

“If there is one thing I can thank this pandemic for it is the chance to try one of my whales, Pliny the Younger. I’ve tried to get to the source for years and something always comes up. This year, due to shutdowns, Russian River Brewing Company changed things up a bit and through a series of planes, trains, and automobiles and awesome beer friends, I was able to get my hands on a bottle!

While I recognize that Pliny the Elder is fantastic for its style, its just a little too in-your-face-hoppy for me. Pliny the Younger is a Triple IPA version based on the Elder recipe. When I first started my IPA journey, I was told to try Double or Triple IPAs because they would be more balanced. Pliny the Younger is a perfect example of just that. You still get the strong hop flavor but without the initial punch to your taste buds, which makes for smooth drinking. At a little over 10% ABV, its a good thing I could only get one bottle. Cheers to not being disappointed by a whale! I’m still planning to make the trek to the source one day!”


Cheers!

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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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