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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mackinaw Trail Winery/Brewery, Petoskey, Michigan

On a recent trip to Northern Michigan I was pleasantly surprised to be taken to a new brewery in the Petoskey area called Mackinaw Trail Winery and Brewery.  The new brewery (opened in 2014) is located in the established winery (2004) on a property that includes a large vineyard, a building for events, and a modern tasting room/bistro.  I'm told that future plans include a bed-and-breakfast and a distillery.  All-in-all, Mackinaw Trial will be a fun tourist destination in this area.

At the tasting room you can try the beer, wine, or cider.   Being me, I choose to try the beer for which a surprising 9 were offered.  There was a good range of styles including a Pilsner, fruit wheat, amber, two IPAs, and several stouts.  One of the stouts was barrel aged (Molasses Bourbon Stout) with impressive stats: ABV% = 14.5; IBU = 88.  This one was quite good and I think it will improve with age.  I bought a 22 ouncer for this purpose.  All the beers were very good and some had clever names such as the U.P Yours IP "eh".  Get it? 

They also had a double IPA they called Double Trouble.  I imagine that it won’t be long before they get a note from Founder's Brewing asking them to not use that name, as Founder's has used the same name for their outstanding Imperial IPA.  You can get a 5 sample flight of beer for $10.

I look forward to seeing this brewery grow and expect that it will continue to make excellent beers and I hope to see them at the various Michigan beer festivals in years to come.  If you're in the Petoskey area, you will not be disappointed in this winery/brewery. Find them on the web at:


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tapistry Brewing, Bridgman Michigan

Great beer things have been happening on the West side of Michigan.  One of those things is Tapistry Brewing in Bridgman, Michigan.  The brewery opened in July, 2013 and has been gaining a steady following since then.  A couple of years ago I stopped by the taproom on the way back from Chicago and got to try several wonderful and creative beers.  The taproom was artsy and the food was quite good.  I liked the clean and orderly row of tap handles which was a welcome departure from what you see in most bars and brewpubs.   

Since that visit, I'm finding Tapistry beer all over:  Tapistry beers on tap are regularly featured at Bill's Beer Garden in Ann Arbor, Michigan; I find Tapistry bombers in my favorite beer stores; and the pint-size cans of Reactor IPA fill my refrigerator.  While Tapistry makes some great brews, Reactor has become one of my favorites for Summer drinking.   The beer has a strong hop character and pleasant citrus notes throughout.   At 7% ABV (I had to look this up because they do not print the ABV on the label and I won't hold this against them for now), the beer makes a perfect American IPA pint for sipping at dusk as the fireflies come out.   More to come on this excellent brewery.