I had a nice surprise when I visited my local beer proprietor today. I found yet another brewery has popped up in the greater Ann Arbor region of the state. This brewery is called Rustic Ales and is pretty unique. The website is: www.DrinkOldFecker.com
The brewery seemed to just appear with little fanfare, with a very local offering of 816 bottles of Strutter Bitter Old Fecker. The bottles are hand numbered and, according to the website details, the beer is pretty much handmade without the high-tech gadgetry that graces most modern breweries. They claim they can made their beer without electricity. I can’t even make that claim when I home brew!
Strutter is an IPA made with spices one often finds in meads (juniper, rose hips, chamomile, and honey) and is aged in bourbon barrels. The beers pours a cloudy pale yellow and has a distinct whiskey tinge that is what you would expect from the barrel aging. The hops are balanced and the flavor is worth the effort to find another bottle. As far as I can tell, Strutter is the brewery’s only beer so far.
The brewer learned his craft at Ann Arbor’s Grizzly Peak Brewery and they claim to only use Michigan grown ingredients. While I applaud the local nod, it seems limiting to not use some of the excellent malts and hops grown outside of Michigan. I wonder where the bourbon barrels came from.
The label has some great artwork and is literally filled with information. I had to use my trusty magnifying glass to see it all. To me, this is a good thing. I like a beer label that takes a while to consume. I particularly like the story of the rooster “Strutter” on Cecil’s farm.