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Beer Of The Month Clubs And Craft Beer Of Michigan

Updated on August 16, 2011
craft beer
craft beer

Try A Microbrew Or Two

Some of the best beer around comes from microbrews where the beer is handcrafted for a unique and specialized taste. These craft beers are either crafted at microbreweries or they are made by individuals at their own homes. Michigan is home to many great microbreweries and I'm sure many individual brewers.

So what is the best way to be able to taste all of these great beers? Taking a tour of the many microbreweries is one great idea. Another one is to join a beer of the month club where you get to try a new selection monthly from regions all over the world.

Home Brew Beer Clubs In Michigan

If you like to brew your own craft beer, then you might want to consider joining a home brew beer club in Michigan. This would give you a chance to get together with other crafters and sample their craft beers.

Not only does Michigan have a lot of microbreweries and brew pubs but there are also several home brewers throughout the state.  All of the various clubs and festivals give a great opportunity for fellow brewers to share their techniques or maybe just offer their samples.

Beer Of The Month Clubs - Gift Idea

A gift idea that is becoming very popular is to buy your favorite beer lover a membership to a beer of the month club.

What you do is purchase a membership for pretty much any length of time you want starting at two monthes. The recipient will receive shipments every month, every other month or every quarter, depending on how you set it up.

Most clubs will send out twelve 12 oz bottles from a couple different microbreweries in a variety of samples including a newsletter. You can pick from a domestic variety, international plus domestic, just international or rare varieties. The price per month depends on the variety you choose.

This is a great gift idea for someone that you may not know what to buy for but know they love beer. Being able to sample different varieties each month is a gift that keeps on giving. Of course this is also something fun that you may want to join for yourself. What a great way to sample different beers.

The link to the right offers the Gourmet Monthly Club which features selections from the Michigan Brewing Company.

Video Of Beer Club Recipient

Beer Tasting

There are a couple of different ways to go beer tasting. One is to visit some of the local breweries in your area or check out other breweries when traveling. Most will offer small samples of beer to try if you are unsure of what you like. This is a fun way to experiment. Microbreweries will also sell their beer retail while brew pubs can only sell at their establishment.

If you are buying beer retail, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The old thought is that you buy beer cold, store beer cold, and drink beer cold. This isn't necessarily true anymore. Basically, the lighter the beer, the colder it should be served. The rules are very similar to wine. Generally, lagers should be refrigerated like white wine and the darker ales can be cellared like a red wine. Another thing to look for is descriptors on the label. If you have been tasting beers already, you should have a good idea of what flavors or aromas you like, such as chocolate!

Another way to sample beer is to attend a beer festival - there are several held in Michigan. This is where microbreweries gather from all over for a beer competition. It is like taking a major beer tour but all in one location. The biggest beer festival in the U.S. is the Great American Beer Festival. It features 1,900 different beers from 400 breweries throughout the country.


So What Is A Craft Beer Made Of?

A craft beer or microbrew is unique in that it is handcrafted by a microbrewery using a specialized blend of traditional ingredients. There are four basic ingredients that go into a beer - water, malt, hops and yeast. Craft beers are normally not pasteurized but instead go through a filtration process which improves clarity. The two basic categories of beer are lager and ale. Lager beers will include the pilsners, bocks and helles while the ales include wheat, porters and stouts.

The careful combination of ingredients is what gives each beer it's distinctive flavor. Water quality can impact the flavor according to the adjustments that are made to either remove substances like chlorine or make adjustments to mineral content.

Malt is the primary source of fermentable sugar. Specialty roasted or toasted malted barley will lend a flavor of coffee, chocolate, or caramel depending on the adjustment. Replacing a portion of the barley with malted wheat is what makes a wheat beer.

To impact the bitterness and aroma of a beer, many different varieties of the hops flower can be added. Depending on the variety, the result can be earthy, floral, piney or citrusy.

The heart of the beer is brewers yeast. It is what consumes the sugars and expels alcohol and carbon dioxide. Specialty yeasts can give an aroma of clove, spice or banana.

With the care that goes into making a craft beer, it is no wonder the tastes are so rich. There is such a variety between the range of light and dark beers, that a small sampling of each is almost required to understand which characteristics you find appealing. Michigan has some of the best craft beer brewed and is a great state to do some tasting.

michigan beer
michigan beer

Beer Mugs

 Of course every great beer deserves a great mug and what better mug for a Michigan craft beer than a Michigan collegiate.  These make a perfect addition to a bar or game room and would complete a beer gift nicely.

Beer Tour - Michigan Microbrewery

Michigan is making a name for itself in quality microbrews. They have been the proud recipient of several medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup making them known as the Great Beer State. There are more than sixty brewpubs and microbreweries in Michigan which makes it a great place to go for a tour.

Here is a listing of just the microbreweries throughout the state:

  1. Arbor Brewing Company - 114 E. Washington * Ann Arbor
  2. Arcadia Brewing Company - 103 W. Michigan Ave * Battle Creek
  3. Atwater Block Brewery - 237 Joseph Campau * Detroit
  4. Big Buck Brewery - 550 S. Wisconsin * Gaylord
  5. Black Lotus Brewing Company - 1 E. 14 Mile Rd. * Clawson
  6. Dark Horse Brewing Company - 511 S. Kalamazoo Ave * Marshall
  7. Dragonmead Microbrewery - 14600 E. Eleven Mile Rd. * Warren
  8. Fletcher Street Brewing Company - 124 W. Fletcher St. * Alpena
  9. Founders - 235 Grandville Ave SW * Grand Rapids
  10. The Hideout Brewing Company - 3113 Plaza Dr. NE * Grand Rapids
  11. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales - 3115 Broad St., Suite A * Dexter
  12. Keweenaw Brewing Company - 408 Shelden Ave. * Houghton
  13. King Brewing Company - 895 Oakland Ave * Pontiac
  14. Kuhnhenn Brewing Company - 5919 Chicago Rd. * Warren
  15. Liberty Street Brewing Company - 149 W. Liberty * Plymouth
  16. The Livery - 190 5th St. * Benton Harbor
  17. Michigan Brewing Company - 1093 Highview Dr. * Webberville
  18. Motor City Brewing Works - 470 W. Canfield * Detroit
  19. New Holland Brewing Company - 690 Commerce Ct. * Holland
  20. Old Hat Brewery And Grill - 114 N. Main St. * Lawton
  21. Original Gravity Brewing Company - 440 County St. * Milan
  22. Right Brain Brewery - 221 Garland St. * Traverse City
  23. Round Barn Brewery - 10983 Hills Rd. * Baroda
  24. Saugatuck Brewing Company - 2948 Blue Star Hwy. * Douglas
  25. Schmohz Brewing Company - 2600 Patterson SE * Grand Rapids
  26. Short's Brewing Company - 121 N. Bridge St. * Bellaire
  27. Tri-City Brewing Company - 3020 N Water * Bay City

Beer Tour

show route and directions
A markerArbor Brewing Co -
114 E. Washington; Ann Arbor, MI, USA
get directions

B markerArcadia Brewing Co -
103 W Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49017, USA
get directions

C markerAtwater Block Brewery -
237 Joseph Campau St, Detroit, MI 48207, USA
get directions

D markerBig Buck Brewery -
S Wisconsin, Gaylord, MI 49735, USA
get directions

E markerBlack Lotus Brewing Co -
1 E 14 Mile Rd, Clawson, MI 48017, USA
get directions

F markerDark Horse Brewing Co. -
511 S Kalamazoo Ave, Marshall, MI 49068, USA
get directions

G markerDragonmead Microbrewery -
14600 E 11 Mile Rd, Warren, MI 48092, USA
get directions

H markerFletcher Street Brewing Company -
124 W Fletcher St, Alpena, MI 49707, USA
get directions

I markerFounders -
235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA
get directions

J markerThe Hideout Brewing Company -
3113 Plaza Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, USA
get directions


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    • Song-Bird profile image

      Renee Hanlon 8 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Dohn! I have found that I just love the dark beers. I'll have to check out your hub :) and yes I am from Michigan.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Wow, Song-Bird! You really know your beer! While working at several private and family-owned restaurants, I've tasted many local micro-brews (franchises are reluctant to support the local market). Many were good while others were so-so. I really do like beer as well :D Here's the proof:

      I hope that you like it should you get the chance to check it out. Thanks for a fabulous hub! By the way, are you from Michigan? Just a hunch.