Last week, .
After the announcement, we posted a question on our Facebook Page about what it should be. The winner was a double IPA, followed by rye pale ale and brown ale.
The Fenton location is expected to open in the summer of 2012.
While it is unknown what the new beer will be, we do know the ales and lagers Michigan Brewing Company now offers. Included is a company description of each beer, a rating from the Beer Advocate magazine and website and my take on each beer.
First, here is a list of MBC's flagship beers.
Michigan Brewing Company description: From amber waves of grain come this finely crafted wheat beer from the heartland of Michigan. Hefeweizen yeast and malted wheat give this ale its authentic German flavor and aroma. This unfiltered medium-bodied ale is lightly colored following a true Hefeweizen tradition.
My take: Looking for a clean, crisp, drinkable beer for a warm summer day? This is a good choice. Simple, yet refreshing.
Michigan Brewing Company description: Brewed in the tradition of the Austrian Vienna-style lager popularized in Bavaria’s Oktoberfest celebrations, Sunset Amber is a true cold-aged lager beer. A perfect beer for those who want a full-flavored brew without too much hop bitterness. Our amber lager shines like a golden sunset. The pleasant caramel flavor is lightly balanced with Northern Brewer and other hops to satisfy the palates of most beer lovers.
My take: Smooth and tasty, but simple flavors. Wish it had a little more to it, but again a very drinkable beer.
Michigan Brewing Company description: This festive-occasion beer follows the traditions of one of the oldest English brewing styles from the 16th century. The blend of malts provides a caramel and nut flavor with a deep coppery brown color with medium body, which is balanced with traditional English Kent Goldings hops. The result is lighter in color and flavor than our porter and stout, yet provides plenty of rich nutty and toasted malt flavors.
My take: One of my MBC favorites. Very nutty with a lot of flavor without being too heavy.
Michigan Brewing Company description: Derived from the traditional English-style bitter, this is a classic American pale ale. A three-malt blend provides a medium-bodied ale that is balanced with Northern Brewer and Cascade hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley, giving it a distinctive hop bitterness and aroma. The result is a light-colored brew, firm in both malt and hop presence. The term "pale" was derived due to the beer’s pale color compared to porters and stouts of the 18th century.
My take: If you are looking for just “a beer,” this is the one for you; it’s a typical pale ale.
Michigan Brewing Company description: Our interpretation of a legendary ocean-crossing classic is not for the timid. Assertively hoppy and dangerously seductive. A skillful blend of three premium barley malts with generous amounts of Northern Brewer and Cascade Hops.
My take: I like my IPAs to pack a pretty good hop punch. This one just doesn’t do it. If you are trying an IPA for the first time or don’t like huge flavor, this would be one to try. But for the serious beer drinker, there are several better Michigan-made IPA options out there.
Michigan Brewing Company description: The origins of porter date back to London in the early 19th century, when it was popular to mix two or three beers. Brewers eventually matched this by brewing with high-roasted malts, providing a dark, cloudy and hoppy brew. This beer quickly became the favorite of porters working in London-area markets, and eventually the beer adopted the name of its main consumers. Our blend of black and chocolate malts provides a distinct hint of chocolate, which is balanced lightly with Warrior and other hops, making this a distinct and palatable porter.
My take: It’s a decent beer, but it does nothing to stand out.
Michigan Brewing Company description: Named after “The Big Lake,” this is a big beer that will satisfy any stout lover. The “brewers choice” may vary slightly from batch to batch throughout the seasons, but it is always a Superior Stout. Dark and chocolate malts provide a distinctive caramel and coffee flavor profile, and a full creamy head that is balanced with choice bittering and aromatic hops.
My take: It takes a lot for me to get excited about a stout, and this one doesn’t even come close.
Michigan Brewing Company . Here is a look at those beers.
Michigan Brewing Company description: Celis White is seasoned with Curacao orange peel and coriander, and is brewed from a unique recipe first brewed in Belgium in 1453. It is top fermented and brewed from 50 percent raw winter wheat and 50 percent 2-Row malt, hopped with Willamette and EKG hops. Its sweetness balances many spicy foods.
My take: One of the better beers in the MBC arsenal. Smooth with hints of spice. A good summer beer.
Michigan Brewing Company description: Grand Cru, our special vintage ale, was originally brewed in small quantities in Belgium for special occasions such as celebrations, festivals and weddings. Celis Grand Cru is brewed according to a traditional recipe and uses Pilsen malt, Saaz, Willamette hops, Curacao orange peel and select spices. The combination produces an ale strong in character with a subtle fruitiness and complex flavors. It is best served at cellar temperatures and pours to a deep golden hue with a light, full head. Celis Grand Cru goes well with heartier foods such as beef tenderloin, smoked sausage, wild game or enchiladas.
My take: Spices can be tasted, but this one I will pass on. The strong alcohol content is hidden well, but it's not a beer I enjoy. Flavors don't seem to mesh well for my taste buds.
Michigan Brewing Company description: Celis Raspberry is a traditional Belgian-style fruit beer with full flavor, tartness and a rich, rosy hue. Selected hops add balance and contribute to its seductive aroma. It is delicious on its own or as a refresher. And it is the perfect complement to bread and cheese, vanilla ice cream or chocolate cake.
My take: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is the best fruit beer I’ve ever had. It inspired my dad and I to home-brew some raspberry wheat a couple of times. This one, while a little sweet, is not bad.
Michigan Brewing Company description: A top-fermented, copper-colored ale, Celis Pale Bock derives its rich red flavor from a blend of malts from the Midwest. Like its companion Celis White, Pale Bock is seasoned with our signature coriander and Curacao orange peel. The malts, balanced with the Willamette hops, give it a warm body and aroma as well as a flavor that stays with you. This beer is especially good with heartier fare, such as roast chicken, smoked ham, venison and Southwestern dishes.
My take: Bocks are usually pretty big with flavor, but this one is a little weak for my tastes.
Description: This is the .
My take: Not a beer for a serious beer drinker. However, if you are a fan of the clean, crisp lager, it’s not a bad beer.
There are many other seasonal and occasional beers that MBC brews, and I’ve sampled a few of them.
My take: Wowsers! While I believe a lot of MBC beers lack serious flavor, this one does not. It’s nearly 13 percent alcohol, and it’s about as thick as cough syrup. However, to me, it also tasted like cough syrup. It might take me an hour or more to sip down one of these suckers.
My take: While I love spiced beers, pumpkin and beer should keep their distance from each other. This one is a little harsh for me.
My take: I had one of these on my last trip to MBC's Webberville headquarters, and it's perhaps one of the best beers I’ve had there. I’m a big fan of the rye flavor, though it takes awhile to get used to. It’s a safe bet if this one comes on tap in Fenton, I’m getting one … or two.
My take: I sampled this one at the World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth in May. Warning to the guys: It’s pink. It’s definitely fruity and sweet, but I like the tang. It wasn’t too bad, but if this one comes on tap, buy one for that cute blonde sitting across the bar … unless it’s my fiancee.