Brewed in Detroit

Detroit beer

I don’t drink beer.  I don’t like it at all but I’m surrounded by beer connoisseurs and am aware that Michigan’s brewery scene is quite impressive.  So much so that a recent list named 4 Michigan beers on a top 20 list of the best beers in the world!  Nationally, Michigan is one of the biggest distributors of beer and represents approximately 6% of the market.  For those reasons this week will be Beer Week on the blog.

To kick things off we had a Detroit beer tasting get together Friday night and it was a lot of fun.  We picked up over a dozen bottles of beer, printed out some very detailed beer rating sheets and set out some salty snacks for thoughtful beer sampling (I was a curious spectator).  Since this is a Detroit blog we stuck to Detroit beer from Atwater, Motor City and Detroit breweries because you can buy their products in bottle form.  Here are the findings*:

  1. VJ Black Imperial Stout, Atwater:  Full-bodied, rich stout with roasted coffee on the nose and creamy flavors such as honey, butterscotch, and toffee.  (17)   
  2. Motown Lager, Motor City:  Well-balanced, medium-bodied lager with some spiciness from the German hops used.  Crisp and fairly yeasty.  (15)
  3. Honey Porter, Motor City:  Smooth porter with smoky hints of coffee and honey.  Nice maltiness and subtle yeast flavors.  (12)
  4. Grand Circus IPA, Atwater:  Balanced IPA with a hops punch featuring pine, citrus, and perfume flavors.  (12)
  5. Traverse City Cherry Wheat, Atwater:  Dry wheat ale featuring a tart cherry flavor.  Hints of bananas, apples, and bread add to the complexity.  (14) 
  6. Summer Brew, Motor City:  Sweeter wheat ale with decent body and flavors such as honey, orange, and bread.  Higher ABV is well-hidden.  (12)
  7. India Pale Ale, Motor City:  Nice full-bodied, bitter IPA with several hops flavors like citrus, grapefruit, and raisin.  Light malt flavors of bread and molasses.  (15)
  8. Decadent, Atwater:  Very dark stout that is also very drinkable.  Lots of roasted chocolate, syrup, and brown sugar flavors to complement the earthy yeast presence.  (16)
  9. Conniption Fit Double IPA, Atwater:  Delicious orange sherbet softens the bitterness of this DIPA.  Orange cream, lemon, and flowery citrus back this long-lasting sipper.  (16)
  10. The Detroit Dwarf, Detroit Beer Company:  Nicely balanced lager with some fruity ale character.  Slight maltiness complements the apple and citrus hops character.  (13)
  11. Hard Cider, Motor City:  Dry cider with tart apple and grapefruit flavors.  Short finish and light-bodied.  (10)
  12. Nut Brown, Motor City:  Very strong presence of cooked vegetables and earthy nuttiness.  Dry finish and no hops presence.  (7)
  13. Cherry Stout, Atwater:  Moderately sweet stout with lots of cherry flavor to go with hints of cola, cinnamon, and other spices.  Decent malt character and a medium body.  (13)
  14. Pale Ale, Motor City:  Malty pale ale with a decent body and hops profile.  Flavors of bread, spruce, and citrus dominate this balanced ale.  (11)
  15. Ghettoblaster, Motor City:  Light beer with light flavors, including grains, pineapple, and vegetable.  (8)

*Rating based off a 20 point scale

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