Saturday, May 03, 2014

Brewery Terra Firma in Traverse City brews up exclusive new beer for Muskegon’s Thrasher Collection

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Brewery Terra Firma, Michigan’s first ever farm-based brewery, opened a little late in the year to take full advantage of the agricultural season. With their first full season just beginning, Muskegon’s Thrasher Collection in conjunction with Tyler Sales has embarked on a collaborative project with the brewery to provide their 4 restaurants being Hank’s, Handsome Henry’s, Hobo’s, and The Handsome Hobo with an exclusive new beer. The beer, described by brewmaster John Niedermaier as an “essence ale”, is a light but full-bodied beer with orange peel and coriander which should lend itself well to food pairings and even as cooking ingredient for specialty dishes.
Brewmaster John Niedermaier as well as co-owner Charlie Kinzel graciously hosted employees of the Thrasher Collection and also Tyler Sales on brew day, giving a private tour of the brew house as well as the glimpse at the farm side of the brewery. Attendees were able to take part in crucial brewing process from hop additions, pitching of the yeast, and even using a shovel to distribute the spent grains onto the farm; a process unique to Terra Firma. Terra Firma also utilizes water from their own artesian well as opposed to City water used by most breweries. The harder water lends itself well to most Ale styles while other breweries may need to treat their water to attain ideal brewing conditions.

Lunch was enjoyed from nearby Big Papa’s Pub & Eatery which featured burgers, sandwiches, and salads within close proximity of the brewery for easy take-out or delivery. A flight of current flagship beers included Gladstone APA, Manitou Amber Ale, and Karma Palace IPA. Other current specialities enjoyed included the Earth Day Triple IPA, Little Italy Honey Basil Ale, and the Sleeping Bear Brown Ale. Brewery Terra Firma offers a unique experience and authentic on-the-farm atmosphere not currently found elsewhere. Be on the lookout for some promotions soon at Muskegon’s Thrasher restaurants in conjunction with the new beer release - this will be a unique beer worth seeking out in Muskegon!

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VanderKooi

Dan VK has been following the Michigan Craft Beer scene since before Oberon has been available in 6-packs. Besides making the rounds at all the local craft breweries and beer bars, Dan also supports the local music scene, reads crime fiction, and enjoys playing volleyball with his wife and friends.