Thursday, March 28, 2013

Grand Rapids Society of Beer introduces Beer City Grand Series

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
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Grand Rapids Society of Beer introduces Beer City Grand Series

When the Grand Rapids Society of Beers announced their latest collaborative beer among local breweries would be a series of Imperial-strength brews to debut during Grand Rapids Beer Week, I knew I was due for another brewery tour. Dubbed the Beer City Grand Series, this collaboration was similar to last Grand Pumpkin release last fall, with each participating brewery offering up their own recipe with a common theme, and this time the theme was to brew some of the biggest and strongest beers the breweries have to offer.
First stop for me was Hudsonville, with both local breweries White Flame and Pike 51 participating. Pike 51’s Grand Series beer coincided with their 51st batch, and in addition to the “Batch 51” 11.2% Rye Wine, the release party also included some additional special releases - Sinister Kid with Hazelnuts (which was a truly amazing Imperial Porter,) and also Knight’s on Mastodons, an Imperial Brown with Rowsters Coffee. A brat platter and pretzel sticks were special food accompaniments offered up especially for the occasion. White Flame, already on a roll with recent releases like the Bourbon Black Sheep and their anniversary Black Flame Imperial Stout, also stepped up their game another notch for the release of Big Willy, a barrel-aged Double IPA.

Another trip into town for Grand Rapids Beer Week brought me downtown, first for a visit to Mitten Brewing Co. for their Death to Flying Things Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout. Also on tap here is their Vanilla Milk Stout and Black Betsy Stout along with Apple Pear Cider and Apple wine. Also downtown and not to be missed is Robert the Barrel Imperial Stout at the BOB which was also for Grand Rapids Beer Week was featuring local guest taps from Perrin, Founders, White Flame, and a Russian Imperial Stout from Jaden James Brewery, whose own own entry in the Grand Series being the Tri Power 13% Triple IPA.

Other breweries participating include Schmohz Brewing Co with their Imperial Hopnocker IPA, Battle Cat Imperial White IPA from Harmony, and the Imperial Boozehound Brown from Hideout Brewing Co. Many of these release are very limited and quantities and may already be sold out but make sure to stop in as there are several great and limited beers being offered all over Grand Rapids in celebration of Beer City and the recent Grand Rapids Beer Week.

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.