Wednesday, October 21, 2015

After A 100 Year Hiatus, Lansing Brewing Company Is Back To Brewing Better Than Ever

Written by  Aimee West
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Finally, a touch of history is coming back to the Lansing area. After a long hiatus, Lansing Brewing Company is back and ready for a fresh 100-plus year run. “Our original brewery started brewing beer in 1898. We supplied beer to those that built Lansing,” is a quote on the wall and we are excited to see them brewing beer for a new generation of Lansing workers.
When first walking into Lansing Brewing you notice the bar area, with white and black subway tiles and a lowered wood ceiling space with drop lighting. It creates a space that invites you in. Everywhere you look there is a historical reminder of the original Lansing Brewing Company along with “new-old” touches, such as reclaimed barn wood from around the state. Hidden behind barn style doors is a wonderful private space for small parties and corporate events. Further behind that space is a huge 5,000 square foot area called “The Stockhouse,” where there is a private bar and open space for concerts, weddings, corporate events and more. One of the things I love about the entire building is the attention to the finest detail, every section seamlessly flows into the next. Along with the multiple patio areas created with garage style doors that are so popular now, which creates a light and open space.

After enjoying a tour of all the areas they have to offer, we took a seat at one of the high top tables and ordered a few flights of beers. The flights were delivered in very industrial looking metal flight handles, created by a local metal smith. These things are solid, in fact, I think you could use them in a game of Clue as a weapon.

One of my favorites beers was the Glacier Session, created to showcase one hop, Glacier, grown at Hop Head Farms. Glacier Session has a nice nose and a very fresh summer taste to it. As Jake Vanatta, Sales and Marketing Manager said, “This is perfect for summer on the boat,” and that is exactly how I felt drinking it. Another favorite was a classic German Bock style called, Bock in Business. There are not many breweries in Michigan creating classic German style beers and this one tops them all. The malty sweetness is enveloped in just enough toasted characters to create a smooth satisfying flavor. We both really liked the Amber Cream Ale, The Black Velvet Ale and the 1898 Imperial Stout.

Since I am sure you will want to take something home, they have Growlers, Howlers and Crowlers for sale. My love of cool toys was super excited about how they filled a Crowler on site. A Crowler is a 32 oz custom Lansing Brewing Co. can which is cleaned, filled, capped and sealed like a normal sized beer can. It was really fun to see how the machine worked and the science geek in me loves that my beer is now free of Oxygen and light until I take it home to drink it. I also liked the fact that it is aluminum and I don’t have to worry about my glass growler/howler breaking. Head Brewer Sawyer mentioned how he likes being able to take them to the beach.

We took a walk through the brewing area where we were able to see what Sawyer and his staff are up to. They currently have a 10 barrel system with future plans to expand. Jake was really excited to show us the Hot Liquor Tank, it not only saves on energy but makes for a better system because they can produce more barrels in less time due to not having to wait for the water to heat up. The water is already at roughly 190 degrees and can be lowered or heated as needed.

Nothing is wasted at Lansing Brewing Co., the waffles on the menu are created using the spent grains from the brewing process. With a full menu of snacks, lunch, dinner and even dessert items you will find something to tempt your palette. Look for items on the menu with stars, those are there signature ‘Must Try This’ dishes. Included in this is the ‘“Ma The Meatloaf!” The chef’s own mother came in and showed him how to make it so that he could make it for all of us.

Fortunately you will not have to wait long to try both the beers and food that Lansing Brewing Co. offers! Their Grand Opening is Thursday, October 22 at 11 a.m., so stop in and let me know what your favorite beer and food items were.

Aimee West

Aimee West

Is new to the craft beer scene but always willing and wanting to learn more.