Friday, December 27, 2013

Vander Mill debuts Cyser Van Doom for 2013 Vander Fest

Written by  Dan VanderKooi
Rate this item
(3 votes)

Vander Mill has stepped it up once more for this year’s annual Fall celebration Vander Fest. Warm weather cooperated with a great lineup including some of Lakeshore’s best breweries, a dozen cideries, great food options, and amazing live music complete with laser show consistent with the best of previous year’s celebrations but also offering plenty new.
With the great variety of ciders and beers to be tried, Vander Mill took things up a notch for 2013 with the debut of their latest creation of fermentation: Cyser Van Doom.

Cyser Van Doom is a cross between hard cider and mead (honey wine;) aged for a half year in Founders Doom Barrels with Michigan-sourced ingredients. The potent 8.5% ABV brew may have stole the show at this year’s fest but certainly a great representation of Lakeshore and surrounding breweries and cideries brought their “A-game;” many again featuring Vander Mill cider as an prominent ingredient. Participating Holland breweries included Big Lake Brewing with an Apple Weizen and Our Brewing with their Apple Oatmeal Cookie Ale. Local Spring Lake brewery Old Boys provided a “Ciderman Saison” and Odd Side Ales from neighboring Grand Haven was on hand with an apple-pie spice brew Grandma’s Pie.

Fans of cider were also pleased with Vander Mill specialties like Totally Roasted which includes 4 pounds of cinnamon roasted pecans per 30 gallon batch and The People Cider Co.’s Vander Fest debut of Morrison’s Jig, a 13% ABV barrel-aged Hard Cider. Walldorff Brewpub won many over with their generous pours, and their Vander Mill collaboration Pumpkin Cider was one of the first to run out. (Vander MIll was quick to put more of their own taps out to make sure no one went thirsty!) I also personally enjoyed some other specialties from Old Boys such as their Hopped-up Wheat, and spicy Chili-Peach Lager and Greenbush’s “Vanderbush,” a belgian-style Tripel.  Other cideries included Uncle John’s Cider Mill, Robinette Ciders, and Northville Winery.

Returning this year for food options included Standard Pizza Co. with a variety of pizzas including both veggie and meat options like Apple Cider Pork and Beef Brisket with roasted chillies, Zeeland’s Public with avocado egg rolls, “Mozz” sticks and carrot cake, and Vander Mill’s own pork and pumpkin stew over spiced rice (or else their fantastic pumpkin donuts available inside the mill!) Headlining music act Social Bones also returned this year for another mind-blowing set complete with the obligatory (and awe-inspiring) laser show. Last but not least, money was once again raised from the event to support AMBUCS, a charity dedicated to assisting people with mobility restrictive handicaps.

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.