Michigan breweries – Tasting notes

During my high-speed posting while at the breweries and brewpubs last week, I really didn’t give proper tasting notes for much of what we had.  I thought I’d rectify that with an overview of my favorite beer from each of the places I visited:

Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids
While I was very fond of the Bourbon Apple Cream Ale, the Looking Glass Double IPA came away as my favorite. Seems when people do a 2xIPA they tend to come out a bit sweet, regardless of the truckload of hops that go in to them. Looking Glass, despite clocking in at 11% ABV, had a residual sweetness, but the hop character still came through, keeping this an outstanding IPA rather than an over hopped barley wine.
New Holland Brewing Co., Holland
I’m going with the Smoked Hatter as my favorite this time. Not just for the guts it takes to monkey with your main beer, but for the truly excellent malt and smoke flavor of this beer. If you’ve had a Rauchbier from Germany, the smoke flavor can be overwhelming, but this one added such a nice compliment to the beer while not dominating the malt and hop character that I love in the original Mad Hatter IPA.
Hideout Brewing, Grand Rapids
The Ginger Lee narrowly beats out their Belgian style sour beer for my favorite this time out. The ginger was well pronounced, perhaps even dominating over the malt and hops, but since I’m such a ginger fanatic, I loved it! The base beer is a pale ale, brewed with a light malt and hop character, not doubt to allow the ginger to knock this one out of the park. It was a very nice spice finish with no residual sweetness to cover the mild citrus hop character.

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