|The Michigan Brewing Company, Webberville, Michigan.|
During our drive to Lansing we stopped at the Michigan Brewing Company in Webberville, Michigan. It was a very interesting place because it appeared to be equal parts local bar, small restaurant, and chic outdoor cafe. Since it was a gorgeous evening, we decided to sit outside to enjoy some good food and some good beer. Part of the fun of visiting brewpubs and breweries is that I never know quite how many beers they have available or how many comprise their flights. I've made it clear in previous posts that I appreciate being able to sample everything a brewery has to offer...but I almost met my match here.
|The first half of the sampler...|
|...and then part two.|
Naturally, I was thrilled as I handed the car keys over to my wife and I set about tackling this massive array of beers. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long for the food to arrive and thus I was able to pace both my meal and my imbibing as we enjoyed our time at the brewery.
I was curious about the Celis beers that I saw because they seemed to be very different from the others. As it turned out, Celis had previously been an independently operated brewery based in Texas but it was bought by the Michigan Brewing Company. More interesting still is the fact that the eponymous brewer's first effort was the Hoegaarden Brewery and brand of the same name. When the brewery succumbed to a fire, the recipe eventually made its way into the hands of Anheuser-Busch, which still brews the beer today. Pierre Celis went on to open the Celis brewery in Austin, Texas and brewed Celis White--a witbier that received a perfect score from renowned beer writer Michael Jackson. The brewery was eventually sold first to Miller and then, after an unsuccessful stint there, to the Michigan Brewing Company.
Though the Celis beers were quite good, I also enjoyed those that were brewed specifically by the Michigan Brewing Company. Many had clever names inspired by local or state references--something that I particularly appreciate. I love when a beer's story extends beyond its list of ingredients and includes a little bit of history; it shows an additional level of care and detail on the part of the brewer. Arguably the most bombastic brew (at least in terms of its self-promotion) was the Badass American Lager, which was brewed in conjunction with local Michigan legend Kid Rock. I would imagine that it was quite popular in the area both because of its benefactor and its similarity to the typical American Adjunct Lagers that dominate the taps at most watering holes across the nation. For what it was, it wasn't terrible but it's not something I'd order during another craft beer drinking session.
|Me contemplating the meaning of life...and of how I|
could possibly finish all of that beer.
Plus, I can always write it off as an occupational hazard.
The Michigan Brewing Company offers one of the largest samplers I have ever come across--one that is filled a diverse array of great beer. The food was very good and the ambiance of the place really tied the entire experience together. With that said, I give the Michigan Brewing Company a grade of A and it comes very highly recommended to anyone traveling through Michigan. I did not get to visit the Lansing location so my grade applies solely to the Webberville one.
Michigan Brewing Wheatland
Michigan Brewing Superior Stout
Badass American Lager
Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale
Michigan Brewing Peninsula Porter
Michigan Brewing Majestic Nut Brown Ale
Michigan Brewing Big Mac Beer
Michigan Brewing Imperial IPA
Michigan Brewing Sunset Amber
Michigan Brewing Bavarian Dark
Celis Pale Bock
Celis Grand Cru
Michigan Brewing Barley Wine
*Please note that beer, no matter how delicious, should always be consumed in moderation especially when you will be driving later on. I'm a pretty big guy and I handle my alcohol well so I was able to tackle the bulk of the sampler (my wife took a sip here and there of the beers that I thought she would enjoy) but I also made sure to hand the keys over to her immediately. I drink only what I can handle without getting sick or turning into a drunken mess and I always make sure to have transportation arranged for myself, whether it's my wife, a friend, or whomever; I implore you to do the same.
For more information on the Michigan Brewing Company, please visit their official website here.
--Beer Whisperer Matt