Great Lakes Brewing News June/July 2011 : Page 1
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: HANS GRAHNEIM P By Jim Herter orts have played an integral role in the development of the states and provinces that touch upon the Great Lakes: Beer has played h l d no less of a role. From Ontario to Minnesota and Gary to Thunder Bay, artisanal ales and lagers can be found in virtually every port city. The Great Lakes shoreline is s equal to almost 44 percent of the circum-i ference of the earth, or 10,900 miles, so the numbers of ports are “great” as well. There are 15 major international ports and 50 lesser, regional ports on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. Imagine having unlimited time and resources to board our seafaring vessel — the S.S. Barley—and ﬂ oat the ports of the Great Lakes in search of the very best that the region’s brewers have to offer. What are we waiting for? Let’s weigh anchor and set our cou course to the west. We’ll start in Lake O Ontario at the Kingston Br Brewing Company located on one block off of Kingston Har Harbour. The cask-condi-tioned Dragon’s Breath is their signature a ale and if timed correctly, the Autumn Strong Ale will thaw a sailor’s bones. Heading west past Point Pleasant through Adolphus Reach we’ll sail to the picturesque town of Picton. See Port Cities p. 12 Events .................................................... 3 Cooking With Beer ............................... 4 Beer & Health ........................................ 8 Beer Queendom .................................... 9 Homebrewing ...................................... 10 Jolly Giant ............................................11 Maps & Directories ........................ 18-23 INSIDE State by State News Wisconsin ......... 16 N Wisconsin ..... 17 Indiana .............. 25 Illinois ............... 26 Chicago ............ 27 Minnesota ......... 28 Michigan ........... 30 SE Michigan ..... 31 Ohio .................. 32 New York .......... 33 Pennsylvania .... 36 Ontario .............. 38 T ILLUSTRATION BY: HANS GRANHEIM The Amsterdam was once a Toronto, Ontario brewpub that evolved to become a micro-brewery, The Amsterdam Brewing Company. Twenty-ﬁ ve years on, Amsterdam is well entrenched in the brew-ing fabric of this city. Brewmaster Jamie Mistry has been at the helm for four years, and in that time he says he’s been doing a lot of different beers that opened his eyes to new w brewing experiences. One of these would be Boneshaker IPA , a one-off brew that was continuously hopped to the 70 IBU level, which found favour and very strong demand f among local craft beer drinkers-a to t the point that the brewery is i now brewing 15 hectolitres every two weeks. e Another new brew in the works is Amsterdam Imperial w Stout , at 9.5 percent abv and 90 IBUs derived from War-rior, Centennial and Cascade See Amsterdam p. 7
Ports have played an integral role in the development of the states and provinces that touch upon the Great Lakes: Beer has played no less of a role. From Ontario to Minnesota and Gary to Thunder Bay, artisanal ales and lagers can be found in virtually every port city.
The Great Lakes shoreline is equal to almost 44 percent of the circumference of the earth, or 10,900 miles, so the numbers of ports are “great” as well. There are 15 major international ports and 50 lesser, regional ports on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. Imagine having unlimited time and resources to board our seafaring vessel — the S.S. Barley—and fl oat the ports of the Great Lakes in search of the very best that the region’s brewers have to offer. What are we waiting for? Weigh anchor and set our course to the west.
We’ll start in Lake Ontario at the Kingston Brewing Company located one block off of Kingston Harbour. The cask-conditioned Dragon’s Breath is their ale and if timed correctly, the Autumn Strong Ale will thaw a sailor’s bones. Heading west past Point Pleasant through Adolphus Reach we’ll sail to the picturesque town of Picton. There’s a comfortable inn and brewery named Lake On The Mountains Brewing Company that certainly will rest a weary traveler. We’ll sample their signature beers; the Country Brown Ale and a Cream Ale made from organically grown barley and hops grown on their own farm.
From Picton we’ll cut across Lake Ontario to the U.S. shore and moor at Sackets Harbor Brewing Company at the mouth of the Black River Bay. After a couple of pints of Thousand Islands Pale Ale with our lunch by the water we’ll take a growler or two of Railroad Red Ale and head out to our next port of call: Rochester. The Rohrbach Brewing Company offers a great variety of ‘port’ers and true to the German heritage taps a nice Dunkelweizen.
Leaving Lake Ontario will require that we fl oat down the Welland Canal to Port Colborne on the Lake Erie side. Just a few nautical miles back to the east will bring the S. S. Barley to the port city of Buffalo. Pearl Street Brewing Company is a few blocks off the Waterfront Harbor where we will down a couple of pints of Brawler Oatmeal and Saber’s Edge Imperial IPA.
Pennsylvania, like Indiana, probably felt cheated in the Great Lakes coastline lottery, but the state did receive 51 miles of shoreline on Lake Erie. And that will lead us to our next stop: Erie, Pennsylvania. The Erie Brewing Company, as well as the Brewerie at Union Station, are a short distance from Presque Isle Bay. An Erie Brewing Heritage Alt pint or two and a growler of the Brewerie’s Sgt. Peppers Peppercorn Ale for the next leg of the journey will make the stop well worthwhile. No time to waste, we are setting a course due west to our next destination in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Great Lakes Brewing Company is a short cab ride from the marina. Located in the “charming Ohio City” neighborhood, the brewpub dispenses award-winning beers such as Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout. A perennial favorite is the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, named after the American Great Lakes freighter that made headlines after sinking in Lake Superior in 1975 and immortalized by Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot. But with that bit of cheerful sailing history we are going to hug the southern shore of Lake Erie for a port in Rocky River. A visit to Rocky River Brewing Company and a few pints of Oompa Loompa Chocolate Stout or refreshing Hop-a-Long Cascady IPA will brighten the spirits. While we are on shore-leave we’ll make a sidebar to Fat Head’s in North Olmsted for some great food and a few pints of the award winning Head Hunter IPA or Goggle Fogger Hefe Weizen. One last stop before we exit Ohio at Toledo’s Maumee Bay Brewing Company will make for memorable conversation and beers. The Maumee Bay Double Bock and Cask Conditioned IPA will provice a restful break before continuing on our voyage.
Heading up Michigan’s eastern coast we will enter the mouth of the Detroit River and head north with a stop at Atwater Brewing in Detroit for a few rounds of great beer, like the Voodoo Vator Dopplebock or Double Down Imperial Amber Ale. And with good sailing weather we will make it to Port Huron in July for Boat Night and a leisurely respite at Quay Street Brewery, which sits on the banks of the Black River. On a hot summer evening a Michigan Cream Ale will slake a sailor’s thirst. Or if we are fortunate we’ll find a Nutting Better Brown Ale on draught. A trip a few miles inland to Warren and Kuhnhenn Brewing Company will be necessary to stock up for the long sail to Mackinaw City. With any luck we’ll find the Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia Old Ale on the specialty tap. A few growlers of Simco Silly will be necessary to endure the next leg of the exploration.
A hard day’s sail around the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula will deliver us in Traverse City at the Mackinaw Brewing Company. The Harvest Moon Oatmeal Stout is always a solid beer that is desired by local craft beer cognoscenti. The Dunkel Lager is amazingly refreshing and fits in well in this resort area.
Further down the west coast of MichiGan is Ludington, which is not only the jump-off point for a seasonal ferry running from Michigan to Wisonsin, but boasts Jamesport Brewing Company, where you can sample from many beers offered by owner/brewer Tom Buchanan. Try an altbier, an IPA, or one of Tom's many seasonal brews.
Further down the coast brings us to Benton Harbor and The Livery. The Cask Aged Wheat Trippelbock will put a smile on your face and the Hoppy Chick English India Pale Ale will entertain our palates.
Even though the coastline of Indiana only measures 45 statute miles in length there is no shortage of quality craft breweries. As we head down the Michigan coastline we will immediately arrive in the Indiana town of Michigan City and the Shoreline Brewery. The historic building that houses Shoreline was once a storage building for lumber brought off of steam freighters. The Beltaine Scottish-style ale is a reliable favorite and the barrel-aged series is well-worth the exploration. A scenic cruise westward past the Indiana Dunes National Park will bring us to one of the busiest ports on the Great Lakes: Burns Harbor. We’ll moor and head a short distance to the Figure 8 Brewing Company in Valparaiso. One of the newest entrants into the Great Lakes Brewing scene, F8 is already tapping quaffable beers like the RoShampo Red Ale. We’ll pick up couple of growlers of First Ascent, a Belgian-style honey lager, to stave off the hot and humid summers of the region.
Not too far from F8 is the Crown Brewing Company in Crown Point. Housed in the old Lake County Jail that held John Dillinger before his demise, we’ll enjoy a pint of the Special Forces IPA or Jailhouse Bock. A short ride back to the north and we’ll stop in to 3 Floyds Brewing Company for a few samples and a pint of their fl agship beer: Alpha King American Pale Ale. There are many great choices to pack for our trip back to the S.S. Barley, but the Pride and Joy Mild Ale will provide sustenance and quench our parched palates. Heading north along the Illinois coastline, it’s a short sail to the Chicago Harbor.
Although Chicago has some fine breweries, we’ll only stop in at two. One of the newest is the Haymarket Pub and Brewery. The Saison Also Rises Belgian-style farmhouse ale is a unique find in the midst of this great city. If we are lucky we’ll be able to partake in the Drinking and Writing Theatre before taking a growler of Speakerswagon Pilsner back for our next stop at the Half Acre Beer Company just to the north and a short jaunt from Montrose Harbor. Baumé is a must try. “Big, but not huge at 7%” is the description on the beer menu. Touted as an American chocolate rye stout, this beer is certain to conjure some interesting conversation with the local denizens. No time to tarry, we’ll fill a couple of growlers with the award-winning Daisy Cutter Pale and head back to the S.S. Barley to resume our voyage north to Wisconsin.
Milwaukee will be our first stop in America’s Dairyland. We’ll head straight up the Milwaukee River to the Lakefront Brewery for a session with the Organic E.S.B.. It’s been a long trip so a growler of the Fuel Café Stout is in order. Heading back out to Lake Michigan we’ll make a stop in Green Bay and a short reprieve at the Hinterland Brewery. The Hinterland Framboise is a unique Belgian-style lambic fermented with a dose of raspberries. The Cherry Wheat Ale will be the perfect quaffing beverage as the warm breeze blows off the lake. We’ll have to make a touch and go stop by the Rail House in Marinette to pick up several growlers of Rail House Big Mac IPA and a ‘pony’ of Oatmeal Stout before heading on the long segment to Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Locks on our way to Minnesota. The trip from Wisconsin has taken about one week so it’s a good thing that our hold has been filled with so many great beers.
Our final stop will be in Duluth at Fitger’s. There is no better way to end a long voyage than a couple of pints of Edmund Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.
The overall trip has taken the S.S. Barley and its crew two fortnights and covered 2,050 nautical miles to many scenic villages and cities filled with wonderful people. We have personally experienced ports and harbors on the Great Lakes that offer some of the most diverse cultures in the world. And fortunately, with culture comes great beer and cuisine.
Whether you live in the Great Lakes region and plan to travel the waters, or you’re visiting one of the world’s great natural resources and plan to travel, fish, work or vacation here, there is plenty of bounty waiting for you.
Read the full article at http://glbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Portcity+Beers/746122/71603/article.html.
The Amsterdam was once a Toronto, Ontario brewpub that evolved to become a microbrewery, The Amsterdam Brewing Company. Twentyfi ve years on, Amsterdam is well entrenched in the brewing fabric of this city.
Brewmaster Jamie Mistry has been at the helm for four years, and in that time he says he’s been doing a lot of different beers that opened his eyes to new brewing experiences. One of these would be Boneshaker IPA, a one-off brew that was continuously hopped to the 70 IBU level, which found favour and very strong demand among local craft beer drinkersto the point that the brewery is now brewing 15 hectolitres every two weeks.
Another new brew in the works is Amsterdam Imperial Stout, at 9.5 percent abv and 90 IBUs derived from Warrior, Centennial and Cascade hops. Tasted at six weeks of age, it revealed roast, toast, alcohol and grassy hops, with more roast and licorice notes popping out on the palate. Hop bitterness, roast malt and a distinct dryness rolled out in a fi ne fi nish. A truly smashing brew; however, its release date is shrouded in mystery.
“One thing I’ve learned is how bigger beers such as the imperial stout change as they age,” says Mistry.
He sees the brewing community as one and doesn’t hold back secrets, and is willing to compare notes and troubleshoot a fellow brewer’s brewhouse or bottling issues. “We can all improve the craft breweries together. It makes good business sense,” says Mistry.
Run by three brewers, the 35 hectolitre brewery knocks out three brews a day, equivalent to 110 hectolires of beer, fi ve days a week. An enhanced computer program has a mash profi le for each of the 15 brands that the Amsterdam Brewery produces, making it more manageable to push through three brews in about 13.5 hours.
The Blonde, Big Wheel and KLB Raspberry Wheat represent the brewery’s three best selling beers. Amsterdam currently brews 19,500 hectolitres per year, with fully 25 percent of the beer going out the door from its on-site retail outlet. However, Amsterdam is once again looking for a new home as development pressures continue to hound them. Finding a big enough building in the core of Toronto, however, is a serious challenge; they are now housed in a 26,000 square foot building.
Amsterdam has started to move some production to painted labels on its bottles, which while saving on labels, costs more for sorting its bottles. They also can some beers, which has proven worthwhile for reaching new markets. Barrel aging has presented a new range of fl avours, with a bock, Brown Royale and a smoked porter presently undergoing the process, though Mistry in no hurry to bring the resulting brews to market. He encourages his three brewers to use the pilot brewery when things are slow to develop new brands, while studying, for example, single hop varietal beers.
Pray that a new home is found for the Amsterdam Brewery so that it may continue to produce its full range of fi ne beers. In the meantime, there is a greater need to hope that brewmaster Jamie Mistry soon releases the outstanding Amsterdam Imperial Stout.
Read the full article at http://glbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Brewering+Amsterdam/746125/71603/article.html.