Great Lakes Brewing News October/November 2012 : Page 1
A ASHLAND By bil Lusa Eu Clair e LAKE SUPERIOR WI Joe Short at his brewery in Belaire, MI. n the Northwestern “ring finger” of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, in a town that isn’t on the big lake and isn’t on the interstate, you’ll find Short’s Brewing Company. Short’s opened in Bellaire, Michigan in late April 2004. Joe Short had decided to pursue the project in 2002 after stints at several breweries which no longer exist: Traverse Brewing Company in Williamsburg, Michigan PHOTO BY MICHAEL MURPHY IV Brewing Company in Webberville, Jackson Brewing Company and Zig’s Kettle and Brew in Jackson. Local fishing legend and brewer Dan Rogers took a young Joe Short under his wing in his eight months at MBC and recom-mended him for the open brewer position at Jackson Brewing, knowing that Short had a desire to move on beyond the packaging line at MBC. A native of Northern Michigan, Short spent 18 months with friends and volunteers By Brad Bryan ot many brew-tours, or pub crawls, come with a free pint. However, this one does. If you take this tour, stopping at each of the breweries, your first pint at the last brewery is on the house. If you can’t take this tour, here’s some information and inspiration which will guide you in making up your own. Let’s suppose you were to have a weekend free, a hanker-ing for some delicious craft beer and the resources to spend said weekend in beautiful Northwestern Wisconsin—the Eau Claire region might ILLUSTRATIONS BY: HANS GRANHEIM be a good place to start, and there is no finer conclusion than Ashland and Lake Superior. You’ll want to bring a designated driver on your designated drive, but bringing someone else, and taking turns drinking and driving, can work pretty well. So, pack your favorite beer-drinking shirt, and let’s go. To make this epic week-end happen, we’ll recommend starting on a Friday morn-ing by making reservations at the Eau Claire Ramada Convention Center Hotel downtown, 205 South Barstow See Short’s p. 6 Event Calendar ..................... 3 The Beer Queendom ............ 8 Homebrewing ..................... 10 Beer Beacon ....................... 12 Jolly Giant .......................... 17 Map/Directory ................ 18-23 Cooking with Beer ............. 25 INSIDE See Drives p. 4 Michigan .............14 SW Michigan ......15 SE Michigan .......16 Indiana ................24 Chicago ..............26 Illinois .................27 Wisconsin ...........28 Minnesota ...........30 State by State News Ontario ...............32 New York ............33 Pennsylvania ......36 Ohio ....................38 N Wisconsin .......39
A Northern Wisconsin Pub Crawl Vacation
Not many brew-tours, or pub crawls, come with a free pint. However, this one does. If you take this tour, stopping at each of the breweries, your first pint at the last brewery is on the house. If you can’t take this tour, here’s some information and inspiration which will guide you in making up your own.
Let’s suppose you were to have a weekend free, a hankering for some delicious craft beer and the resources to spend said weekend in beautiful Northwestern Wisconsin—the Eau Claire region might be a good place to start, and there is no finer conclusion than Ashland and Lake Superior. You’ll want to bring a designated driver on your designated drive, but bringing someone else, and taking turns drinking and driving, can work pretty well. So, pack your favorite beer-drinking shirt, and let’s go.
To make this epic weekend happen, we’ll recommend starting on a Friday morning by making reservations at the Eau Claire Ramada Convention Center Hotel downtown, 205 South Barstow Street, Eau Claire, WI 54701. It’s fairly close to the final stop, where you can take a wellearned break from any driving worries. If B&Bs are more your style, The Otter Creek Inn is 10-minutes from downtown. The inn and rooms are beautiful, breakfast is delicious and a night costs no more than any higher-end, big-city hotel chain (find photos and make reservations at www.ottercreekinn.com).
Ready for Brew?
Time to get down to business, and by business I mean a tour of the regional brewing megalith, The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls, at 124 E Elm St. Tours are conducted from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., departing every half-hour from 9:30 until 6:30. There is no cost and tours offer a nice combination of brewery history and zymurgy. Tour-goers are treated to a couple of small complimentary beverages and the gift shop has every piece of Leinie’s brewerannia imaginable.
From there, make your way south to Northwoods Brewpub in Eau Claire for lunch and maybe a pint or two there. Try their recreation of the foundation Eau Claire beer, Walters Premium Pilsner for a taste of the beer that failed to make Eau Claire famous. Northwoods is located at 3560 Oakwood Mall Dr., Eau Claire. The restaurant is associated with the Norske Nook and has a full menu of Norwegian- American foods and a great selection of pies, which are as delicious as the prices would suggest. The barroom itself is comfortable with a northwoods feel, cushy chairs, bar games and televised sports. If shopping is your style, the Oakwood Mall is less than a quarter mile away.
Hail the Historic
Having seen Eau Claire in the daylight, and with the idea that it now is somewhere between 2 and 3 p.m. on Friday, you are free to take a short drive to Sand Creek Brewery in Black River Falls. From Northwoods, take Hwy. 53 south for about a mile, then I-94 East for a one-hour traverse through the rolling hills of western Wisconsin. Sand Creek offers tours on Friday only, starting at 3 p.m. The taproom stays open until 9. It’s a quality “stick your heads in the vat,” kind of tour. “They get to see just about anything we’ve got going here,” said co-owner Jim Wiesender. “We explain how it’s made and tell them a bit about the science too. And we give them the history of the brewery.”
Sand Creek is indeed a historic brewery, located in the Oderbolz Brewing Company building. Be sure to ask Jim about the Oderbolz family tragedy. Jim is also a renowned cook, and likes to taunt Sand Creek’s Facebook followers with whatever they’ll be missing if they fail to show at the Tap Room on Fridays.
If time were not an issue, which it is, there is no shortage of things to do in the Black River Falls area, including miles and miles of ATV, hiking and biking trails, a casino, scuba diving in the state’s deepest inland lake and even a couple of wineries, if you’re into that. You may have to put off the rest of our journey until tomorrow, or--
When you’ve finished enjoying the hospitality and activities around Sand Creek, it’s time to get back to Eau Claire for a tour of the area’s newest brewery, Lazy Monk Brewing Company, 320 Putnam St. Tap room hours are Wed-Fri from 5 to 8 pm, and Saturdays from 4 to 8 pm. You’ll find any number of food options on your way back into town.
“Our tap room is about community and bringing together people from all different walks of life,” brewer-owner Leos Frank said. “We promote conversation and friendship over the love of great craft beer. We have chess, checkers, cribbage, board games and an old fashioned dart board which people really Enjoy. No large screen TV’s or loud music, but instead, local musicians stop and play anything from accordions to guitars and ukuleles.”
So, it’s 8 p.m., Leos is closing the taproom and you need get back to the room and sleep. Really? Who does that in Wisconsin?
After Lazy Monk, go to the Ramada, check in, then take a short walk to The Fire House, 202 Gibson St. The Fire House is relatively new and has 38 taps of local and craft beers on a weekly rotation. It’s as good a place as any to end a night. But, if you’re not done yet, Barstow Street, with its numerous, raucous “townie” bars is only a few blocks away. For those looking for the college crowd, three bars per block, indiscriminate drinking, dancing and what-not, the Water Street area is a long walk or short taxi ride away. Bars close at 2:30 a.m. on weekends in Wisconsin.
Welcome to Saturday
After you’ve downed coffee, a sports drink, and a vitamin B complex, or whatever it takes you get you out of bed, we’ll recommend a little breakfast before you head out the door and point the car north on Highway 53. Drive until you reach Chetek, then go west on County Highway A, toward Valkyrie Brewing Company at 234 Dallas Street, Dallas, Wis.
Co-owner-Brewer Randy Lee opens the recently completed taproom at noon on Saturdays. You can enjoy any of three-year round beers or any one of their seasonal beverages.
But don’t linger, you’ve got miles to go before you sleep. Back on Highway 53, keep driving until you reach Highway 63 and go east to Hayward where you’ll find The Angry Minnow, 10440 Florida Ave., which is a great place to stop for a beer and a quick snack. The beers are above average and food is progressive.
From Hayward, take Highway 27 north to Highway 2 west and head toward Superior for a pint or two at Thirsty Pagan, 1623 Broadway. In addition to a fine selection of house specialties, Thirsty Pagan offers a variety of seasonals and claims to have the “best pizza in the world.” You’ll have to judge for yourself.
Factoring in travel and beverage time, it’s late afternoon to evening and we need to bring this leg of our journey to an end. So, get back on Highway 2 and head east this time and in a little more than an hour you will arrive at your final destination, and your free pint. That easy, right?
Ashland is seated on the edge of Lake Superior and is home to South Shore Brewery and Deep Water Grille, 808 Main Street West. Accommodations for the night can be secured at the AmericInn, 3009 Lake Shore Drive East.
South Shore owner Bo Belanger takes a back seat to no one when it comes to brewing or hospitality. He has no shortage of reasons for lingering in the great north woods. “It’s a spectacular place to visit and enjoy some pretty good craft beer,” Belanger says. “Plus you’ve got Lake Superior in the background. It’s the only reason I don’t move. We like eking out a living up here.”
Bo brews a solid nut brown ale, and a nice compliment of regulars as well. My advice would be to order a sampler, try them all and see where the night takes you. If you’re still hungry, try the whitefish sandwich. If you like fish, or even if you don’t, you will not be disappointed. Tours are available, but only by appointment, so call ahead and let them know you’re coming.
Barring arrest, blizzard or other great misfortune, it’s near-impossible to have a bad time in Ashland on a Saturday night.
Read the full article at http://glbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Designated+Drives/1201188/129281/article.html.
A Short’s Story
Joe Short at his brewery in Belaire, MI.
In the Northwestern “ring finger” of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, in a town that isn’t on the big lake and isn’t on the interstate, you’ll find Short’s Brewing Company.
Short’s opened in Bellaire, Michigan in late April 2004. Joe Short had decided to pursue the project in 2002 after stints at several breweries which no longer exist: Traverse Brewing Company in Williamsburg, Michigan Brewing Company in Webberville, Jackson Brewing Company and Zig’s Kettle and Brew in Jackson. Local fishing legend and brewer Dan Rogers took a young Joe Short under his wing in his eight months at MBC and recommended him for the open brewer position at Jackson Brewing, knowing that Short had a desire to move on beyond the packaging line at MBC.
A native of Northern Michigan, Short spent 18 months with friends and volunteers building out a 100-year old former hardware store in Bellaire into a microbrewery and deli. The 7 BBL brewhouse was purchased used and paired with 5 fermenters and 5 serving tanks. In 2004, Short’s brewed 178 Barrels. By 2008, the last year of production exclusively at the Bellaire Pub, the brewery had expanded to include 9 fermenters, 16 serving tanks, 7 packaging tanks, and an expanded cold storage warehouse, which produced 2000 Barrels of beer.
Short’s almost didn’t make it through the winter of 2005. Beer was going sour and financial resources were running low. Friends and industry colleagues assisted during this time, and (now-CFO) Scott Newman-Bale assisted with locating financing to cover winter expenses, enabling Short to focus on brewing operations. In 2006, Leah Hannan joined the staff, taking over Deli and Pub business and operations. Hannan got the pub business in order, working double shifts in 2006 and in the midst of the chaos, Joe and Leah engaged to be wed.
In 2006, Short’s won its first Great American Beer Festival Medal—a Silver Medal for Autumn Ale in the ESB category. Ironically, a brewery known widely for pushing the style envelope won its first medal with a classic English beer style.
In the Fall of 2006, Short began work on 2007’s Imperial Beer Series. A collection of 750 ml bottles with unique artwork and a trading card, the beers were all of “imperial” gravity and were brewed with non-traditional ingredients. The series spawned 2009 GABF Silver Medal Winner Bloody Beer—light bodied ale fermented with Roma tomatoes and spiced with dill, fresh horseradish, tellicherry peppers, and celery seed. Some of the 2007 Imperial Series re-surface every now and then; in 2012 both Peaches & Crème and Imperial Spruce India Pilsner have been resurrected.
Hoppy Success Story
Huma Lupa Licious is the beer Joe Short always wanted to make. Short’s refers to its bestselling beer as “a complex malt and hop theme park in your mouth.” Brewed with approximately two pounds of malt per barrel, and dry hopped with another pound, the hopforward Michigan IPA still stands out in an American beer scene saturated with palate ripping pales. At 6.9% ABV it isn’t a high gravity, imperial, or double IPA; and with a pleasing mid-palate maltiness buoyed with a touch of wheat it isn’t a straight burner, despite the 140 IBUs. It starts with a big aroma of citrus and pine before giving way to a more vegetal, grassy note. The finish is dry with enough of a hop sting to encourage another sip. It is the brewhouse favorite and the one Short’s brew to have if you can only have one. Barring the occasional festival trip, you’ve got to come to Michigan to have one: Short’s long term plan is to be available exclusively in the Great Lakes State.
In January, 2008 Short’s purchased a building in Elk Rapids and a year later, Short’s production facility was up and running. In July 2012, the Elk Rapids brewery completed a two million dollar expansion including sixteen 90 BBL tanks, a new mill, a new grain handling system, offices, a lab, and a new production floor. In 2011, Short’s brewed 1,278 BBL in the pub and 11,600 in the Elk Rapids brewery. 2012 Production is estimated to be between 17,000 and 18,000 BBL.
Part of Northern Michigan
When I asked Short what he thought about the challenges and benefits of his location in Northern Michigan, he replied “In the early days, no one knew about us and Bellaire was well off the beaten path for most craft beer drinkers at the time. To bring people in the door, our beer had to be exceptionally good, and being kind of outrageous didn’t hurt either! We kind of defined ourselves by the struggle to do what we love in the place that we love. I think it resulted in a much higher quality of brewing, because we could not expect people to drive out of their way to get anything less than the best beer around. Today, I think people associate us to a degree with Northern Michigan. It is the best place on earth and a perfect place to make great beer!”
While Bellaire is a destination on its own featuring Torch Lake and the nearby Shanty Creek Resort, it isn’t immediately adjacent to a major interstate, and isn’t near Lake Michigan nor particularly close to Traverse City—all areas with considerably more tourist and visitor traffic and, well, residents. Short’s success in Bellaire is a testament to creating a destination brewery and brand via the beers themselves.
Short’s has occasionally dipped into a local market while supporting a festival. In August, Short’s appeared briefly in Madison, Wisconsin around the time of the Great Taste of the Midwest Festival. And in 2011, Short’s visited Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival and had tap handles and six-packs around town at that time. Charlie Papazian even had the beer geek world all a twitter when he compared their booth line to Dogfish Head. Not surprisingly, Short mentions Dogfish Head and Sam Calagione as an influence and inspiration. Speaking of inspiration, Short’s enjoys strong relationships with fellow Michigan breweries including Founders, Kuhnhenn, and, of course, Dan Rogers at Big Rock Chop House (and the upcoming Griffin Claw Brewery).
Short’s continues to push the envelope in several ways—in 2010, Short’s Key Lime Pie took Gold in the Experimental Category at GABF. In 2011, Short’s won best booth at the yearly nationwide fest. In 2012, Short’s has opened a warehouse and office facility in Wixom, Michigan, in metro Detroit, to support an increasing merchandise business—beer ware and beer wear. The brewery continues to innovate as a business in a number of ways including, but not limited to, beer. However, this comes as no surprise. When every item on the Bellaire pub’s food menu is also the title to a song by legendary experimental art-quirkprog- punk band Ween, you know you’re dealing with a company that does things a little differently.
Short’s main, year-round roster for statewide distribution includes Pontius Road Pilsner, an American pilsner; Pandemonium Pale Ale, an APA; Autumn Ale, the aforementioned award winning ESB; Huma Lupa Licious, the flagship American IPA; Bellaire Brown; Chocolate Wheat, a strong porter; The Soft Parade, a fruit infused rye ale, and The Magician, a London red ale. This fall Short’s seasonal offerings will include Noble Chaos, a Noble hopped amber lager which is Short’s take on the Oktoberfest style and Ale la Reverend, a light bodied session IPA that is double dry-hopped. Short first brewed this for his wedding, so he could get his RDA of hops during the day without too much ABV. The name Reverend refers to Short’s father-in-law, Rich Hannan, who was ordained by one of the Internet’s most reputable and honorable faiths in order to join his daughter Leah with Short in holy matrimony.
Short’s Brewery and Pub is located at 121 N. Bridge Street in Bellaire, Michigan. The pub is open Sunday- Thursday from 11:00am – 10:30pm and Friday and Saturday from 11:00am – Midnight. The pub features 20 Short’s Brews on tap at all times including rare, experimental, and research and development beers. More info on the brewery as well as brewery-related merchandise can be found at www.shortsbrewing.com.
Read the full article at http://glbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/A+Short%E2%80%99s+Story/1201249/129281/article.html.