My sister and her husband Matt were up from Texas this weekend for a Marathon that Matt ran in up north. I needed to make a Grand Rapids run yesterday so Matt and I spent some time hitting a few places to do some sampling.
Beers of note:
At Hopcat, Matt had both the Cali-Belgique from Stone and the Crème Brulee stout from Southern Tier. Neither beer were ones that Matt had ever tried before (they don’t get Southern Tier and the Stone was a new one to me as well). As always very good beers. I was surprised to find the Stone to be very Belgian inspired. The nose was filled with notes of fresh baked bread and was flowery. The flavor itself seemed to fit well into a Belgian style double as well.
As luck would have it the Black Mamba (Hopcat’s shwarzbier) blew when the bartender was pouring it for me (meant I got a bit over a half a beer out of the deal). I ended up ordering the Hoppopotamus (Hopcat’s American IPA). Both beers were quite tasty. The Hoppo had enough resiny hop to make its presence known for a bit, but just enough malt to balance.
At Brewery Vivant the beer that stood out the most was the Sgt. Peppercorn Rye. As always, pepper and rye go so well in a beer it really is hard to pass such a combo up whenever I run across it.
Mind you the trip itself lasted roughly 9 hours (counting the time we spent in my own pub) so it would seem there is more beer in their that didn’t stand out quite as much (and my stuff I talk about in other spots here). But in the end it was a good day for beer and the only major casualties were my sunglasses that broke and the parking ticket I picked up while at the Hopcat.
Enough of this, it’s time for a pint…