Brewery Tours – An Insight Into the Process of America s Favorite Beverage

 

We all want to know where to find the best beers in the world.Beer and other alcoholic beverages are processed in breweries. The process is a lot more intricate and complicated than processing other forms of beverage. Special care and distillation have to be taken to ensure that the final product brings out the right taste that consumers will enjoy. It is actually quite delightful to see how the process works in a step-by-step process. Michigan is one state that has a few breweries in the region with guided tours available. Brewery tours in Michigan are a great way to spend a vacation and see for yourself the enormous care and diligent work that is done to produce the alcoholic beverages that most adults enjoy.
So what can one expect when taking a brewery tour in Michigan? Such tours are actually available in several formats. The most common is a bus tour, which takes tourists to several major locations in the area. At each stop, tourists will be able to enjoy the site, take pictures, chat with locals and employees and even sample some of the beer and wine. There are also walking tours where tourists travel by feet and are accompanied by a tour guide. This may include a brisk walk or stroll through some of the area’s beautiful and lush vineyards. At the end of each tour, everyone will also have the option of purchasing souvenirs and beverages that are only available locally.
Some breweries may also have bike tours available. This is an excellent option for avid bike riders. Traveling by bike and making several stops at relevant points is a great way to enjoy the spectacles all while getting in some exercise in the process. This option is suitable for bike riders of all fitness levels, so there is no need to worry about getting left behind.
Most breweries operate on a specific schedule, so reservations in advance are usually required. Several beer festivals are also hosted in the area several times a year. If there is a festival or expo scheduled to be in the area, then this will definitely be one of the stops.
Brewery tours are great ways to spend an anniversary with a spouse or other significant other. They are also a great source of attraction for a small group. They are a spectacle that adults of all ages can enjoy. If you enjoy alcoholic beverages, then learning how the manufacturing process is done will make you appreciate the amount of work and human resources that are put in to produce an age-old beverage that is liked around the world.
If getting a tour of some of Michigan’s finest breweries is something you think you might enjoy, then Motor City Brewery is one company you can get in contact with. It provides multiple tour options that include stops at some of Michigan’s notable landmarks and breweries. Each tour is headed by an experienced tour guide that is ready to answer all questions and lead a group through an adventurous afternoon or evening of exploration and attractions.

 

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Best beers for Fall

Everywhere you look, the signs of time’s passage can be seen. Depending on where you live, the leaves are changing color (or they might already be lining the ground, waiting for you to break your back raking them up). No matter where you are though, fall are great times for beer lovers. You will find a lot of seasonal beers out there, from traditional seasonal options to innovative new recipes from some of the nation’s most respected craft brewers. What’s on tap? For those new to the world of seasonal craft brews, some explanation might be in order. Here are a few of the different autumn best beer types that you’ll find out there.

Pumpkin Ale

Unless you are brand-spanking new to the world of craft beer, you’ve at least seen pumpkin ale. These come out around the beginning of October and you’ll find them available through the end of the year (sometimes longer). Pumpkin ales span a very wide range of flavors and characters, from polished well-balanced beers that have only a hint of pumpkin to those that positively reek of pumpkin pie and go down like a bottle of syrup (hey, to each his own!). Pumpkin brews can be found in several styles, but they generally have less hops added to the mix and feature a range of different spices to kick up the flavor, including cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom and more.

Harvest Ale

Harvest ales are somewhat similar to pumpkin ales in that they have a more sweetness and a higher ABV than those brewed for summertime refreshment. Harvest ales often feature brown sugar, molasses, fruity characteristics (think apple) and other differences from standard ales. They are also often highly hopped and feature strong malt flavors (some craft brewers use four types of malt in their brewing). Fruit flavors other than apple include raisins and figs.

 

Stouts

Stout is brewed and consumed through the entire year. However, it really comes into its own during the autumn and winter. The heavier character and richer taste really stand out when it’s cold outside. Quite a wide range of stout types are available during the colder months of the year as well. You’ll find oatmeal stouts, pumpkin stouts, harvest stouts and traditional recipes on offer from craft brewers all over. Imperial stouts are also very popular at this time of year. Like stout, porter is also a popular fall and winter beer, thanks to its rich nature and hearty character.

Christmas Ale

Christmas ale is usually medium bodied (you won’t find many seasonal pale or light bodied ales during the colder months of the year). However, the real difference here comes from the spices, flavors and other ingredients used. Traditional Christmas ale uses ingredients like orange peel, cloves and nutmeg. However, you’ll find more creative options on the market too, like ginger, honey, cinnamon, chocolate and caramel. As a note, some Christmas ales are really winter warmers in disguise. If you are not a fan of high ABV, make sure you check the packaging carefully.

Spiced Ale

Spiced ale starts rolling out in October or November (depending on the brewery and your geographic location) and . It is usually a brown or amber ale with plenty of body to it, and brewers can add a range of different spices to improve character and flavor. You’ll find that ginger features heavily as a spice in these beers, as does cinnamon. Other spices include allspice, cloves, oranges (both sweet and bitter), nutmeg, molasses and honey. It is often similar to Christmas ale, though the ratio of ingredients can differ significantly between the two brews.

Winter Ale

Some brewers use this for their winter warmers, but winter ale can also be considered a distinct style. These are usually dark beers and they have a full body and relatively high ABV. They can sometimes have a rather sweet finish as well, though that is by no means true for all of them (these vary drastically from brewer to brewer, so have fun with the experimentation).

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The Rise of the Micro Brewery

 

People are taking notice of the rise of the micro brewery. Though the terminology is associated with something small, the impact it’s having in today’s beer market is quite huge. According to statistics from the Brewers Association (BA), more than 53% of the beer making firms as per august 2014 was micro breweries. And if the trends in the last few years are anything to go by, then the number is set to rise even further. This scenario isn’t seen in the United States alone but also in other world regions such as the United Kingdom, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and more. In fact, research findings shows that the rise in micro breweries was the key reason for slumped beer sales in New Zealand in 2012.

 

Briefly Looking at Micro Breweries

Also known as craft brewery, microbrewery is taking the world of beer making and consumption by storm. It can loosely be defined as the production of small quantities of beer by independent brewers instead of mass-production by large-scale breweries. A firm is categorized as a micro brewery if it produces no more than 15, 000 US barrels or 400, 000 gallons annually. In liters this is approximately 1.8 million. By keeping the production small-scale, the firm is able to concentrate on quality, technique and flavor. This is in contrast with mass-produced beer that aims at lowering cost of production and intense marketing. Quality, authenticity and technique are also the reasons that draw many people to this drink instead of the mass-produced beer.

 

Growth of the Micro Brewing Industry

Although traditional artisans have been brewing craft beer for centuries, the micro brewing movement is believed to have begun in the UK in the 1970s. Due to providing rich and authentic beer at affordable cost, the practice started spreading to other regions. In started being noticed in the US in the mid 80s and has continued to experience tremendous growth in the last decades. Records from the Brewers Association US indicate that there were 43 breweries as of 1983. However, by mid 2000, the number had risen by 1400.

 

What Makes The Craft Brewery Appealing?

There are several reasons that turn people to consume craft beer instead of the common beer. One, it is produced using a specific technique that doesn’t change over time. This assures a drinker off the same quality. Two, by focusing on small quantities, the beer retains its authenticity and flavor. Three, a large number of people consume this beer because of status quo. They feel privileged or honored to consume a drink that isn’t produced for the masses. Four, there is always cultural aspect behind the micro brewery. It will be identified with a certain region and culture.

 

In conclusion, we can see that the micro brewery is certainly becoming a force to reckon with. Large corporate breweries are taking notice and some are even considering taking part in the practice. And if the latest trends and statistics is anything to go with, we should expect the rise of the micro brewery to continue over the coming years. Ever drank craft beer? Why don’t you share your experience with us?

 

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Beer and food pairings

 

Beer and food pairings is not an exact science, but some general guidelines can help to enhance the enjoyment of both the beer and your meal. Beer and food pairings are nothing new. There are hundreds of years’ worth of study behind these pairings. However, beer shouldn’t be left out of the meal planning. In fact, you’ll find that there are tons of different dishes that pair well with different brews. The secret lies in knowing what types of foods different beers pair best with.

The first thing to consider when pairing a cold brew with your dinner is that neither the beer nor the food should upstage the other. Instead, attempt to create a harmony between the two, with each complimenting the other’s flavors, textures, and heartiness.

Similar to the red wine with red meat and white wine with fish and chicken school of thought, many prefer to pair dark, heavier beers with meats and lighter beers with fish, chicken and salads. While this doesn’t hold true in all occasions, it’s a good start to your first foray into pairing beer and food.

Another consideration is to cut food’s flavor with an appropriately balanced beer; for example, the acidity of highly hopped ale cuts through the richness of fattier foods like cheese or fried fish, whereas sweeter, malty beers can cut through the spiciness of Asian or Mexican dishes.

Selecting beers and foods based on regional associations is also generally a good way to ensure a proper pairing. For instance, Mexican beers are often light and acidic, which naturally pairs well with spicy Mexican food, while Japanese lagers are a good compliment to sushi. Conveniently, most ethnic restaurants typically offer several traditional beers to make your pairings easy.

If you have any experience with pairing wine with food, think of the distinctions between dishes served best with red wine and those better served with white wine. Whether you are familiar with wine and food pairing or not, consider the different types of beer from lighter taste to the darkest varieties as the spectrum of types.

Starting from the lighter end of the spectrum are your pilsners and lagers. I find these work better with seafood, as the taste is lighter and won’t overpower the flavor of the food. In New Orleans, a boiled crawfish is best washed down with a light pilsner from any of the mega breweries.

Moving along on the beer styles, we come to your pale ales and ambers. As these are a little heartier, they can be paired with similar food. Try having Chicken and Pork dishes with ambers for a great match up.

Next we come to the so-called “dark side of the beer”. I refer to stouts and porters when I refer to dark beer. These are among the heaviest regarding taste and alcohol, so you can pair them up with the heartiest foods like steaks, ribs, and similar dishes.

These general guidelines will hopefully get you thinking the next time you’re out to dinner, but when it’s all said and done, beer and food are to be savored and enjoyed, whether together or separate. So if it tastes good to you, go for it.

 

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Beer Tastings – What to Know Before You Go

 

 

Now that you have been invited to that beer-tasting event you were always yearning for, where do you go from here? While obviously a fun event, it is also a social event where you would not want to embarrass yourself, and so preparation is essential. Once you get that all-important invite, you need to learn some few ins and outs, and the dos, and don’ts of such events. So I give you!! Beer tastings – what to know before you go.

 

1. Eat Before Leaving for the Event

Eating before you leave is essential for ensuring you do not get drunk too quickly. Eating is of particular importance if you have low tolerance to alcohol, as food will absorb the alcohol ensuring you do not get drunk too fast. Believe me, while this is a drinking bonanza, nobody wants to see a weak or out of control beer taster messing up the party.

 

2. Take Flights instead of Pints

Unless you are attending the event to sample a specific beer, you should stick to flights rather than pints. You need to try as many beers as you can, and if you start taking pints, you will be unable to sample many of the beers on offer. If the beer tasting is happening at a brewery you have never visited, it is advisable to sample all eight or seven beers from the tap. Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with grabbing a pint of your favorite beer if it is served.

 

3. You Need a Portable Container of Drinking Water

Hydrating is one of the most important things to take into consideration when going for beer tasting. Since you will be sampling several beers, you need enough water to detoxify and rehydrate your system from all that alcohol, and most importantly, to rinse your palate for the next beer. While many beer-tasting events will have water fountains, the queues for these are typically long and hard to find particularly after a few tastings.

 

4. Wear Comfortable Shoes

Most beer tasting events take the form of social events. Since they are geared towards interaction and socialization, there are very few seating accommodations or lounge chairs. Given that you will be on your feet standing or walking around most of the time, wear comfortable shoes so that you do not walk around in discomfort, or have to sit for more than is necessary.

 

 

5. Do not Hog the Table with your Favorite Beer

Nothing is more irritating than the person that just would not leave the serving table after getting their beer – just because that table has their favorite beer. As a participant at a beer-tasting event, you need to be experimental and bold – do not go only for the beers that you know. Beer Tasting events are places to get to know special beers before anyone else and get to sample unusual beer styles that you would never find at your local liquor store. Sampling from other tables and letting others sample from your favorite beer table is not only good etiquette, but will also make for a very good beer tasting experience.

 

Conclusion

There you have it! Beer tastings – what to know before you go. By following these simple tips, you can be better prepared for the social etiquette and the drinking aspects of beer tasting events. What you need to remember is that beer-tasting events are a mix of formal and social events and hence by maintaining a modicum of respect and moderation, you will get along just fine and even enjoy your first event.

 

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