Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ring my Bell's

Riiiiiiiiing. Ring my Bell's. Ba-dum. Bell's hails from Kalamazoo and began with a modest soup kettle in 1985. I've tried several of their beers over the years, and regularly enjoy their 2-Hearted Ale, an IPA commonly served on draught around here. I picked up a couple of their winter seasonals to check out. Check it!:

One of their super hyped seasonal offerings is Hopslam. This is a double IPA brewed with honey. When my friend told me about its release, I rushed to the store posthaste. Posthaste! I mean, look at the label. A lucky sonofabitch is getting body-slammed by a giant hop nugget. What a way to go. Hops + Honey...That's just smart.
The hopslam poured a beautiful orange-amber-honey color with a small fizzy white head and slow-moving carbonation, enjoying their journey through the liquid ambrosia. The smell was strong citrus hops with an underlying malt presence. And the taste - just like the picture. A bountiful hop nugget body slammed on my tongue which puckered in the delightful combination of bitterness, citrus, and honey. Sorry if that's TMI, but I'm just saying. A little bit of floral notes too, and very little noticeable alcohol for 10% ABV. It was smooth sailing, a little bit of alcohol warmth, medium bodied, and very good drinkability for such a high level of alcohol.
Also sampled was the winter seasonal Cherry Stout. If you've been paying any attention to me at all (geez), you know that fruit in beer usually tastes plastic-y to me. However, this was delicious. It poured a beautiful black with ruby/cherry higlights and a dark brown sudsy head. Very nice looking. The smell was strong with malts, cherry, and a little alcohol (7% ABV) all standing out. And the taste - wow. The cherry is not subtle. And it is real cherry flavor, as this bad boy is brewed with cherries from Traverse City. Loud and Proud. Also coffee notes, overall a sweet stout with a tart real cherry flavor. It was smooth and medium-bodied, and great drinkability.

2 fantastic winter seasonals from a super local brewery.
Well done, Bell's. Aces all around.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kid Rock's Badass

Well, I don't know much about Mr. Rock. While he is a Detroit native, his genre is..."Southern rock-rap?" Kid Rock created American Badass Beer and the Michigan Brewing Company contracted it. He also wrote a song called American Badass. Sample lyrics:
Pass that bottle around
Got the rock from Detroit
Soul from Motown
The underground stoned fuckin pimp
With tracks that mack and slap back the whack
Never gay, no way, I don't play with ass.
Charming, amiright? Read a few song lyrics, he is very into his heterosexuality. And he does enjoy a bottle and created a beer to enjoy with friends. His words, "People that like premium beers and Guinness is their choice, they will not like this. I want this to be like the beer I drink. You grab it, you share it with your friends, it's refreshing, it's cold, it gives you a good buzz. Done."This is the palest beer I have ever seen. It's slightly yellowish water with a 3 finger sudsy head and lots of carbonation. The smell? Like a watery macro lager. The taste? Like a watery macro lager. This could be the beer for the person who does not like beer, since it's more water than anything. Faint grass, faint apple, faint earthy afer-taste. This beverage is very thin. Have I mentioned watery?It's somewhat drinkable, since there is not much flavor, and relatively little alcohol at 4.2%. In a nutshell, this is bad. Not badass. Not even close.
I'll give it a D, because at least this will maybe stiumlate the Michigan economy for a minute.

In my mind, good beer will be enjoyed with good music. And all with Michigan pride:
How about humming along with a Huma-Lupa Licious to the Marvelettes?
Or savor a Bell's Special Double Cream Stout whilst enjoying my girlfriends Slumber Party:

Or Dragonmead's Under the Kilt Wee Heavy whilst skanking to Mustard Plug?

Michigan! America's High-Five. I don't know where this surge of Michigan love is coming from, but I think I'll thank Kid Rock.