29 October 2012

Ground Rules & Tips | Tailgate for Nothing 7 - Saturday, November 3, 11 a.m.

We hope to see you at the seventh edition of Hoosier Beer Geek's Tailgate for Nothing on Saturday, November 3, from 11 a.m. to ??? in Sun King Brewing Company's back parking lot. The theme: Wiener Time! More details here.

Here are some ground rules and tips for you if you're going to attend:

- Weather. The current forecast shows that it will be sunny with a high of 52 degrees cloudy with a high of 50 on Saturday. That being said, we recommend that you bring a canopy if you have one just in case the weather decides not to cooperate. Here's hoping that Hurricane Sandy's remnants stay away from us...

- Travel. The Indianapolis Monumental Marathon is taking place on Saturday morning. We think that most of the runners should be done by the time we get started with TFN7, but you might want to plan your route to Sun King accordingly. Maps of the marathon course can be found here.

- Parking. When you arrive, please park your car in the back lot at Sun King if there are still spaces available there. Do not park in the main lot out in front of the brewery. If there aren't any spaces in the back lot by the time you arrive, there should be plenty of parking available on the surrounding streets.

- Victuals. We don't have many rules for this thing, but one rule we expect everyone to follow is this: bring beer and food to share. The beer and food don't have to be anything special. Just bring something tasty and preferably wiener-related (please see the theme above). No one appreciates a freeloader.

- Courtesy. You are expected to clean up after yourselves, so please pick up your trash. Our friends at Sun King are doing us a favor by letting us hold the event at their place, so return their kindness by not leaving a mess behind. They've even agreed to provide trash bags, so please use them to dispose of your garbage.

- Keep off the hill. The hill behind the parking lot is off limits. Please don't go there.

- I gotta pee. A portalet will be provided on site. Please use it if you have to go to the restroom. Do not go inside the brewery to use their restroom. Of course, it's okay to go inside the brewery if you want to buy more beer, but don't go in just to use their crapper.

We hope that you'll come out and enjoy a day of beer-sharing and food-sharing with us!

Chef JJ's Hell Night IV

Chef JJ's Back Yard hosts a number of beer related events throughout the year, ranging from the recent Sun King GABF preview dinner to the yearly Make It Local dinner associated with the Microbrewers Festival.  Each one pairs craft beer with food prepared exclusively on the Big Green Egg.  While the Back Yard only hosts events, the Big Green Bistro takes food trucks to a whole new level with a tour bus sized mobile grilling facility.  One of the most unique events, and my favorite, is the annual Hell Night.

Hell Night wouldn't be possible without the chile growing prowess of Jim Campbell.  Jim is a firefighter on the northwest side who has a respectable side business of running a chile farm.  The chiles produced on Jim's farm are used by many hot sauce producers, including such big names as CaJohn's, Dave's and Blair's.  While the opportunity to sample the world's hottest peppers is worth the price of admission, Chef JJ's takes the event even further by donating half of the ticket price to Jim's charity - Step Up for Charity.  Step Up for Charity is an umbrella organization that benefits charities such as Lt. General Timothy J Maude Foundation, Jason M Baker Scholarship, Lt. Jim Cleek Scholarship, American Lung Association's "Fight for Air Climb" and Pike Fire Just Cause.

Now Jim's crop was not spared by this year's intense drought.  His harvest was weak and he wasn't able to bring the large spread he normally does.  Luckily, the chilehead community is strong, much like the brewing community.  CaJohn's stepped up and donated a variety of the world's hottest peppers for the event.  The most mild pepper on the table that night was the Red Scotch Bonnet Pepper.  Climbing up the scale, multiple variants of the Bhut Jolokia (ghost pepper), Trinidad Scorpion, Trinidad Maruga Scorpion, 7-Pot and a new pepper hybrid, the Reaper.  The Trinidad Maruga Scorpion currently holds the world record at 2 million scovilles and the Reaper might take the title at the next judging.  These are serious peppers.

Rest assured that Hell Night is not simply 5 courses of meals that are unbearably hot and unenjoyable.  Chef JJ's crew does an excellent job of using these insanely hot peppers to create fantastic dishes.  In addition to the 5 courses, Triton and Sun King provided their own chile beers.  Triton's chile beer was an IPA named Hatchblower IPA.  The base was their Railsplitter IPA, which had green peppers (for aroma) and jalapeños added to create a flavor that complimented the hops and added a warming heat in the throat.  Sun King has done a chile beer each year for Hell Night, and this year was no exception.  Their offering was simply titled Hell Night and was based off of the Cream Ale with a blend of chiles created by Chef JJ's added.  The end result was a very spicy beer that brought out lots of fruity notes from the chiles.

The first course was a Roasted Garlic and Artichoke Dip over Chef JJ's traditional grilled bread starter. Underneath the bacon-infused artichoke dip was a house-made hot sauce named Blow Your Face Off, which provided a nice but subdued spicy kick.

The second course was a complex and involved Posole, which featured blood sausage from Claus's and pickled black radishes from Goose the Market.  A variety of spicy peppers were used in this one, and a side of house-made TED hot sauce could be added to adjust the heat level.  A couple teaspoons of the TED sauce brought the Posole up to a tongue spiking heat.

The third course was a large bowl of Shrimp Vindaloo Curry, thickened with tomato and pumpkin and spiced with Trinidad Scorpion peppers.  Depending on your tolerance of the type of capsaicin in the Trinidad Scorpion, this one may have brought tears to your eyes, but it was so good that no one could stop eating it.

The fourth course was a Grilled Tenderloin, which was rubbed with a house-made spice blend and placed on top of chipotle mashed sweet potatoes.  Compared to the previous dish, this one wouldn't even be considered spicy, which was probably a good thing.

To finish things off with a bang, Chef Jenna created Avocado Pops in push-pop molds that were filled with minced chocolate and green ghost peppers.  Just for clarification, chocolate ghost peppers are named for their color and do not have a sweet chocolately flavor.  If I had not just consumed a piece of Reaper, this would have been the spiciest dish by far.

Throughout the meal, Jim brought by chopped up samples of peppers that adequately filled the heat spectrum of peppers ranging from 200K scovilles to 2M scovilles.  Being the bull-headed individual that I am, I tried each one without the assistance of milk.  I shed many tears on Hell Night, and consumed much water, but it was worth it.  I consumed the Reaper and lived to tell the tale.  Until next year,  Hell Night.

Oh and as a footnote, Hell Night sells out very early, so start checking Chef JJ's website (chefjjs.com) in August for tickets to go on sale.  Or just attend one of their other events to experience some of their less spicy foods.

26 October 2012

Random Beer Roundup - The Ghostly Edition

TFN 7: Weiner Time! on November 3rd starting at 11am.  More information here and here.

Hoosier Beer Calendar
Events are subject to change

From the Brewers
From Mike at Brugge Brasserie in Broad Ripple, Indianapolis:

updated 10/26/12 - subject to availability
please bear with us while we move our brewery. great things are soon to come!
flight of 3 beers $7
tripel de ripple our blonde belgian-style tripel exhibits notes of vanilla & perhaps pears 10% limit of 2
union suit american pale ale light malt gives way to earthy bitterness and citrusy aroma, modest abv allows for consumption of multiple pints  5.5%
pooka sour & refreshing, brewed with boysenberry 6%
jever pilsener the classic german friesland pilsener, with a soft yeasty palate - clean, crisp,and refreshing, with an assertive hop finish 4.9%
boulevard tank seven ale beginning with a big surge of fruity aromatics and grapefruit-hoppy notes, the flavor of this complex, straw-colored ale tapers off to a peppery, dry finish 8%
brooklyn black chocolate stout a luscious deep dark chocolate flavor through a blend of specialty roasted malts 10.6%
great divide hibernation revered malty richness, complex hop profile and hearty warming character in this winter seasonal strong ale from colorado 8.7%
three floyds dreadnaught an opening salvo of mango, peach and citrus hop aromas that sit atop a pronounced caramel malt backbone. although dreadnaught is a strong and intensely hoppy ale, its complex flavors is both smooth and memorable 9.5%

From Andrew at Ram Restaurant and Brewery in Indianapolis/Fishers:
Honors for Anaheim IPA
The RAM Restaurant and Brewery in Indianapolis is proud to announce that we have been awarded a Silver medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival for our Anaheim IPA. Despite all of the great beers that were entered, we were able to bring this prestigious prize home to Indiana. Congrats also go out to Sun King, Upland, Mad Anthony's, 3 Floyd's, and Bier Brewery for combining to earn a total of 7 Indiana medals in the competition. 
Party Plans - Join us at our Downtown location to help us celebrate with a Silver Medal tapping of Anaheim IPA on November 1st at 7 p.m.
Pie'd Piper Pumpkin Ale on tap
Our seasonal favorite, Pie'd Piper Pumpkin Ale, is now on tap. This malty concoction with spices added balances itself on a blend of caramel and bread-like malt notes with cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg doing the heavy lifting. Hope you enjoy!

From David at Triton Brewing Co. in Lawrence:

Fieldhouse Wheat, Four Barrel Brown, Magnificent Amber Ale, Deadeye Stout, Railsplitter India Pale Ale, Sin Bin Belgian Pale Ale, 500 Monks Belgian Strong Ale, Batch 1 (Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout)  Fortshire British Mild, McQueenie’s Scotch Ale, Nutty Professor Peanut Butter Brown and Hatchblower Pepper IPA

Brooklyn Blast, J.W. Lees 2011 Harvest, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Napa-Smith’s Hopageddon, Widmer Omission Lager (bottle)

Triton Brewing Events
Kahn's Northside Beer and Candy event, Friday, October 27, 6-8pm (5341 N. Keystone, 46220) we will pouring Triton Brewing Company Beer. Prizes will be awarded for best costume!
Vintage Liquor’s Tasting, Saturday, October 28, 4-6pm, (20821 Hague Road, Noblesville, 46062) Brewer Jon will be sampling a variety of Triton Beers.
Triton Brewing Company Sin Bin Belgian Pale, Four Barrel Brown and Deadeye Stout 6 packs will start hitting the shelves the week of October 29. Watch for them!
Beer Tapping: Midnight Rail (Black) IPA, November 1, 5pm in the Tasting Room at Triton Brewing. Come try this 8.5% abv, 100 ibu black IPA. Growler fills available.
Beer Tapping: Gingerbread Brown, November 15, 5pm in the Tasting Room at Triton Brewing. Come get one of our most popular Seasonals from last year!
At Bars, Restaurants, and Carry Out
From Patrick at Patrick's Kitchen in Zionsville:

Founders Breakfast Stout    7.00 Pint
La Trappe (Belgian Quad) 10%abv   10.50
Abita Amber  6.00 Pint
Two Brothers Atom Smasher (Oktoberfest) 7.7abv   6.00 Pint
Paulaner Oktoberfest   5.50 Pint
Darkhorse Crooked Tree  7.50 Pint
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale  8.19 abv   5.00 8 oz
Three Floyds Pride & Joy   6.50 Pint
Gaffel Kolsch  7.00 Pint
Chimay White (Belgian Tripel) 10.50
Bell's Amber  4.25
Bell’s Oarsman Ale  4.25
Sixpoint Brownstone  5.25
Sun King Cream Ale  5.75
Tyranena Dirty Old Man (imperial rye)  6.50
Founders Cerise (cherry fermented ale)  5.25
Founders Porter  4.25
Dark Horse Scotty Karate (Scotch ale)  5.25
Orkney Skull Splitter (authentic Scotch) 8.00
Duvel (the classic Belgian Golden Ale)  9.75
Chimay Blue (9% abv and a fabulous Belgian golden ale)  10.50
BoulevardaBrewinga80-Acre (hoppy wheat)
Boulevard Brewing Unfiltered Wheat                                                                                                                           


Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf  22oz  13.75
Three Floyds Calumet Queen  22oz  13.75
Moorhouse's Blond Bitch  16.9oz  10.50
New Albanian Black & BlueGrass (Saison)22oz 13.75
From Mike at Yogi's Bar and Grill in Bloomington:

From the Distributors:
From Jen at Cavalier Distribution:

Two Brothers MemoriAle Altbier - German style Atlbier; limited release; 22oz bottles only
Left Hand Warrior - American IPA; limited release; 22oz bottles and draft
North Coast Grand Cru - Belgian Strong Pale Ale; limited release; 16.9oz bottles and draft
St. Feuillien Speciale (formerly Noel) - Belgian Strong Ale; seasonal release; 750ml bottles and draft
Sixpoint Autumnation - Fresh Hopped Pumpkin Ale; seasonal release; 4 pack cans and draft
Heavy Seas Winter Storm - ESB; seasonal release; 6 packs and draft
Bison Gingerbread Ale - Spiced Ginger Ale; seasonal release; 4 packs
Founders Harvest - Fresh Hopped IPA; seasonal release; 4 packs and draft
Mendocino Talon - Double IPA; new everyday offering; 22oz bottles only
10/26 - Lexington Brewing tasting @ UPL Broad Ripple; 5pm-7pm
10/26 - Founders Breakfast Stout Pint Night @ Gerst Haus in Evansville; 7pm
10/26 - Craft Tasting @ Cap N Cork on New Haven; 5pm-7pm
10/27 - Mouse Trap Halloween Bash featuring Lexington Brewing; 6pm
10/27 - Craft Tasting @ S&V Dupont in Ft. Wayne; 5pm-8pm
11/1 - Founders Breakfast Stout Pint Night @ Knob Hill Tavern in Newburgh; 5:30pm
11/2 - Lexington Brewing tasting @ UPL Emerson; 5pm-7pm
11/6 - Celebrate Election Day with Elector @ Yogi's, featuring several NABC beers; Bloomington; 6pm
11/6 - Birdy's Monthly Tasting; 6pm-pm; $10
11/8 - Founders Breakfast Stout Pint Night @ Shooters in Madison; 6pm
11/9 - Craft tasting Downtown Farm Stand; Muncie; 5pm-7pm
11/10 - Craft Tasting @ Keg N Bottle; Anderson; 5pm-7pm
11/10 - Craft Tasting @ Kroakerheads; Anderson; 9pm-10pm
11/10 - Founders Breakfast Stout Pint Giveaway @ Fireside Bar and Grill; Sellersburg; 11am- Close; breakfast served all day
11/14 - Lexington Brewing tasting @ Irish Lion; Bloomington; TBA
11/14 - Harvest Event @ 800 Degrees 2 Fires; Ft. Wayne; TBA
11/29 - Collesi Beer Dinner @ Peterson's in Noblesville; 7pm
12/12 - Lexington Brewing tasting @ Sonka Irish Pub; Terre Haute; 6pm-9pm

Upcoming Events
From Brent at Tuxedo Park Brewing Supply in Fountain Square, Indianapolis:
Join us at the shop for our First Annual GassenSale (that means Alley Sale) on Saturday, October 27th from 11-5! We will be slashing prices on tons of items, from equipment (new and used), hops, grain, and anything else you can think of (and perhaps some you can't). This is a one day only event for these big time deals. We'll also be brewing, and we'll have some burgers and sides for anyone who drops by.  We are located at 1139 Shelby Street (alley suite) in Historic Fountain Square, just south of downtown!

From Jason at Tuxedo Park Brewing Supply in Fountain Square, Indianapolis:
Midwestern Order of Nin-Kasi (M.O.N.K.)
The 2012 M.O.N.K. Chili Bowl is upon us!  This is a beer and chili competition combined. The rules are simple:
The beer must have a chili ingredient in it somehow. Wait, what?  That's right, mash with some beans, throw in a pepper or two and a squeeze of lime. Okay, maybe not all of those but you get the point.  The chili must have either a beer ingredient or beer in it. That's it, it's that simple.  You can enter one or both. The winner of the big ol' chili trophy is based on the total score.  Dave Kern was the winner last year. .. Can he be defeated?
See rules and details on the Facebook page:
All proceeds benefit the Order and support their endeavor to make awesome home brew!  Prices are as follows:
Non-Members: $10
Members: $5
Enter beer/chili: (1) Free
Enter Both:  (2) Free
Buy tickets in person at Tuxedo Park Brewers Supply or at the door.  But please RSVP if you intend to come!

From Charles at A Six Pack of Stories:
With the submissions deadline just days away, the brewing phase for A Six Pack of Stories is nearly finished. Creative writers from several continents have put their ideas into the mash and boiled them into entertaining and artful tales that tell the story of mankind’s experience with our favorite fermented beverage. What remains now is to add some editorial yeast in fermentation and package the finished brew in paperback and electronic carriers. (Are we taking brewing/writing analogy too far? Too bad, ‘cause the connection of beer and the written word is what this is all about!)
What styles can you expect in this six pack when you pop the caps? We need a little time after the submissions window closes this Friday to make final selections, but you’ll definitely be drinking everything from humor, to horror, to literary fiction, to science fiction.
If there are any beer loving writers—or maybe writing-loving beer drinkers—out there who haven’t submitted stories yet, we’re making last call. So put the finishing touches on your masterpiece, check the submission guidelines at www.6packstories.com one more time, and send it to storybrewhouse@gmail.com by Friday, October 26th.
For those of you who aren’t word crafters, your roles in this story are yet to come, and it’s the best part! Expect to see A Six Pack of Stories on tap in the coming months. If you’ve been good girls and boys, we’ll publish in time for Santa to drop it in your Christmas stocking!  

In the meantime, like us on Facebook (facebook.com/ASixPackOfStories) and follow us onTwitter (@SixPackStories) to keep up to date.

23 October 2012

The Beeroes of Harkenwold: Putting the "Geek" in Hoosier Beer Geek

Talk to most craft beer enthusiasts and you'll find that they're adventurous people. That's one of the reasons they're into better beer; they like the unexpected treasures that they often find in their pint glasses. Indeed, being into craft beer is sort of like reading those "make your own adventure" books that were available when we were kids. Don't like this beer? Well, turn the page and you might find another that suits you...

Yes, better beer enthusiasts thirst for adventure, sometimes in more ways than one. Let's take role-playing games for example. I'm not a hardcore gamer like some of my friends, but I do enjoy a good Dungeons & Dragons session from time to time. So once a month, I gather with some fellow D&D and beer geeks to quench my thirst for adventure. Along with our Player's Handbooks, character sheets, and dice, we always bring some brews to drink while we're vanquishing enemies, negotiating with shopkeepers, and protecting the helpless.

It just so happens that two of my fellow D&D adventurers are also two of the newest additions to the Knights of the Beer Roundtable. Megan and Kristin are craft beer enthusiasts with great passion for the local beer scene, so they were a natural fit to join the KOTBR. And they're also a natural fit for our new monthly feature, "The Beeroes of Harkenwold." Each month, Megan, Kristin, and I will give you our thoughts on our gaming beers...with a geeky twist of course. If this isn't your thing, we're cool with that. We at Hoosier Beer Geek have written plenty of stuff that has annoyed our readers, so we're used to the criticism. But we also know that we have kindred spirits out there who will enjoy what we have to say. So suit up in your chain mail, grab your longsword and shield, and prepare yourself for the first encounter.

First up is Megan, who is the druid of the party. She's kind of like Storm from the X-Men in that she can harness nature to kick our enemies' asses. As you'll see, however, she seems to have spent a bit too much time in the San Fernando Valley in the '80s.

Pipeworks Brewing Company Ninja vs. Unicorn Double IPA

So, like, our posse had an epic day of battling. There were these gnarly carrion crawlers (which I DON'T recommend killing at close range...slime much?) and we were totally wiped after hours of combat. We usually get together post-combat to grab some pints, but our Dwarf was nowhere to be found. We knew he was totes at the Lucky Gnome Tavern, probably getting frisky with some grodie halfling. I volunteered to round him up, and sure enough...a halfling wench on each knee, gag me with a greatsword. I grabbed his ale and told him he had FIVE minutes to get his second wind on.

I was immediately blown away by the label on this Double IPA by Pipeworks Brewing. I was mesmerized by the trippy colors, especially the maniacal unicorn. Being an Elf druid shapeshifter, I could totally be that unicorn anytime I wanted, whatevs. My first sniff was full of hoppy aromas, lots of pine and some citrus. I could feel a surge to my charisma as soon as I took a sip. Lots of malty smoothness to balance the crisp, floral hop flavors. A powerful punch with a smooth finish! This was such a rad brew that I was oblivious to the fisticuffs that broke out. Next time our Dwarf better do a perception check first to see if his little hussies have boyfriends...duh.

Next up is Kristin, who is our cleric of the Deva race. Kristin is our healer and energizer. Those of you who are D&D nerds know that Devas are immortal. Holy shit, that's a lot of time to drink a lot of beer!

Baxter Brewing Company Stowaway IPA

As a Deva, I've lived many lifetimes, remembering each as vividly as yesterday. When our ranger came to me with the Baxter Stowaway IPA, I was hesitant, as I have had thousands of brews, and I've become more and more critical over my lifetimes. He was insistent, and knowing I had a soft spot for animals--the logo boasted a moose--I had no choice but to try the hoppy libation.

This beer was nothing short of legendary. Being of large stature, the 6.9 ABV gave me a nice feeling of warmth, which is important after a long day of battle. The canned beer poured a beautiful orange color, and the nose was nothing but simple and citrusy, a favorite of mine. The hop notes were clean and enjoyable, and after a few, it was time to call it an evening.

Although I'm known for my less than stellar rolls, this beer deserves an 18 from a d20.


And finally, yours truly, the ranger, the master of the bow, the man who makes William Tell look like an amateur:

Boatswain Chocolate Stout and O'So Brewing Company Night Train Porter

Our trusty cleric brought along a bottle of Boatswain Chocolate Stout; she'd procured it from a merchant called Trader Joe, who apparently sells quality wares at prices that allow travelers to leave his shop with a decent amount of coin left over in their money pouches. This beer poured with a murky brown color and was redolent of the finest cacao beans from the deep jungles of Eluria. Alas, the mouthfeel was watery and the flavor left much to be desired. Boatswain Chocolate Stout reminded me of a pretty but dull-edged rapier: lots of sharp promise but no bite to match.

We did, however, find a much worthier beer than Boatswain's Chocolate Stout: O'So Night Train Porter. This, my friends, is what a dark beer should be. Creamy, rich, hoppy, chocolatey, earthy...as I poured a tankard of this brew down my gullet, I felt so comfortable and at home, much like how I usually feel exploring the depths of the forests of Harkenwold. I was crestfallen that I did not have another bottle of this beer from a duchy in the north called Wisconsin.


For more information on the breweries:

Pipeworks Brewing Company, Chicago, Illinois

Baxter Brewing Company, Lewiston, Maine

Rhinelander Brewery, Rhinelander, Wisconsin (Brewer of Trader Joe's Boatswain brands)

O'So Brewing Company, Plover, Wisconsin

22 October 2012

Michigan trip continued

In continuation of my first post about my Michigan beer trip, we continued our journey to a place that I've been wanting to hit since I heard about their opening in 2010:  Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids. Brewery Vivant is located in the East Hills neighborhood of Grand Rapids, which I found to be a very walkable and vibrant business area. The pub is located in part of a renovated (and LEED certified) building that was once a funeral home that contained a large chapel in it.  Brewery Vivant focuses on a Belgian and French theme throughout the entire building, menu, and beer list.  This is another brewery that caught me by surprise.  I've heard nothing but good things about them, but actually getting to walk into the pub was the first delight to my senses.  The pub was built in the old chapel.  The room has buttresses, stained glass, wooden tables, and a certain ambiance that made me feel I was somewhere else.  Vivant was just my kind of place.  The food, the beer, and the atmosphere were all impeccable.  I'm a huge fan of Belgian style beers, and I'm very happy to see their continued rise in production by breweries in the US. I love the saison style and a personal favorite was Vivant's French Hand Farmhouse Ale.  It was lighter in ABV, but had a great flavor and paired very well with my meal.  I am also a huge fan of smoke beers and they had a smoke beer on hand that reminded me of a beer from Schlenkerla.  It was fantastically smokey and overpowering with smoke flavor.  I really had a great experience from Vivant, and they are another place I'm already looking forward to trying again in the future.

Outside of Brewery Vivant

Another shot. The front entrance is through the Chapel doors at the bottom of the picture.

Looking at the top of the bar showing the wood and stone work

Interior shot of the bar and old Chapel.  Here is the original look. 

Tap handle shot

Beer flight
Tap list
A bowl of mussels 

Interior shot of the stained glass window above the entrance door
The next morning we needed to have a solid base for another day of all things beer.  Normally I would never post pictures of breakfast food on a beer blog, but Marie Catrib's, not far from Brewery Vivant, was the real deal for breakfast food. I would recommend this to anyone.

Rock the Hash-bah with spicy chorizo made with pork and mixed with diced potatoes, corn, onions, cayenne, cumin, peppers
Eggs, bacon, in-house made sausage, mushrooms, onions, cheese and potatoes.  Homemade Rye bread with honey butter and mixed berry compote. 
When in Grand Rapids, you must make the pilgrimage over to Founders.  We didn't realize we chose the weekend of the Harvest Ale release party, but we hoped some special gems would be on tap that day.  We got there when they opened up and were about 20 people or so deep in a line that had already formed.  It was $10 bucks to get in that day, but for that $10 you got a pint glass and a glass of Harvest Ale.  If you stuck around long enough it also covered the cost for live music later that evening. Founders has a pretty large space and I was surprised it was nearly at capacity by noon.  Mostly it was the mug club members I saw pounding beers.  I saw more of those than anything else.

Outside of Founders
Stained glass behind the bar
Beers for the day
Nitro oatmeal stout.  4.5% with plenty of flavor.  It was one of my favorites at Founders. 
Pint of Harvest Ale
I had to have a breakfast stout at the source. 
The last stop on the beer adventure was just a short walk away to The Hopcat. They are continually ranked as one of the best beers bars in the world by beer geeks. The Hopcat has been well written about, but this place is a wonderful beer bar that has 48 taps and a large bottle list. 48 taps is too much for most places, but The Hopcat really turns their beer.  This is another one of my favorite stops when in Grand Rapids.

Shot from the end of the bar
Tap towers
One of the best beers I had all weekend.  Biere de Mars from Jolly Pumpkin. 
Pint of something

It was another successful beer trip to SE Michigan.  Breweries and bars keep multiplying like crazy up there, and we only really hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to beer establishments.  Many breweries we wanted to hit, but simply couldn't because we just didn't have enough time or enough cab money.  I'm looking forward to my next trip that hopefully happens sooner than later.