Posts Tagged ‘craft beer’


Best Beer in MichiganFrankenmuth Munich Style Dunkel Lager may be a mouthful of a title, but it comes with the credentials to back it’s flashy name. After recently winning the silver medal in the World Beer Championships, the Dunkel also took home the bronze medal from the 2011 World Expo of Beer. Elsewhere, the Alström Brothers, founders of BeerAdvocate, also gave the beer an “exceptional” score of 90. All together, the Frankenmuth Dunkel is some of the best beer in Michigan.

The Dunkel, meaning “dark” in German, is a traditional style of beer developed in Munich that gets it’s name from the dark roasted malts used in the brewing process. These malts, aside from giving the beer its trademark color, give the beer a toasty, nutty and chocolate-like taste with a smooth, malty finish. Drinkers might also detect added hints of raisin, coffee, and a slightly smoky taste while enjoying the Frankenmuth Dunkel.

This recent cold snap in Michigan offers a great opportunity to try this dark and warming brew. At only 5.1% ABV, this beer is big on flavor but light on alcohol when compared to other dark brews, making it a great partner for foods with big, hearty or spicy flavors like barbecue, sausages, and roasts. You can even try this great recipe for French Onion Soup that uses the Dunkel as an ingredient. For dessert, pour some beer in a glass and have some fun by dunking some Oreos, drawing out the chocolate notes of the Dunkel.

The Frankenmuth Dunkel offers tradition, flavor, and fun, truly proving that it’s one of the best beers in Michigan.

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Cue the Rocky theme! Frankenmuth Brewery is excited to compete in the first official Ashley’s Invitational Brewery Throwdown next month! Starting on January 4 at Ashley’s Beer & Grill in Westland, the winter-long tournament features eight craft breweries all competing for the title of Brewery Throwdown champion. And best of all, each round of the brewery competition is open to the public at no cover charge. Show up and enjoy your favorite Frankenmuth beers, because the brewery with the most glasses sold at the end of the night will advance to the second round!

According to Ashley’s co-owner Jeff More, this type of event has never been done before. “This is the first such tournament of its kind… There have been individual matches and beer throwdowns, but not a bracketed, multi-round brewery tournament that we could find.”

The four first round matches will take place on respective Wednesdays throughout January. The match-ups are as follows:

January 4
Dark Horse vs. Short’s

January 11
Saugatuck vs. Arcadia

January 18
Frankenmuth vs. Wolverine

January 25
Michigan vs. Victory

Each brewery will showcase four beers in each round. For round one, Frankenmuth will have the Pilsner, Munich Style Dunkel, Winter Bock, and Batch 69 American IPA.

The fun kicks off next Wednesday at Ashleys Beer & Grill, 7525 Wayne Rd. in Westland. We hope to see you all when Frankenmuth makes our tournament debut on January 18!

Brewery competition bracket

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While your crazy uncle may have extolled the virtues of leaving a warm case of beer on the porch for the duration of a cold day, most beer connoisseurs will say that leaving the brews in freezing temperatures won’t produce the best results. To properly cool down a Michigan beer the right way this winter, consider some of the friendly handling tips, courtesy of Frankenmuth Brewery.

If you are serious about your beers, you might consider using another refrigerator for cooling beverages in your home. The right temperature for a beer is often based on the style of the brew and how much alcohol is in the beverage. For darker beers like Frankenmuth’s Munich Style Dunkel Lager with a higher alcohol percentage, an average temperature between 55 and 60 degrees would be desirable, so as to keep it’s malty flavor intact. With a beer like Frankemuth’s Hefeweizen Ale, a slightly colder temperature between 45 and 50 degrees will allow drinkers to enjoy its crisp flavor, as it has lighter features. By being able to control your refrigerator’s temperature, you will be able to ensure the maximum taste of your beer.

However, a costly second refrigerator isn’t always necessary. An article printed by Beeradvocate recommends that brews be kept in a cool storage area, away from both heat and light. “Beer benefits from cool constant temperatures; usually around 50-55 degrees is ideal for most beers, and most beer collectors.” Places in your home like the basement or garage will often do the trick as they offer protection from extreme cold temperatures, but are still left to partial exposure.

No matter how you may decide to cool your Michigan beer, the most important factor is that the taste remain intact. Remember just because a beer is freezing cold doesn’t mean that it’s the best-tasting product. If a beer is too cold, it will stun your taste buds and leave them unable to pick out the proper flavor notes in the beverage. And nobody wants that.

Finding The Right Temperature For Your Michigan Beer

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Michigan may be known nationally as The Great Lakes State, but each year more and more craft beer enthusiasts lovingly refer to the mitten as The Great Beer State. And with good reason.

Last year, Michigan ranked fifth in the nation in terms of overall breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs. In fact, of the 1716 craft breweries operating in the U.S., nearly 100 of them call Michigan home.

Sure, this is great for fans of homegrown brew, but it’s also huge for the long-struggling Michigan economy. The companies behind the Michigan beer industry pay out more than $24 million in wages with a total economic contribution of over $133 million to The Great Beer State. A recent survey also noted that Michigan breweries are increasing production and investing in expansions to the tune of over $70 million. On the consumer side, local craft beer sales have nearly doubled in Michigan supermarkets since 2007, jumping from $11.2 million to $22 million last year.

Among Michigan’s most popular craft breweries is Frankenmuth Brewery. They boast the title of Michigan’s Oldest Craft Beer, operating on the same site in Frankenmuth, Michigan for the last 150 years. At Frankenmuth, they understand the importance of stimulating the local economy to keep their industry thriving. That’s why they stock the Frankenmuth Brewery Restaurant with house breads from a local bakery and produce from local farmers. Not to mention their enlistment of over 100 employees to keep day-to-day operations humming.

Craft beer is big business, especially in The Great Beer State. Take a look at this convenient infographic for a crash course in Michigan’s craft beer boom.

The State of Craft Beer in the State of Michigan

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If you’re one of those people who refuses to drink beer from anything but a bottle (I’m guilty), then you have probably wondered how to open a beer with no bottle opener. And considering the majority of all craft beer (and all Frankenmuth Brewery beer) is packaged in glass bottles with no twist-off cap, you need to be fully prepared in case you encounter such a situation.  Here are a few ways to open a beer with no bottle opener:

Tips for the Amateur:

1. Teeth-  It’s one of the easiest techniques, and also one of the easiest ways to ruin your pearly whites. It definitely works, but skip it.
2. Lighter- Even if you aren’t a smoker, you’re bound to have one of these laying around.
3. Keys- These little guys can do more than start your car or let you inside.
4. Tools- Your garage is a prime location for impromptu beer bottle openers! Hammers, screwdrivers… They all get the job done.
5. Kitchen Utensils-  Knives, serving spoons and forks all work, as long as they’re metal.
6. Office Supplies- Stapler removers and scissors are two simple solutions to the no bottle opener dilemma.
7. Reef Sandals- Go buy a pair. Whether your at the beach or on a boat, these handy flip flops have a bottle opener on the sole!

reef bottle opener

Tips for the Daring:
8. Another beer bottle-  With the right angle and leverage, you can use one bottle cap to remove another!
9. Belt Buckle- If you didn’t break the bank on it, try a belt buckle to break the bottle cap off.
10. Ice Skates- Hold the bottle at an angle and thrust the sharp edge of an ice skate up under the bottle cap where it meets the neck. (Disclaimer: Make sure you do this AWAY from your body. No promises that you wont break the glass or slice off your finger in the process.)
11. Ring- You can use that little piece of metal on your finger to pop a cap off. (Ladies, I would leave this one to the guys.)
12. Any hard edge- Hold the bottle cap up against a hard edge just to the lip is on top of it. With a powerful downward thrust, you can open your beer.

Watch this video for 20 Ways to Open a Beer With No Bottle Opener! Entertaining to say the least.

 

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Pairing the right beer with the right meal is a skill. But incorporating the right beer into the right recipe is an art. That’s why we consulted Frankenmuth Brewery’s Executive Chef/Food Artist Extraordinaire, Taffy Cline for the recipe to one of our favorite beer dishes. Bon appétit!

FRANKENMUTH FRENCH ONION SOUP

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs. veg oil
  • 2 tbs. ground fresh garlic
  • 5 lbs. yellow onion — each Julienned
  • 2 whole dried bay leaves
  • 2 tbs. dried oregano
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 gallon of beef stock
  • 1 pint Franknemuth Brewery Munich Style Dunkel Lager

Directions

  • First you will want to Julienne all of the onions.
  • Then in a large pot pour in the vegetable oil, garlic and bay leaves.
  • When the oil is hot, put in the onions and stir it up, coating the onions. (If you feel you need a little more oil the go ahead, but use sparingly).
  • Cover the pot with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil to help sweat the onions.
  • Saute the onions until they are all browned. (As they begin to brown they will go very quickly, so turn down your heat).
  • After all of the onions have turned brown, make a whole in the onions so you can see the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour in the red wine. The red wine should sizzle as it goes in and this will also help to loosen all of the wonderful flavors that were on the pan.
  • Let the wine reduce slightly and then add the beef stock and the oregano.
  • Now, if you like your soup to be thick with onions; cut back on the amount of stock, and if you like more broth then add more stock.
  • Let the stock begin to simmer and then turn your fire down to low and add the Dunkel beer. The soup itself is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F.
  • Pour into a bowl, top with croutons, top the bowl with your choice or swill, provolone, gruyere or even mozzarella cheese.
  • Place in the broiler part of oven until the cheese is just turning brown.
  • Serve!

Note

After you add the beer, you will want to taste it before you keep going. Sometimes the beer may reduce too much and become overbearing. Always taste your foods as you cook. Remember: you can always add more ingredients but you cannot take them out.

Frankenmuth Restaurant Kitchen Staff

Frankenmuth Kitchen Staff w/ Executive Chef Taffy Cline (far right).

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In 2012, the storied Frankenmuth Brewery will be 150-years-old. In anticipation of this monumental occasion, we decided to take a brief look at the history of the original Michigan microbrewery.
The Frankenmuth story begins in 1857 when John Matthias Falliers founded the first brewery in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Five years later in 1862, William Knaust and Martin Heubisch opened the Cass River Brewery just north of the Falliers’ Frankenmuth site. In 1874, Johann Geyer purchased the Cass River Brewery from Knaust and Heubisch, eventually renaming it Frankenmuth Brewing Co.


The brewery remained in the Geyer family for the next 112 years before being sold to a German businessman named Ferdinand Schumacher. Tragically, the brewery was nearly burned to the ground just one year after Schumacher purchased it. Some of the original structure was salvaged and by 1990, Frankenmuth was sold to Randall Heine.
Heine was able to steer Frankenmuth back on track, eventually hitting a production peak of 30,000 barrels distributed across 25 states in 1996. Then, on June 21, 1996 tragedy struck again. This time, in the form of an F3 tornado that tore into the brewery causing millions of dollars in damage. Frankenmuth Brewery was essentially crippled until 2003 when a brew pub was opened, only to be closed three years later when the Heine family was denied a loan necessary to keep the brewery open.
In January 2009, Haithem and Anmar Sarafa purchased Frankenmuth Brewery and had it back up and running by that summer. Today, the brewery and adjoining restaurant are bustling once more, making Frankenmuth not only Michigan’s longest running craft brewery, but also one of its most celebrated.
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An educated beer enthusiast is a happy beer enthusiast. Pad your beer library with these ten books ranging from subjects like beer history, homebrewing, and food-pairing. Get to know the world’s favorite drink in a whole new way.

 

Beer Companion
Beer Companion

By Michael Jackson
The other Michael Jackson, author of The New World Guide to Beer, continues his scholarly pursuit of all things beer. He combines historical anecdotes with contemporary beers and breweries resulting in, as the title suggests, a definitive beer companion.

 

Tasting Beer
Tasting Beer: An Insider’s Guide to the World’s Greatest Drink

By Randy Mosher
An extensive study of the world’s most popular drink. Learn how to identify different beers by scent, color and flavor, as well as proper serving, food pairing, and storage practices. It also comes complete with style-by-style compendium of the various brews within each of the major beer families.

 

The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food
The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food

By Garrett Oliver
Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver makes a fascinating and delicious argument for why “real” beer is the perfect compliment to any meal. Forget the mass-market variety brews. Follow Oliver as he takes you on a tour through the wide range of flavors found in beers from around the world.

 

How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Beer Right the First Time
How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Beer Right the First Time

By John Palmer
An easy to understand step-by-step guide to beer brewing for the laymen who’s ready to take beer enthusiasm to the next level.

 

The Complete Joy of Homebrewing
The Complete Joy of Homebrewing

By Charles Papazian
An extensive and trusted guide to homebrewing, courtesy of American Homebrewer’s Association founder Charlie Papazian. Recently expanded and revised to start you up and keep you brewing.

 

A Year of Beer: 260 Seasonal Homebrew Recipes
A Year of Beer: 260 Seasonal Homebrew Recipes

By Amahl Turczyn
Once you’ve gotten the hang of homebrewing, this helpful recipe book will guide you through producing 260 different seasonal brews. From extract to all-grain, for brewers of all skill levels.

 

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer
Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer

By Maureen Ogle
The definitive history of American beer, from the wave of German immigrants who brought with them their passion for biergartens to the invention of American-style lager to the complexities of Prohibition to the present day, and everything important beer moment in between.

 

Farmhouse Ales: Culture and Craftsmanship in Belgian Tradition
Farmhouse Ales: Culture and Craftsmanship in Belgian Tradition

By Phil Markowski
A close study of the evolution and refinement of ales, from the old world classics to the modern day reproductions.

 

Bavarian Lager: Beerhall Helles History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes
Bavarian Lager: Beerhall Helles History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes

By Horst Dornbusch
Required reading for German beer lovers. A great balance of history, technical details and recipes of these classic lagers.

 

The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Munich
The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Munich

By Larry Hawthorne
An extensive guide to the best biergartens in the beer drinking capital of the world. Get a full look at more than 70 of Munich’s best watering holes, brew pubs, and beer halls. Also included is a chapter on Oktoberfest and other German beer festivals. Beer enthusiasts planning to visit the Beer City will also get some extra bang for their buck with the enclosed beer coupons from some of the area’s most renowned beer spots.

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We at Frankenmuth Brewery decided to craft an event at our brewery specifically for beer bloggers in Michigan. On Thursday, October 20, 2011, bloggers from all over the state of Michigan attended for a private tour and enjoyed a 6-course menu featuring fabulous Frankenmuth beer pairings!

Blogger Event Invitiation    Brew House

Haithem Sarafa greeted the beer bloggers with a warm welcome to the brewery.  The private tour began in the Brew House, where brew master Jeff Coon revealed the method to his beer-making madness.  He educated the beer bloggers on how craft beer is made in the brewery.

Following the tour was a perfectly paired six-course menu, made specifically for the event.  Each course consisted of a Frankenmuth Beer alongside a delectable dinner plate.  Jeff and the Brewery chefs developed the menu together, making sure each beer and food pairing complemented one another perfectly. The 6-course menu was as follows:

  1. Red Sky Ale, paired with Alpine Canape. Herb goat cheese and mushroom crostini, drizzled with a savory mushroom demi.
  2. Batch 69 IPA, paired with a shrimp and lobster gumbo. A traditional creole specialty with the brewer’s touch.
  3.  Frankenmuth Pilsener, paired with bleu cheese stuffed figs wrapped with bacon and prosciutto, drizzled with a mint raspberry vinaigrette on a bed of fresh greens.
  4. American blonde Ale paired with melon sorbet topped with pineapple compote!
  5. Munich Style Dunkel Lager paired with Elk flambeed with brandy, atop caramelized parsnips with a red currant and mushroom reduction. An edible flower too!
  6. Hefeweizen Ale alongside a Toffee Fig Creme Brulee.  A traditional French dessert with a caramelized sugar glass lid topped off with figs and toffee pieces.
Menu

Menu

Red Sky Ale

Red Sky Ale

Batch 69 IPA

Batch 69 IPA

Munich Style Dunkel Lager

Munich Style Dunkel Lager

Frankenmuth Brewery Chefs

Frankenmuth Brewery Chefs

The feedback from the meal was so outstanding, many of the dishes may even be added to the restaurant’s normal menu!  Head chef Taffy Cline shared a recipe from the Brewery menu with the beer bloggers, that uses Frankenmuth beer as an ingredient. Try it for yourself at home!

FRANKENMUTH BREWERY FRENCH ONION SOUP

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs. veg oil
  • 2 Tbs. Ground Fresh Garlic
  • 5 lbs. yellow onion- each julienned
  • 2 whole dried bay leaves
  • 2 Tbs. Dried Oregano
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 gallon of beef stock
  • 1 pint Franknemuth Brewery Dunkel beer

Directions

First you will want to Julienne all of the onions first. Then in a large pot pour in the vegetable oil, garlic and bay leaves. When the oil is hot put in the onions and stir it up to coat the onions. (If you feel you need a little more oil the go ahead but sparingly). Cover the pot with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil to help sweat the onions. Sautee the onions until they are all browned. (As they begin to brown they will go very quickly, so turn down your heat). After all of the onions have turned brown, make a whole in the onions to see the bottom of the pan. Pour in the red wine. The red wine should sizzle as it goes in and this will also help to loosen all of the wonderful flavors that were on the pan. Let the wine reduce slightly and then add the beef stock and the oregano. Now, if you like your soup to be thick with onions; cut back on the amount of stock, and if you like more broth then add more stock. Let the stock begin to simmer and then turn your fire down to low and add the Dunkel beer. The soup itself is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165* F. Pour into a bowl, top with croutons, top the bowl with your choice or swill, provolone, Gruyere or even mozzarella cheese. Place in broiler part of oven until cheese us just turning brown and serve.

Note:
After you add the beer you will want to taste it as you keep going. Sometimes the beer may reduce too much and then become over bearing. Always taste your foods as you cook: Remember- you can always add more ingredients but you can not take them out.

View the photo gallery on our Frankenmuth Brewery Facebook page for more event photos!

Brew Master Jeff Coon

Brew Master Jeff Coon

Shoutout to Michigan Beer Blog, I’m a Beer Hound, and Motor City Brew Tours!

I'm a Beer Hound

Motor City Brew Tours

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Last month we asked our loyal Frankenmuth Brewery Facebook fans for their best recipes that include our favorite ingredient: beer! The response was so overwhelming that we decided to keep the discussion going with a little added incentive: A FRANKENMUTH BREWERY PRIZE PACKAGE including a t-shirt, magnets, stickers, and a full set of coasters!
Use the comment section below to submit recipes for your beer dish specialties to be entered into the contest.

  • Entries must be received by October 28, 5:00 PM, EST.
  • Please be as thorough as possible with all ingredient measurements and preparations.
  • And of course, this means including your favorite Frankenmuth Beer: Hefeweizen Ale, Munich Style Dunkel Lager, Pilsener, Red Sky Ale, American Blonde Ale, Batch 69 American IPA, or Oktoberfest!

Cooking with Frankenmuth Beer

“In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria.”

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