Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Fearrington Winter, Fullsteam Brewery

Nigel gives Fearrington Winter, Fullsteam Brewery 4 mugs.
Asheville may be the jewel of craft brewing in North Carolina, but it’s far from the only place you’ll find delicious, locally brewed beer in the Tar Heel state. In fact, much like California, Colorado, Michigan, Oregon, Wisconsin, and other states with well-known craft brewing centers, North Carolina’s craft beer culture is both diverse and far-reaching. While we only spent a brief amount of time in North Carolina on our spring vacation last year, we …
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Y’all Want Some Beer? Part II: Asheville

Nigel ventures South and experiences all phases of the craft beer revolution in America.
In retrospect, “swinging by” Asheville, NC on our way to Charleston, SC after three days in the Smoky Mountains was not the best of planning. Spending less than 24 hours in a city with 18 craft breweries, a thriving alternative culture, and one of America’s most famous attractions in the Biltmore Estates is much like a family with young children stopping by Disney World for an hour on their way to Miami. It’s a tease …
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Et tu, Founders?

Did one of the Midwest’s best craft breweries sell its soul?
So the first I heard about Founders selling a minority stake to Spanish brewery Mahou San Miguel was—shocker—on Twitter, when some wag tweeted for some guidance on what he should do with his bottle of KBS now. Of course this sarcastic post is poking preemptive fun at the inevitable knee-jerk reactions from beer dorks who think Founders sold out and their beer, once so sought after, is now only suitable to be poured down the …
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Hi-Pitch IPA, Hi-Wire Brewing

Nigel gives Hi-Pitch IPA, Hi-Wire Brewing 4 mugs.
Our whirlwind tour of Asheville, NC was already a success prior to our visit to Hi-Wire Brewing. Dinner and a couple of brews at Wicked Weed was followed by some outstanding fresh pours at Green Man, then a stop at Asheville’s newest brewery, Twin Leaf, for a hop and dog fix (Asheville really loves them some dogs). We entered Hi-Wire around 9pm, thinking we’d only have time for a quick pint before they closed. We …
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Baby Boy’s Got His Passport: Lookout Brewers!

Baby Boy has got himself a passport—to good craft beer.
The Massachusetts Brewers guild has teamed up with U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to promote the state’s craft breweries and encourage the use of local farmers’ produce in making beer. Taking inspiration from the Vermont Beer Trail and Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail, they have created the Massachusetts Craft Brewer’s Passport.

The pocket-sized passport contains a map of the state and the names, addresses, and websites of 47 craft breweries. …
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Shiva IPA, Asheville Brewing Co.

Nigel gives Shiva IPA, Asheville Brewing Co. 3 mugs.
You have one night in Asheville, NC, also known as “Beer City, USA.” You planned your trip to Asheville at the last minute, making it a stop of less than 24 hours on your way from phase one of vacation at Mammoth Cave and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks to phase two, in Charleston and Savannah. Your hotel is on the outskirts of town, miles from the downtown and brewery districts, there mainly to serve …
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Baby-Boy’s Brewery Visit: The Round Barn Winery, Distillery, and Brewery

This western Michigan’s beers—and spirits—are worth checking out.
When beer dorks think of beers in Western Michigan, the most common thought is Bell’s Brewery, but if you take Exit 6 off I-94, you can find a hidden gem in the Round Barn Winery, Distillery, and Brewery.

Now, the pairing of a winery and brewery raises the specter of fruity concoctions being passed off as beers, but Round Barn is good at keeping their beverages separate and honest. At the tasting room in Baroda, Michigan, …
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