Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


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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Ya’ll Want Some Beer?

Nigel ventures South and experiences all phases of the craft beer revolution in America.
Every year the better half and I take a long road trip in spring to see sights that are new and, hopefully, quite a bit warmer than what we have in the Midwest. This year was no exception, but with a couple of tweaks. First off, we headed out later than our typical mid-March departure, waiting instead until the end of April to depart. Probably not the best year to do that, as our historically …
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Tips For The Great Taste

If you’re making the trip to Madison, here are three places to try.
There’s no shortage of great beer towns in the Midwest these days. Cities big and small have vibrant craft brew scenes, making it kind of pointless to travel multiple hours to attend a brew fest that will feature beers you can easily sample in your local watering hole, or find something of equivalent quality at a nearby brewery.

That being said, the upcoming Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, Wisconsin is as close to a …
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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Lexington Brewing Co. (Alltech)

Nigel gives Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, Lexington Brewing Co. (Alltech) 2 mugs.
What does one envision when they think of Kentucky?

Most Beer Dorks would likely say Kentucky Breakfast Stout, one of the best and rarest beers in the Midwest. That’s not a bad answer, but here’s a reminder that Kentucky Breakfast Stout is brewed by our friends at Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids, MI … a few hundred miles from the actual state of Kentucky. Associating Kentucky Breakfast Stout with the state of Kentucky is much …
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Baby-Boy’s Buffalo Brewery Visit

Go to hop school at Old First Ward Brewing.
Buffalo, New York, is not an eating town, and it never really seemed to be much of a beer town. But when I got lost and stopped there on a road trip at the end of June, I found signs that the city might have a bright future.

After taking a wrong turn off the highway, I ended up in South Buffalo, where I saw a sign that said “Gene McCarthy’s Brewery and Kitchen” that …
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Rule Number One: Don’t Run Out Of Beer

There are some craft beer bars out there that need to take a refresher course in running a good business.
It’s that time again. No, I’m not talking about summer (which is actually here, in all it’s muggy, mosquito-bitten, sun-burnt glory). Instead, it’s time again to remind a few folks about how popular craft beer has become and to adjust the way they do business accordingly. It seems the people running beer fests got the hint over the last couple of years, but now I’ve got a new group of people integral to the craft …
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