Saugatuck, MI- We visited Saugatuck Brewing Company to visit our good friend Gabe Bober from Treetops Resort who was there brewing up a beer for Hops for Hope. We here at Behind the Mitten have partnered with Hops for Hope this fall to help raise money for the Purple Community to fight cancer, and Treetops Resort decided to join us.
Gabe’s beer that he brewed on Saugatuck’s brew on premise system (the only one in the state!) will be released at a special happy hour at Treetops on November 14. John and I will be there to sample this special beer, so make plans to come join us!
This brew on premise system is super cool. I got to brew a batch on it last year with my best friend for her wedding beer. When you arrive, the illustrious Dexter talks you through your “beer brain” to figure out what kind of beer you want to make. He then guides you completely through the process. You get to actually brew your beer, and you’re pretty much guaranteed success with his help. It’s so much fun, and in the end you get about 75 big bottles of beer to take home and share!
While we were there we also talk to Chef Chris Doebler from Bowdie’s Chophouse who was the West Michigan poll winner for John’s search for Michigan’s Best Steakhouse. Chef Chris shared some stories from the restaurant’s first year, and talked about being a part of the search. Bowdie’s is open year round, so head on down for a fine meal.
After all of this, we still had to pick beer of the week! We went with a fall classic. Saugatuck’s Bonfire Brown Ale is perfect for the season. It’s a great brown ale, and what makes it unique is the addition of a bit of smoked malt. This really creates a whole different level of flavor. I’m not normally a fan of smoked beers, I feel the smoke flavor can really overwhelm the beer. But this one has great balance, and is really just a hint of smoke. Since our visit, I’ve used it several times to cook with as well, and it’s fantastic. I’ve poured it into chili, braised a pot roast in it, and even poured it into chocolate cake batter. Give it a try!
Below is the description of Bonfire Brown from the Saugatuck web site.-Amy Sherman
A classic American Brown Ale with just a slight hint of smoke in the finish.
ABV:5.5%IBU:20Malts:Pale, Smoked, Bonlander Munich, Victory, Munich 10L, Carabrown, Caramel 60L, Roasted, ChocolateHops:Goldings, CascadeAvailability:Available year round in 4 6-pack 12 oz bottles and 1/6 & 1/2 bbls.
Served At:50-55 degrees FServed In:Pint GlassPairings:Hearty foods: Smoked sausages Cheese: Aged Gouda
Gold Medal for American Brown Ale 2014 – World Beer Cup
Best in Show 2013 – World Expo of Beer
1st place for American Ale 2013 – World Expo of Beer
Best in Midwest Brown Ale 2013 – United States Beer Tasting Championship