I've had some transcendent beer experiences in the past week with some pals. I'm sure it's a mix of the beer itself and the good company, drinking beer inside on a snowy winters' evening. Tonight I met with some pals at a bar as the snow poured down and the roads quickly frosted over. Beer was the occasion. The bar had just gotten in some new Dark Horse Beer from Marshall, MI, and we had to go give it a try.
The funny thing is, there's enough excellent local beers popping up it's possible for small groups like ours to find bars carrying new local beers and make it an occasion to get together a couple times a month to try some new beers.
There's been some of excellent Michigan beers fermenting on the Western side of the state along the lakeshore. Most notably Founder's Brewing Company in Grand Rapids and Bell's Inc. in Kalamazoo, both of which were included in Paste Magazine's list of top-25 Best American Breweries of the decade. I'm not sure what Paste Magazine is...but what the hell. They're in somebody's top 25 new brewing companies out of other National beers, with Founder's coming in at 5th and Bell's coming in at 11th. And that's good.
And last night I had some incredible beer at a new restaurant in down town Muskegon...the beer is called Dragon's Milk from the New Holland Brewing Company.
The wife and I sat with friends over a couple pints in this new restaurant as snow fell like constellations of stars from the dark winter sky and our little ones munched on french fries and rosemary bread and lamb stew and played tic-tac-toe.
Winter and beer and friends go so well together.