Try These 12 Michigan Beers: IPAs
Michigan breweries have long been known for their ability to produce great stouts and porters, but in recent years the amount of quality IPAs (India Pale Ale) coming from Michigan has drastically increased. Most of these beers are brewed with American-grown hops, and some are made with hops grown right here in Michigan. As the popularity of this style grows, Michigan breweries like Founders, Bell’s and Dark Horse are showing that their hoppy concoctions belong in the nationwide discussion. Here’s a look at 12 Michigan beers, the best of the best IPAs from Michigan brewers that are readily available in bottles and/or cans at most retail outlets and bottle shops.
Atwater Brewery, Grand Circus IPA – a tasty session ale that is smooth and easy to drink yet packs a solid amount of hop flavor without being overpowering. Detroit’s Atwater Brewery continues to grow, and solid beers like this are a big reason why.
Bell’s Brewery, Two Hearted Ale – a consistent award-winner, this American IPA is possibly not just one of Michigan’s best but one of the best in the entire country. Surprisingly easy to drink given it’s 7% ABV, this brew has a great hop balance that will really entice the palate. Available year-round in six-pack bottles and four-pack cans across most of the state.
Bell’s Brewery, Hopslam – with six different kinds of hops, this double IPA packs a punch deserving of its name. Released in limited quantities each year, this is never on shelves for long as fans of bitter, hoppy beers snatch it up. An ABV of 10% makes this a strong one, but the citrus notes and hops really hide that well. Released in six-pack bottles each January.
Short’s Brewing Company, Huma Lupa Licious – Short’s Brewing Company continues to grow (it’s now #3 in Michigan), and beers like this are a big reason why. While other Short’s offerings are more experimental and short-lived, this hop-heavy masterpiece is available year-round. Five different kinds of hops are used in this beer, and yet it remains bitter, dry and easy to drink. Find it in six-pack bottles across the state.
Greenbush Brewing Co., Brother Benjamin – this tasty double IPA has hints of orange and grapefruit but packs a powerful punch with its 10.1% ABV. Definitely pleases the palate with a complex blend of flavors, and is available in four-pack bottles across most of the state.
Blackrocks Brewery, 51K IPA – Upper Peninsula breweries continue to grow an put out great beers, and Blackrocks is leading that charge. The first time we tried to grab a six-pack of this beer, it was sold out at several outlets. I finally got my hands on some this summer, and really enjoyed the fruit flavors up front and the slightly bitter finish of this smooth, easy drinking beer. Find it in six-pack cans in larger markets, with distribution continuing to expand.
Dark Horse Brewing Company, Crooked Tree IPA – what sets this beer apart from other IPAs is its balance – there are lots of flavors here but they all work together for a pleasant drinking experience. Citrus flavors up front and a bitter finish show that the guys at Dark Horse know what they’re doing. Available year-round in six-pack bottles, with limited release Double Crooked Tree (13.6% ABV) available in four-pack bottles each winter.
New Holland Brewing Company, Mad Hatter IPA – this is one of the flagship beers of Holland’s New Holland Brewing Company, and for good reason. This was one of the first IPAs I found that I really enjoyed, as it has a low ABV (5.25%) but a ton of hops – great flavor, yet made for all-day drinking! Available in six-pack bottles year-round, with 22 oz. bottles of other variants (Michigan Awesome Hatter, Black Hatter, White Hatter, etc.) available seasonally.
Saugatuck Brewing Company, Singapore IPA – named for the ghost town that was buried by sand under where present-day Saugatuck lies, this IPA is a hoppy yet easy-drinking beer from Saugatuck Brewing Company. Hints of orange and grapefruit as well as a great blend of hops come across so smooth that it’s easy to forget the 7% ABV.
Griffin Claw Brewing Company, Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA – this offering from Birmingham’s Griffin Claw Brewing Company is one of the east side’s best IPA offerings, as it comes across with great hop aroma before delivering citrus notes and just the right amount of bitterness. Find it in four-pack cans in most markets.
Founders Brewing Company, All Day IPA – one of the newer offerings from Founders Brewing Company, this session IPA is so good that it has become one of their most popular beers. Incredibly easy to drink, it has a great hop balance and solid flavor while keeping the ABV at a level that makes it possible to drink this, well, “all day.” Find it in six-pack bottles, or take some on an outdoor adventure with a 12-pack or 15-pack of cans.
Founders Brewing Company, Centennial IPA – this one will keep you coming back, as it continues to be not only one of Founders’ best offerings but one of the standards all other IPAs in the state are measured by. This one is strong and incredibly complex, with a great balance of hops and citrus flavors. This holds down a 99 rating on ratebeer.com and it’s available in six-pack bottles and 12-pack cans nearly everywhere beer is sold in the state.