About four times a year, I drive up to Michigan. The trips have various purposes. Fishing. Canoeing. Visiting family and friends. But each trip shares one common denominator: beer. Michigan has some of the best breweries in the world. And while you can get Bell’s and Founder’s and New Holland in Cincinnati, there are a slew of them that can’t be found in great abundance. When I cross the border, I’m like a kid in a candy shop. I will spend 40 minutes in a cooler, filling my cart with the various brews that I want to stock.
One of the breweries I look out for is Dark Horse Brewing Company. Brewer/owner Aaron Morse is a madman. He has brewed beer with everything from baby formula (Uber-Boober Cream Ale) to donuts (the appropriately named Louie’s Donut Beer). But he also makes a fine set of seasonals and mainstays. Crooked Tree IPA remains one of the better IPAs I’ve ever had and can be found in Cincinnati (try the Whole Foods).
This Thursday (May 31, 5 pm), Dutch’s is bringing all five of Dark Horse’s One-to-Five stout series: One Oatmeal Stout, Too Cream Stout, Tres Blueberry Stout, Fore Smoked Stout, and Plead the Fifth Imperial Stout. (Click here for their Beer Advocate ratings.)
If stouts aren’t your thing, I highly suggest taking a weekend for one of southern Michigan’s best-kept secrets: The Dark Horse Crawfish Boil, at their brewery (511 South Kalamazoo Ave., Marshall, Michigan, (269) 781-9940). This year’s annual event takes place Saturday, June 9. It’s a long day of music, beer, and an ungodly amount of crawfish, but it’s well worth the five hour drive.