Monday, July 30, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Drink'in the Mitten: A Beercation

Hello, I'm so glad you haven't forgotten about us here at The [An Avenue] Corp. while we were out traipsing about Central and Northern Michigan, embracing some of the most elegant beers in the world with our booze-holes night after night, lighting fires in the wolf infested woods, and visiting something so incredibly alien, they named it The U.P.

Its a fucked up world in Michigan, so many paradoxical foci -- the most forlorn billionaires, the most fucked up highway topography for a state built to sustain the automobile, corn beer enthusiasts.  No one has even heard of Sufjan Stevens.  No one.  And I'm still not sure if any Michigander knows if a wolverine is a real animal or not, despite, you know, that small state school and the state's nickname over all.  Oof to fuckin death, amirite? 

So, it has become somewhat of a tradition for my wife and I to plod all over the forest-pocked state every summer in a foreign rental and set up camp in the wilderness with a trunk of meat and beer.  And then get gorged on both while discussing the ways to fix this puzzling state of affairs.

Its a fine ritual -- most especially so because there is a very demonstrative moratorium on the rationing of Michigan beer during camping, which is something that we I strictly enforce here in Texas during the long stretches from visit-to-visit at Christmastime and Summers.  Its a goddam free-for-all at the party stores, markets, and bottle shops, as we horde singles of this-one and that-one to cover us for the wood-fire-lit nights ahead of us, talking shit and eventually passing out somewhere indoors or out.

Also, we manage to find ways to drink beers on the beach.  Bottles of beer.  Then I send hate-filled messaged to Canadia by launching my empty Two Hearted IPA into Lake Michigan with a note to manger un sac de bitesIts so paradoxically awesome.

Clockwise from left:  North Peak Brewing Siren Amber Ale, Founder's Brewing Cerise Cherry Ale, Frankenmuth Brewing Frankensampler, Bell's Brewing Oberon Wheat Ale, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (w/ Maui Brewing) Sobrehuman 'Palena Ole Sour Brown Ale, Arbor Brewing Michael Faricy Chocolate Stout, North Peak Brewing Pumpkin IPA, Bell's Brewing Two Hearted IPA
It is pretty exhilarating coming face-to-face with great innovation at every corner of the state, at every pause, draining it at every Paper Birch, and then doing it all over again.

While one could certainly make the analogy that California Brewing is the 1992 Dream Team, Michigan Brewing is the 2012 version of USA basketball; all-day tinkerers, dunkers, and long-range acuitists, who could certainly give the O.G. All-Stars a nice run.  Cali may have more depth coming off the bench, but Michigan has a starting backcourt of Founder's, Bell's, and Jolly Pumpkin, with Short's and New Holland providing valuable workhorse minutes in the paint.
Clockwise from left: Bell's Brewing Amber Ale, The homebound stash of midwest brews, Short's Brewing Kolsch 45, Tahquamenon Falls Brewing Falls Tannen Amber, The Secret Menu at One Eyed Betty's, Harvieston Brewing Special Reserve 16 Year Whiskey Barrel Aged Ale (and not even listed on 1EB's Secret Menu), Bell's Brewing Best Brown Ale, Sampler at Short's Brewing

I think that I was much more mature when i was younger, and probably, so was my wife, which makes us much more enjoyable and fun to be around in our advanced youth because we like to make tits of ourselves when we're pished.  This is why I love going to Michigan so much.  Concentrated alcohol and easy targets. This is the state of affairs in wolverine wolf country.

Michigan is an easy going, cheerful, loafing, and slightly confused state, but I can't say that I don't just absolutely love visiting.  She's a charmer, she provides.  What can ya say, she's a mate.

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