New Brews to Peruse: ZooBrew

A few months ago, I was trying to find some upcoming, fun events that David and I could go to that were A. relativley close and B. relativley cheap.  I came across a few that seemed worthy of trying out but the one I was most excited for was the Detroit Zoo Brew. They had a summer date and a fall date and it offered the chance to hang out at the zoo, see the animals and try a plethora of local beers and brews. OBVIOUSLY we chose the fall date and snagged my parents to come along for the ride.


We were each given 12 drinking tickets to try over 60 different beers. So picture over 1,000 people walking around the zoo 12 beers in… (granted they were 3-6 oz. samples we’d get with a ticket but STILL a lot of beer).

So I don’t know if this post is more for me to remember the beers I liked or for you to go try them but I’d say a little bit of both… Anyways, here are my favorites I tried!

Vander Mill Cider : Ginger Peach– I have always been a big fan of ciders. Ever since I tried Pear Bulmers’ in Ireland, I was hooked. So of course I was going to hit as many cider booths as I could. This one may have been the cider to come out on top. Vander Mill is located in West Michigan on a large apple orchard. Their brewery sounds pretty awesome and hopefully I can make it there someday. At the Zoo Brew, they offered two flavors to try: the Ginger Peach and the Totally Roasted. I only tried the Ginger Peach but it was the perfect amount of flavor without being to overpowering. It was crisp from start to finish. Apparently Totally Roasted is one of their most populars, although I didn’t try it. That one has has the apple cider taste with candied pecans steeped in as well. I MUST try this next.

Atwater Brewery : All things Atwater Brewery that I have tried are ALL good. Therefore it is very hard to pick ONE. This is a brewery located right in good ole’ Detroit and is very popular with locals (and then some). They had several beers at the Zoo Brew but my favorite would probably be Dirty Blonde. It’s very light and a little spicy (probably because of being brewed with orange peel and coriander) but it also has a sweetness to it (but NOT considered a sweet beer). This one tends to be a favorite ’round these parts.

Dark Horse Brewing Company : Scotty Karate – Watch out for with this one. This right here is a Scotch Ale and was 9.75% ABV! This one here pretty much finished me off for the night but I’m glad I had it last. It was just an enjoyable beer. A little more heavy, the taste made me think of caramel or bread or bourbon/whiskey type of flavors. Weird I know but if you’re looking for a beer that you’ll only need one of, here ya go! Dark Horse Brewing Company is located in Marshall, MI (which I’ll be honest, I have no idea where that is) but they seem to have a a really great selection. Next on my list to try is their Perkolator Coffee Dopplebock.

Jolly Pumpkin : La Parcela (Pumpkin Ale) Alright. So this one was not so new to me. I’ve had it a few times and have loved all the different ones I’ve tried so far. Let me clear common misconception up… Jolly Pumpkin is the name of the brewing company, but all their beer is not pumpkin flavored. In fact I think this is the only one that is. It was named Jolly Pumpkin because they owners thought it sounded like a nice unique name. See? Nothing to do with the flavor pumpkin. EXCEPT for this beer specifically. It is so smooth going down. At the end, if you’re a beer enthusiast (which I am not I just read about it ;) you may find a hint of cacao going down. Definitly worth trying especially if you’re a #basicb***h and love you some pumpkin! Also worth trying if you DON’T like pumpkin, as it’s not too heavy.


I figure that’s a couple you can go ahead and try and will most likely fall in love with. This was such a fun experience and worth every penny. Next time we’ll probably head to the summer one, just so it’s lighter out longer and so we can walk around and see the animals more. But all in all great experience. Check your local zoo and see if they have a Zoo Brew. I know a few of the big ones throughout the country do. You won’t regret it :)


7 Quick Takes: Books, Babies, and Beer.

I woke up today feeling completely rested (something I haven’t felt in at least two weeks), the sun was shining crazy bright, and David and I had time to stop and grab some Panera before we left for work. It’s safe to say today is going to be a wonderful day.

This is how I feel right now after a cafe mocha and some good ‘ole vitamin D from the sun:

So what do you do when you’re having a good morning? Quick Takes with Jen, duh. Here we go.

1. David and I recently have been trying to explore the towns near us. So last weekend, we stumbled into downtown Northville, MI (only a 5 minute drive) and found a little bookstore/bistro. It’s called The Next Chapter and was perfectly charming. So we then proceeded to sit and read for 4 hours. Oh and the food was great too! David had a turkey panini and I tried the crepes. I always think of our honeymoon when I eat crepes because we ate them almost everytime we stopped to eat.

NCBB cafe sign

bookshelves 1

2. This weekend I am so excited to spend some time with family at my new baby cousin’s baptism. We don’t have a lot of babies in the family so I always get excited when there is a newbie. My uncle and his family are coming up from Kentucky and baby Mickey (short for Michael) will be baptised at mom’s childhood parish. After we’ll have a little party at my mom and dad’s house. Baptisms are just so exciting; another little Catholic being welcomed into God’s kingdom? What could be better?

3. Sunday is the Oscars :) I’ll be watching from beginning to end, including the red carpet stuff. And I’ll be rooting for J.Law, Gravity, Captain Philips, and Frozen.

4. Speaking of Frozen, I have not seen the movie yet, but have you SEEN this video?! This little girl is 11 years old and has one of the most beautiful voices. What was I doing at 11? Definitely not this! (I’m currently jamming out to this song as I type this post).

5. Next week is also an exciting week because on Thursday my family is all going to the Flogging Molly concert in downtown Detroit. I’ve always been a big fan and my sister and brother-in-law got tickets for the whole family for Christmas. So this Irish-lovin’ family will be kickin’ up our skirts and downin’ a few pints o’ Guinness!

6. Raise your hand if you can’t believe Lent starts next week.

Me too Hermoine, me too. So I’m trying to prep myself, figure out what I’ll be doing. Cause God only knows I usually wait till Fat Tuesday to decide….oooo Fat Tuesday :) Paczki time.

7. In a few weeks I’m going to be starting a new work out routine. Because I’m ADD when it comes to working out and I need to switch things up. Plus I’m finishing up my current work out and needed somethin new. It’s the Jamie Eason Live Fit 12 Week Trainer. It’s using weight training, healthy eating, and supplements. I’ve been saying I wanted to start up with weights for a while so it’s about time I started. I was actually inspired by a fellow blogger. Alesha over at Made with Love has lost a lot of weight and she has given me some tips and starting points as well as answering some of my questions. Just look how good she looks! P.S. Prayers for her and her hubby who are expecting! Anyways, I’m nervous and excited to start, so I’ll let you know how it goes!