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 :)