A slew of Michigan breweries medaled at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo.
Seven different craft beer producers across the state, including one brewing school, finished in the top 3 places in one of the longest-running, prestigious award contests in the industry.
Here is a rundown on how Michigan breweries fared:
Beer: Saison (Classic Saison Category)
Description: This 5.1% ABV is dry with a soft wheat character and notes of white pepper
Beer: Iron Lion: Blonde (Belgian or French Style Ale Category)
Description: This Belgian blonde ale comes in at 6.8%. The brewery releases a line of Iron Lions.
Beer: No, Yeah (Golden or Blonde Ale Category)
Description: This 4.5% golden ale is a relatively new beer in Bell’s portfolio. It’s described by Bell’s as “an easy drinking beer that’s bright and fun, both inside and out. The label and design play into the meme culture that pokes fun at Midwestern Politeness. Attention-grabbing and fresh, this Golden Ale stands out on the shelf and, just like many of the Midwestern phrases we use, demands repeating.”
Cedar Springs, MI
Beer: Kusterer Original Weissbier (German Wheat Ale Category)
Description: This beer is no stranger to winning prizes. According to CSBC, it’s “fermented with a special yeast strain in our classic open vessels, this traditional wheat beer is deep in color with a cloudy appearance, rich body, and a refreshing finish that’s perfect to be enjoyed year round.”
Beer: Penetrator (German-style Doppelbock or Eisbock)
Description: Weighing in at around 10% ABV, one of the staples at this Battle Creek-area brewery is a “strong, dark, malty lager. This ‘liquid bread’ sustained German monks during periods of fasting. The ingredients include a mountain of grain, hard work, patience and love on the part of the brewers.” The beer’s name references Interstate 194, which connects downtown Battle Creek with I-94.
Beer: Sour Flower (Contemporary Gose Category)
Description: This student-made beer from KVCC’s Sustainable Brewing Program in downtown Kalamazoo is a first win for the program. It was recently served at the Michigan Brewers Guild’s U.P. Fall Beerfest.
Beer: Cask Aged Rye Lagger (Wood or Barrel Aged Beer)
Description: A helles-style lager with rye and cask aged.
Also receiving recognition from the Brewers Association was John Mallett, Vice President of brewery operations at Bell’s Brewery. He received the Recognition Award, which “is presented each year to an individual or company whose inspiration, enthusiasm, and support have contributed to the craft brewing movement.”