The man behind beers like an asparagus ale, a sour barleywine and an ancho chili double chocolate porter is looking for a new venue to unleash his talents. Two sources, and now Right Brain Brewery, have confirmed that both John Niedermaier – and his assistant – are no longer at the Traverse City, Michigan brewery. Owner Russ Springsteen has taken over the brewing operations and has also taken on a new assistant.
John had, what appeared to be a “I don’t give a ****,” attitude towards brewing. Not in the sense that he didn’t want to brew good beer, but rather a fearless desire to brew off the wall creations. He pushed the envelope of style guidelines and helped put Right Brain on the map of must-visit breweries in an area that already had heavy hitters Jolly Pumpkin and Short’s. Right Brain was well known for not having something that most breweries do; a flagship beer. You never knew what you were going to get on tap when you strolled through the doors and that was the fun of it.
We don’t know the circumstances that led to John’s dismissal and, frankly, we don’t need to. What we do know is he brewed some amazing creations and his talents would be an asset at any brewery in the country.
Karl recently visited Right Brain, read about his experiences HERE and HERE. We’ve also reviewed one of John’s creations, a Honey Basil Ale.
“A lustrous dark red London ale. Rich malt complexities lending notes of toasted caramel, raisins, toffee, and slight roast chocolate. Very light hop additions let the true malt characters promenade throughout the tasting enjoyment this beer offers.”
Short’s The Magician
Irish Red Ale, 6% ABV
Sayeth the Guys
Ryan: I have passed over this offering from Short’s a few times before actually picking it up. Nothing against the beer, or the style, but there was always something else on the shelves from Short’s that I was more eager to try. A night while on the road for work and with nothing to do in Lansing but review some beers changed that.
The Magician pours plum in color. A good whiff fills the nose with plums and cherries. Continue reading
No pic of the beer, apparently after 4 beers my photography skills turn to mush
Arbor Brewing says:
“Deep mahogany with a rich complex palate. Toffee, toasted malts, dried dark fruits, and sweet candy sugar balanced by a subtle earthy, woodsy quality and spicy hops.”
Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel
Dubbel, 8% ABV
Sayeth the Guys
Ryan: I’ve always had mixed feelings about Belgian Dubbel’s. I love the idea of the style, with the sweet maltiness, spices and fruits, but just about every one that I have tried has been too boozy and hot for me to really enjoy. Still, I decided to give Arbor Brewing’s offering a shot – mostly because I liked the name “Phat Abbot.”
The beer pours murky and brown with a fingers worth of tan head that quickly fades. There’s a lot happening in the nose of this beer with roasted malts, plums, raisins and dark fruits boxing it out to be the first to get my attention. Continue reading
Maumee Bay Brewing says:
“Crafted with the finest ingredients, this historic hometown brew dates back to 1838. With a sparkling dry taste it is a fine light beer with all the qualities of greatness.”
Maumee Bay Brewing Buckeye Beer
Czech Pilsner, 5.2 % ABV
Sayeth the Guys:
Ryan: As I reached in to my father-in-law’s “beer fridge” I thought to myself, “I bet this is what Maurice Clarett was really drinking as he was tooling around Columbus back in ’06 with guns and a samurai sword in his SUV? Or maybe CheatyPants SweaterVest uses this in his chili?” My wife and I had just arrived in southeast Michigan, from Chicago. I was thirsty and the beer was cold. Plus, my father-in-law Dale was anxious to get my impression of this sparkling, dry beer.
Poured in to whatever glass I could find in the kitchen, Buckeye Beer looks pretty good – golden straw in color with nearly 3 fingers worth of fluffy head that dissipates quickly. Continue reading
“The very high gravity of this beer is balanced by the smoothness of its finish. Banana and Clove aromas come from the Belgian yeast strain combining with the generous dose of Belgian Candi Sugar. The Saaz hops help to give this beer a balanced bitterness with no noticeable hop aroma.”
Dragonmead Final Absolution Trippel
Tripel, 8.5% ABV
Sayeth the Guys
Ryan: This Belgian style Tripel – the flagship beer of Dragonmead – was poured from the taps of Dusty’s Tap Room in Okemos, MI and enjoyed on their patio on a sunny afternoon in early June.
The beer pours a lovely creamsicle orange in color with a finger or two’s worth of white, marshmallowy head. Banana and spices fill the nose. Continue reading