Wet Hopped Beers in Michigan – 2014

wet hoppedWith nearly 20-hop farms dotted across the state you’d expect there to be plenty of wet hopped beers in Michigan. But would you believe there are dozens that have either been brewed or will be released in the coming weeks? From craft beer stalwarts to local brewpubs, everyone seems to be getting in on the action in Michigan.

In The Bottle

Founders Harvest Ale; clocking in at 7.6% ABV and 70 IBU’s, this fresh hopped IPA is due on store shelves this month.

Short’s is brewing three wet hopped beers this fall (more below) but Kind Ale is the only one being bottled and sent out for distribution. Hops are plucked from the nearby Leelanau Peninsula for this October release.

Greenbush brewed three different versions of Demeter this year; one with Centennial hops (marked code 01), one with Chinook (code 02) and a third with Cascade (code 03). All three should be out now across Greenbush’s distribution footprint.

New Holland has created so many versions of its mainstay IPA Mad Hatter its sometimes easy to forget they do other beers — and do them well. Hopivore, a 5.5% ABV wet hopped American Pale Ale is due out sometime in October.

North Peak Brewing, in Dexter, brews one of the biggest and boldest wet hopped beers to be bottled this fall in Michigan. Hoodoo clocks in at 9% ABV and tops out at 99 IBU’s (International Bitterness Units).

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From the Tap

We’ve found so many wet hopped beers brewed by small brewpubs and breweries across Michigan we’re breaking it up by region. Yeah, there’s really that many.

Mid Michigan

Arcadia, in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, is brewing up three different versions of its wet hopped fall release: Cannonball Gold. The first batch of the fresh hopped Golden Ale is brewed with hops from Pittsfield Hops in Ann Arbor, the second batch is brewed with hops from Hop Head Farms and the third batch with hops from HQ Brewberries in Wayland. All three will be on tap this week for side-by-side comparisons.

BAD Brewing in Mason is brewing three single hop, wet hopped beers. The first two, a Cascade Harvest Ale and a Centennial Harvest Ale, will be tapped this weekend. The third, Equinox Harvest Ale, should be on tap in two weeks.

Latitude 42 has its Centennial Harvest Ale on tap now and is brewing two others. One will be a second batch of the Centennial Harvest and the other is a Citra Harvest ale brewed with Citra hops plucked from a bine in Yakima, WA and overnighted to the brewery.

Mountain Town Brewing, in Mt, Pleasant, will have three harvest ale’s on tap by week’s end. A Harvest Ale (6% ABV) and Imperial Harvest Ale (7% ABV) should be on tap now and a Session Harvest Ale (4.8% ABV) will follow in the coming days.

Paw Paw Brewing just recently plucked the hops for their Patio Harvest Pale Ale…from their patio (hence the name). The beer should be on tap sometime this month.

Pleasant House Three Oaks is putting the finishing touches on its wet hopped beer brewed with hops picked from a nearby sausage shop. However you’ll only be able to sample the beer at a farm-to-table beer dinner later this month or at a private party for Imperial Pint Society members.

Rupert’s Brew House in Kalamazoo brewed its Harvest Ale in early August. You won’t be able to find it there but it will be pouring at this weekend’s Kalamazoo Oktoberfest.

The Harvest Deluxe Wet Hop Pale Lager — from all-lager brewery Wolverine State Brewing in Ann Arbor — was brewed a few weeks ago and should be out sometime later this month.

Northern Michigan

Over the weekend, Beards Brewery — in Petoskey — tapped its Harvest Victorious. The hops for this beer were grown at a local community garden.

Brewery Ferment, in Traverse City, is planning a pair of wet hopped beers. Wet Hopped Dream will return again this year and a yet-to-be named harvest ale will be tapped too. Wet Hopped Dream should be on tap in early October and the harvest ale around the middle of the month.

The Rare Bird Brewpub has El Fresherino on tap now. It’s brewed with 50-pounds of freshly picked Centennial hops.

Right Brain Brewery’s is brewing four wet hopped beers this fall. On the schedule are Broken Nose, Hundo Annie — which is similar to last year’s Hirty Darry but brewed with Centennial hops — and two unnamed wet hopped beers. All four will be tapped at Right Brain’s IPA Celebration on October 25th.

We teased above about two other wet hopped beers from Short’s and here they are: Devil’s Lettuce and Giggle Bush. The former is a wet hopped India Pale Lager and the latter is a pale ale. This is the first time Short’s has brewed Giggle Bush, which should be on tap soon at Short’s Pub in Bellaire. Devil’s Lettuce could be tapped as soon as next week.

Stormcloud Brewing in Frankfort has brewed up two wet hopped beers. One, Harvest 24:30 Pale Ale, is available now and the second — a wet hopped Tripel — will be available during Frankfort Craft Beer Week, which is October 6th through the 11th. That Harvest Tripel, by the way, is brewed with Glacier hops from Empire Hop Farms.

The Filling Station is tapping Omena Harvest Ale this weekend. It’s brewed with American, Belgian and British pale malts, some Belgian caramel malt and 50-pounds of New Mission Organic hops, according to GM Todd Klepper.

The Workshop Brewing Company tapped John Henry over the weekend. The wet hopped IPA is brewed with Chinook and Cascade hops.

Southeast Michigan

51 North Brewing Company should still have some of its 39 Special on tap, a wet hopped double IPA chiming in at 8.5% ABV.

Falling Down Beer Company is brewing Ninja Chicken Harvest Ale, an all Cascade hop fresh hopped ale.

Fort Street Brewing, in Lincoln Park, is brewing four wet hopped beers. One, an IPA,  is brewed with freshly picked hops from outside the brewery. Another fresh hopped beer is being brewed with Mackinac Hops from Detroit Ribbon Hop Farms first commercial crop. A third will feature Vojvodina hops. And the fourth, and by far the most intriguing, is a wet hopped pumpkin beer. Brewmaster Doug Beedy tells Guys Drinking Beer that beer is brewed with pumpkin, but no spices, and fresh picked Empire hops. All of the above will be tapped in late October and early November.

Sherwood Brewing Company, in Shelby Township (north and a little west of Sterling Heights) dumped 80 pounds of Chinook hops into their Michigander Harvest IPA. It should be on tap soon.

Port Huron’s Thumb Coast Brewing has two wet hopped beers, Wet Hopped On Quay Street and American Patriot Harvest Ale, on tap now — but they may not last long.

West Michigan

B.O.B.’s Brewery has a wet hopped pale ale on tap right now. The Harvest Ale was brewed with hops picked in Kent County, MI.

Hopcat will again be brewing its Cosmic Autumn Rebellion. The beer will only be available at the Grand Rapids location.

Grand Rapids Brewing Company’s Tennis’ Wet Hop Ale — an organic beer, as are all of GRBC’s beers — could be on tap as soon as this week.

Hideout Brewing Company has a Harvest Ale in the works but it might be a month or two before it hits tap handles.

Jamesport Brewing, in Ludington, brewed its Carr Creek IPA yesterday and expects to tap the beer brewed with hops from a nearby farm by the middle of the month.

Old Boys Brewhouse has Field Trippin’ Wet Hop Pale Ale on tap now. It was brewed with 100-percent Michigan malt and Michigan grown hops.

Osgood Brewing in Grandville recently tapped Heritage Harvest Ale, a wet hopped blonde ale.

Pike 51, in Hudsonville, just tapped its Harvest Ale — a wet hopped pale ale brewed with Cascade hops.

Rockford Brewing released all three of its single-hop harvest ales at last weekend’s annual Rockford Harvest Fest.

Tapistry Brewing, in Bridgman (south of Benton Harbor) has its Lupulin Luv on tap now. It was brewed with 92-pounds of Cascade hops.

The Livery waited til November to tap its wet hopped double IPA, Chock-Full O’ Hops. It was brewed with Summit and Columbus hops from the Michigan Hop Alliance and clocks in at 8.5% ABV.

Unruly Brewing, in Muskegon, had mug club members get in on the action, plucking hops off the bine for their Harvest Ale — which will be tapped in a week or so.

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Gone but not Forgotten

Tibbs Brewing Company in Kalamazoo brewed a Harvest Ale early last month and it was gone by mid-September. The wet hopped IPA was brewed solely with Centennial hops from Hop Head Farms.

While we scoured brewery websites and social media and sent emails and filled out contact forms we know there’s a chance we missed a beer or two. However we feel this is a pretty comprehensive rundown of wet hopped beers in Michigan. If we missed something feel free to chime in below with a comment. To find out what other state’s are up to, follow the links below.

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Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.