Craft beer has continued to boom in the United States and around the world. Today Founders Brewing, based in Grand Rapids, MI, sold 30 percent of their company to Spain's Mahou San Miguel group. Read about it here. The Mahou-San Miguel group is a Spanish brewing company that, up until today, I imagine most people in the US knew little about. Mahou-San Miguel group is the leading brand in the Spanish beer market. Does this make Founders Brewing a "sell-out" in the craft beer industry? Isn't the idea behind craft beer to make something unique and exclusive. I know each craft brewery, as they get bigger, keep their regular roster and release seasonal and special brews. But when does a craft brewery become a Big Brand brewery like Miller or Coors? Do you think Founders will change? Does this help their distribution across the US? Does this mean Mahou-San Miguel group will become a better known beer in America? Will Founders help Mahou-San Miguel group distribute in America? I hope so, international beer doesn't have the best representation in the US.
Enough of the craft beer news, now to the craft beer review. Feliz navidad everyone, I know you are dying to know the sixth beer of Christmas. I am drinking another craft beer from Michigan tonight and its from one of the more famous Michigan Breweries.
For the sixth day of Christmas my craft beer store gave to me, Christmas Ale from Bell's Brewery!
Bell's Brewery has amazing line up of beers like Kalamazoo Stout and Two Hearted Ale. Tonight I decided to try this years batch of Christmas Ale. This beer is amber in color with a medium sized white head and a lot of lacing around the glass. With the use of locally grown malt, 100% Michigan-grown barley, and a mixture of Michigan and Pacific Northwest hops. There are slightly dry and subtle toffee flavors. It is a smooth tasting beer that is different then the typical winter warmer ales offered this time of year.
We are half way through the 12 Beers of Christmas. I hope you are enjoying the selection I have made so far, I know I have. Just to recap, here are the first six beers of Christmas.
- Day 1 - Christmas Ale - Great Lakes Brewing
- Day 2 - Cup A Joe Coffee Creme Stout - Short's Brewing Company
- Day 3 - Lebkuchen Christmas Ale - Atwater Brewery
- Day 4 - 4 Elf Winter Warmer Ale - Dark Horse Brewing Co.
- Day 5 - Dr. Zeus - Short's Brewing Company
- Day 6 - Christmas Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
It's strange that Christmas is just around the corner, it sure doesn't feel that way. The lack of snow on the ground in Michigan makes it feel like I don't have to run away to Arizona for the holiday. Of course I am excited to go, enjoy the warm weather for a bit. Of course, now that I say this, we will receive a large dusting of snow before we travel next Tuesday.
Enjoy the beers and remember its illegal to dirnk beer out of a bucket while you're sitting on a curb in St. Louis.