Quick trip to Michigan

May 13, 2008

I flew to Michigan over the weekend to see my last remaining Grandfather. Michigan’s economy and housing market are in the crapper so I won’t be moving back there anytime soon but each time I go I yearn to go back for good.

One of the reasons is the beer. No, it doesn’t come close to the Philly area for beer geek fun, but it IS catching up. More and more often I’m seeing out of state tap handles at my Philly watering holes. Yeah, I see some from obvious states like California and Colorado, and from closer states like Delaware and New Jersey, but not really that many from neighboring states like Ohio, New York or Maryland. NONE from Iowa, Indiana or Minnesota, but quite a few from Michigan. Bells, of course, which I had to pleasure to visit last year, is everywhere. Founders is one that seems to be be popping up everywhere around here lately (and I’ll be visiting this summer), and New Holland. I had a chance to try Founders 13% Devil Dancer at the P.O.P.E, and I picked up big bottle of New Holland’s 10.5% Existential Ale from MI.

The other reason is the selection. On a visit to my closest “party” (convenience) store there was at least a dozen selections from Bells, in sixes. And cases. Even singles. I even found one last six of Hop Slam. Naturally they have Bells since it’s local. But their selection of Dogfishhead blew me away. I never even heard of some of them, and the brewery is just over 100 miles outside Philly! Granted, some of them were over $17 for a six, but that’s the reason you don’t see them here: A case of Burton Baton Ale is just way too expensive to stock by the case.

Local beer writer Lew Bryson actually created a blog called Why the Philadelphia Liquor Control Board should be abolished.

The last reason is the hunting. I’ve mentioned before that I’m no hunter. Hell, I’ve never even filleted a fish. But it’s so ingrained in my family’s DNA, we even had to hunt when there was no current season. What’d we hunt? Mushrooms! Morels. It was kinda fun because those damn things are HARD to find. Even a seasoned hunter admits that there’s not much rhyme nor reason to where they decide to sprout. Even if you stumble upon a large patch one year they won’t be there the next. And the buggers are almost impossible to see. The tasted great, but not $80 a pound great.


One comment

  1. My family has two cabins on Beaver Island (Lake Michigan) and the local beer selection on the island at the rinky dink grocery store is amazing. Simply amazing.

    PS – You like techno, no? Have you heard about the studio on 16th an McKeen? Last weekend we saw an amazing German duo that rocked my socks off. (Literally – it was a sock party – no shoes allowed. New wood floors…) The visuals weren’t mind blowing, but they were seemless. And one of the dudes was at least 50 years old. Go the Germans!

    For a while I thought Philly’s electronic music seen was dead, but I’m finding surprises here and there. I guess like anything you just have to know where to look. (Disclaimer – I know you saw Crystal Castles which was technically a Making time party and I was technically there, but I technically think that the Making Time DJs are rubbish. I can mix better with a hand tied behind my back and I only vaguely know how to mix or “spin” as Philly says – my husband has been djing for over 10 years so I’m a bit critical & lordy can they find an original track? Sorry – that was my making time rant. They just irk me… a lot. But they get the good acts, and I continue to go for them.)

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