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Highlands Buzz 1.12.18

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Living Local | On Tap

Category: Local Area

It's American Craft Beer Week and there is no denying it, Michigan is the great beer state! With more than 120 breweries located throughout Michigan you are never too far from a fresh pint of local handcrafted beer. We are fortunate to have two of these breweries in our backyard with Petoskey Brewing and Beards Brewery. This week we caught up with Patrick Dowd at Petoskey Brewing and Ben Slocum at Beards to find out more about what makes their breweries so unique and popular. So, grab your family and friends and help us support our local breweries! Cheers!

Q1: How did you get into the craft beer scene, and when did your brewery open?

Patrick | Petoskey Brewing: My partner and I began discussing purchasing and restoring the old Petoskey Brewing building in 2011.  We thought it would be the perfect backdrop for a local brewery.  By doing so, we were saving an iconic Petoskey building and bringing state-of-the-art brewing facility to the area.  We finalized the purchase of the building in the spring of 2012, spent the entire summer refurbishing the structure and installing our brewing equipment. The brewery opened the last week of September, 2012.

Ben | Beards Brewery: Peter [co-founder] and I started as home brewers while in college. As we neared graduation we decided to make a go of our passion and return to Petoskey to open Beards. We opened in August, 2012.

Q2: What is the atmosphere/vibe of the brewery?

Patrick | Petoskey Brewing: Our goal for the tap room was to let the building speak for itself.  Evident is the 19th century brewery architecture and amazing 22" solid brick walls.  We utilized reclaimed wood for any needed trim.  Even the lighting we used are replica Edison bulbs.  All in all it turned out to be a very inviting space.

Ben | Beards Brewery: We are a laid back brewery focusing on small batch beer in a community driven pub. We have large group tables and board games to encourage conversation.

Q3: What is the general style of the majority of the beers you brew?

Patrick | Petoskey Brewing: I'm not sure we have a "general style".  Have have 18 taps flowing at one time.  My best guess is that we've brewed over 60 different kinds of beer in the past year and a half. We're continually experimenting and keeping it interesting for our patrons.

Ben | Beards Brewery: We don't have a dominant style, but a dominant theme. Everything we make is bold and small batches. We have multiple tastes and preferences among our staff and with everyone able to explore their tastes we have beers of every style on tap.

Q4: What is your most popular beer?

Patrick | Petoskey Brewing: Horny Monk Belgian Style Ale (available in market in keg and 16 oz. cans).  This beer started out as a small-batch experiential brew.  It has turned out to be our flagship brand and is available at over a hundred restaurant and pubs in the area.

Ben | Beards Brewery: We have over 80 recipes and seven taps, so everything constantly rotates. We have beers ranging from full bodied and malty to bold American IPAs to earthy English ales and stouts.

Q5: What is your most underrated beer or a beer that people should really make sure to try when they come in?

Patrick | Petoskey Brewing: One of my favorite beers we have on tap now is Gunter Imperial Pilsner.  It has an amazing aroma and clean hop finish.  

Ben | Beards Brewery: Again, with constantly rotating taps there is always something new to try and favorites return often meaning.

Q6: Any major release dates for summer, or new beers?

Patrick | Petoskey Brewing: We are putting two "crowd favorite" beers into cans this June.  Hopsessed Double IPA and Sparkle American Lager.

Ben | Beards Brewery: We don't have set dates, we prefer the beer to be released when it's at its peak. We have Tree Blood, Rabid Goat, Bourbon Arthur's Folley, and Golden Axe all in the works and will be rolling them out over the summer as they age.

Q7: Any plans for expansion or changes to the pub this summer?

Patrick | Petoskey Brewing: We are planning a Fall expansion that will nearly triple pour brewing capacity. We've been running at 100% for over a year now on our current system.  Demand is outstripping our ability to produce at this time.

Ben | Beards Brewery: We are food friendly and will be featuring Happy's Taco Shop out of our brew room on Thursdays through Saturdays this summer.

A special thank you to Patrick and Ben for giving us the lowdown their breweries! Be sure to check them out next time you are in the area! Also, don't forget to mark your calendars for the innagural Hops 'n Highlands Michigan Microbrew Festival which will be held on September 27 right here at Boyne Highlands Resort!

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