Beer, Beer, & Better Beer

Don't miss these amazing 'unicorn' beers at Wood & Wild in East Lansing
Kevin Stuible, HopCat East Lansing Beer Program Manager | October 18, 2017

We're counting down the days, hours and minutes until the Wood & Wild Festival, taking place Oct. 22 at every HopCat location. In anticipation, we're checking in with our expert beer managers for suggestions about beers to try at each of our restaurants. Here, HopCat East Lansing's Kevin Stuible recommends a few "unicorns" (beers so legendary they defy comprehension) that will be featured at the EL Wood & Wild celebration:

Dogfish Head Brewery - Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout - World Wide Stout is one of America's strongest imperial stouts, pushing the style to the limit with this batch, hitting 17.1% ABV. And this year's release is tweaked a bit with the addition of Madagascar vanilla beans. [More info via Untappd]

Cascade Brewing Co. - The Vine - Cascade Brewery has been a pioneer of the sour beer industry since 2006, making world-class sours, rated a 99/100 on BeerAdvocate. [More info via Untappd]

Perrin Brewing Co. - Malted Milk Ball - A stellar imperial porter encapsulating the essence of a malted milk ball. [More info via Untappd]

High Water Brewing - Central Valley Breakfast Sour - The perfect sour to start your Wood & Wild adventure, this "California Lambic" is brewed as an homage to traditional Belgian lambics, and has grapefruit juice, and pear & lychee puree. [More info via Untappd]

Blake's Hard Cider Company - El Chapo - An imperial, tequila-barrel aged spin on Blake's favorite El Chavo, El Chapo is as spicy as its drug lord namesake. If you want to spice up your Wood & Wild experience, look no further. [More info via Untappd]

Oskar Blues - Barrel Aged Ten Fidy - “Aged through four seasons and from a blend of the top bourbons around, this Ten FIDY has morphed into a monster of cranked up flavor,” said head of brewing operations Tim Matthews. “Espresso, burnt sugar, rich chocolate, and caramel notes are now combined with the vanilla, oak, and bourbon flavors and all have been smoothed out during maturation.” [More info via Untappd]

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Unicorns are real: Epic beers to try at HopCat Kansas City's Wood & Wild festival
Brandon Freeman, HopCat Kansas City Beer Program Manager | October 17, 2017
Wood & Wild, Barrel-Aged

We're counting down the days, hours and minutes until the Wood & Wild Festival, taking place Oct. 22 at every HopCat location. In anticipation, we're checking in with our expert beer managers for suggestions about beers to try at each of our restaurants. Today we hear from HopCat Kansas City's Brandon Freeman, who suggests a few "unicorns" - beers so epic and legendary they defy comprehension - that will be available at KC's Wood & Wild party:

New Holland Dragon’s Milk Reserve: S’mores – I am really looking forward to this one for a couple of reasons. One being, who doesn’t love S’mores? Secondly, along with being one of the more iconic flavor profiles, it is also one of America’s Favorite Pastimes. Sitting around a fire cooking your marshmallow, just waiting to bite into this delectable treat. Now picture the always popular New Holland Dragon’s Milk with all of those tastes and feels of a campfire. Personally, I am looking forward to getting a pour of this and going upstairs to the patio and enjoying this beer outside in the nice crisp fall air. [More info via Untappd]

Mother’s Rye Manhattan – Being a Whiskey guy who loves his Manhattans, I have this beer highlighted on my to-do List. Mother's has always been an excellent go-to for Brown Ales in the area. Using their expertise in this style, they have made the perfect marriage of barrel-aging. Templeton Rye Barrels for that iconic Whiskey flavor and Red Wine Barrels to impart that Sweet Vermouth flavor that rounds out the Taste of America’s Original Cocktail, in Beer Form!! [More info via Untappd]

Zipline Gin Barrel-Aged Hibiscus Saison – Saisons have been my favorite beer style for number of years now. Since about the same time I discovered I really love gin. With a lot of breweries experimenting with different liquor barrels to age their beers in, it is wonderful to see gin get its time in the sun. Especially when they are aging my favorite beer style in them. I anticipate the Hibiscus’ fruity flavors and gin barrels’ floral notes to blend with the Saison’s earthy tones in perfect harmony. [More info via Untappd]

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More unicorns: Great beers to try at HC Royal Oak's Wood & Wild
Jay Poljanac, HopCat Royal Oak Beer Program Manager | October 17, 2017
Wood & Wild, Barrel-Aged

The Wood & Wild Festival is so close we can almost taste it. The event - happening Sunday, Oct. 22 at all HopCats - puts a spotlight on barrel-aged and sour beers. The lists can be daunting, so we're checking with our beer experts at each location about the can't-miss beers that will be tapped throughout the day. Below are some suggestions from Jay Poljanac, beer program manager at HopCat Royal Oak, whose full tap list is available here.

Arbor Brewing's Lil' Sour Puss - Super excited to have this exclusive sour on that a number of our Michigan BPM's had the opportunity to blend with Arbor themselves. Meticulous planning and about a dozen different blends later, I think we came up with the perfect match. 

Central Waters' Brewers Reserve: BA Stout - Central Waters just recently broke into Michigan distribution and I couldn't be happier about this, as I had the opportunity to drink lots of CW while spending time at our Madison location. Central Waters has a highly regarded barrel aging program that I think Michigan has only gotten a small taste of. This one, in my opinion, is the highlight of their Brewers Reserve Series. [More info via Untappd]

New Holland Dragon's Milk Reserve: S'mores - Because who doesn't love a beer that reminds you of your summer campfire fun when fall rolls around? This beer has plenty of flavor to go around, and happens to be one of my favorite Dragon's Milk Reserve variants. [More info via Untappd]

Perrin No Rules (2016/2017) - This beer obviously speaks for itself, but having a vertical of two years is even better. Its a rare offering to get these beers normally, but to have both to be able to compare to each other and showcase what can happen with further aging a barrel aged beer is something I really enjoy. [More info via Untappd: 2016 | 2017]

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