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A SUMMER OF BEER – PART 2: MICHIGAN BEER BONANZA

July 16, 2017
My campsite in Bellaire, Michigan. Looking out of my tent door.
Every couple of years or so I try to get up to NW Michigan to see some of my favorite vacations spots; being kind of a last-minute exercise this year, and that no reasonable accommodations were available, I was forced to go camping. This also meant that I would be traveling alone, since my wife does not camp out in tents. This also gave me an opportunity to volunteer at the Boyne Thunder Poker Run, a great performance boating event that raises thousands of dollars for a camp that serves children with cancer.

My first destination was once again Bellaire Michigan, home of well-known Short’s Brewing. Since my last visit, some of their excellent beers have become available in Akron, so I didn’t feel the need to stock up on the return trip. That said, they had an excellent range on tap—I got a sampler which included a Kolsch 45, Power of Love, Totally Noche, and a Bellaire Brown. All were great; the Totally Noche, which I might suggest is like a dark Dos Equis or a Modello Negro—was very good. The Power of Love was a fruit beer that was very rich and tasty…nice for dessert, at the end of a meal. I settled in after this with a pint of the Noche, and ordered The Old Man Thunder beef shoulder sandwich, which was awesome.

On a Friday night in July, every seat in all three
indoor rooms and the patio were filled.
What is so interesting about this place—aside from its location in a vacation wonderland and the great beer they serve—is that they just keep growing. The original taproom has expanded to encompass the buildings on either side, and now also includes a comfortable covered patio that overlooks Bridge St. out front.

Short's has also have opened a production facility in Elk Rapids (on Lake Michigan, closer to Traverse City) and are expected to brew 55,000 barrels of beer this year. As a result, rumors seem to fly every year that they are about to sell out to a mega-brewer (this year, it was supposed to be Heineken) but it’s just not true. Whoever said that quality is what speaks the loudest has it right.

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