Beer

arborIn recent years, Michigan has become one of the top-producing states in the country for Craft Beers. In fact, Grand Rapids was recently awarded the title “Beer City USA.” With an abundance of fresh water, great soil, and an educated, beer-savy population, Michigan has become a hotbed for craft beer enthusiasts. We’re even growing our own hops in Michigan too!

Not all of Michigan’s brewers bottle their beer, but of those that do, you will find a great selection at Top Shelf. We can even get kegs from some of the Michigan brewers for your next party or event. Call for pricing and availability.

At Top Shelf, we have one of the best Michigan Craft Beer selections in the area. If you don’t see it on the shelf, just ask. We can usually get your favorite beer in just a few days. Also, ask about the limited release seasonals from Bell’s, Founders, New Holland and some of the other Michigan brewers. We’ll save some just for you when they are released!

Some of the Michigan beers that we feature are: Bell’s, Founders, Arbor Brewing, Jolly Pumpkin, Greenbush, Griffin Claw, Right Brain, Shorts, Arcadia, Dark Horse, Atwater, Rochester Mills, New Holland, Saugatuck, Brewery Vivant, Keweenaw, and Odd Side Ales.

From around the country, we have: Dogfish Head, Stone, Unibroue (Quebec), Southern Tier, Lagunitas, Left Hand, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Ommegang, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Anderson Valley, and many more.

We also carry a selection of Belgian Dubbel and Trippel ales from Chimay, St. Bernardus and Delerium, to name a few. Note: If you are interested in well-crafted Belgian Ales, you will find an excellent “domestic” selection from Ommegang (Cooperstown, New York) and Unibroue (Quebec). They have a wide variety of award-winning – and very tasty Belgian-style ales that you can’t beat for the price!

 

bonfire_brownSaugatuck Bonfire Brown

A classic American Brown Ale with just a slight hint of smoke in the finish.

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 20
Malts: Pale, Smoked, Bonlander Munich, Victory, Munich 10L, Carabrown, Caramel 60L, Roasted, Chocolate
Hops: Goldings, Cascade
Availability: Available year round in 4 6-pack 12 oz bottles and 1/6 & 1/2 bbls.
Served At: 50-55 degrees F
Served In: Pint Glass
Pairings: Hearty foods: Smoked sausages Cheese: Aged Gouda
Awards:
Gold Medal for American Brown Ale 2014 – World Beer Cup
Best in Show 2013 – World Expo of Beer
1st place for American Ale 2013 – World Expo of Beer
Best in Midwest Brown Ale 2013 – United States Beer Tasting Championship

We are always getting in new, limited run beers as the seasons change, such as Short’s Strawberry Short’s Cake, and now we have Southern Tier Pumking and O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer – both considered by many to be the best Pumpkin Beers around!

strawberryshorts

pumking

ofallon

 

bells_cansWhen Available, We Have Two of Bell’s Most Popular Beers In Cans – Oberon and Two Hearted Ale!

When Warmer Weather is Here – We Will Have Your Perfect Summer Shandy

shocktop_shandy

lein_shandy

traveler_shandy

We also have two of Founder’s Beer in cans: Centennial IPA and All Day IPA.

centennial_ipa

all_day_ipa

sam adams cansAnd Not to Be Outdone, Sam Adams is Releasing Several Varieties in their Special Can – the “Sam Can”

From the Brewer:

It’s been Jim’s mission to always do what’s best for the beer and the beer drinking experience.  So, before we put Samuel Adams Boston Lager® into cans, we spent two years working to develop the best can we could for our beer. We believe that the changes, though small, deliver the beer so that the flavor and overall experience is a bit closer to drinking from a glass.

So now you can enjoy Samuel Adams Boston Lager (and Summer Ale) in places that glass bottles cannot go.

The features of this can enhance the flavor of the beer and create a smoother, more comfortable drinking experience:

  • A wider lid provides more air flow resulting in a slightly smoother taste
  • The opening is slightly further from the edge of the lid, making the opening closer to your nose and allowing more of the beers aroma to reach your nose
  • An extended lip places beer at the front of your palate to maximize enjoyment of the malt sweetness of our Boston Lager (similar to the design of our Perfect Pint glass)
  • An hourglass ridge creates turbulence which pushes flavor out of the beer (also similar to the design of our Perfect Pint glass)

Click here if you would like to read more on the interesting development of the “Sam Can.”

OberonAlways a Great Summer Favorite – Oberon from Bell’s Brewing

Bell’s Oberon is a wheat ale fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, mixing a spicy hop character with mildly fruity aromas. The addition of wheat malt lends a smooth mouthfeel, making it a classic summer beer.

(source: Bell’s)

Special Beers from Scotland – Skull Splitter and Belhaven

Skull Splitter

Beelhaven

Rogue VoodooLooking to Try Something Different?
Try Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate, Peanut Butter And Banana Ale!

A Collision of Crazies

Rogue Ales has again collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ale! This unique artisan creation contains a baker’s dozen ingredients including chocolate, banana and peanut butter to match Voodoo’s “Memphis Mafia” doughnut- a nod to Elvis’ entourage.

(source: Rogue.com)

oharas_beerWe now have four varieties of O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer available at Top Shelf.

At Carlow Brewing Company, also known as O’Hara’s Brewery, we craft brew traditional Irish beers and our own interpretation of international beer styles, including our stouts and ales, wheat beers and lagers, all carrying the brewery founders family name O’Hara’s.

Each beer is crafted using classic brewing methods to create the traditional Irish beers styles that have long since been forgotten by many of the larger breweries. We use just four main ingredients; water, malts, hops and yeast to produce the highest quality craft beer range. Our brewers also enjoy the opportunity to produce seasonal and limited editions each year. We hope you share in our passion, taste our beers and enjoy the experience. (source: carlowbrewing.com)

rebel_ipaHow about this nice, new beer from Samuel Adams – REBEL IPA? Have you tried it yet?

This is a new arrival, and is one of the freshest-tasting IPA’s to come along in a while: Not overly hoppy, not bitter –  Just a nice, clean taste all the way through with a wonderful grapefruit finish. Pick up some today. You won’t be disappointed!

crabbiesHave you tried some refreshing Crabbie’s  Ginger Beer – Ginger Beer for Grown-ups?

It takes taste and imagination to create a drink so delicious that it stands the test of time. The roots of the distinctive Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer stretch all the way back to the early nineteenth century. That’s when our pioneer John Crabbie set sail from the port of Leith, Edinburgh, in search of the finest spices and ingredients from far-off lands.

Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer is made to a recipe with 4 closely-guarded secret ingredients. They’re combined with ginger shipped from the Far East, steeped for up to 6 weeks to produce its deep, deliciously spicy flavor. (source: crabbiesgingerbeer.co.uk)

1825Greenbush Brewery’s Latest Release: 1825, A Belgian-Style Strong Ale with a little something extra.

The webmaster has had this one on tap, and is glad to see it available in bottles. It’s an excellent Belgian-Style Strong Ale. A couple of reviews from Beer Advocate back up my original thoughts:

1.) This blows the doors of a Westmalle dubbel. There is so much going on with this one that it took me a bottle to figure it out. Pour it in a goblet and let it warm up a bit. It has high alcohol so you can sip it. It is full of yeasty, caramel sweetness but not so much sweetness as to be cloying. If is very well balanced with just enough bitterness. It is full flavored with fantastic mouth feel.

2.) Reddish orange, with a thin white head. Almost no retention, and the same case with lacing. Heavy Belgian yeast, fruity, slightly grainy and doughy and sweet malt character. Slight spice from the hops. Palate ha sweet doughy malt, spicy hops and a bittersweet finish. Full feel, alcohol is only partially disguised and the carbonation pops quite a bit on this one, even though it’s not apparent on the pour. A nice Belgian golden strong, although this is tough to put back at when the spice and alcohol comes across too strong.

 

shorts_newAn ever-creative Brewery, Shorts has just released two new beers – Publican London Style Porter, and Chatterbox American Pale Ale.

You know Shorts always puts a little  extra and unusual twist in their beer recipes – they’re famous for it, and these are sure to delight.

We Carry Griffin Claw Beer from Birmingham – More Varieties Added as Released

griffinclawGriffin Claw Brewery may be one of Michigan’s newest, but it’s brewmaster, Dan Rogers has been making award-winning beers for decades. The brewery is owned by Bonnie LePage and Mary Nicholson, spouses of the owners of Big Rock Chop house, a long-time Birmingham fine-eatery. The brewery and beer garden has become a recent hit in Birmingham, and the beer (currently 15 on tap) has been flowing non-stop since opening.

Their desire was to focus on using Michigan-made products to create a variety of world-class beers. At present, there are three beers available for purchase in tall cans in our area. (many brewers have been turning to cans of late because of the freshness factor for the consumer: Brewery Vivant, Rochester Mille, etc.) Top Shelf invites you to pick up a 4-pack to try with your friends. The quality is excellent.

How About A Taste of Up North? Right Brain Brewery – A Traverse City Success is Here

rightbrainRight Brain Brewery in Traverse City became so popular in the last few years that they outgrew their space downtown and moved a few blocks south to a warehouse-sized building. Once you get a taste of this excellent beer, you’ll understand why their popularity soared.

Their facility is funky and happy, as is their art and design. But the beer is pure quality through and through. We currently feature CEO Stout and Northern Hawk Owl (a tasty red beer) in 4/pack tall cans. Enjoy!

From Ommegang – Take the Black Stout

thronesOmmegang and HBO® announce the newest beer in the Game of Thrones® collaboration series. Through its first three seasons, the critically acclaimed drama has become the biggest show on HBO. Take the Black Stout follows the highly coveted Iron Throne Blonde Ale, which flew off of shelves earlier this year. To satisfy the appetite of Game of Thrones fans, production of Take the Black Stout will more than double the final volumes of Iron Throne Blonde Ale.

Inspired by the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch, Take the Black Stout was made to be deep, dark and complex like those who have sworn the oath to defend Westeros against threats from the north. The label depicts the Weirwood tree where Jon Snow recited the oath before joining the Night’s Watch.

In time for the holidays, Take the Black Stout makes for the perfect gift. Shipping to distributors in September 2013, the beer is available in 750 ML bottles and 1/6 barrel kegs.

Summer – Time for Pale Ales and Pilsners!

We have wonderful new beers arriving for each season. And what better way to enjoy being out at the barbeque than with our excellent case prices on your favorite beers? Just stop by or give us a call at 313-381-5670.

Do you need a Keg for your next Party or Gathering? We have many more kegs than you ever thought possible. Click here to check out our Keg List!

Greenbush Brewery

greenbushGood ideas often start over beer. Always looking to take a good thing too far, we sat down and over a beer (or two) decided that beer itself was a good idea. Of course, not just some easy-drinking institutional prole beer, but stuff like the beers we’d had at great bars. We had frequented places with extensive and varied beer lists. Places with lists 180 items long, all of which we tried twice (not in one night). In short, we wanted beer with flavor. Complexity. Character. Intensity. Not words found in the mass market lexicon.

So with a banjo burner, a bunch of industrial kitchen sized pots and as many buckets as we could find, we jumped in feet first. Once a week, every week. We tried to emulate the beers we liked, but soon we were adding a little of this, or some of that and after a while we started having a hard time pegging our beer in a style category. Our first success was a Porter that was mainly porter, slightly stout. We ran it blind with our friends against the porters we liked and people liked it. “We’re on to something”, we thought. Twenty iterations, modifications and tweaks later it is Distorter, and is still our favorite beer.

This led to twice a week brewing and handing out bottle after bottle to everyone we knew. Along the way we screwed up a wheat beer by accidentally making it into sort of a copper ale with a few too many hops. And so Red Bud Ale was born. We had some extra noble hops and threw them in the IPA, and with some tinkering we most certainly had a one-of-a-kind IPA. You get the picture. All of this has firmly cemented our “anything goes” approach to beer making. Our inability to ever get quite within the style guidelines means we may never win an award, but we’re ok with that.

Now, several years later and with a 90% super-cool/10% Rube Goldberg 7 bbl version of our banjo burner and kitchen pots, we’re befuddling the beer judges and converting the masses. One pint at a time.

(source: Greenbush Brewery)

Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout

bourbon_barrel_stoutComplexity.  Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character.

Our exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey gives Anderson Valley a world class, consistent source of barrelage, allowing our brewers to explore new frontiers in barrel-aged craft beer.

Since its introduction, Wild Turkey has maintained a distinctive distillation and ageing process that gives it a smooth taste and a lingering flavor. Wild Turkey uses a differentiated process whereby the bourbon is distilled at a low proof to seal in its flavors.

Very little water is added to Wild Turkey, resulting in a full-flavored authentic bourbon taste similar to what one would get straight out of the barrel.

Wild Turkey is a genuine drink with a sought after “burn” that comes from its high proof, an attribute fundamental to the brand and critical in maintaining its authentic bourbon characteristics.

(source: Anderson Valley Brewing Company)

About Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Anderson Valley Brewing Company was founded in 1987 by David Norfleet and Kim and Ken Allen. At the time, it was one of just 20 craft breweries in the United States.

The brewery and brewpub sits in the Anderson Valley of Northern California, surrounded by vineyards, and flanked by live oak and grass-covered hills to the east, and mist-shrouded redwoods to the west, with the Pacific Ocean just a few miles away through the redwoods. If you look closely at their label you can see this reflected in the label artwork.

Their popular and well-crafted beers include Boont Amber, Hop Ottin’ IPA, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, as well as the seasonals: Summer solstice and Winter Solstice.

While not actually “beer,” Mead has become very popular in the last few years – thanks in part to a very creative Meadery – “B. Nektar. Not satisfied with just “honey wine,” they have been pushing the envelope in flavors and drinking experiences since 2006 – and they’re local!

About B. Nektar Meadery:

meadB. Nektar makes meads that extend beyond the traditional honey wine. With so many varieties of honey, how could we not? We let our imaginations guide us.

B. Nektar Meadery was founded in 2006 by Brad and Kerri Dahlhofer, with the help of their good friend Paul Zimmerman. Brad has been an avid homebrewer since 1998, making beers, meads, ciders and wine for his own enjoyment.

When Brad and Kerri got married in 2005, he made a mead to toast with at their wedding and received great reviews from the guests. Jokingly, he said that he’d someday open a meadery. Paul, a long-time friend and fellow homebrewer, soon began making meads along with Brad in the Dahlhofers’ basement. Their meads quickly began winning awards at homebrewing competitions.

In the summer of 2006, Kerri was laid-off from her job. While sipping a glass of vanilla cinnamon mead made by Brad, she thought, “why not try to sell this?” It was then that the three decided to take their mead making to the next level. In the spring of 2008, Brad too fell victim to layoffs, and the three worked night and day to prepare for their opening. After nearly two years since its inception, B. Nektar finally opened it’s doors on August 2, 2008 (National Mead Day).

Since their opening, B. Nektar has been featured in the media by big names such as Hour Magazine (Detroit), The Detroit News, Metro Times, Channel 4 News, WJR Radio, and many others.

(source: B. Nektar Meadery)