Old Nation now sends out about 4,000 cases of beer each week. Almost all of it is M-43. At the rate they're going, Fritts said, Old Nation is on track to make a little more than 20,000 barrels total this year, placing them well within the top 10 breweries in terms of production.
Fritts and Old Nation aren't new in the craft beer world. Fritts, a trained German brewmaster, has been brewing in Michigan for 15 years with stints at Detroit Beer Co. and Arcadia Brewing. Head brewer Nate Rykse studied fermentation technology at the University of California-Davis and is the former head brewer at Detroit Beer.
When Old Nation opened in 2015, Fritts and his partners felt they had the ideal equipment and team. And Fritts, a Dimondale native, said he was excited to open \"a brewery without gimmicks\" near where he grew up.
And in an industry where social media and marketing has become almost as important as the beer itself, folks at Old Nation hadn't quite pinned down how to reach their audience and tell their story, Fritts said.
Fritts had been researching New England IPAs when he ran across a conversation about the style in a Detroit craft beer enthusiast Facebook group in late 2016. There was contention within the group about whether the style was over-hyped. Some of the comments Fritts saw were rife with misinformation.
That success shifted Founder's into a \"product-driven company,\" Engber's said. They put a greater focus on creating quality and innovative beers. That shift helped them to feed their creativity while becoming financially stable, he said.
Scott Newman-Bale, a partner and the chief financial officer at Short's Brewing said knowing how much to produce and how much to expand after creating hit beers can be tricky. The brewery, which opened in 2002, has been in a state of constant expansion in recent years, he said.
The beer is hazy and less bitter than most IPAs. In a glass, it looks more like orange juice than a typical beer. M-43 has hints of pineapple and orange. It's also not too bitter, making an approachable choice for folks who typically shy away from IPAs.
M-43 can be found at most craft beer stores for around $14.99 for a four pack. The steep price is in part because of the quantity of hops it takes to make the beer. But Fritts cautions against shelling out more than $15 for a four-pack. If the beer isn't refrigerated, he also recommends giving it a pass. M-43 is best when it's fresh.
Rex Halfpenny, who publishes the Michigan Beer Guide, said time will tell if the New England IPAs like M-43 have staying power in the craft beer market. If it does, M-43 could be to Old Nation what Two Hearted Ale is to Bell's Brewery or Fat Tire is for New Belgium, he said.
\"These breweries need that product that resonates with the craft beer community so that it gets to such a point that it pays the bills to allow the brewery to be creative and do other things,\" he said.
He said the strong reaction to M-43 has also changed the way he thinks about how people approach beer. He said it forced the people at Old Nation to \"pull our heads out of our books.\"
Tart Strawberry M-43 is a sweet twist on the New England IPA. The Michigan brewery usually hosts a celebration at its Williamston pub when the limited-edition beer is released, but the pandemic has changed that.
The name alone gives you an idea of where the brewery planned to go: old-world styles. So it launched a brewpub with a large production space (40 barrels per batch) at the start with an Altbier (Detroit Dwarf), a Dry English Stout (Two Crow), a Weizenbock (Golden 7) and a Scottish-Style Ale (10 Penny) along with some other Michigan ingredient-centric beers.
There are few things better than Michigan summers; backyard BBQs, cabins on the lake, sunsets after 9PM, and a spoil of craft beer riches from coast to coast. So whether on the boat, the beach, or the backyard, we put together a 6-pack of crushable Michigan craft cans perfect to fill your cooler with all summer long.
Adding fruit is not the only way to get tropical notes out of your beer. M-43, the New England style IPA that put Old Nation on the map, is so hopped that it explodes with aromas of mango, papaya and grapefruit and is full of tropical juices on the tongue. It is not excessively bitter and the addition of wheat and oats creates a soft pillowy IPA that will please IPA and non-IPA drinkers alike.
Mr. Blue Sky is a Belgian wit ale that will be familiar to anyone who has tried a Blue Moon or Oberon in the last decade. Brewed with coriander and grapefruit peel, the wheat beer offers a soft, semi-sweet aroma of fresh bread dough, pithy grapefruit peel, and a mild spice from the coriander. This beer drinks rather light, but not watered down, and is very approachable. Hints of the citrus and grainy wheat complement each other well in this highly quaffable beer from the Birmingham brewery.
The hoppiest beer of the bunch, the Grand Haven breweries flagship pale ale offers all the things an IPA lover looks for in their favorite brew, but in a lighter body, perfect for those who want to indulge without weighing them down on a hot day. Brewed exclusively with citra hops, this pale ale offers a big beautiful bouquet of grapefruit, subtle tropical fruits, and fresh pine. It is bitter on the tongue, but balanced with just enough bready malt and a dry enough finish to keep you going back for another sip.
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The mid-state and the eastern region of Michigan are slowly beginning catch up to this level of quality and notoriety. There have been none bigger than Old Nation, an unassuming brewery nestled just outside of state capitol of Lansing in the quiet town of Williamston. The beer that put them on the map and made others take notice An IPA named in tribute to a lovely state highway, M-43.
This Mini Beer Shot has nothing to do with a cold brew at all. Nope, this is a shot of a different nature: it pairs tasty vanilla Licor 43 liqueur and cream. The flavor Sweet, nuanced, and delicious: essentially the exact opposite of beer.
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