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Brews News: Beer has become big business across Michigan.

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Beer has become big business across Michigan. Our state ranks sixth in the nation with more than 200 craft breweries, and those breweries have created more than 7,000 jobs and a total economic impact of more than $609 million.

Here in our corner of West Michigan, the craft brewery craze is in full swing, with plenty of options to satisfy your thirst — Old Boys, Odd Side Ales, Grand Armory, Dutch Girl and HawkPeak breweries as well as VanderMill Cider Mill.

Plus, we’re surrounded by popular breweries in Muskegon to the north, Grand Rapids to the east and Holland to the south.

Here at the Tribune, we’re celebrating the success of our local breweries with a new monthly feature titled “Brews News.”

We’ll include beer-based features in our printed edition of the Grand Haven Tribune, as well as quizzes and other interactive online features here at discoverwmi.com.

While we salute our area brewers for their fermented creations, we remind readers to please enjoy these and all alcoholic beverages responsibly, and please, don’t drink and drive.

Get to know your craft beers

By Alex Doty
adoty@grandhaventribune.com

Craft brewing has become all the rage these days, and there’s no shortage of unique brews to try and unique breweries to try them at.
But it can oftentimes be easy to get lost in the names and styles of all these different brews, and for some, knowing the difference between all the different terminology can be downright confusing.
To help crack the code of your local brewery’s beer menu, we’ve put together an easy to use guide that explains some of the common styles of craft beer, and what their names mean.
Soon enough, you’ll be able to go and order your favorite adult beverage with the best of them.

Pale Ales

Lighter-colored beers that have a bitter, sharper flavor. These beverages can include Amber, American Pale (APA), Blonde, Irish Red, and India Pale Ale (IPA).beerstyles
Examples: Dogtail IPA (Old Boys’)
& TWIN PEAKS PALE ALE (HawkPeak)

BROWN Ales

A reddish or brownish colored beer. These beverages are usually mild in flavor. Flavors typically offer hints of caramel, toffee, or coffee.
Examples: HOW NOW BROWN COW (Odd Side Ales) & Year Round Brown (Grand Armory Brewery)

Porters

Dark-styled beer. This beverage can offer flavor notes that include chocolate, coffee, or roasted grains. These beverages are on the “thicker” side of beer texture, but are thinner and more mild than Stouts.
Examples: CHOCOLATE CHIP PORTER (Odd Side Ales) & MECHANIC BALTIC PORTER (Dutch Girl)

Stouts

A dark, rich beer, similar to a Porter. These beers are considered darker and “thicker” than porters. Flavor notes include hints of coffee, chocolate, licorice, or molasses.
Examples: NUTTER YOUR BUSINESS STOUT (Grand Armory Brewery)
& MAYAN MOCHA STOUT (Odd Side Ales)