Paradise by the Dashboard Light
A Recent Adventure with “Specially Brewed for Us” Beer
Say ‘Yah’ to da U.P., Eh?
My family and I recently returned from a vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. While exploring, we stopped for lunch at the Little Falls Inn in a town called Paradise. Yes, there is paradise in the U.P. Where else could it be? There truly are not too many places in Paradise, and that is what makes it so special. The food was great along with the people and atmosphere. But I digress; this is a blog about beer.
When the waitress asked what we would like to drink, my son-in-law asked what was on tap. Now here is the moment things get interesting! While reciting the list of available beer, she spoke those words that every beer drinker loves to hear:
“We have one beer that is brewed especially for us, called Red Flannel Ale.”
I have had many “brewed especially for us” beers and most are something that the brewer makes and is not too proud of, but every now and then you hit the jackpot. Now usually I do not like red ales too much. To get the color right many brewers use either black patent or chocolate malt. This can give a beer too heavy of a roasted tasted with nothing to balance it out. This Red Flannel Ale used I believe different caramel malts to get the color and body correct. The hop additions were light and very well balanced. I don’t say this too often, and I don’t think I have ever actually written this, but this was one of my top ten beers of all time.
It was (is) a perfect Red Ale.
I got a little more information from the bartender before we had to leave. The brewer is Mackinaw Trail Brewery in Petoskey, Michigan. They are both a brewer and wine maker. Now before you make the mad rush to Petoskey, keep in mind, that as craft beers go, every batch is unique. It could be we hit the perfect beer, or it could also mean that they are really a great brewer.
My point is, if you have a chance to try a unique beer, in a unique place, don’t pass it up. You will always have a chance to have a “usual beer” when you get back home. A once-in-a-life time beer happens only once.
Take care and drink wisely,