Branford Maple Amber Ale

Blandford Maple Amber Ale hails from “Best Beer Town”

The best time to write about beer is when you’re drinking it. Unfortunately, we’re all out of the beer we brought home from Brewery Vivant. Fortunately we still have a few Beer Camp Across America collaboration brews left. So, pardon me while I crack open the Double Latte milk stout, a collaboration from Sierra Nevada and Ninkasi.

I’ve been raving about Brewery Vivant for a while now. You may have read my post about our last visit to the lovely, sustainable brew pub in Grand Rapids, MI and hopefully I sucked you in with my raving review of the beer and exotic food. We took home a few packs of beer and we’ve been slowly enjoying them. Most of them we split because we both want a taste, and because I’m a lightweight and many of these fancy beers pack a powerful punch.

A couple days ago we sipped the very last of the limited release seasonal ales – Blandford Maple Amber Ale. And it was my top favorite of the pack we took home. It was a lovely, bold amber color with a full body, but not too thick. I was charmed by the sweet maple syrup aroma and taste, and got a hint of a smoky, almost bacon-esque flavor. Perfect for the crisp fall weather.

We haven’t had the good fortune of finding Brewery Vivant beer at any local stores. The website says they distribute through Michigan and Chicagoland, particularly in specialty stores and grocery stores. But I think instead of crossing the border to grab a taste, you should get the full, satisfying experience by visiting the brew pub. If you hadn’t heard yet, Grand Rapids was named “Best Beer Town” by a USA Today poll just a few days ago.

So, if you love beer, Grand Rapids has at least a dozen breweries to wet your whistle. Maybe we should all move there and call it a day. If this week drags on any longer, I might just have to. Tampa is listed as number 2. I had no idea the craft beer scene was getting real down there. I guess I’m out of touch. So far we’ve been to 3 of the top 10 “Best Beer Towns”, so we have some traveling to do, but maybe we’ll wait to see how this startling epidemic plays out before we grab the next plane for a taste of beer.

And just in case you were wondering, the Double Latte milk stout was just right after my long, tedious day.