Northern Michigan Dark Beers: November gales seem to blow in a deep metabolic yearning for dark beer. No more daffy dockside chug-a-lugs, it’s time to get serious. Brewed in a troubling array of poundable permutations from classic stouts to black IPA’s, our local dark beers are thick, cerebral, cocoa-sewn quilts of malty comfort wholly deserving of your winter attentions. While paler ales at all levels are generally a platform for the many nuances of noble hops, black beers draw their raison d’etre from roasted malts which bring with them a universe of dark, bitter flavors like coffee, chocolate, burnt sugar, dried fruit and smoke. In most cases dark beers have a creamier texture and viscosity, particularly when drawn with nitrogen, and finish anywhere along a spectrum beginning at dry and bitter and ending at smooth and sweet.
13512 Peninsula Drive, Traverse City (Old Mission), 231.223.4333
A dark farmhouse-style ale with overtones of dried fruit, cocoa and coffee bean. Bam noire finishes with a slight but refreshing sourness.
400 W. Front Street, Traverse City, 231.941.7325
Locally grown centennial hops lend a bright, bitter note to the richness of roast wheat malt making this a dangerously quaffable dark IPA.
225 E. Sixteenth Street, Traverse City 231.944.1239
Great Northern Roasting Company custom chars Brazilian beans for this super-smooth coffee stout with pronounced chocolate notes. Drink with breakfast, braises or brownies.
121 N. Bridge Street, Bellaire 231.533.6622
Chocolate and wheat malts conspire to create this palate-coating porter with caramel, coffee and cocoa character. Perfect for stews and Saturday sessions.
642 Railroad Place, Traverse City 231.946.8168
A thick dark love child of domestic pale malt and oatmeal married with British Goldings and Cluster hops. Creamy mouth feel thanks to the oats and a slight sweetness from high final gravity.