There probably aren’t many people who would reg­u­larly drive to a dif­ferent state to buy one certain beer. I am one who does.

I learned several years ago that many brews from my home state of Col­orado aren’t dis­tributed in Michigan (blame Michigan liquor laws), so I started making short pil­grimages to a liquor store in Fremont, Ind., to pur­chase the bubbly, bitter brews of the Rockies. When I make the trip again, I plan to stock up on my favorites like Left Hand Brewery’s Polestar Pilsner and New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber Ale.

My ded­i­cation to the frothy nectar goes beyond an obsession with beers from the Mile High City. Some of my fondest mem­ories from my later years as a student at Hillsdale College involve making trips to Michigan brew­eries (like Bell’s in Kala­mazoo) to taste new brews, pair them with appe­tizers and sand­wiches, and build our own six-packs to bring back to Hillsdale and savor for several more weeks.

Though I don’t remember what my friends and I talked about on one spring night on the front porch of The Don­ny­brook my senior year, I do remember I was drinking a Bell’s Two Hearted Pale Ale. Now, my husband and I often fre­quent the Here’s to You…Pub and Grub in downtown Hillsdale, where there is always a good selection of Michigan and Midwest brews on tap.

To many, beer is a cheap bev­erage that allows one to become wildly drunk in a short amount of time. The only people really ben­e­fiting from these beer-filled garage parties are the folks who wander the streets around campus in the early morning, col­lecting empty cans and bottles to get a little bit of change in return.

A good beer is best enjoyed slowly, in a frosted glass, and in the company of friends. Over the time it takes to sip and savor your way through the drink, you may end up making new mem­ories. A good con­ver­sation and a special beer with friends from whom you may soon be miles apart are invest­ments. Venture out and find that inter­esting microbrew.

Buying beer made by local brew­eries will hope­fully will give you an appre­ci­ation for the art and craft of cre­ating an enjoyable and mem­o­rable beer. 

— Maria Servold is the Assistant to the Director of the Dow Jour­nalism Program at Hillsdale College

  • Trent G

    “Buying beer made by local brew­eries will hope­fully will give you an appre­ci­ation for the art and craft of cre­ating an enjoyable and mem­o­rable beer. ”

    So why aren’t you sup­porting more Michigan brew­eries?! Just kidding, I too love the Fat Tire and Sun­shine Wheat beers from Col­orado. There’s some great beer here in Michigan, though, (and perfect for this “May in March” weather we’re having) like the Foundry All Day IPA or the Frankenmuth American Blonde, which is def­i­nitely one of my favorite spring beers:

    Great post! Cheers!

  • Jim Stephens

    Pilsner is my favorite! Why don’t you try the Pilsner at Frankenmuth Brewery. They have a great German Pilsner only made there. I think they’re one of the best brew­eries in Michigan. Check it out and see if it is any help, so you don’t have to travel cross country.