Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Black IPA

Hideout Brewing Company
Grand Rapids, MI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 6.8%

Rings’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

I covered a bit of the background for Grand Rapids “secret” beer Hideout in my review of their Weizen.

The brewpub is a friendly little place, built within the confines of a stone block building that is vacant save the brewery. The former pool area outside has been filled and converted to an amiable beer garden. The clientele is regular and passionate with an active member’s mug club and plenty of banter around the dozen or so seats at a custom concrete bar.

A homebrewer’s delight, this is really an overgrown hobby brewery. Everything is truly done by hand. The day I happened to be there, a regular was willing to carry a pallet of brewers’ grains one-by-one through the bar and up the stairs to the front corner of the overhanging loft in exchange for a club membership and a few beers.

From the loft, grains are milled down to a homemade five barrel infusion brewhouse. The custom fermenters stretch out the back of the brewery and into the garden area, sheltered by additional coolers. The owners wander around regularly, chatting with friends and guests as they cater to the brewhouse, pour a beer, or work on one project or another.

On this session, I started with their Black IPA, a full, chunky dark seasonal brown ale reminiscent of a very good, bitter porter. It opened with a full, chocolate nose, big frontal flavor and a long, rolling hoppy bite before finishing with a dry bitterness. There’s plenty of legs and a full, rich blend of cinnamon, nuts, coffee, and chocolate before the herbal assault.

While it opens up as it warms, it probably will fit the weather better this fall or winter. That said, my pint went down just fine on a 85° day, thank you, and reminded me of many early brewpub efforts ten, fifteen years ago … and that’s a good thing.

Reviewed by Rings on September 23, 2010.
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