Next week on the 27th of August, we celebrate Just Because Day. I know, it appears we are searching for themes. A Google search indicates this day was started by Joseph Goodwin in the 1950’s as a family holiday tradition. Somehow the family tradition grew to a national day to be recognized. Some of the suggestions for celebrating the day center around yourself. There are some suggestions, however, that are for others. I like the buy someone flowers, or buy the next table in the restaurant a round, and do something just because mom said so.
I thought of a few beer items that are pretty laid back and delicious so if Just Because Day motivates you to have a beer, here they are.
Bell’s Two Hearted ale was and is one of our bestselling IPAs that we offer at Family Fare. This item has taken a path that wasn’t foreseen by the Bells people and it has become its own big brand of beer. Their idea was to make a beer that is simple to make that tastes great. Enter Two Hearted. It is hopped with 100% Centennial hops from the Northwest and is generously added to the kettle and to the fermenter. Pine and grapefruit are in the nose. The malt base is large enough to handle this much bittering and the flavor is rounded out with Bell’s own house yeast. The ABV is 7% and has 55 IBUs. Available in all Family Fare stores.
Soft Parade from Short’s Brewing, Bellaire and Elk Rapids, Michigan is one of Joe Short’s original beer items that he made. Four types of real fruit, Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, and Strawberry, make up the personality of this easy drinking beer. Joe refers to this beer as a beer with fruit and not a fruit beer. Joe had just made one of his first batches of this beer and was driving to Boyne City when the song, “Soft Parade” came on the radio, hence the moniker for this beer. I first tried this beer at the Villager Pub in Charlevoix, MI and paired it with their famous ribs. It was a great combination of fruit and pork. Available in Michigan Stores.
Perrin Black is a black ale from Perrin Brewing on the north side of Grand Rapids, MI. You have to go to their pub and try their food, it is phenomenal. It will take a few times to visit to try all the great menu items. There is outstanding cheffing occurring at Perrin. I read a Q and A online featuring Perrin’s John Stewart. The Perrin Black Ale has become Perrin’s flagship beer. Just like Two Hearted at Bells, the Perrin Black Ale took off right away. When asked why, John believes that it is the beer’s drinkability. He goes so far as to say it is such an easy sipper that it would make a great transition beer from macro to craft. Don’t let the dark hue scare you, this beer is very smooth. John indicates that some people think it’s a lager and not an ale because of its smoothness. The ABV is 5.8% and it has 22 IBUs. Available in Michigan Stores.
Summit EPA, Bronze in color. Gold medal-winning flavor. Featuring caramel, biscuity malts balanced by an earthy hop bite and juicy citrus. Pairs well with fried seafood, grilled meat and sharp cheese. The ABV is 5.2% and it has 49 IBUs. Available in Minnesota Stores.
Fargo Brewing Wood Chipper IPA, this classic American IPA showcases aromatic hop flavors and oats provide a sleek, and balanced bitterness. While pounds per barrel of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Simcoe hops give this IPA waves of pine flavors. The ABV is 6.5 % and it has 70 IBUs. Available in North Dakota stores.
Nebraska Brewing, Cardinal Pale Ale. Their American Pale Ale is golden in color, mildly bitter, and characterized by floral/citrus-like aromatics which are the result of an additional dry hopping with a very large amount of Cascade Hops. Crisp, crystal clear, and completely enjoyable. Currently, it is the top selling beer within their Nebraska brewpub. The ABV is 6.0% and it has 42 IBUs. Available in Nebraska and Iowa stores.
Crow Peak 11th Hour IPA, hop aroma and flavor dominate this IPA. However, the malt character of this deep amber colored ale nicely balances the hop component thus avoiding a harsh bitterness. The ABV is 6.5% and it has 70 IBUs. Available in South Dakota Stores.
Rush Rivers The Unforgiven Amber Ale, Rich in flavor and mildly sweet, this amber ale is dry-hopped in the conditioning tank to add a subtle herbal nose. The robust caramel color and flavor is complemented with a frothy head that leaves a thick lacing on the glass. A classic session ale. The ABV is 5.5% and it has 25 IBUs. Available in Wisconsin stores.
The last suggestion for Just Because Day is the new Rosé Cider from Virtue Cider located in Fennville, Michigan. Rosé is still rocking the sales charts. Everyone is making a rosé wine. Only a few people are making a rosé cider. Virtue uses local apples of Jonathons, Golden Russet, McIntosh, Winesap, Ida Red, and Northern Spy in their blend for this rosé cider. Virtue adds a botanical blend to achieve the aromas of apple, grapefruit peel, and strawberries. This blend includes citrus oil, sage, and hibiscus among other items. This cider finishes nice and clean and can be paired with goat cheese or veggies from the garden. Available in Michigan Stores.
So sit back, enjoy, and be sure to celebrate Just Because Day next week!
Greg VanOverloop, Beer & Wine Specialist
- Started in the Grocery business bagging at D&W in 1975. Worked at D&W for 30 years in various departments.
- Worked at SpartanNash for 11 years. Currently the Category Manager for Wine/Beer/Spirits for SpartanNash East.
- Have been a category manager since 1990 and a category manager of beer since 1997. CM of wine and spirits since 2007.
- Have travelled extensively which provided the opportunity to taste many foods and beverages from Hong Kong to Caribbean, from California to Maine.
- Love to cook, grill, and bake, snow ski, sail, and read books. Best baked item – a bourbon pecan pie with rum crust. Best grilled item – salmon with blueberry onion wine sauce and goat cheese. Best cooked item – Squash Apple soup with bourbon. Best ski slope – Go Devil at Keystone. Best book – Wonder.
- 1 wife, 3 children, 7.3 grandchildren.