Michigan Beer Cellar
Sparta, MI

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 5.0%
Michigan Beer Cellar is kind of a funny little place. Founded by local legendary home brewer, Dan Humphries in 2010, it’s located in Sparta, Michigan, just northwest of Grand Rapids. It’s in an open space building that had been a banquet hall, which is leased from the neighboring BP gas station. Inside, they’re brewing a dozen or more beers at any given time, a shelf full of distillates including vodkas – many flavored varieties – and other spirits along with some in-house wines to go with their sandwich menu and off-beat bar promos, including karaoke, trivia games, pool tables and occasional live music…most of which is somewhat uncommon in a “brewery” setting.

Expansion is on the horizon, as Humphries’ son has recently completed the purchase of the Hideout Brewing Company in nearby Grand Rapids with the intention of constructing a production facility along with packaging for distribution…which will likely involve both breweries if I were a betting man.

I stopped in for lunch today and enjoyed their English IPA. Orange in color, it has a light malt nose and a wonderful glass cling throughout the pint. The back half was neat and clean with a lingering British dryness. It was a welcome relief from the all too common American IPA that overwhelms the drinker with a full frontal hop assault, leaving little room for balance.

This was a nice session beer and above average for a local version of the traditional style.