Celebrate the cycles of the moon?, you bettcha. Celebrate the full moon with beer? even better. The Dewitt Draft House on Old 27 in Dewitt is doing just that. The first Full Moon Beer Club event was held January 19 in the lower level of the establishment. The basement, known as the Retro Lounge, is a groovy throwback to the 60’s sporting lava lamps, period furnishings, and appropriate music. The first tasting highlighted beers from Arcadia Ales of Battle Creek. Arcadia Ales was represented by Brad Pulver, Brewer and Jim Brown, Brewery Representative. Brad was on hand to talk the technical make- up of the brews while Jim discussed the origins and history of each style. Eight beers were tasted this evening and were presented from lightest in body to heaviest.
The first beer tasted was Anglers Ale, a nice British inspired Pale Ale that proved itself as a great starting point. Next up was the Nut Brown Ale. This Winter Seasonal was dark in color but the flavor was lighter than expected and was very well received. The India Pale Ale, or IPA, is another British inspired ale. This style was originally brewed with more alcohol and hop bitterness to preserve it on its journey from London to the British Colony of India. The next ale for sampling was Sky High Rye, a West Coast Style pale ale, that features rye as an ingredient. Rye gives beer a spicy, almost peppery flavor and a complex mouth feel. After the first four samples, it was time for a break.
Lee Irish, Publican of the Draft House and Aspiring DJ, wanted to pair music with this event. During this interlude he offered up some musical treats that would provide an insight into the brewers’ minds as they brew these wonderful elixirs. Lots of musical genres were mentioned, such as Smooth Jazz, Bluegrass, Metal, etc, but some early, bluesy Led Zeppelin was offered up to the delight of the crowd. After the break, it was back to the tasting.
The last four beers represented the darker and more flavorful aspects of the beer spectrum. London Porter was a smoky dark beer reminiscent of 1800 England. This unique beverage utilized smoked malt, which was all that was available during that early period, and was loved by many in attendance. The most bitter beer of the evening was brought out next. Hop Mouth Double IPA, proudly showed off its citrusy bitterness and appealed to the “hop heads” in the group. A favorite of the Czarist Russian Courts, Arcadia Imperial Stout, is a rich, sweet, and flavorful expression of the style. Weighing in at 8.0% alcohol, this beer really warmed up the group. The final offering, Cereal Killer Barley Wine, was another dark, sweet, British inspired ale was the favorite of many of the tasters. With and alcohol content of 10.0% it was the biggest and darkest beer offered. Cereal Killer’s name is in homage to the cereal giants Kellogg
The evening wound down with a few trivia questions and lots of mingling amongst the tasters, the brewer representatives, and the bar owner. The Full Moon Beer Club plans to meet every full moon with the next event being February 18. Don’t be afraid of the dark!