A Beer Road Trip: Alma, Michigan

001October is the season for Homecoming.  Cooler weather, football and going “back to school.”  For the first time in over a decade, I took this to heart.   My college invited me back to campus to conduct mock interviews and give a talk on what I do in my professional life.

So much has changed since the last time I was on campus in 2002.  New buildings, not one but two Starbucks (ugh), and wait… what’s this??  A brewing company???  My post-presentation mission was clear.  Accompanied by my dad, also an alum of Alma College, and 2 of my former classmates who now work in administration for the college (when did we become adults?), we headed out into the pouring rain to sip a few brews.

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Alma Brewing Company is a microbrewery which, in addition to carrying it’s own beers, also carries beers from Mountain Town Brewing which is just up US 27 from Alma.   Many of Alma Brewing’s beers are named to honor the strong Scottish heritage that both the town of Alma and the College are known for – Highlander Scottish Ale, Caber Stout, Kilt Rising IPA and the like.  When we found out that the Highlander came in a thistle shaped PINT glass (thistle glasses are usually much smaller than this), we were sold!

2 pints, and the rehash many embarrassing college memoires later we did the only natural thing – went next door to Pizza Sam for a pizza (double crust, baked on a screen, spices and ranch on the side – obviously!).  While Sam’s remains exactly the same as it has for the past 50+ years, the beer scene in Alma is an actual thing that doesn’t come from Rite Aid or a gas station and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Alma Brewing Company Highlander Scottish Ale:  Heavier and maltier than your average Scottish ale – still with lots of nice elderflower notes

Mountain Town Brewing Train Wreck:  Malty, roasty and toasty with some maple syrup notes.  Certainly easy drinking

Mountain Town Brewing Iron Horse: This one is not for me.  Classicly hoppy IPA – dad sipped most of this sample

Alma Brewing Company Impervious: Thicker and smoother than, a well balanced imperial oatmeal


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