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Friday Drankin’: Lansing Brewing Company

The capital of Michigan has a wealth of good beer options.

Bavaria Holds State Elections Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images

The state of Michigan is a leader when it comes to craft brewing, so it is no surprise that there are plenty of options for good beer in the Lansing area. It has been a few years since I have been up that way, however. The only game I have been to at Michigan State was during the 2008 season, and it was a dreary, dismal 21-7 loss where Purdue got a late pity touchdown with Justin Siller. I was unaware of today’s brewery then, but the next time I go up to East Lansing I will have to make a stop.

Lansing Brewing Company

518 E. Shiawassee Street

Lansing, MI 48912

I am a big fan of any brewery that was revived after Prohibition, and Lansing Brewing Co. is one that did just that. It is possibly the oldest brewery I have ever featured on Friday Drankin’, as it was established in 1898. Here is their story:

One of the first breweries in Michigan’s Capitol city, the Lansing Brewing Company supplied craft beer to artisans, laborers and tradesmen as they built our city over a century ago. Opened a year after Ransom E. Olds’ historic automobile ride down a city street in 1897, the Lansing Brewing Company welcomed its first customers.

Olds was that needed spark of ingenuity that fanned the flames of progress in early Lansing. The word spread about opportunity and promise of work for laborers and tradesmen. They built Lansing. And, as we all know, where there is hard work, cold beer is not far behind.

Prohibition originally closed Lansing Brewing down in 1914, but it was revived 100 years later and it is now the only full-scale production brewery in Lansing. Here are some of their best offerings:

Amber Cream Ale – 5.2% ABV, 20 IBU - A unique twist on a cream ale. Bold flavor yet refreshing and smooth finish.

Angry Mayor – 6% ABV, 60 IBU - Grapefruit aroma on the nose with moderate bitterness and a light malt backbone that allows the hops to be the main attraction.

Peninsula Pils – 4.7% ABV, 31 IBU – Forget the watered down domestic pilsner beers. Peninsula Pils is a true to style pilsner with a distinct hop presence.This pilsner has two different hop varietals, Hallertau Blanc and Saaz. Together these hops give Peninsula Pils an herbal and delicate fruit note. We also dry hopped this sessional beer with Hallertau Blanc for your aromatic enjoyment. A perfect thirst quencher after a jog on the river trail!

Velvet Villain Ale – 8.2% ABV, 25 IBU – Formally known as Black Velvet... Imperial black ale meets oatmeal porter. Silky smooth chocolate dominates the palate throughout this beer. Have it for breakfast or have it for dessert, it doesn’t matter. This beer drinks very easy for an 8.2% ABV beer.

Oktoberfest – 5.3% ABV, 18 IBU - Oktoberfest utilizes three different Germany style malts; Pilsen, Vienna and Munich which give it a very clean bread-like malt flavor and easy drinkability. This beer utilizes an American “noble” hop varietal called Mt. Rainier, stemming away from traditionally used European noble hops, yet keeping the same low amount of earthy hop character.

As usual, they offer plenty of rotating specialties and seasonals. I would definitely have to try the Cream Amber, ass it blends two of my favorite styles. The Velvet Villain sounds like a very interesting combination as well. If anyone is heading to tomorrow’s game this looks like a great postgame stop to watch the late afternoon games.