U.P. Beer Adventure: Blackrocks Brewery
Its been a while since I made a blog post, but I figured this was one brewery that definitely deserved a longer post. I had the opportunity to visit Blackrocks Brewery in Marquette, MI and chat with their co-founder, Andy Langlois.
Co-founders, Andy Langlois and David Mason had been homebrewing for about 4 years when, in 2010, they decided to open up a brewery. They started small with a 1 BBL system and slowly worked up to their current 3 BBL and 20 BBL systems. Despite having the bigger systems, they still brew experimental beers on the 1 BBL system about 3 times a week. One of those experimental beers was a pot roast beer. According to Andy, people had a love/hate reaction to it. Haha! I would have loved to try it!
One of the things that you notice immediately when you walk in is the vibe. Blackrocks is decked out in all of the bike/mountain bike decor you could imagine. When I asked Andy how they came up with the decor for the taproom, he said that they left it up to the customers. "Most of what is in there was brought in by customers. Most of us ride, so it was natural that it also became a meeting spot for Mtn. Bikers."
When I visited, there was about 5 beers I wanted to try, but I had to control myself....it was especially hard because the beer was incredibly cheap (compared to Chicago pricing!) I finally decided on their most expensive beer, Battle Stag, at a whopping $5. It is a double brown ale packed with cocoa, caramel and dark fruit flavors. It was absolutely perfect for that Northern Michigan winter feeling. I asked Andy what his favorite beer that they brew is (obviously a difficult question) and he chose 51K, their flagship IPA.
51K is a killer IPA at 7% ABV and 68 IBUs. Its available year round and in cans, so if you see it on the shelves, get it! I promise you wont regret it!