Brewsology Beer Fest at the Michigan Science Center is an invitation to embrace your inner science nerd while enjoying awesome craft beer.
Brewsology Beer Fest
I thoroughly enjoy science. Maybe not so much the actual doing of science, but the learning of what has been discovered in the realms of science. Whether it is virtually traveling the cosmos with Carl Sagan or watching a Nature documentary on the crazy headbanging world of woodpeckers, learning about the world around us is endlessly fascinating. When our friend Kevin Mckinney (Barrel + Beam) asked if we were going to Brewsology at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, I scratched my head and asked, “What the hell is Brewsology?”.
Brewsology markets its unique beer festival as a boozy middle school field trip to a museum. These craft beer festivals in science centers and natural history museums are hosted around the U.S. One of those stops is the excellent Michigan Science Center in Detroit (located just behind the Detroit Institute of Arts). The Michigan Science Center is primarily geared toward kids. At the Brewsology Beer Fest, you get to be the kid. Once the museum shuts down for the day, the beer stations come to life and transform the space into an adult playground. You can play around with all the cool interactive displays while drinking delicious craft beer.
Wandering around the Michigan Science Center at the Brewsology Beer Fest, you can check out a replica of the space shuttle, learn about physics and force on a pulley system, see the effect of wind on sails, sand, and water, and much more. Whether you are sharing beer notes with your friends or blinding yourself with science, there is fun around every corner at this festival. If the hands-on displays weren’t enough, the Michigan Science Center had staff doing live science demonstrations. The occasional explosion can be startling initially, but you get used to it.
Slinging Beers For Old Nation
Just as Brewsology Beer fest hit my radar, our friend Jonathan Cole with Old Nation Brewing posted that he was looking for some help pouring beers at Brewsology. I gave a high five to serendipity and messaged Jon to offer my and Brenda’s expert beer-slinging services.
We arrived at Brewsology Beer fest just as they were about to let the VIP crowd into the Michigan Science Center. The museum is a big space, and every nook and cranny had a beer station setup. It was a bit bewildering as we probably made two circuits on the main level before finding the Old Nation table downstairs.
I’m unsure why, but Brenda and I love to pour beers at beer festivals. Maybe it’s the look of joy on people’s faces or perhaps the communal aspect of sharing your thoughts on beers and the festival in general. Whatever it is, serving beers at a festival is a blast—at the Brewsology Beer Fest in Detroit, Old Nation had a well-rounded selection: “Boss Tweed” double New England IPA, “Rubikon” Italian Pils, and “Shandy” – a lager with lemonade.
“Boss Tweed” needs no introduction. It is a delicious big beer that the hazy crowd drools over, along with Old Nation’s flagship “M-43”. These are great beers, but I think Old Nation shines with “Rubikon.” This clean and dry pilsner is tasty and the perfect companion for everything from playing cards with friends, reading a book, watching a game, or mowing the lawn. Thanks to a question from a beer fan at the Brewsology Beer Fest, I learned from Jonathan Cole that what makes a beer an Italian pilsner is that it is dry-hopped, giving it more of a hop floral nose than a traditional pils. If you want to run down the rabbit hole, there is an excellent story on Italian pilsner style on Hop Culture.
Some of you may have gotten the short end of the stick when experimenting with a shandy, particularly if that first experience was thanks to Leinenkugel. If you want a thirst-quenching and downright tasty beverage, check out “Shandy”. It’s made with lemonade from Guernsey Farms Dairy in Northville. Instead of a sugar catastrophe, Old Nation delivers a great beer with a touch of lemonade.
More Michigan Beer
On top of Old Nation, you could sample Michigan beers from Dark Horse Brewing, Roak Brewing, Jolly Pumpkin, Ludington Bay Brewing, One Well, Loaded Dice, Barrel + Beam, Ascension Brewing, Brown Iron Brewhouse, Arvon, North Center Brewing, Tenacity Brewing, Unexpected Craft Brewing, Cadillac Straits Brewing, Arctic Circle Brewing, Eastern Market Brewing, Atwater Brewing, Griffin Claw, Saugatuck Brewing, Grand Armory, Bell’s, and Founders. If you weren’t into beer, you could get a cider or mead from Uncle Johns, Barrel + Beam, St. Ambrose Cellars, and Blake’s Hard Cider.
Loaded Dice Brewery
After our volunteer session of beer pouring, we headed out to try a few Michigan beers. I have heard good things about Loaded Dice Brewery in Troy, so I made a point to stop. Their “Pay The Man His Money” is a heavy-hitting stout with vanilla, cocoa nibs, and lactose. This beer has a great chocolate character without being too sweet. I also tried their “West-A-Roni” triple IPA. This collaboration with Brew Detroit and Rustic Leaf Brewing is a fine IPA featuring classic West Coast hoppiness and a bit of a buzz. I’m glad I only had two; otherwise, I would have needed a room for later.
We stopped at Arvon Brewing’s table, and I tasted the “Island Heat” kettle sour. This is a creamy orange dream in a glass. Like a lot of the kettle sours (maybe all of them) from Arvon, they use a lot of fruit with lactose to create these extraordinary beers that look like smoothies. I’m sure some beer purists would scoff at these even being called “beers.” Whatever your label of choice, this beer is awesome. You could definitely taste the mango, banana, and pineapple with hints of lime.
My last beer sample at the Brewsology Beer Fest was “Doghouse” lager from Pavlov’s Brewing. This coppery beauty was outstanding. You get a nice clean, balanced beer with plenty of malt flavor and a dash of hop bitterness. Pavlov’s Brewing is located in Temperance, which isn’t too far from home. It sounds like a weekend trip is in order.
We’ve got a few more pictures from the Brewsology Beer Fest at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit. Be sure to put this unique beer festival on your list for next year. We’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and show some love by sharing this post.
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