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Beer O'Clock GR

It's 12.30pm On Saturday January 23 And It's Happy Hour Right Now at 8 Bars In GR

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Craft Beers of Michigan: Here’s To A Happy New Beer

By Paul Baxter

I’m going to be honest with you, friends. I’ve been a little down lately. I think it has to do with the weather. I’m not usually one to complain (wait, yes I am), but between the snow, the ice storms, the power outages, and the brutally cold temperatures, I think I am well within my rights declaring that this winter has already sucked worse than “Roseanne Barr Sings the Christmas Classics,” which, believe it or not, is actually a thing.

Speaking of Christmas, I sincerely hope you had a merry one. And if, by some chance, you celebrate something other than Christmas, well, good for you, heathen. You’ll certainly be able to roast all the chestnuts you want when you’re cast into the Eternal Fires of…

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NOTE: I have been instructed by Beer O’Clock GR and its legal department to inform you that Beer O’Clock GR respects and celebrates the belief systems of all its readers, except for those who believe that “Citizen Kane” is the best movie ever made. The best movie ever made is clearly “Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.”

So how did I spend my Christmas? In my normal fashion, which means I was drunk on eggnog and rum for most of the day, gave my nephew a long winded speech on how life has screwed me over at a certain point, and then eventually ended up passing out on the bed that had everyone’s coat on it.

That sounds like a pretty magical Christmas, I can hear you saying.

Oh, but that’s just the half of it. Turns out I’ve also recently developed a fairly strong peyote habit, which lends itself to me building snowmen out in the front yard whom I then have ten hour conversations with about the nature of reality. “SNOWone knows why we’re here, Paul,” my new friend will usually end up saying. “All one can do in life is simply PLOW ahead.” Go ahead and judge me for my drug use (and my terrible winter related puns), if you must, but, let me just say, one has never truly heard “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” until they’ve experienced it while high and tripping bollocks on mescaline.

NOTE: I have been instructed by Beer O’Clock GR and its legal department to inform you that Beer O’Clock GR in no way condones the use of psychotropic drugs and/or listening to Elmo and Patsy’s “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.

Unfortunately, my New Years Eve was not as exciting, due to the fact that I had to work. While I was surrounded by the fun and frivolity of the night, which one might call a palooza, I was unable to partake. If you’re curious as to what I do for work, I take care of giant descending balls, which sounds a lot dirtier than it actually is.

To assuage myself of the sadness of the fact that I had to work until nearly two in the morning, I had, earlier in the week, bought myself a four pack of Paleooza, which is an American Pale Ale from New Holland Brewery in Holland, Michigan, a bottle of which I cracked open once I returned home.

Paleooza was, in fact, the first beer New Holland ever produced when they opened in 1997 and was just re-released at the beginning of last year. Like the Best Brown Ale from Bell’s I reviewed and/or rambled on about a few months ago, Palelooza is neither the best beer its maker offers nor the best of its kind across all brewers.

It is, however, enjoyable in its balanced taste and acceptable for what I feel like it is trying to accomplish, that is, give the casual drinker a nice beer to session with or pair with food, preferably in New Holland’s awesome tap room smack dab in the midst of Tulip City, U.S.A.

If you do end up stopping by the brewery, be sure to wear wooden shoes, which a requirement for anyone visiting the town of Holland, the charming West Michigan hamlet on the coast of the most picturesque of the Great Lakes.

Beats the hell out of Lake Erie, am I right?

You should probably also learn how windmills work because that comes up a lot when you’re visiting the Dutchiest place outside of the Netherlands. That and be sure you know how to split a check based on how many people there are in your dining party.

NOTE: I have been instructed by Beer O’Clock GR and its legal department to inform you that Beer O’Clock GR would like it to be known that due to the fact that I, the author, am Dutch, it is therefore cool for me to make these jokes. Also, I’m not really saying anything that isn’t true.

So what exactly will you get if you pour a bottle of Paleooza into your favorite glass or that fruit bowl you stole from the dining room table because you got a little drunk watching the Red Wings game and wanted to pretend like your spouse’s favorite centerpiece was the Stanley Cup?

You’ll get an under powering, if not faint, aroma of fruitiness that smells sweet as you put your nose to it. Pouring it from “Lord Stanley’s Cup” past your lips and towards your taste buds, you’ll notice Paleooza has good carbonation but not too heavy of a mouthfeel. While you would think that the cascade hops from Michigan would be showcased in the beer, you’ll notice the pale malts just as much, but as I inferred before, the balance works. The beer, taken as a whole, proves crisp and refreshing.

If you feel the need to chase away your winter blues like I have recently, you could do a whole lot worse than heading to the store or to Holland, Michigan to pick up some Paleoozas from New Holland Brewery. Drinking a gallon of expired eggnog would be a far more ill-conceived venture, for example.

All that being said, I sincerely hope you had a happy holiday season and enjoyed this tale of a pale male and the pale ale he didn’t fail to inhale. Here’s to an awesome new year filled with good beer, good friends, and a whole lot less snow.

Cheers! Happy 2014!