When you travel for beer, you get to really see which trends pick up steam in each region you visit. Generally, it’d be fair to assume the current trends of hazy juice bombs and sours have developed some sort of traction pretty much anywhere you journey in the continental USA. However, one interesting element of a craft beer scene from where we recently returned is that the “haze craze” really hasn’t taken off there. That’s not to say that Michigan breweries aren’t making NEIPAs — especially as Old Nation is dominating hashtags on all platforms. It’s just that the good folk of the Mitten State are traditionalists at heart, and that’s what makes their state truly special.
If you watch, read or listen to any of our content, you’ll have noticed that Scott and I are huuuuge fans of the New England IPA style, so of course they were at the top of our list for our Michigan trip. Fortunately, as a result of scouring the Michigan Summer Beer Festival for murky beers, we managed to find some incredible ones from none other than Old Nation — but those guys aside (we’re coming for you next trip!) — it was quite the task. That is until we got to HOMES Brewery in Ann Arbor.
Owner Tommy and Head Brewer Nick have tastes a little more aligned with our own. We actually were in contact maybe a year ago when they were on a research trip cruising through Toronto, Montreal, New England and New York, hanging out with brewers they admire and picking their brains. While we never ended up hanging out, it was clear from the moment we all met that we were all cut from the same craft beer cloth. And it’s not like all they brew are hazy beers — almost the opposite, actually, but the hazy brews they do make are top notch.
The brewery itself is freakin’ awesome. Their sky blue shipping container on the roof stands out among the other buildings in Ann Arbor, and that aesthetic carries through to their branding and merch (which we noticed on more than a few beer fans at the festival we attended). Their range of beers were all super dope, and one quote from Tommy really resonated: “This will be the worst this beer will ever taste.” They constantly are working to improve their recipes and make the best beer they can. That mind-state is what’s going to help them win. Their popularity is already surging, and with barely six months in business, it’s exciting to be able to watch these guys grow.