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Your Friday Drinking Instructions Stay In the Backyard

Today we look at four winter beers from around the country and right here in Ann Arbor.

Had enough of signing day coverage yet? It's enough to drive a guy to drink. Luckily, that's exactly what I'm going to help you do. Today, we're looking at a fantastic West Coast beer, a beer in honor of Derrick Green, and your Michigan-Indiana best-case and worst-case beers.

It's still winter. I'm on the West Coast. Luckily, I happened across Left Hand Brewing's Milk Stout. This thing is delicious. It's a Colorado brew, and I've been really impressed with the microbrews coming out of the Rockies lately. Left Hand has been making its way eastward for some time now, and it's a long time coming. This stout is really rich, but just rough enough to make you remember there are hops in it. Just a hint of vanilla and not too sweet. If you sniff it just right you get a hint of cappuccino.



The biggest news of the week in football recruiting came when Derrick Green finally went blue. The pride of Richmond, Virginia is coming to Ann Arbor - and another local gem, the Legend Brewing Company, will continue to pump out quality products. I've had most of their beers and like almost all of them, particularly their Brown Ale, but this time I tried their Winter White - an excellent wheat beer in the oft-imitated Blue Moon style. This one's much more refined, however, and has a stronger coriander and lemon taste. No need for any fruit in this one, fellas. Couldn't find a picture but it's darker than your average white.

There's a basketball game tomorrow night. Michigan's #1 ranking and control of the Big Ten hang in the balance. Oh, and we have to deal with Indiana fans. So, here's what I propose:

Start off with a Founders. Any Founders. I'm going with the porter. I don't know at this point. It's just a porter. But probably the best there is. Here, just gaze at its beauty:



This is the only beer I actually enjoy having a bit of a head with. It's super creamy and delicious and I'm not doing it justice just go have one.

On the off change things go south versus the Hoosiers, never fear - salvage your Saturday with a local brew - the Arbor Brewing Mackinac Fudge Stout. What I like about it is that it's fudgy. Fudgy beer usually doesn't work - think Guinness with some cocoa in it - because it gets too sweet and doesn't taste malty enough. That's why I like this stout so much - it's got the right amount of oatmeal, chocolate, and hops in it to balance each other out. It's dark, but less dark than the others on this list (except the white, of course). It also packs enough of a warming punch that it should counteract any negative emotions from the roundball tomorrow. Take a look-see:



Yes, yes, I know this is the wrong sport, but I'll leave you with this to get you in the proper Hoosier mindset: