PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Tree Fort Beer Intro by Chris

Posted by ppna on March 25, 2008

My friend Chris B. wrote this review of the Tree Fort Release party at the Corner Brewery and he gave me permission to post it so here it is.

Chris B.

In an interesting partnership between beer and biking, Ypsilanti’s Corner Brewery hosted a joint release party on Feb. 21 for their new brew, Tree Fort Beer, and a fundraiser for the Michigan Mountain Biking Association, a 3,000-plus-member group that maintains over 1,000 miles of trail throughout Michigan.

            The collaboration links the Corner Brewery with Tree Fort Bikes through sponsorship of the bike shop’s race team and with the shop’s name gracing the label of the Corner Brewery’s newest beer. Matt Greff, head brewer and co-owner of the Corner Brewery, said the idea originated upon his first meeting with the bike store owners, after he took his mountain bike to the Whittaker Road shop for maintenance.

            “They asked if we’d be interested in sponsoring their team,” said Renee Greff, the Corner’s operational manager, co-owner and Matt’s wife. “We started talking with them about what kinds of beers work well after races. They wanted something that was light, but had enough flavor. So this is the recipe that we came up with together as the perfect beer to drink after a race, or, really, after any physical activity.”

            According to Marnie Tencate, executive director of the MMBA, it’s not uncommon for breweries to sponsor bike teams. She named off a half dozen Michigan breweries, including Bell’s, Dark Horse and Founders, which likewise sponsor bike teams.

            “You’d be hard pressed to find a brewery that wasn’t connected to a bike team,” Tencate said.

            Matt Greff described the beer as a hybrid between a German pilsner and English pale ale with wheat and victory malt added, which gives the beer a biscuit-like taste.

            “With this style of beer, you have the option of using an English hops or a German noble hops,” he said. “We decided to go the German noble hops route because I think it’s more quenching. The hops really stays in your mouth after the last swallow and that’s what we were going for.”

            Reaction to Tree Fort Beer from Corner Brewery regulars seemed positive.

            “I like it,” Archie Crawford, an Ypsilanti Township resident, said. “It reminds me very much of Bootleggers (a popular, but discontinued Corner Brewery beer), in particular because the finish reminds me of Cheerios.”

            Mug Club member Jeremy Baldwin agreed.

            “It’s lighter than the beer I usually drink,” he said. “I think it’ll be a good summer beer. I didn’t really realize that beer was such a biking fuel.”

            The MMBA sold special Tree Fort Beer pint glasses, which came with the first pint free and “happy hour” prices the rest of the evening, for $9 apiece as part of their fundraising. They also showed video from a 24-hour mountain bike relay that they organized.

            Matt Greff said he plans for Tree Fort Beer to be a year-round beer and six-packs will soon be available at local stores.

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