Five brewers talk about what makes their brews unique

Ozone’s Brewhouse At Ozone’s Brewhouse, co-owner and brewer Kyle Malone is always experimenting with new beers, new flavors and new ingredients. Malone opened Ozone’s with his dad, Dan, in 2015 and set out to make unique yet drinkable craft beers at their Old Town location at 305 Beaver St. in Lansing. We sat down with Kyle Malone to talk beer.

Which beer should everyone try at Ozone’s? The Kryptonale, it’s our flagship beer. It’s a cherry vanilla amber. You might say cherry vanilla amber isn’t a real style, and technically it’s not, but it’s really a unique beer. We take an amber ale, and we use a tart cherry extract from King Orchards in Traverse City, and then we add real Madagascar vanilla beans. It works out great for the flavor but not so great for the brewer who has to split open all those beans.

Do you have an all-time favorite beer you’ve made?

The one I’m most proud of is Black Roses.

It’s an imperial stout aged in Four Roses Bourbon barrels. As a brewer, when you set out to brew a beer, you always have a specific goal in mind for what you want. We just really hit the nail on the head with that one and got exactly what we wanted out of it.

Do you have any seasonal beers in the works?

The one that’s currently on tap is called Pumptrickin; it’s our pumpkin ale. Once we run out of that, we’re going to put on our winter seasonal stout called “Chocolate Side of The Mint” and our summer seasonal is a cucumber Kolsch.

Ellison Brewery and Spirits Ellison Brewery and Spirits was founded in 2015 by high school friends Eric Elliot and Aaron Hanson. Realizing the untapped potential Lansing had for a craft beer brewery, the duo took it upon them selves to create a business plan and bring their vison to fruition. Now at 4903 Dawn Ave. in East Lansing, Elliot sat down with City Pulse to talk craft beer.

What’s a must-try beer that’s currently on tap?

I would recommend “You Can Get with That … Juice,” it’s our northeast-style double IPA. It clocks in at 9 percent ABV; it’s hazy and we don’t use any additives or adjuncts. It’s a very fruit-forward IPA with a nice bitterness just to remind you that it is an IPA.

What’s your favorite beer Ellison has brewed?

I’ve been on a pilsner and lager kick recently. We just made a lager called “Tailgate Crusher.” It’s 4.25 percent. Taking a break from double or triple IPAs or a huge stout is important to me.

Any new beers in the works, anything seasonal?

We’re currently in our winter seasonal, which is called “Itty Bitty Brown.” But we’re constantly rotating through beers; there’s always something new in the works. Since we opened, we’ve made over 120 beers. It’s usually about every month we come up with something new.

EagleMonk Pub and Brewery Dan and Sonia Buonodono opened EagleMonk Pub and Brewery in 2012, and ever since, they’ve been brewing a range of artfully crafted English-style beers. Located at 4906 West Mt. Hope Hwy in Lansing, we sat down with owner and manager Sonia Buonodono to chat about what’s on tap.

What’s a must-try beer on tap right now? The “Red Eye Rye” is Dan’s flagship beer and many customers’ favorite go-to beer.

Do you have a favorite beer you’ve brewed? “Instigator Doppelbock” is Dan’s favorite beer. “Megan’s Mango Wit” is my favorite beer.

You guys have a great name, where did it come from?

“Eagle” is a great symbol of America, and “Monk” represents monasteries that make great beer.

Lansing Brewing Co.

100 years ago, Lansing Brewing Company made beer for those who built Lansing. Today, head brewer Sawyer Stevens is doing it again. Serving a slew of traditional-style beers at their Stadium District location on 518 E. Shiawassee St., Stevens talks heritage and hops with City Pulse.

Which beer on tap would you suggest?

If I had to pick right now, I’d say the “Oktoberfest.” It’s more of a malty lager, it’s just over 5 percent and is very approachable. It’s a good solid beer that appeals to many people.

Do you have an all-time favorite beer you’ve made?

I go with whatever we’re brewing at the time. Right now, we have “Home Grown Harvest” ale on tap. One of our brewers went and picked up the hops in Goodrich, just south of Flint, brought them to the brewery, and we used them right when he got back. They come right from the vine, they’re not processed into pellets and we use them fresh. It is a little bit different being a fresh hop ale. The hops are softer so you get more flavor and aroma out of them, and you don’t get a ton of bitterness. There’s still some bitterness, but it’s much more flavor and aroma-driven.

Any other seasonal beers? We have a winter warmer that’s coming out in November called “SnowJob Winter Warmer.” It’s a 7 percent amber-ish brown ale with some spices in it, just what you’d want during the winter months.

Old Nation After brewing for 15 years at Detroit Brewing Co., Travis Fritts decided to open a brewery back home. So, in 2015, Fritts and business partner Nate Rykse opened Old Nation Brewing Company in Williamston at 1500 W.

Grand River Ave. City Pulse chatted with Fritts about his brew.

What’s a must-try beer at Old Nation? The “M-43” is pretty popular. It’s a New England IPA. It’s hazy, not particularly bitter and has a great deal of hop aroma and flavor. It happens to be one of the most popular beers in the state of Michigan right now. I think it caught a lot of folks’ attention as a drinkable beer in the context of IPAs, certainly.

Do you have an all-time favorite beer you’ve brewed at Old Nation?

We started out making traditional continental beers, and those are generally my favorite. I really like the “Detroit Dwarf,” which is an alt beer and the “Ten Penny Bit,” which was a Scottish Ale. But I really like the New Orthodox beers we’re doing now, which includes the “M-43” and the “Boss Tweed.”

Do you have any new beers in the works at the moment?

We’re trying to keep up with production of the “M-43.” It’s now at 100 Meijer stores in Michigan; it’s pretty much anywhere you can buy beer.