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Posts Tagged ‘jeff coon’

Holy Twisted Hellas: Frankenmuth Brewery Adds New Lager Style Beer To Repertoire

Posted on: June 15th, 2012 by Frankenmuth Brewery No Comments

When inspiration strikes for Frankenmuth Brewery brewmaster Jeff Coon, family is often near, and such was this case when he created a new lager style beer for the brewery. “This is a beer I made with my daughter back in January. We made this beer for her birthday,” Coon said of the brewery’s brand new Michigan beer.

lager-style-beerDubbed the Twisted Hellas, it was Coon’s daughter who influenced her father on the direction of Frankenmuth’s latest Michigan beer. “It was my daughter’s idea to add the lemon and orange zest. It gives it a very subtle citrus taste on the backend of the beer,” Brewmaster Coon said when describing the lager style beer. The name Twisted Hellas plays on the fact that traditional German hellas wouldn’t use these extra ingredients. “It wouldn’t exactly be kosher with German brewing laws,” Coon adds.

Combining the traditional German lager style beer and the taste of a summer shandy, the Twisted Hellas is the perfect brew for a hot summer day. “It’s basically a German shandy,” Frankenmuth Brewery Wholesale Marketing Coordinator Charles Osberger says. “It’s not the usual 50/50 split of beer and lemonade. In fact, there is no lemonade in it at all.” Instead of mixing the Michigan beer with lemonade, like a typical shandy, the beer follows closely in line with German tradition, but Coon lets the natural orange and lemon flavors do some of the talking on the back end.

With only ten barrels of this lager style beer made to last all summer, the supply is short and should be sold out quickly. Available both in a glass at the brewery or in a growler for take home purposes, the Twisted Hellas is perfect for hot weather and pairing with seafood and chicken. “It would go great with a nice light salad with a light vinaigrette, maybe with chicken or salmon on it.” In fact, Coon also divulged that the brewery is in the midst of planning a seafood boil based around the beer.

Whether you are looking to do you own seafood boil or just want to drink in the perfect summer time beer, the new lager style beer from Frankenmuth Brewery named the Twisted Hellas will be sure to excite your tastebuds. Come visit Frankenmuth Brewery today and pick up this limited Michigan beer while supplies last.

BrewChief Interviews Frankenmuth Brewmaster Jeff Coon

Posted on: May 16th, 2012 by Frankenmuth Brewery No Comments

BrewChief, JeffCoona community run by brew reviewers from around the globe, offers a social network for beer drinkers to document their love or detest for products from microbreweries all over. As a part of its mission to have an impact in the brewing industry, the website is currently running a recurring interview series that shines a light on the underrated masters of the brewing universe: brewmasters. Recently, BrewChief took the time to interview Frankenmuth Brewery Brewmaster Jeff Coon, gaining some insight on his favorite beer to brew, what he thinks of the beer reviewing process and his advice for those new to the craft beer segment.

What is your favorite style of beer to brew?

A Märzen Oktoberfest … hands down, because it was the first beer that I learned how to make. I enjoy the tradition behind the style, it being a true lager and incorporating the multi-stepped mash process makes this brew complex and really fun to make. I brewed my first Oktoberfest in April 1972, when I was 13. From a stylistic standpoint, I believe my Oktoberfest
is true to what Oktoberfest was and is today.

What are your favorite beers outside of your own?

Outside of the brews I make there are quite a few different ones that I really enjoy. Dogfish Head 90 & 120 minute IPAs are a few brews that I think are pretty sweet and I really enjoy. Russian River Pliney the Elder is another one of my favorites. Anybody that can brew a good German style Pilsener is always nice, I love that style of beer, and I just think it’s great. I also like all the Stone Vertical Epic series brews, they’ve all been good! I’m looking forward to trying Sam Adam’s Utopias.

In Michigan, I really enjoy Founder’s KBS, and New Holland Poet (I like to age my bottles for 16-18 months). I’m also a fan of Dark Horse Plead the 5th Imperial Stout.I love talking to people about beer because it’s the most underrated celebratory beverage, my love of beer and passion for brewing grows every time I am able to introduce a new style to their palate.

How do you feel about beer reviewing and its impact on the industry?

I think it’s new … It’s a new thing starting to catch on. I think it’s a good thing and I think it could potentially impact the market, but right now even when I see a bad review of a beer I still try it anyways. Nothing is better than watching and talking to people that enjoy the beer I get to make.
It’s a bummer when people review styles that they don’t particularly enjoy or understand. A person who isn’t a beer judge might not understand or appreciate the style or attributes of a certain brew that they don’t normally drink. I’m not sure it’s helpful for them to be reviewing without knowing or being able to detect the stylistic truths of the beer. For instance, personally I’m not the biggest Hefeweizen fan, but I have brewed it for a long time and I think that I can sit down and appreciate what a true Hefe should taste, smell, and look like. Therefore I could confidently review another brewer’s Hefe.

However, I think people who are stuck on their favorite brew and can’t appreciate stylistically different beers are going to miss the point and artistry behind the brewer’s efforts. This may happen more frequently with new craft beer reviewers. If somebody would come up with a guide book or e-book to review beers that would be cool because then novices would know how to describe what their tasting. I want to know, what is it that you really taste? If you’re reviewing a brew, you should be able to recognize and describe the beer compared to its stylistic tendencies. A great beer reviewer is able to figure out what their tasting and communicate it in such a way that other people can almost taste it. When it comes to reviews, the more beer knowledge people incorporate the better.

How does it feel to have your beers reviewed on sites like BrewChief?

I think it’s a great thing! Even the people that don’t see the beer in a highly positive light, I still think it’s a good thing. Because it’s all about exposure and I think that my beer is easy to enjoy and appreciate and therefore the more people to try it, the more people that can make a decision about that particular style. If you enjoy my German Hefeweizen then maybe you’ll go and try another German style Hefeweizen. There are Brewer’s all over the country striving to make stylistically true beers and for me that’s awesome! Don’t get me wrong, I also appreciate the art and creativity behind craft brews like the stuff Right Brain Brewery is making, it’s really cool.

What advice would you give to a new craft beer fan?

The advice I would give is … Don’t get stuck on one style. Try a variety of brews to get your palate used to or exposed to all the different styles around the world. If you try a wide range of styles then your palate is able to appreciate a greater selection and even a few of those bastard styles you might come across. You’ll be able to go anywhere and find a brew that you can sit down and really truly enjoy. See how different breweries make their beers, it’s all about appreciating the art and science behind brewing as well as the creative craft the brewer is putting into each batch.

Thanks to BrewChief for taking the time to interview our own Jeff Coon. Visit their website for more great beer features.

Happy New Beers: Frankenmuth's Limited Run Dark Stout for the New Year

Posted on: December 29th, 2011 by Frankenmuth Brewery No Comments

Happy New Beers: Frankenmuth's Limited Run Dark Stout for the New YearJeff Coon, Frankenmuth Brewery’s brewmaster, is continually creating the fine beer that is available for consumption in both the brewhouse/restaurant and in your own home. For those indoctrinated in his brewing magic, it’s obvious the man is capable of creating an amazing beer. In celebration of 2012, Coon has created a dark stout that will be available in limited quantity for the first few weeks of the New Year.

Dubbed the New Years Stout, Coon has spent the waning days of December not only developing and brewing the beer, but also creating all new labels for the limited edition one liter bottles. The brewmaster is happy to report that the beer is done “getting happy in the kegs” and the bottling process had began as of Monday, December 26. With a release date of January 3 set in his sights, Frankenmuth’s brewmaster is extremely excited about his new low-run craft beer.

Just how limited is this special batch of New Years Stout? Only 801 bottles will be released to the Metro-Detroit area with a few being reserved for distributors. Don’t question Coon though about how he came up with the magic bottle count. Why such an odd number? “Because I can,” says the self proclaimed Brew Pastor. Adding to the level of rareness, Coon will be hand-signing each bottle. Visit the Frankenmuth Brewery to pick up your special bottle of New Years Stout or contact your local beer shoppe about its availability before they are all snapped up. Have a safe and Happy New Beers … er, Years.

Michigan Winter Beer Festival

Posted on: December 2nd, 2011 by Frankenmuth Brewery No Comments

One nice thing about Michigan winters: the Michigan Winter Beer Festival!

Tickets for the Michigan Brewers Guild’s seventh annual officially went on sale December 1, and if the size and success of the Detroit Fall Beer Festival was any indication, this is one event Michigan beer enthusiasts won’t want to miss.

Along with Frankenmuth Brewery, the Brewers Guild expects more than 50 other Michigan breweries peddling over 300 different beers!

Brewmaster Jeff Coon is already considering which seasonals Frankenmuth will have on hand at the event, though the Winter Bock Lager and Baltic Style Porter Lager will almost certainly be in attendance. If you love Michigan beer, shouldn’t you be too?

Winter Beer Festival

Michigan Beer Blogger Event

Posted on: October 24th, 2011 by Frankenmuth Brewery No Comments

We at Frankenmuth Brewery decided to craft an event at our brewery specifically for beer bloggers in Michigan. On Thursday, October 20, 2011, bloggers from all over the state of Michigan attended for a private tour and enjoyed a 6-course menu featuring fabulous Frankenmuth beer pairings!

Blogger Event Invitiation    Brew House

Haithem Sarafa greeted the beer bloggers with a warm welcome to the brewery.  The private tour began in the Brew House, where brew master Jeff Coon revealed the method to his beer-making madness.  He educated the beer bloggers on how craft beer is made in the brewery.

Following the tour was a perfectly paired six-course menu, made specifically for the event.  Each course consisted of a Frankenmuth Beer alongside a delectable dinner plate.  Jeff and the Brewery chefs developed the menu together, making sure each beer and food pairing complemented one another perfectly. The 6-course menu was as follows:

  1. Red Sky Ale, paired with Alpine Canape. Herb goat cheese and mushroom crostini, drizzled with a savory mushroom demi.
  2. Batch 69 IPA, paired with a shrimp and lobster gumbo. A traditional creole specialty with the brewer’s touch.
  3.  Frankenmuth Pilsener, paired with bleu cheese stuffed figs wrapped with bacon and prosciutto, drizzled with a mint raspberry vinaigrette on a bed of fresh greens.
  4. American blonde Ale paired with melon sorbet topped with pineapple compote!
  5. Munich Style Dunkel Lager paired with Elk flambeed with brandy, atop caramelized parsnips with a red currant and mushroom reduction. An edible flower too!
  6. Hefeweizen Ale alongside a Toffee Fig Creme Brulee.  A traditional French dessert with a caramelized sugar glass lid topped off with figs and toffee pieces.


Red Sky Ale

Red Sky Ale

Batch 69 IPA

Batch 69 IPA

Munich Style Dunkel Lager

Munich Style Dunkel Lager

Frankenmuth Brewery Chefs

Frankenmuth Brewery Chefs

The feedback from the meal was so outstanding, many of the dishes may even be added to the restaurant’s normal menu!  Head chef Taffy Cline shared a recipe from the Brewery menu with the beer bloggers, that uses Frankenmuth beer as an ingredient. Try it for yourself at home!




First you will want to Julienne all of the onions first. Then in a large pot pour in the vegetable oil, garlic and bay leaves. When the oil is hot put in the onions and stir it up to coat the onions. (If you feel you need a little more oil the go ahead but sparingly). Cover the pot with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil to help sweat the onions. Sautee the onions until they are all browned. (As they begin to brown they will go very quickly, so turn down your heat). After all of the onions have turned brown, make a whole in the onions to see the bottom of the pan. Pour in the red wine. The red wine should sizzle as it goes in and this will also help to loosen all of the wonderful flavors that were on the pan. Let the wine reduce slightly and then add the beef stock and the oregano. Now, if you like your soup to be thick with onions; cut back on the amount of stock, and if you like more broth then add more stock. Let the stock begin to simmer and then turn your fire down to low and add the Dunkel beer. The soup itself is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165* F. Pour into a bowl, top with croutons, top the bowl with your choice or swill, provolone, Gruyere or even mozzarella cheese. Place in broiler part of oven until cheese us just turning brown and serve.

After you add the beer you will want to taste it as you keep going. Sometimes the beer may reduce too much and then become over bearing. Always taste your foods as you cook: Remember- you can always add more ingredients but you can not take them out.

View the photo gallery on our Frankenmuth Brewery Facebook page for more event photos!

Brew Master Jeff Coon

Brew Master Jeff Coon

Shoutout to Michigan Beer Blog, I’m a Beer Hound, and Motor City Brew Tours!

I'm a Beer Hound

Motor City Brew Tours

How is Craft Beer Made?

Posted on: October 12th, 2011 by Frankenmuth Brewery No Comments

There is no man more qualified to explain how craft beer is made than Jeff Coon, Brewmaster at Frankenmuth Brewery. The second oldest brewery in the country, Frankenmuth Brewery has been beer brewing on the same site in Frankenmuth, Michigan since 1862. Watch this informative how to brew walkthrough to learn the basics of beer making!

Frankenmuth Brewery Staff


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