Brewvine: Dead Bear Brewing Company

Some interesting brews are coming out of the kettle at Dead Bear Brewing Company in Grayling and they are quickly becoming crowd favorites.

“That’s one that I brewed when we first opened,” said owner and brewer Travis Krebs. “It took me a while to figure out how to make a bigger batch of it on this bigger system but now it’s going to be a staple.”

Dead Bears’ Maple Bacon Porter started out as a small batch brew and has now become one of their most popular beers.

While bacon-infused beer may sound a bit strange, Travis says once you try it you’ll find it’s a very balanced and versatile beer.

“I take precooked bacon, throw it in a hop sock, and then throw it in the secondary fermentation for a few days and it pulls out some of that smoky flavor, but that’s a very popular beer,” he said. “The bacon kind of throws people off initially but the maple syrup kind of pulls it together, brings it back home. It’s not overly sweet. You can’t taste too much maple syrup, you know, it’s well balanced in that way.”

Another unique Dead Bear brew certainly lives up to its name.

Their Belgian monastery ale yeast gets added to a laundry list of sugary substances to create Sugga Bear.

“This season we have Sugga Bera, it’s a Belgian strong ale. It’s got tons and tons of sugar. I add marshmallows, maple syrup, honey, it gets some raisins, and also some turbinado sugar,” Travis said. “Basically ‘sugar in the raw’ type of stuff and then it get fermented over a couple weeks. It gets aged for a few weeks after that so that’s something that I try to brew as consistently as possible in the winter. Especially because it’s one of those stronger beers. It’s upwards of 10% alcohol. So yeah, that’s one of our favorites to do.”

Whether they’re brewing up a batch of bacon or loading up on sugar, the folks at Dead Bear are making unique beers that they love and having a lot of fun along the way.

“Sixteen pounds of marshmallows this thing gets,” he said. “I’m either ordering a case from our distributor or this morning I had forgot to do that so I went over to the store and they’re looking at me like I’m crazy with 16 bags of marshmallows like, ‘what’s this guy doing? Having a campfire in the middle of winter? so it’s a fun beer to brew.”

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