"Mmmmm … beer."

Best Imported Beer

Best Michigan Microbrew

Think of Guinness as an especially potent milk shake. A drink you can chew. A drink and a meal. From the long wait for the pour and settle to the white moustache after your first sip, Guinness is more of an experience than just a beer. Let’s face it: Nothing looks cooler, and nothing tastes better.

There are two kinds of Guinness you can order from your favorite “pub” — draught (which is served either on tap or in a can) and extra stout (which comes in bottles). Rumor has it that beer scientists at Guinness spent years (and millions of dollars) designing the special “draught-flow cans” that create a draftlike head. It’s kind of like having a keg at home. How about that for commitment? Irish-themed bars, bad stereotypes and St. Patrick’s Day aside, Guinness has to be one of the best things to come out of Ireland.

And then we have the wonderful Kalamazoo Brewing Company right here in Michigan, makers of a tasty assortment of fine beers including Bell’s, Third Coast Beer and Oberon. According to its Web site, there are four regularly produced styles of Bell’s: Amber Ale, Pale Ale, Porter and Kalamazoo Stout. Each is a full-flavored, hoppy brew that seems to exude “Michigan.” We’re actually quite lucky, because outside of the Midwest the stuff is almost impossible to find. And while they last through the winter months, be sure to pick up a bottle of Bell’s Double Cream Stout. It’s a special winter beer that is sweet and thick, kind of like cream soda. Yum! Belly up to the bar and say, “Cheers!”

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