Season 2 of Beerland came to a sweet, spicy and a little bit of a salty conclusion with Meg Gill, host and Golden Road Brewing co-founder, announcing Man-Go-War Wheat Ale as the winning beer that was brewed by Michael Flinn and Jonathan Billings in Florida. The first taste of the creative beer was enjoyed by guests at Golden Road Orange County as they watched the season finale of Beerland on Viceland.
Season 2 saw Meg visiting homebrewers from; Florida, Detroit, Alabama and Portland and while this is a beer competition, every state has a story that is generally as good as good as the beer. While the 24 minutes that Meg gets to tell the story of the homebrewers in each state is simply not enough time, she said, “We are trying to pull people in to learn about beer and hopefully this is just a start for them.” One episode is enough to get you hooked. Once you are hooked you will keep coming back for more and you not only are going to learn about beer, you are going to be entertained each and every episode.
The episode in Florida had a little more than just tasting some beers, as Meg landed right as hurricane Irma was about to hit.
“While I was on the flight it was like ‘hey these guys are boarding up and these guys in particular are part of that process as lifeguards and helping up boarding up houses, so they are the most prepared, so they said you can come as long as you know we are getting ready for the storm’,” Meg said.
What might seem like a dream life, being a lifeguard and brewing beer with friends and then drinking it at your lifeguard tower beer tap also comes with more than its fair share of drama when you live in Florida. Michael and Jonathan had their hands full as they were boarding up houses and still trying to wow Meg with what turned out to be the winning beer. Nothing like blueberries, mango, jabanero and a little salt water to push the boundaries of your beer brewing ability.
“We had tried this beer at a few events and we thought guys would like it with the habanero, but it seemed like the girls liked it more and we got a lot of feedback, the way it plays with your senses, your nose gets the blueberry, the mango in your mouth and then you swallow the habanero. This was the only the third time we ever brewed this beer,”
“I got to try all of their beers and all of their beers were phenomenal, but I was glad they submitted this one. when you think of a brewer trying to do a lot of things you worry that it is going to get muddled together and you won’t get the nuances that you want this beer is like a perfect journey. I hadn’t found that kind of journey of a beer within Beerland before, as soon as I drank it, so much of it is do you deliver on what you say you are going to do with a beer and that is how you win with beer in general whether you are a homebrewer or you are at Golden Road. It was such a unique idea
If saving lives as a lifeguard wasn’t enough, Michael and Jonathan also give back with their beer. “We do multiple shows per year for Halo, and the Clean Water Project,” Michael said. Halo is a no kill shelter that helps animals from hurricane rescue. People leave their houses so quickly and they have to leave a lot of the pets behind and volunteers go in and rescue these animals.
“Our thing with beer is that it draws people in and once you get them there you can give them your message,” Jonathan said.
In addition to her hurricane adventure in Florida, Meg also got experience the beer wackiness and uniqueness of Portland, the revitaliztion and growth of craft beer in Detroit and visited Alabama, the last state to legalize home brewing.
“Being there (Alabama) you just get a love and appreciation of the stuff we take for granted everyday,” Meg said.
If you want to try a really flavorful and well done beer, go out and grab some Man-Go-War and if you want to find out the story behind this and many other wonderful homebrew beers, tune into Beerland.