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KBC Widow Maker Black Ale - Heaven In A Can

by Mark Evans

If you're like many, you firmly believe Craft Beer should be it's own food group.  I'd like to take a moment and introduce you to one of the best success stories; and one of the best Craft Beers in the Great Lakes:  The Keweenaw Brewing Company's Widow Maker Black Ale.

First, you need to be able to find this little bit of brewed heaven.  As of last check with the corporate offices in South Range, Michigan in the states Upper Peninsula; it's distributed in Michigan, Wisconsin, and limited portions of Minnesota (Thank God)

Don't let the name - or the appearance fool you!  This Black Ale has a light flavor with what the KBC calls clean and smooth, easy on the hops and easy on the palate; this light bodied ale has a surprising depth of malt flavors with pleasant hints of a smoky molasses.  It looks like a Stout, but drinks more like a Pilsner and goes well with any meal or after a round of golf on a hot day.

It's name, like all six KBC brands currently available on the market is based in the rich history of Michigan's U.P.  A Widow Maker isn't a bad stretch of road, rather it's a pneumatic (air-driven) drill was once used to help make mining ore more efficient. Compressed air was fed into the drill, which operated a piston that hammered the bit into the rock as it rotated in the chuck. Once the hole was deep enough, explosives were placed inside to break the ore into more manageable pieces. Water was not used in conjunction with this particular drill to lubricate the bit so a huge amount of dust was created. The drill earned the nickname “widowmaker” because many of the men who operated the drill died from illnesses related to inhaling too much dust.

Keweenaw Brewing Company began production in 2004 and is the hops-induced vision of Dick Gray and Paul Boissevain. Dick, a Michigan Tech graduate was looking for a way to return to the Copper Country. Paul, meanwhile, was introduced to – and seduced by – the crystal clear waters of nearby Lake Superior, the beauty of the surrounding area, and the small-town charm of Houghton, Michigan. The two men, whose passion for beer runs as deep as Superior, are the driving force behind Keweenaw Brewing Company. 

Don't be afraid of the Dark!!!  If you can find it, get it as cold as possible and enjoy.

Other KBC Brands:

Olde Ore Dock Scottish Ale

Pick Axe Blonde Ale

Lift Bridge Brown Ale

November Gale Pale Ale

Red Jacket Amber Ale