— Terry Davis, owner of Eaton Pub and Grille and Charlotte Brewing Company in Charlotte, has been brewing craft beers since 2009. In that time, they have created over 70 different craft beers. During the COVID-19 shutdown, they focused on creating another special beer for their customers. This craft beer is called “DogStar IPA” and is a collaboration between Charlotte Brewing and Dog Star Hops, an Eaton County hop yard only seven miles away from the brewery.

Jim Mikesell (Dog Star co-owner and CEO) has been discussing a beer partnership with Davis and Jasson Orbeck, the head brewmaster, for about year.

“We’ve found some success selling our hops to nearby breweries, which has been great, but it just seemed like a logical and natural fit for us to also partner with Charlotte Brewing, since we’re so close,” Mikesell said.

After last fall’s harvest, Dog Star provided fresh pelletized hops to Charlotte brewing, and that’s when Orbeck began researching what kind of special beer he wanted to make.

“I’ve worked with the crystal hops in the past, mainly from the Pacific Northwest,” Orbeck said. “The Dog Star crystal had a different profile, so I was anxious to create something unique, and I had a favorite malt that I thought it would really pair well with.”

What Davis and Orbeck came up with is a special “SMaSH” style IPA. “SMaSH” stands for using a “Single Malt and Single Hops.”

“We think it’s a very tasty, well-balanced American IPA, and we’re looking forward to seeing how well it’s received by our customers,” Davis said. “The neat thing is, when you drink this beer, you’ll be supporting two Charlotte businesses.”

Last month, Davis and Orbeck visited the hop farm to share the first samples of DogStar IPA. Based on how fast the samples were gone, it appears Orbeck got the recipe right, but the real proof will be customer acceptance.

Dog Star Hops is hoping to continue its partnership with Charlotte Brewing in the future. This year, they plan to plant new hop varieties that will create new brewing opportunities for all nearby breweries.

“We’re a smaller hop farm that is all about quality and service to our brewer customers,” Mikesell said. “Pride in the product is the fun in it for us.”

Now that the Covid-19 shutdown will soon be lifted, Charlotte Brewing and the Eaton Pub and Grille is looking to shift into full gear. Having an outside beer garden and seating area should help drive business. They weathered the shutdown by offering take-out food and growlers of their craft beer, but they miss personal contact with their customers. For more information, visit charlottebrewerymi.com or the “Dog Star Hops” Facebook page.

Article submitted by Dog Star Hops.