Learn a bit before taking a sip
This year, International Beer Day is on Friday, Aug. 2. Pubs and bars all around the world will be holding events to celebrate the beloved beverage.
Lansing has its fair share of microbreweries, and Looking Glass Brewing Co. is one of its newer additions. Lee Streeter, co-founder of Looking Glass, has loved beer for as long as he can remember. He first learned about homebrewing in the early ’90s and he was hooked as soon as he found out he could make his favorite type of beer (Sam Adams, at the time). In 1994, his wife Jodi bought him a kit as a present and he hasn’t stopped brewing since.
Around three years ago, the idea for Looking Glass Brewing Co. began to develop. Joel Dillingham, a friend of Jodi Streeter’s brother, approached Lee Streeter about the potential of opening a brewery. Dillingham handles the business side of things, while Streeter brews. They found a home for their new business in an old church building located in DeWitt.
Streeter has felt nothing but support from other local brewers. “We all try to help each other out. It’s not a competition; it’s a community,” said Streeter. “If I ever need anything, I can call Scott at Harper’s, or the guys I know at Dimes (Brewhouse), or BrickHaven (Brewing Co.) or Sanctuary (Spirits). Everybody helps everybody out.”
There are two basic types of beer: ales and lagers. Ales are most common in the craft brewing scene because they take less time to brew. While an ale can be ready in a couple of weeks, lagers may take well over a month because the fermentation is done at a colder temperature and they have to sit longer to smooth out the finish.
When installing all of their equipment, the folks at Looking Glass made sure to install enough fermenters to have both ales and lagers brewing at the same time. They do a type of brewing called all-grain, a process in which the brewer produces the sugars through malting the grains themselves as opposed to using a produced syrup. This gives the brewer control over the level of sweetness and flavor that the end product will have.
Looking Glass’ biggest seller is a cream ale that includes corn, and the name is a play on one of the most well-known brands. DBR, or DeWitt Blue Ribbon, is an approachable brew that is perfect for those who want to start trying local craft beers.
“It’s a beer that the guy who sits down at the sports bar to watch the basketball game and drink Miller, Bud Light, all of that, [will enjoy],” said Streeter. He also noted that it’s proof that, “you can make a really good, flavorful beer that anyone can drink.”
To learn more about Looking Glass Brewing Co., head to their page at facebook.com/LookingGlassBrewingCo.