Batch 69 | Frankenmuth Brewery

6.9% ABV | 69 IBU

The World Expo of Beer, largely considered Michigan's biggest beer-tasting event, took place on May 15 and 16 in Frankenmuth's Heritage Park. Beers from around the world were sectioned off into 29 categories and the winners of each took home top honors.

This year 461 beers from 63 different breweries were entered into the expo. Sixty-one beers were entered into the IPA category alone. And a Michigan brand won out.

Frankenmuth Brewery's Batch 69 American IPA is the beermaker's flagship IPA. Unlike some of the brewery's other beers, this American IPA is available year-round in stores and on draft. It also recently underwent some recipe changes.

"I decided to tweak the recipe by using a couple different hop varieties and also dry-hopping it, which wasn't done before," Frankenmuth's brewmaster Steve Buszka said in a release. "The IBUs are exactly the same and it still holds up to the 69 IBUs. But now, the hops are put in the boil at a different point in time, so it has more of a balanced flavor on your palate, as opposed to single-note bitterness."

The changes pleased the IPA category's judge and Batch 69 was awarded the gold medal for best IPA. Bell's Brewery's Two Hearted Ale came in second behind Batch 69, taking home the silver medal. No bronze medal was awarded in the category, according to Joe Osberger, Frankenmuth Brewery's operations manager.

The beer is named Batch 69 after the number of IBUs in this brew as well as its 6.9 percent alcohol by volume. The American IPA has a medium-light body and an intense hop flavor and aroma. With hints of citrus, flowers, and pine, it's best served with strong, spicy, and bold foods.

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