International Beer Day

International Beer Day is the first Friday in August, which makes it 8-3-18 this year.  It is an opportunity to raise a glass of beer in a toast to the brewers that make beer.  This event was first held in August of 2008, this year is the 11th anniversary of International Beer Day.

Let’s start with one of our most popular international beer items, Stella Artois.  Stella is a lager (bottom fermented beer that is made and stored at cooler temperatures) made in Belgium.  This beer is in our Family Fare ad this week and it is a great selling beer for us.

Stella has its roots in 1366 in a pub named Den Hoorn, or The Horn.  You can see the horn on the Stella labels today which honors their history.  The name sounds French due to its brewmaster, named Sebastian Artois in 1717.  The current style of Stella Artois that we drink today is more recent, developed in 1926. It was only produced in Canada, and was a Christmas style beer.  The Christmas style beer is what gave birth to the star on the label and the Stella which is Latin for star.  This beer is very easy drinking and has a pleasant flavor with a hint of honey.  The ABV is between 4.8 and 5.2%. Available in all Family Fare stores.

One of my favorite imported beer is Lion Stout from the Lion Brewery in Biyagama, Sri Lanka.  Lion Stout is made with British, Czech, and Danish malts, hopped with Styrian hops, and utilizes an English yeast.  This stout is delicious.  It has dark roasted barley as the base and has sweet notes of coffee and chocolate.  It is very easy on the palate but you need to exercise moderation with the 8.8% ABV. Available in Michigan.

Modelo Especial from Corona is a very hot beer right now.  It has been showing strong growth for the last three years.  A bold Mexican beer, Modelo is a classic, thirst quenching pilsner.  Crisp and sweet are what characterize this full-bodied beverage from Modelo.  ABV is 4.4% with 12 IBUs. Available in all Family Fare stores.

One of my first import beers was Newcastle, a brown ale that started in England.  Known as the working man’s beer in England, this brown is very tasty.  Newcastle started its life in 1927 by Colonel James Porter.  The colonel wanted to make a beer like Bass and tried for three years.  He gave up his venture and settled on this very good tasting brown ale.  The star on the bottle represents the 5 founding breweries of Newcastle.  This beer is now made in the Netherlands in order to allow for shorter lead times and swifter transportation to the U.S.  Low in hops, this beer is made with pale and crystal malts.  In England they still call this beer Dog or Broon.  The dog is referring to the British euphemism about seeing a man about a dog.  Broon is brown, the type of ale that is Newcastle. Available in all Family Fare stores.

The last two beer items are Mexican imports.  One is Sol and the other is Estrella Jalisco.  Both have the classic Mexican style that we love in the U.S.  Sol and Estrella are very refreshing, especially after roofing the house or mowing the lawn.  Both have an ABV of 4.5% and work best on our warm summer days. Sol is available in all Family Fare locations and Estrella Jalisco is available in Michigan and Nebraska.

Greg Vanoverloop Beer Wine Spirits Category Manager


Greg VanOverloop, Beer & Wine Specialist

  • Started in the Grocery business bagging at D&W in 1975.  Worked at D&W for 30 years in various departments.
  • Worked at SpartanNash for 11 years.  Currently the Category Manager for Wine/Beer/Spirits for SpartanNash East.
  • Have been a category manager since 1990 and a category manager of beer  since 1997.  CM of wine and spirits since 2007.
  • Have travelled extensively which provided the opportunity to taste many foods and beverages from Hong Kong to Caribbean, from California to Maine.
  • Love to cook, grill, and bake, snow ski, sail, and read books.    Best baked item – a bourbon pecan pie with rum crust.  Best grilled item – salmon with blueberry onion wine sauce and goat cheese.  Best cooked item – Squash Apple soup with bourbon.  Best ski slope – Go Devil at Keystone.  Best book – Wonder.
  • 1 wife, 3 children, 7.3 grandchildren.