Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tickets On Sale for Second Annual A2 Art & Brew

Mark your calendars for a fun and tasty event returning to downtown Ann Arbor this fall: A2 Art & Brew, a pub crawl-style fundraiser to benefit the Ann Arbor Art Center. The event takes place Thursday, October 2, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. and features beers from area breweries paired with savory (and sweet) snacks. Tickets are $50 if purchased before September 29 and $60 thereafter.

Here are more of the relevant details from the press release:
O&W Inc., a fourth-generation family-owned beer distributor based in Ypsilanti, has generously signed on as this year’s A2 Art & Brew title event sponsor. Again this year microbreweries and tasting locations will be paired with eight local artists, by joining two forms of art, the Art of Brewing and Visual Arts, together in a fun and relaxed atmosphere throughout downtown Ann Arbor in order to encourage new and continued support for the Art Center.
The evening will consist of patrons visiting partner microbreweries and tasting locations throughout downtown Ann Arbor in a “pub crawl” fashion. Participants will sample finely crafted artisan brews and tasty bites, while enjoying fun and original works of sidewalk chalk art along the pub crawl route, each specifically created for the evening’s event and inspired by the microbrewery and its showcased brew.

The evening events include a “text-to-vote” contest for Best Brew, Best Bite, and Best Original Sidewalk Chalk Art. There will be a $500 prize awarded to the artist with the largest number of votes received for “Best Original Sidewalk Chalk Art.”

Participating microbreweries and tasting locations include: Arbor Brewing, Kuhnhenn Brewing featured at Conor O’Neill’s, Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery, Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery at Mash Bar, Grizzly Peak at Old German Bar & Bierkeller, Original Gravity partnering with Katherine’s Catering at Bill’s Beer Garden, Wolverine State Brewing partnering with Laura’s Catering at the Ann Arbor Art Center as well as Alaskan Brewing, a featured brewery of O&W, also at the Ann Arbor Art Center.

Participating artists include: Chris Monaghan, Nick Farrell, Brian Little, Jean Spindler, Bonnie Henley, Natalie Gregorarz, Dani Raymond, and Julia Pollington.

The Ann Arbor Art Center is a 100+ year old locally based non-profit organization, whose mission is to support and engage the local art community, while “bringing visual arts to life.” The Art Center operates an exhibition space, a retail gallery store, and delivers art education in a variety of mediums from its downtown Ann Arbor location.

Event: A2 Art & Brew
Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Ticket Pricing: $50 before September 29, $60 after

Tickets can be purchased online at; in person at the Ann Arbor Art Center, 117 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor 48104, or by calling the Art Center at (734) 926-4122.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Every Two Weeks in Beer: Change in the Air – And Your Glass

Seasons may change, but good beer remains.

Change is in the air. The roads, sidewalks, bars, and restaurants are all more crowded, thanks to throngs of students who, like swallows to Capistrano, dependably return to our fair city en masse at the same time every year. Not only that, but the astute observer will have noted the slow withdrawal on tap of various wheats, wits, and other lighter beers in favor of browns, porters, pumpkin beers, and more fall faves. It’s just another reminder of the natural cycle, as well as beer’s long and storied place within it. Be a part of the cycle! Here are some ideas on how.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dispatches from the BBC: There Finally Is a There Here, Part 2

The second of what will hopefully be more than two posts from the 2014 Beer Bloggers Conference in San Diego, California.

When last we left our intrepid explorer he had visited Golden Road Brewing and Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles. But that was not all the night held in store for this Midwestern naïf. At the time most respectable people were considering turning in for the evening, the bus of nocturnal adventure was hurtling him toward destiny, in the form of The Bruery's barrel warehouse.

This place is in the middle of some dark, nondescript, industrial park nowheresville in Anaheim. Mickey Mouse doesn't even know where it is. As someone on the bus said, "This is where you go to dump bodies." Yet Cambria Griffith and the Bruery crew left the light on for us in the inky blackness, just like the unnamed woman in Hotel California welcomed Don Henley's narrator for the night.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dispatches from the BBC: There Finally Is a There Here

The first of what will hopefully be more than one post from the 2014 Beer Bloggers Conference in San Diego, California.

Of her hometown of Oakland, California, Gertrude Stein famously remarked, "There is no there there." The same could be said of the craft beer scene in Los Angeles. During my last visit in 2009, I searched high and low for a brewery anywhere in this sprawling megalopolis of nearly four million souls. The result was a big, fat goose egg. Could hardly even find a decent beer bar. This, in the largest city in the very state that launched the American beer renaissance? There really was no there here, and most Angelenos didn't seem to notice or care.

I'm happy to report the situation has changed in the past few years, as I got to see during a pre-conference excursion around several of the City of the Angels' new and growing breweries. First up was Golden Road Brewing Co., situated in an industrial campus located somewhere in a lot of traffic. (Seriously, man, the traffic here.)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Every Two Weeks in Beer: Summer’s Almost Gone

Epic competition returns to Ann Arbor this fall. Not Michigan football --
I mean Vinology's Beer vs. Wine Dinner! But yeah, Michigan football, too.

As the summer wanes, the unmistakable signs of the coming fall appear around town. The return of the students, the beginning of another football season, and the reappearance of autumnal ales are harbingers of the cooler days and nights ahead. It’s all part of the natural cycle, so why not go out and enjoy it? Here are a few suggestions on where and how.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Every Two Weeks in Beer: Capping Off Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week

Hopman and sidekicks Beer Boy and Yeast Girl celebrate at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival July 26 in Riverside Park in Ypsilanti.

The sturm und drank of Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week continues, with more tappings and tastings than space and/or my short attention span allow me to list here. Readers are encouraged to check out the YABW schedule at, which also includes many in-store events at such notable places as The Wine Seller on Plymouth Rd. and the newly redesigned and reopened Blue Front on Packard St. In the meantime, here are some key highlights to help you cap off (see what I did there?) a great week for beer, local or otherwise.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Busch's to Host Violin Monster Autumn Ale Release Party


The latest news just in from over the transom:

Busch’s Fresh Food Market will be highlighting Ann Arbor’s oldest brewery and its most popular street musician at a special in-store promotion at their Main Street Ann Arbor location on from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22. The Arbor Brewing Company Violin Monster Release Party is part of the company’s Local Supporting Local initiative, which aims to leverage Busch’s purchasing and promotional strength in Southeast Michigan to help support and promote local businesses and nonprofits.

According to Busch’s Fresh Food Market Chairman John Busch, “Local Supporting Local is about mutual benefit; helping others succeed is good business. By supporting one another, we help strengthen the local economy. We help to shape and enrich our neighborhoods. We build relationships, fuel innovation, and help preserve and enhance the character of our region. To paraphrase an old saying, when you light a lamp for someone else, it also brightens your path.”

The event will build upon a partnership forged last fall between Ann Arbor’s favorite fiddle-playing werewolf and Arbor Brewing Company with the release of their very popular Violin Monster Autumn Ale. “Making a beer for the Violin Monster was without a doubt the coolest collaboration we’ve ever done,” said ABC founder and co-owner Matt Greff. “We were caught off guard a little by the popularity of the beer last year and ran out before the end of September. But this year we’re ready and could not be more excited about kicking off the season with our friends at Busch’s and the Violin Monster himself.”

This free event will feature performances by the Violin Monster along with samples of ABC’s Violin Monster Autumn Ale, their brand new Hoptown Brown IPA, and several other ABC beers. Guests will have the opportunity to take photos with the Violin Monster, meet the owners of Arbor Brewing Company, and walk away with cool Violin Monster gear and recipes. All ages are welcome but sampling is restricted to those 21 and older.