Monday, October 15, 2018

Celebrate Halloween with a Beer Dinner or Three

"Hey, Bob, when is the food coming out? I'm wasting away here!"

Fall in Michigan is in full swing, and that means a couple things: harvest time and Halloween. Also, beer. Three area eateries are blending all these things together in ticketed events coming up later this October.

First up is the Fillmore Bar and Grill (formerly Terry B's) in Dexter and their Halloween-themed beer dinner on October 24. Tickets are $50 and include five courses and a welcome beer. Pairings include brews from Arbor Brewing, Dark Horse, Jolly Pumpkin, New Holland, North Peak, and Witch's Hat. Call 734-426-3727 to reserve your place, and take a look at the full menu here (warning: pdf).

On October 25, the Carlyle Grill in Ann Arbor is hosting a four-course dinner with beers from Wolverine State Brewing Co. The menu hasn't been published, but you can get tickets (for $35) here. (On a side note, Wolverine's release party for their Massacre Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lager is October 27 at the taproom.)

Finally, Ollie Food + Spirits in Ypsilanti is teaming up with Bell's Brewery for an October 29 Halloween beer dinner. Four courses of harvest-inspired food will be paired with such brews as Larry's Latest Fruit Ale, Two Hearted Ale, Arabicadabra Coffee Milk Stout, Third Coast Ale, and Black Note Stout. Tickets are $45 (or $80 for two) and can be purchased here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Wolverine Brings Home Two Medals from the 2018 GABF

Wolverine's brewing team is no stranger to awards.

By now, you've probably heard the news. Here's the official press release from the horse's mouth:

Wolverine State Brewing Co. is pleased to announce that it has been awarded two medals in this year’s Great American Beer Festival competition: a silver medal for NZ Pils and a bronze medal for Raucher Smoked Lager. Presented by the Brewers Association, the GABF is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States. The medals were awarded on Saturday, September 22, in Denver, Colorado. 
NZ Pils is a delicate pilsner recipe made with light colored European malts and 100% Nelson Sauvin Hops from New Zealand. The unique light fruit and white wine character of these New Zealand hops helps give this lager a distinguishable hop profile compared to traditional pilsners. The beer was developed by Brewmaster Oliver Roberts in 2017. It is being brewed this week and will be available in the taproom soon. 
Raucher is a smoked lager built on a base of German Beechwood smoked malt. True to its style, it boasts a balanced profile of smoke, malt sweetness, and hop bitterness. The beer was developed by Brewmaster Oliver Roberts in 2015. It is currently available in the Tap Room. 
The medals constitute the second and third for Wolverine State in the GABF. Past awards for the brewery include a gold medal at the GABF in 2016, a bronze medal in the World Beer Cup in 2016 and several medals from the World Expo of Beer. That medal count is composed of 23 medals in a wide variety of categories, including a full category sweep of the Euro Malty Lager category in 2018. Gulo Gulo IPL was also named one of DRAFT magazine’s Top 25 Beers of 2013. 
The Great American Beer Festival takes place every year. This year, over 2,400 breweries entered beers into competition. Of the 8,496 beers entered, 306 were awarded medals. Wolverine State’s medals were two of nine medals awarded to Michigan breweries. 
Wolverine State Brewing Co. was founded in 2006 by longtime friends and Ann Arborites Matthew Roy and Trevor Thrall. Production began at 2019 W. Stadium in early 2010 under the direction of Brewmaster Oliver Roberts, and the Tap Room opened at that same location later in 2010. Wolverine State, the leader of the Lager Revolution, specializes in creating balanced, unique, and innovative lagers, and boasts a portfolio of more than 200 varieties.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales + Kitchen Opens in Dexter

Peep this important press release that came in over the transom:

The latest Jolly Pumpkin location opened its doors Thursday, September 6, at their production brewery in Dexter. 
Unique from the rest of the company’s portfolio, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales + Kitchen will focus on seasonal fare and have a rotating menu that will change every month or so. A variety of cultural influences will be reflected on the menu. Chef Maggie Long recently traveled to South Korea to work alongside the culinary staff at Playground Brewery, an affiliate brewery of Jolly Pumpkin. The menu will showcase some Korean fusion with items like Deviled Eggs with kimchi and bacon, and Korean BBQ Pizza. Vegetarian options will be plentiful on the menu, including shareable items like Beet “Elote” and a Kabbouleh Salad, or entree items like a Shiitake “Chorizo” Taco. 
Naturally, the menu will also lend itself to beer pairings. The 30 taps currently in place at the brewery’s existing taproom will continue to pour the freshest and most current Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, North Peak brews, and Nomad ciders. 
“Opening a restaurant here in Dexter has been a long time coming. Maggie does such a phenomenal job in the kitchen and we are so happy she will be in Dexter,” said Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Co-Founder Laurie Jeffries
 “For me, this means so much because it’s all coming full circle,” shared Chef Maggie Long. 
Long started with Mission Restaurant Group at Grizzly Peak in the late '90s, where Ron Jeffries was the brewer at the time. Ron and his wife Laurie went on to open Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and Maggie eventually became the head chef at Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery in Ann Arbor. “I’m excited to be joining Ron and Laurie in Dexter. It feels like I’m coming home. With this new restaurant, I look forward to becoming part of the community here,” said Long. 
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales + Kitchen is open Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. -11 p.m., and closed Sunday and Monday. The restaurant is fast casual and features a pool table, shuffleboard, and games for kids. The new restaurant will host weekly trivia nights, showcase local sporting events on TV, and have an event space for parties or private events. Mug Club members, of the existing Null Taphouse and Bottleshop, will continue to receive the same membership benefits.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Celebrate Oktoberfest in Downtown Ann Arbor September 28-29

Rumor has it that Arbor Brewing founders Matt and Rene Greff will be in town for Oktoberfest.

It's Oktoberfest time again in Ann Arbor, and that means a party on Washington Street. On September 28-29, the downtown avenue will be blocked off to through traffic so that revelers can enjoy Oktoberfest parties at both Arbor Brewing and Grizzly Peak.

Arbor's event begins at 5 p.m. Friday outside the brewpub and includes live music from The Rhinelanders (no cover), dancing, games, and German-inspired fare and (duh) beer. The party goes until midnight, and picks up again Saturday at 3 p.m., again going to midnight. Rumor has it that Arbor founders Rene and Matt Greff, currently enjoying a nomadic intercontinental existence, will make an appearance sometime Friday night.

On the other side of Main Street, Grizzly Peak's bash runs the same hours as Arbor's, and includes live entertainment, games (including giant beer pong!), and – you guessed it – German-style beer and food. This year, Grizzly is offering a limited number of advance VIP tickets: $50 for one day ($75 for both) includes five food/drink tickets (10 for the two-day pass), an Oktoberfest t-shirt and commemorative bracelet, and a souvenir "boot" glass. Call the brewery at 734-741-7325 or stop in to reserve your tickets.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ashley's Teams Up with Bell's to Celebrate 35th Anniversary

Before craft beer was cool, before there was a multi-tap bar on every corner in every city, before many Millennial beer snobs were even born... there was Ashley's in Ann Arbor. For 35 years, this cozy little campus gem has been slinging suds from around the world, and now they're teaming up with Michigan's largest brewery, Bell's, to host a five-day anniversary celebration September 16-20.

The fun begins Sunday, September 16, with the 5 p.m. release of Ashley's 35th Anniversary Ale, an imperial oatmeal stout specially brewed by Bell's for the occasion. On Monday, September 17, Bell's will be on hand to help host Sporcle live trivia games at 7 and 8 p.m. and give cool brewery swag to all the big brained people. Tuesday, September 18, brings a ticketed event, Bell's Barrel Aged Flight, from 6-10 p.m. (For more info and to get tickets, which are $20, go here.) On Wednesday, September 19, dig a Bell's Brewery Happy Hour from 6-8 p.m. featuring, for $10, four beer samples paired with various appetizers. Finally, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, there's a yet-to-be-named "mystery tapping," with clues to be provided as the appointed time approaches (follow Ashley's on Facebook).

As if all that weren't enough, 20 different Bell's drafts – including specialties like L'Appel Du Vide Blackberry Ale, Honey Hearted Ale, and Smoked Stout – will be rotating throughout the week. (See the full tap list here.)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Grizzly Peak Brewer's Night Returns September 4

Following a summer hiatus, Brewer's Night returns to Grizzly Peak this coming Tuesday, September 4. And it's bigger and better than ever! Not only can you force head brewer Duncan Williams to give you a tour of his workspace, you can enjoy a mug or two of Burton-Brussels Express (aka BBX), a wood-aged and dry-hopped version of Peak mainstay Sheerwater IPA. Even better, if you like it, you can take advantage of the bottle release and bring some home with you for later.

The fun goes from 6-9 p.m. and includes groovy prizes like t-shirts, hats, glassware, and maybe some other stuff. Feeling peckish? Happy hour food specials run all night. Be there or be... somewhere else. But obviously somewhere else not as cool.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Zwanze Day at Jolly Pumpkin Is September 29

Good news, fellow beer dorks! Zwanze Day is returning to the NULL Taphouse Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales + Kitchen September 29.

For the third year running, Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels (the city, not the sprouts) has chosen Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter as one of the few, the proud, the sites to host this unique, global event. (If you don’t know what Zwanze Day is or why it’s a big deal, you can read about the past two years’ events here and here.)

Tickets are $100 ($10 for designated driver) and include a commemorative glass and 20 drink tickets (pours are 4 oz). Beers will be available from plenty of awesome breweries, many of whom are not normally seen here in Michigan. The list thus far:

  • 18th Street Brewery
  • Allagash Brewing Co.
  • Arbor Brewing Co.
  • Bagby Beer Co.
  • Beer Lab HI
  • Big Island Brewhaus
  • Birds Fly South Ale Project
  • Brasserie Cantillon
  • Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
  • Burial Beer Co.
  • Casey Brewing and Blending
  • Cloudburst Brewing
  • Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
  • E9 Brewery
  • El Segundo Brewing
  • Fonta Flora Brewery
  • Garden Path Fermentation
  • Gigantic Brewing Co.
  • Gueuzerie Tilquin
  • Hill Farmstead Brewery
  • Holy Mountain Brewing Co.
  • HOMES Brewery
  • Honolulu Beer Works
  • Jackie O's Brewery
  • Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
  • Koholā Brewery
  • Lanikai Brewing Co.
  • Maui Brewing Co.
  • Monkish Brewing Co.
  • Noble Ale Works
  • North Peak Brewing Co.
  • Off Color Brewing
  • Other Half Brewing Co.
  • Revelry Brewing Co.
  • Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
  • Scratch Brewing Co.
  • Stillwater Artisanal
  • Speciation Artisan Ales
  • The Lost Abbey
  • The Rare Barrel
  • Tired Hands Brewing Co.
  • Transient Artisan Ales
  • Waikiki Brewing Co.
  • Yazoo Brewing Co.

Merchandise and food (including vegetarian options) will be available for sale on-site, and gates open at 2:12 p.m., with last call coming at 6:30. The event is outside in the Jolly Pumpkin back lot and will go on rain or shine, but there’s a tent so don’t worry about bringing your poncho. The special Cantillon Zwanze beer begins pouring at 2:45 (first come, first served), and the Zwanze toast is at 3.

You can get more information and buy tickets here. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Peace Neighborhood Center.