Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Week in Beer: Ringing in Some New Beers

Cask ale is on at the Peak.

Too broke to jet off to Tahiti for an exotic New Year’s Eve junket? Tired of being fondled and scanned at airports? If you’re sticking around town for 2011’s grand entrance, you fortunately have options — and all of them involve good beer, too! Take a look at your New Year in Beer, below, and I will see you on the other side. Cheers and auld lang syne and all of that!

Friday, Dec. 31
» It’s Brew Year’s Eve over at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, beginning at 8 p.m. Come on out for some DJ-spun music and a celebratory small-batch keg of beer released every hour, beginning at 8:30. First up is Pale Rider IPA; at 9:30 it’s PT3 IPA; 10:30 is Hoppy New Year IPA; and at 11:30 (drum roll, please) it’s the long-awaited return of the Terminator Doppelbock. Party goes until 1 a.m. No cover.

» Arbor’s younger, wilder sibling, the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris St., Ypsilanti, is also ringing in the new year right with a “beer bash” entitled “Countdown to Ecstasy,” also from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Each hour on the half-hour, a keg of a super-secret, undisclosed Rat Pad beer will be released (translation: I did not learn what the beers were before my deadline). The Third Coast Kings will also be on hand to rock your socks off with some live music. No cover.

» Not to be outdone, Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, will be open from noon until 2 a.m. to celebrate not just the arrival of 2011, but also the arrival of its first new beer since the grand opening. District 16 Vienna Lager will be unveiled at 11:30 p.m., just in time for the thirsty masses to toast Dick Clark. To work up a proper thirst, be sure to partake of the sumptuous appetizer buffer, which will be put out around 8:30 p.m. Sure to be a good time, even if Dick Clark can’t make it in person.

Tuesday, Jan. 4
» The first Tuesday of the month brings another Brewer’s Night to the cozy confines of the Grizzly Peak Den, 120 W. Washington. Come in from 6-9 p.m. and enjoy discounted samplers, tours of the brewery, beer talk with head brewer Duncan Williams, and a cask of La Fille du Fermier Aime le Bois, an oak-aged version of the saison originally brewed in spring 2009.

» The first Tuesday also means it’s beer release time at the Corner; this time it’s the Michael Faricy Stout, a "regular" beer now available for distribution in bottles. Get your dark beer on from 6-8 p.m. along with snacks, discounted brews, and the camaraderie of your fellow craft beer lovers. No charge for Arbor or Corner Mug Club members; $10 for Sneetches with no stars on their bellies.

Notes on the Napkin

  • On tap at Grizzly Peak is Hogmanay Ale, a Scottish New Year's ale made with elderberries and heather for a rich, sweet, tart, and floral beer with a roasty finish. And coming soon: Final Repose Ale, a barleywine that's been aging since last fall.
  • If they’re still available, also look for taps of Arbor's Drifter Pale Ale, a light-bodied brew with citrus, peach, and apricot notes; Corner's Ryeclops Rye PA, a bitter monster of a beer that clocks in at 7.7% ABV; and Short’s Good Humans American Brown Ale at Sidetrack Bar & Grill, 56. E. Cross, Ypsilanti. By the time you read this, it may be too late to sample these fine elixirs, but never let it be said I didn’t try to alert my loyal readers.

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