Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Week in Beer: Prepping for Another Awesome Summer of Beer

Founders Red's Rye PA at the sophisticated bar of the newly opened
Ravens Club, 207 S. Main
The unseasonably cool temps earlier this week provided a great opportunity to engage in some long overdue spring cleaning, including returning the winter’s 80 million leftover empty beer bottles to provide me with a little cash on hand to enjoy the days ahead. Those days are a little less action packed than the previous Week in Beer, but that’s OK. There’s plenty more necessary cleaning to get done before getting out and enjoying another awesome summer of Michigan craft brew once it officially gets underway.

Friday, May 20
» Beer expert Jimmy is at it again! He’s on a mission to share his knowledge and love of great craft beer with the customers of Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, and anyone else who wants to learn more about how to properly appreciate a glass of good hand-crafted brew. This time around he’s discussing India pale ales (IPAs), as well as passing out samples for you to try. Join him from 6-7 p.m. in the store’s classroom area for the education you never got, but should have. $6 for six different samples; to reserve your seat, stop by the customer service desk or call 734-997-7500.

Saturday, May 21
» Ashley's, 338 S. State, is featuring taps from craft breweries of the Midwest all weekend. Wear a shirt from a Midwestern brewery and receive a discount on your tab!

» The new Ann Arbor location of Adventures in Homebrewing is scheduled to open soon at 6071 Jackson Rd. Open or not, the proprietors plan a brewing demonstration today on location. Details as of this writing are not known, so call 313-277-2739 for more information on times, etc. or watch their Facebook page for updates.

Sunday, May 22
» Remember American Craft Beer Week? If not, perhaps you overdid it. Or maybe you just forgot to go out and celebrate. Not to worry – the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, in conjunction with several other fine Ypsi establishments, is wrapping things up with a grand finale: The Ypsilanti Progressive Craft Beer Pub Crawl. Participants meet at 1 p.m. at Corner, then head to Aubree's, Sidetrack, Haab's, and Woodruff's, wrapping up at 5. Tickets are $25 and include lunch and beer at Corner along with craft brew at each location. Call 734-480-2739 or visit the Corner for tickets.

» If you’d rather sit outside and enjoy the (hopefully) warm spring weather, stick around Corner’s beer garden, where the first Halcyon Sundaze of the season makes its appearance. For the uninitiated, Halcyon is a celebration of good times, good friends, good beer, and – most importantly – good music. Come out from 2-9 p.m. and join DJ dannyboy and his crew of fellow tune-slingers (including yours truly) as they spin the grooves and pour the beers. Well, OK, the bar staff will pour the beers, but dannyboy did brew up the first small batch of Halcyon beer, an American IPA with plenty o’ citrusy hops to quench your thirst. As always, Cousins Vinyl will also be on hand with crates of records to dig through, each of them selling for the bargain price of $1. No cover.

Notes on the Napkin
  • I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to also save the dates for the summer’s other Halcyon Sundaze events: June 12, July 24, August 28, and September 11. And visit the brand spankin’ new website at to stay up to date on all the other Halcyon happs. See you in the garden.

  • Wolverine’s Beer Formerly Known As Biscuitville now has a new moniker, and unlike Prince’s (in)famous name switch, you can actually pronounce this one: Bread Winner. One thing that has not changed: It tastes as fantastic as ever, and for those who dig bourbon oak aged beers, a batch of this is also being barrelized as you read this. Look for that version to be released in the coming weeks, but not before the Bourbon Oak Aged Round 12 Dunkel, which will be the first of the series.

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