Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Week in Beer: Enjoy the Dwindling Days of Summer Brews

GET ON THE BUS: The July 13 Wolverine State Brewing field trip to see the Detroit Tigers was a load of beery fun. Stay tuned for another field trip to see the Red Wings.
Photo courtesy Wolverine State Brewing Co.
Ah, August, the last full month of summer before the return of school, cool weather, and all those other things associated with a change of the seasons. It’s that frantic time as everyone realizes the days of boating, swimming, and enjoying crisp, light-bodied beers are dwindling quickly. Why not join the frenzy? Get out there and enjoy what’s left of the warm sunshine and cold summer brewskis. As usual, your Week in Beer has the full scoop, giving you no excuse to sit at home watching those World Series of Poker reruns.

Thursday, August 4
» Today is International India pale ale (IPA) Day, so designated to celebrate one of the most popular and best-selling craft beer styles today. Ashley's, 338 S. State, Ann Arbor, is marking the occasion by putting a number of extra IPAs on tap, including Bell’s Oracle, Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree, Kuhnhenn Double Rice IPA, Stone Ruination, Flying Dog Raging Bitch, Southern Tier XX, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, and more. Get your hop on in style!

» Across town at Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, they’re celebrating the hop with the return of Gulo Gulo, an “IPL” (India pale lager) with enough bitterness to satisfy even the biggest hophead. Add to that Wolverine’s Insolent Mink IPA and Green Thumb Hoppy Lager, and it’s a great place to mark this important holiday, especially in the now-open beer parking lot, er, garden!

» Finally, if you’re out Plymouth way, Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, is celebrating with $1 off pints of its American IPA, a 6.7% ABV yet easy drinking with plenty of citrusy, piney, and resiny hop notes.

» Maybe bitter beers aren’t your thing. If so, you can find a wider variety of brews from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the “Unique Michigan Craft Beer Event” at Mercy’s, 300 S. Thayer (in the former Earle Uptown space at the Bell Tower Hotel), Ann Arbor, including more than 30 beers from the likes of Arbor Brewing, Arcadia Ales, Short’s, Jolly Pumpkin, Wolverine, Dark Horse, and more. Tickets are $25 per person and include appetizers and other finger foods. Call 734-996-3729 to buy yours.

» Love Bell’s beer? David Munro of Bell’s will be at Captain Joe's Grill, 9901 N. Main, Whitmore Lake, from 7-9 p.m. to hand out Bell’s swag and talk about the beers of Michigan’s largest (and, technically speaking according to legal definition, only) brewery. Live music, games, and specials round out this nice summer evening on the patio. Call 734-257-9000 for more details.

Friday, August 5
» What’s better than being able to drink beer while grocery shopping at Ann Arbor’s Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower? Nothing, really, except now the Wine and Beer Bar has been expanded from three taps to eight, meaning you now have a larger choice of beers to drink while grocery shopping. And tonight from 5-7 p.m., you can choose from five or so different brews from Marshall’s Dark Horse Brewing — at $3 for a full glass or $1 for sample pours. Check it out, yo.

Tuesday, August 9
» If you missed out on IPA Day at Liberty Street in Plymouth, you can always make the trek for Black IPA Day. (OK, I just made that up.) Liberty is tapping 8-Ball Black IPA, a 7.8% ABV bitter beast black as the night sky and tasty as, um, something really delicious. Like a black IPA. Don’t miss out.

Thursday, August 11
» Brew for the River, a series of beer-related benefits for the Huron River Watershed Council leading up to its annual “Suds on the River” fundraiser on September 15, begins tonight at 6 p.m. at the Wolverine tap room. Enjoy free pizza, live entertainment, and beer specials, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Council to support their work in protecting the purity of the water that helps give us such excellent local beer. Pick up your Brew Passport and get it stamped at the other four Brew for the River events (Jolly Pumpkin Cafe, August 18; Grizzly Peak, August 25; Arbor Brewing, September 1; and Blue Tractor, September 8) for a chance to win free growlers from all the breweries or a privileged spot in line for Jolly Pumpkin’s special beer releases. Click here for more details.

» Beer tasting time again at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, Ann Arbor. Micro Madness is the theme, meaning a celebration of the American craft beer industry as a whole, with more than two dozen beers of various and diverse styles on offer, along with an appetizer buffet and a door prize drawing. (And don’t miss the return of Arbor’s Super Snapper Very Special Bitter, a 7% ABV beer that’s a cross between Arbor’s Red Snapper Roasted Pale Ale and an IPA.) Tastings run 7-9 p.m., and tickets are $25 in advance or $30 if purchased on tasting day. Call 734-213-1393 to order.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Up for a road trip? Check out Hot Glass + Cold Beer from 5-10 p.m. at the Glass Academy, 25331 Trowbridge, in Dearborn. $55 gets you into a live glassblowing demonstration with food from local vendors and beers from Michigan breweries including Short's, Motor City Brewing Works, Dragonmead, and Kuhnhenn. Also included in the ticket price is a unique, artsy, hand-crafted drinking vessel from Furnace Design Studio. Call 313-561-4527 to order tickets, or buy online at
  • Has it really been a year since No Parking Pilsner was on tap at Arbor Brewing? Don’t answer — that’s what’s known as a rhetorical question. In any case, this crisp, golden beer brewed with all German malts and Tettnang hops is back, just in time to quench your late summer thirst.
  • The July 31 Wolverine field trip to the Tigers game was a whole lotta fun, especially with Justin Verlander pitching 7+ innings of no-hittingness in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Anaheim Angels. Check the pictures at to see what you missed and keep your eyes peeled during hockey season as plans are afoot for a Wolverine field trip to see the Red Wings.

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