Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Week in Beer: Giving Thanks for Good Local Brew

Decisions face you this Thanksgiving.

In school we were taught that Thanksgiving was all about the time the pilgrims broke bread with the Indians in a feast of mutual respect and camaraderie and all of that. Well, maybe that happened and maybe it didn’t, but one thing our teachers never told us was why the pilgrims decided to alight on Plymouth Rock in the first place, and it’s because they ran out of beer. You probably think I’m joking, but actual reputable historians can back me up here. So what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to hoist a pint of fresh local brew and give a hearty thanks to the fact that we don’t suffer from the plight of the beerless pilgrims? Your Week in Thanksgiving Beer starts now.

Friday. November 18
» You notice your pantry’s getting low on supplies? No? Well, it’s time to go “grocery shopping” at Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower anyway! That’s because it’s Michigan beer tasting night at the store’s Wine and Beer Bar from 5-7 p.m., where beer man Jimmy and his team are serving up the delicious brews from our state’s oldest (and by technical sales volume, only) brewery, Bell’s. Enjoy $3 drafts of Bell's Raspberry Ale, Special Double Cream Stout, Winter White Ale, Sparkling Ale, and Hell Hath No Fury Belgian Strong Ale, $1 sample pours, and varying prices on bottles. And don’t forget to pick up some cranberries and potatoes.

Sunday, November 20
» Attention all women who like good beer: The latest Detroit Draft Divas meeting is from 1-3 p.m. at Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium. Expect a brewery tour from Wolverine’s resident “beer wench” E.T. Crowe and, if everyone is good, some rumored beer specials. Haven’t heard of the DDDs? Check them out on Facebook and join a group of fun ladies with good taste in beverages.

» Get your holiday season started right as the Corner Brewery’s Halycon Sundaze moves inside for the winter and transforms into Halcyon Holidaze, a celebration featuring DJ-spun music, storytelling, and, of course, beer. Put on your jammies, grab a mug (special brews include Tart Cherry Blonde and Imperial Fruitcake Barlywine), and get ready for some fun underneath the fantastical Holidaze tree from 5-10 p.m. in the lounge. No cover, but everyone is asked to contribute one nonperishable item to the Food Gatherers food drive — see for suggested items.

Wednesday, November 23
» The (supposedly) biggest bar night of the year is now even bigger, thanks to a Founders Brewing tap takeover at Ashley's, 338 S. State. Beginning at 6 p.m., a dozen delicious Founders brews will be tapped, from mainstays like Centennial IPA, Porter, and Pale Ale to more limited specialty beers including Backwoods Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale, Nemesis Barleywine, and Harvest Wet-Hopped Ale. And take note, Founders lovers: Kegs of KBS and CBS imperial stouts will be tapped at 7 and 8 p.m., respectively. Told you it was gonna be a big night.

» But wait, there’s more, as they say on TV: Over at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, it’s a Thanksgiving Eve tradition with the release party for Terminator Doppelbock from 6-8 p.m. In addition to the usual two hours of delicious beer, light snacks, and exquisite company, this year Arbor is raffling off a sixth-barrel of delicious, subtly sweet Terminator to take home for one lucky attendee. The cost? Nada for Mug Club members; $10 for non-members.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Michigan bill HB 4061, to legalize the sampling of homebrew on the premises of microbreweries or brewpubs, was signed into law last week, effectively immediately, so club meetings and competitions at your favorite officially licensed commercial brewing establishment are now officially legal. Can we stand all this freedom, or will cats soon be lying down with dogs? Only time will tell!

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