Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Week in Beer: Crack a Brew or Two with Santa

North Pole file photo.

You better watch out — no, not for Santa Claus. I mean watch out for all the great beer events going down in our town. Best part? It doesn’t matter if you’ve been naughty or nice; you can take part in any or all of them. Santa may be picky and judgmental like that, but good beer and the people who love it aren’t. See what’s on tap in your Week in Beer, below.

Friday, December 16

» Beginning at 3 p.m., the mood will be festive at Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, but not for any Christmas-related reason. It’s Birthday Eve for Wolverine’s “Beer Wench” E.T. Crowe, and she’s celebrating her superannuation with beer specials, pizza (5 p.m.), and, of course, cake (around 6). Gifts of jewelry and handsome, chiseled soccer players or brewers are not required, but will no doubt be appreciated.

» It’s just a little longer before Santa Claus comes to town, but in the meantime, Dark Horse is paying a visit, bringing a bag of stouts and, rumor has it, some 4 Elf Winter Ale. Come to the Wine and Beer Bar at Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, from 5-7 p.m. to sample the brews of Marshall’s most famous (and only) brewery for $3 a glass or $1 a sample pour. Bottles of Michigan-brewed beer are also available at various prices.

Saturday, December 17

» Has the pressure of being Santa Claus started to get to you? Feel like blowing off some steam? Want to spend a few hours with people who totally understand what it’s like to be you? Then get on the bus — the bus to Detroit Santarchy! It rolls into town at 6:30 p.m. to pick up a motley assortment of Santas in front of the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., and deliver them to The D to join hundreds of other Santa and Mrs. Clauses, elves, Christmas trees, and even the occasional Jesus for a pub crawl of epic and silly proportions. Just show up in your Santa suit with $20 for a bus pass and you’re good to go. For more on this annual festival of goofiness, visit or see the Detroit Santarchy Facebook page.

» If you’d rather celebrate Krampus, a demonic Central European anti-Santa who punishes bad children, then you’ll want to check out the Krampus Costume Ball at the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti. Presented by the folks behind the Shadow Art Fair, the Krampus ball begins at 7 p.m. and will feature DJs, a dance floor, a photo booth, a costume contest, a parade through the streets of Depot Town, and two special beers: a Smoked Birch Porter and a Spearmint Agave Orange Pale Ale. Admission is just two cents (yes, you read that right), so get ready to get crazy, Krampus style. And check out for more info.

» Back in October, University of Michigan film student Alan Torres asked, via the magic of, for funds to create a documentary on the Michigan craft beer scene entitled “Beer People.” Random Internet people came through, and now he’s ready to show the result at a screening at the Lightworks Student Film Festival, 7:30 p.m. at the Natural Science Building, 830 N. University. See for more info. I don’t think there will be any beer on hand, but Ashley’s is pretty close…

Wednesday, December 21

» Grab the kiddies and head to Wolverine’s tap room at 5 p.m. for a visit from Old St. Nick himself (until 7 p.m.), as well as free pizza, at least while it lasts. What’s the occasion? It’s not just the winter solstice, but it’s also the official release of Wolverine’s Winter Lager, so there’s definitely a little something for the adults, too. And don't miss children's entertainer extraordinaire Kevin Devine as he conducts singalongs to get every one in the spirit. (Says Kevin: "It's like caroling, but inside and with beer!") For a demo of Kevin's "Santa Get Me Out of Here," see his MySpace page.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Ashley's, 338 S. State, is celebrating 12 beers of Christmas with daily draft and bottle specials each day, ending on Christmas Eve. Each day a selected draft beer will be $1 off and a selected bottle beer will also be a special price. Beers include some real nice ones, like Fraoch Heather Ale, Gouden Carolus Noel, El Mole Ocho, and St. Bernardus Abt 12. See for the full list and schedule.

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