Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Belgium Comes to Michigan

Chef Marc Grasso and Ashley's co-owner Roy More dig the Draak.

Following the warmup last month in Ann Arbor, Ashley's is bringing the Belgian main event to Westland beginning tomorrow through February 19 in the form of the second annual Ashley's Belgian Beer Festival, one of the largest — if not the largest — Belgian beer-centric events anywhere.

This year's fest has been expanded to 11 days to allow more time to enjoy the over 160 draft and bottled beers brought over from Belgium.There are two ticketed beer dinners, a couple educational seminars, a national release of a new Belgian beer, three Midwest Belgian releases, a Valentine's Day dinner for two, beer and chocolate pairings, Belgian trivia contests, and more.

It's all a little overwhelming, so follow the jump for a full schedule of events, and check the fest's official site for a list of beers.

Update: Also see the Belgian-inspired food menu available throughout the festival.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, Feb. 9
  • 6pm - Let the Belgians Begin!
  • 7pm - Ticketed Event: Six-Course Trappist Dinner. $75. Reserve Here.

Friday, Feb. 10

Saturday, Feb. 11

Sunday, Feb. 12 
  • All Day - Belgian Beer-Infused Chocolate Pairings.
  • 12-4pm - Belgian Waffle Brunch.

Monday, Feb. 13
  • All Day - Special Sour Flights, Plus $1 Off All Sour Beers.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 
  • Valentine's Dinner for Two: Appetizer, Two Entrees, Chocolate Fondue, Paired w/ Beer. $50.
  • 8-10pm - Belgian Trivia Contest.

Wednesday, Feb. 15
  • 7pm - Ticketed Event: "Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge Lambic Blending Seminar" w/ Lanny Hoff, Artisanal Imports. Includes samples. $15. Reserve Here.

Thursday, Feb. 16
  • 9pm - National Release: Poperings Hommelbier Dark IPA.

Friday, Feb. 17
  • 7pm - Ticketed Event: Van Eecke Beer Dinner w/ Danny Dieussaert, Brouwerij Van Eecke. $75. Reserve Here.

Saturday, Feb. 18
  • All Day - $1 Off All Brasserie de Silly Beers.
  • 1-5pm - Pub Games and Biero (Like Bingo).
  • 2-4pm - Belgian Trivia Contest.

Sunday, Feb. 19
  • All Day - $1 Off All Trappist Beers.
  • 12-4pm - Belgian Waffle Brunch.
  • 8pm - Kill the Kegs: All Belgian Drafts $2 Off.

Menu de Cuisine

In addition to the ticketed dinners, Ashley's is offering Belgian appetizers and entrées on its regular menu throughout the festival.

  • Belgian Cheese Plate: Chimay a la Biere, Orval & Capra (Goat's Milk w/ Honey). Served with baguette. $8.99. With house made (beer-infused) terrine $10.99.
  • Belgian Frites and Dips Sampler. A heaping basket of Belgian-style fries and a trio of dipping sauces. $5.99.

Choose from one of four styles:
  • Wittekerke with garlic and leeks.
  • Saison Dupont with bacon, garlic, and caramelized leeks.
  • Duchesse de Bourgogne with garlic and Thai red curry sauce.
  • Poperings Hommelbier with garlic, red onion, and crushed de Arbol chiles.
Served with a side of Belgian-style frites, tomato basil mayo, and baguette. 1 pound $9.99. 2 pounds $18.99.

  • Beer Carbonnades Flamandes (Flemish Stew). Hearty and satisfying, with large chunks of lean beef, slowly braised in Gulden Draak.Served with fries and baguette. $11.99.
  • Braised Pork Chop with Black Currant and Mustard Sauce. Braised rib chops served with potato au gratin and Brussels sprouts cooked in Gulden Draak beer. $13.99.
  • Garlic Chicken. Braised boneless chicken in a rich garlic sauce. Served with stoemp aux carottes (carrot mashed potatoes) and greenbeans and baguette. $11.99.
  • Monk Burger. 1/2 lb fresh prime burger topped with caramelized onions and Chimay or Orval cheese. $10.95.
    » Chimay cheese is made by monks in Belgium and the rind is washed in Chimay beer (which the monks also make). Great with a glass of Chimay Red Label.
    » Orval cheese has been made on the premises of the Abbey since 1928, using a recipe concocted in 1816 by Trappist monks from Port du Salut Abbey. Ashley’s brought this cheese into the state just for this event. Of course a bottle of Orval should be paired with this!

  • Crème Brulee. Classic custard with a burnt caramel crust. $3.99.
  • Belgian Waffle. Served with ice cream and your choice of two toppings (banana, chocolate, Nutella (hazelnut chocolate), candied walnuts, strawberries, whipped cream). $4.99.
  • Chocolate Salami with Raspberries. A special Italian recipe picked up on a recent trip. Completely meat free (it just looks like salami), made with sweet cookies, butter, cocoa and liqueur. Served with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. $3.99.
  • Chocolate Fondue for Two. Rich Belgian warm chocolate ganache with assorted fruits and cakes for dipping. $8.99.

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