Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Week in Beer: Take Me Out to the Beer Park...

Photo: Flickr user Scott Tanis.

Don Henley, call your office. The Boys of Summer are back, and it’s time to enjoy some America’s Pastime with America’s Other Pastime. That’s right, I’m talking about baseball and beer. There’s plenty of both to be had in the days ahead, so let’s quit talking about it and get right into the details.

Thursday, April 5

» Detroit will be awash in baseball-loving beer drinkers and beer-drinking baseball watchers for the Tigers’ home opener. (For some ideas of where, beside the ball park, to watch and get properly watered, see these helpful guides from Metromix and MLive.) Howeva, if you’re not heading east but still want to catch the action (and the beer), Ashley's, 338 S. State, is a good option with several TVs and an all-day Short’s tap takeover: 20 drafts from the Bellaire brewery will be pouring, including some new and unusual (this being Short’s, that probably goes without saying) beers. For the full list, see

» In South Lyon, Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, is not only opening early (noon), but they’re pouring a little something brewed especially for Opening Day: Rye of the Tiger Rye IPA. I don’t have any other details about this beer, so my usual advice applies: Go try it!

» Original Gravity, 440 County St., Milan, is also opening at noon for the game and is offering a special plate of house-smoked pulled pork nachos, complete with the always awesome chips from Ann Arbor Tortilla Co. If that’s not enough to sway you, how about the extended noon to 6 happy hour? Yeah, I thought so.

Saturday, April 7

» What better way to commemorate the end of the long national nightmare known as Prohibition on April 7, 1933, than with a beer? At 11:30 a.m., Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, begins pouring its Ladylegger Ale at the nice throwback price of $1 a glass. (Of course, a glass of beer in 1933 actually would’ve cost you only around 20 cents – thanks for wrecking the dollar’s purchasing power, Federal Reserve!) What’s a Ladylegger Ale? A dry, light-bodied 4% ABV pale ale brewed with late-addition Cascade and Amarillo hops for a lower hop profile. It all adds up to a nice, speakeasy-drinking beer. (On a related note, be sure to check out the "Drinks, Drags, and Drugs in Washtenaw County History" exhibit, on display through April 29 at the historical Museum on Main. And on April 15, University of Michigan professor Michelle McClellan will give a talk on the exhibit at the Bethhel United Church of Christ in Manchester. Details here.)

Wednesday, April 11

» Drop back by Ashley’s at 6 p.m. for a visit from Jerry Vietz, brewmaster of Quebec’s Unibroue, maker of many fine Trappist-inspired ales. Of course, while you soak up Jerry’s vast knowledge on cider, wine, and beer making, you’ll have to have a taste of the four Unibroue beers on tap: Terrible, Blanche de Chambly, Maudite, and Ephemere Black Currant.

» The Lake Street Tavern, 127 E. Lake, South Lyon, is hosting a beer dinner with Detroit’s own Atwater Brewery. For $40, you get a nice five-course meal paired with Atwater Dirty Blonde Ale, Purple Gang Pilsner, Grand Circus IPA, Cherry Stout, and Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale. As of this writing, the menu and time are unknown. Call 248-446-8898 for more information and to reserve your place.

Thursday, April 12

» Hop over to Arbor Brewing for this month’s beer tasting, dedicated to you bitter-loving hophead freaks. That’s right, there will be about two dozen double IPAs, imperial IPAs, double imperial IPAs, imperial double IPAs, and other variations on the theme of hops-in-your-face. All you can sample from 7-9 p.m. plus an appetizer buffet and awesome prizes to those who are lucky enough to have their names drawn from a hat. (You know what they say: It’s better to be lucky than good!) Cost: a mere 25 simoleons in advance (30 smackeroos the day of). Call 734-213-1393 or stop by the brewpub to get your ticket. (They also accept bucks, greenbacks, dead presidents, and, of course, the Yankee dollaaaaa.)

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