Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Week in Beer: Kick Off Summer with Seasonal Michigan Brews

Coming right up is the Officially Unofficial Start of Summer in Michigan! Whether you’re heading up north to the cottage or grilling and chilling at home, there’s no better holiday companion than a bottle, can, growler, or even keg of your favorite brew produced in the Great Beer State. Celebrate the season and the Mitten with the best beer in the Union! Let’s hit the streets.

Friday, May 25

» Cupboard looking bare? Better head to Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, for some grocery shopping and, just coincidentally, the Atwater Brewery happy hour tasting at the Wine and Beer Bar from 5-7 p.m. On tap will be D-Wheat Ale, Dirty Blonde Ale, VJ Black Imperial Stout, Voodoo Vator Doppelbock, and Grand Circus IPA. You just may forget to pick up that celery!

» The Small Batch Series at Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, with the release of Chrysalis American Witbier, a lager brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with a blend of Belgian and Wolverine’s house yeast. Get it while it lasts!

Tuesday, May 29

» Ain’t no party like an Arbor Brewing release party ’cuz an Arbor Brewing release party don’t stop! Well, OK, they do run only from 6-8 p.m., but those two hours at 114 E. Washington include plenty of beer, some light snacks, and good camaraderie. The featured beer is Blackberry Blonde Ale, which, despite its name, does not feature smartphones as an ingredient, but is rather a medium-bodied brew packed with citrus, spice, and fruit notes that never turn too sweet. Discounts on merchandise and carry-out purchase of the beer are also available during the festivities. Cost is free for Mug Club members and $10 for the great unwashed masses.

Wednesday, May 30

» There’s a storm brewing! Actually, the storm was already brewed and now it’s ready to drink: Solar Storm Wheat IPA, created in March at Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp in Chico, Calif., by Ashley's owner Jeff More and a dozen other invitees to the exclusive gathering, will be tapped at 6:30 p.m. Jeff will talk a bit about his experiences at the Sierra brewery and the process of creating the beer, which is a cloudy red brew with a balanced but smoothly bittersweet taste and rich, hoppy aroma at 5.8% ABV. Only one half-barrel of Solar Storm was sent to Ashley’s, so be sure to try it while it’s here because once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Other Sierra beers will also be on tap at 338 S. State during this event, including Torpedo Extra IPA, Ruthless Rye Ale, Ovila Abbey Ale, Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale (2010 and 2011 vintages), Hoptimum Double IPA, and Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Plum Market began selling bottles of Cinco Anos Oak Aged Plum Ale yesterday, and your correspondent managed to pick up his allotment despite a line already forming at noon. As of this writing, it’s unknown whether or not Plum sold out, but Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery, 311 S. Main, has a keg on tap for your tasting pleasure (but note: only Plum Market has bottles). The beer brewed in honor of Plum Market’s fifth anniversary is a surprisingly light bodied ale with a sour, tart taste and a dry finish. Needless to say, it’s delicious in that typical Jolly Pumpkin way!

  • Congratulations to Wolverine State Brewing for bringing home the gold from last weekend’s World Expo of Beer for Hopstadt Altbier, which beat out all the other entries in the Amber Hybrid category. Have you tried this award-winning brew? No? You should stop by the taproom, grab a pint, and shake head brewer Oliver Roberts’s hand!

  • The South Lyon Area Brewers (SLAB) Homebrew Club recently held its first meeting at Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, and interest was high. The next monthly meeting is June 21 at the brewery, so if you’re a homebrewer in the SLAB zone who’s been longing for a local club, or if you’ve been thinking about getting into brewing but have questions, this group’s for you! Visit their Facebook page to learn more.

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