Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Week in Beer: June Is Bubbling Over with Great Events

June is practically drowning in awesome beer-centric activities. Photo: Stephen Mitchell.

The days just keep getting longer, which is a really good thing, considering all the fantastic beer events taking place in June. You'll need more time just to keep up with them all. Let's just skip all the formalities and look at your agenda for the next week, shall we?

Saturday, June 9

» An army of judges has been busy evaluating hundreds of beers, and now it’s time to learn the results of all this drinking, er, judging at the award ceremonies for the 6th Annual ABC Brews Crews Homebrew Competition, taking place at the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti. Join judges, homebrewers from many different clubs, and curious onlookers alike to see who will win medals in such categories as Amber Hybrid Beer, Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer, and Smoke-Flavored/Wood-Aged Beer, and, of course, who will take the coveted Best of Show. Sponsored by Arbor Brewing and the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, the fun formally commences at 6pm, but come early to talk (and drink) beer with one of the larger collections of beer nerds as you’re likely to find.

Sunday, June 10

» Stop. Hatter time! The Lake Street Tavern, 127 E. Lake, South Lyon, will be tapping New Holland Brewing’s flagship Mad Hatter IPA, along with its friends Imperial Hatter, Rye Hatter, Black Hatter, White Hatter, Oaked Hatter, and Farmhouse Hatter for a Hatter Day celebration. Wear your own crazy hat and your first pint is on the house.

» Are you ready to get your tiki on? Aubree’s, 39 E. Cross, Ypsilanti, is hosting an Oberon tiki deck party beginning at 6 p.m. Put on your favorite beachcomber attire and join the fun on the roof, including plenty of Bell’s Oberon to go around. Call 734-483-1873 for more information.

Monday, June 11

» Who doesn’t need a little style in his life? Take a road trip up to the Shark Club, 1140 S. Michigan, Howell, for the latest Style Night with Michigan Beer Guide publisher Rex Halfpenny beginning at 7 p.m. The style in question is wheat beer, but before you yawn, know that this Style Night’s a little different: It’s a blind tasting! Sample Oberon, Arcadia Whitsun, Blue Moon, and several other wheat beers, including some Belgian and German originals, and test your knowledge. Not only that, but one lucky Joe (or Josephine) will win a pair of tickets to the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival July 27-28 at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and include beer, snacks, and gratuity, but space is limited. Call 517-540-0300 or email to reserve your spot.

Wednesday, June 13

» Hatter Days are here again! This time it’s Ashley's style, with a 6 p.m. Hatter Day event at 338 S. State St., featuring the Hatter and all his mad, deliciously drinkable friends. In addition , four beers from South Lyon’s Witch’s Hat Brewing (are you sensing a theme?) will also be pouring – a great chance to try some great beers now being distributed by Ann Arbor’s Rave Associates. Don’t forget to bring your hat!

» The Lake Street Tavern is the setting for a five-course beer dinner featuring the beers of Mount Pleasant Brewing. The feast begins at 7 p.m., and tickets are $40. Space is limited; call 248-446-8898 for more information and to reserve.

Thursday, June 14

» It’s beer tasting time at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, where more than two dozen fruit beers will be pouring alongside a sumptuous appetizer buffet. Tastings run from 7-9 p.m. and include a raffle of sweet swag, like t-shirts, caps, posters, and glassware. Tickets are $25 in advance, or $30 the day of the tasting. Bonus! This time it’s Ladies’ Night: “tix for chicks” are only $20.

Notes on the Napkin
  • And now some news from Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium: Brewery and tap room expansion plans have been officially approved by those who approve such things, so we can look forward to a bigger and badder Wolverine in the near future. The excellent Wolverine Amber Lager (nee District 16 Vienna Amber Lager) will be available in bottles beginning August 1, but NOT in your Ann Arbor Kroger stores, who have stopped carrying Wolverine for reasons that most likely have to do with beer distribution sausage-making. For the full story and what you can do to right this injustice, see the Wolverine Beer Wench’s blog.
  • As part of its expansion plans in Dexter, Jolly Pumpkin has the go-ahead from the local plan-o-crats to include a tasting room in their rehabilitation of a 68,000 sq. ft. building that will house a new brewery, winery, and distillery, as well as the company’s headquarters. Lisa Allmendinger has all the details.
  • And coming soon (we hope) – is Sobrehumano Palena’ole, a red ale brewed with Michigan cherries and Hawaiian passion fruit as a collaboration between Jolly Pumpkin and Maui Brewing Co. Separate batches were brewed at each brewery, with Maui's version undergoing conventional fermentation and released this month in cans and Jolly Pumpkin's version being aged in casks and then bottle conditioned. Watch for it to appear soon, but in the meantime, watch two videos of brewers Ron Jeffries and John Walsh talking about the beer.

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