It's the most wonderful time of the year, at least if you love Michigan craft beer. This weekend, the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival returns to Ypsilanti for its 15th year, but there's also plenty going on before and after the Festival. Check out your action-packed Week in Beer for all the deets.
Friday, July 27
» It’s what you’ve been waiting all year for: The annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival commences at Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park at 5 p.m. Something in the neighborhood of 545 beers from more than 60 Michigan breweries will be available, and this year is a little extra special, what with it being the Guild’s 15th anniversary. In fact, a number of breweries, working from the same base recipe, created their own versions of 15th Anniversary Ale to commemorate the occasion. Look for them amongst all those other great Michigan brews. Start your planning with the official program here, and if you like history, follow MittenBrew’s series on the Guild’s 15 years of existence, complete with embarrassing old pictures.
» Following the Festival, if you somehow didn’t get enough beer, you’ll want to stop by the Wurst Bar, which is featuring $2 drafts of Founders beers starting at 8 p.m. Yes, $2: That’s not a misprint.
Saturday, July 28
» Head to Ypsilanti early for a special 9 a.m. live radio broadcast at Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, with Bob and Jop, whose Grillin’ Guys show airs on Grand Rapids’ 107.3 FM WBBL. Owner Matt Greff will talk beer, Red Rock Downtown Barbecue will provide food samples, and you will enjoy happy hour prices until 11 a.m.
» That little beer festival continues in Riverside Park from 1-6 p.m. (or noon, if you’re an Enthusiast member who gets to enjoy a whole hour in the candy store before the other kids are let in).
» Lost in all the hoopla over the Summer Beer Festival is the second public German Park picnic of the season. All the great German food, oompah band music, and buckets of beer you can handle await at 5549 Pontiac Trail for this longstanding Ann Arbor tradition. Never been? This advice from several years ago is still sound. The fun goes from 4-11 p.m. Visit germanpark.com for more info.
» So another Summer Beer Festival is done, but you’re not ready for the party to be over. The Wurst Bar has you covered with a tap takeover featuring the beers of Liberty Street Brewing. Come by after the Fest and clink glasses with owner and brewer Joe Walters over pints of Red Glare Amber Ale, The American IPA, Starkweather Stout, Steamy Windows Common Ale, Pooh Beer Honey Porter, and 42nd Parallel Double IPA.
» Ypsilanti’s not the only town to have a festival today; it’s also the day of Blues, Brews, and Brats in downtown South Lyon. From 4-11 p.m. the live music will be happening (courtesy of Barbara Payton and the Instigators), the brats will be hot off the grill, and the brews will be provided exclusively by Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail. Said brews will include three of their popular ales as well as a special pilsner brewed just for the occasion. There’s a $3 cover and kids (i.e., under 21) have to vamoose by 7 p.m. See here for more details and full music lineup.
Tuesday, July 31
» Return to Ypsilanti for the release of Red Snapper Roasted Pale Ale at the Corner Brewery from 6-8 p.m. Part of the regular release schedule, the party will feature snacks, beer, and discounts on take-out (growlers and six-packs). Free for Arbor or Corner Mug Clubbers; $10 for the rest of you heathens.
Wednesday, August 1
» Back in Ann Arbor, Grange Kitchen & Bar, 118 W. Liberty, is hosting a BBQ & Beer Dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. $55 includes a five-course feast as well as tax and gratuity. Space is limited; call 734-995-2107 to reserve your space and see the full, totally amazing sounding menu here.
Notes on the Napkin
- This week bottles of Wolverine Amber Lager (nee District 16 Vienna Lager) should be hitting the shelves of your favorite local supermarkets and other purveyors of fine beverages. It’s a great beer and you should get some. If you can’t find it in your favorite store, the tap room at 2019 W. Stadium can sell you some to take home. After you have a mug or two there, of course.
- For those of you on the Twitters, the official hashtag for the Summer Beer Festival is #MISBF12. Your correspondent will, as always, be tweeting up a storm for those who can’t make it or are so bored as to watch Twitter for anything I might say. Word to the wise and all.