Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Week in Beer: Sudsy Happenings for Your End-of-Summer Staycation

Magic solar panels atop Arbor Brewing turn sunlight into beer!

The frantic end-of-summer rush is upon us as folks try to cram in one last vacation or home improvement project before the school year and cooler temps make things a bit dicier, but if you’re more inclined to the “staycation” or “screw it, I’ll get to it later” side of things, then guess what? There are more festivals, tappings, and all around cool beery things to do than you can shake the proverbial stick at. So let’s tap into the Week in Beer, shall we?

Thursday, August 16

» Give me Liberty – at the Lake Street Tavern, 127 E. Lake St., South Lyon, which is turning over all eight taps to beers from Liberty Street Brewing beginning at noon. On tap will be Red Glare Amber Ale, Steamy Windows California Common Ale, The American IPA, Pub House Brown, 42nd Parallel Imperial IPA, Clementine Lemon Thyme, Berry Vanilla Stout, and Starkweather Stout on nitro. Enjoy a few and say hi to Liberty owner and brewer Joe Walters, who will be in the house telling lies, no doubt.

» It’s the sensation that’s sweeping the nation, or at least Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery, 311 S. Main. Come on out at 5 p.m. for the release of Hummocky Lick Sumac Sensation Ale, a beer brewer Ron Jeffries describes thusly: “Hummocky Lick starts light and grassy as a breezy field of spring wheat, turns lightly sour and tart with cherries, and finishes with a hint of clove and tamarind from the friendly sumac berry.” Ron and Laurie Jeffries will be on hand, as will Executive Chef Maggie Long, to talk (and enjoy) arteeeeeeesinal beer and food, plus the Huron River Watershed Council crew will be available to pump up your knowledge of streams, creeks, licks, and other tributaries. Don’t forget your Brew Passport, if you picked one up last week. See more details here. (Next week: Grizzly Peak and brewer Duncan Williams’s Swift Run Beer.)

Friday, August 17

» The annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival kicks off at Riverside Park beginning at noon, and this year there’s an added attraction: the Riverside Beer Garden, featuring libations from Arbor Brewing and Wolverine State Brewing. The garden will be in bloom from until midnight on Friday and Saturday and offer live music from 16 different bands to please your ears while you placate your tastebuds.

» Man, I think I’m fresh out of jokes about drinking beer at a grocery store. I’d better go to the store to get some more! And that store is Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, where the Wine and Beer Bar welcomes some good (and x-treme) brews from Founders, including Pale Ale, Porter, Centennial IPA, Devil Dancer Triple IPA, and Curmudgeon Old Ale. Founders Michigan Market Manager Beau Loncharte will be on hand from 5-7 p.m. to backslap, handshake, and generally be awesome. Don’t miss out!

» Full confession: I have no idea what the Howell Melon Festival is, but if you’re inclined to be out that way this weekend, there is going to be a Michigan beer tasting tent there from 5-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, there’s no published list as of this writing. But maybe the attraction of melons is enough to entice you out there anyway without the added inducement of beer. Melons!

Saturday, August 18

» The Michigan Brewers Guild is looking for a few good men. And women. Really, anybody who can help count out 200,000 drink tokens for the Upcoming U.P. and Detroit Fall Beer Festivals. What’s in it for you? Free beer, courtesy of the Guild (which means I should say “anybody 21 or older who can help count”). The fun is happening from noon to 4 p.m. at the Wolverine tap room, 2019 W. Stadium. Just show up if interested.

Sunday, August 19

» The latest in the series of Michigan Brewers Guild Beer Enthusiast tours is at Arbor Brewing, beginning at 1 p.m. You’ll get to meet the brewers, take a tour of the new solar-powered brewery, and, of course, try out some samples. However, the event is reserved for MBG Enthusiast members only (become one here) and you must RSVP in advance to

» Halcyon Sundaze returns to the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, and it happily coincides with the Corner’s annual Backyard BBQ. Man of many talents Mike O’Brien will again be roasting a pig, and other pic-a-nic type food will accompany it, like slaw, cheesy taters, corn on the cob, and other vegetarian choices. (If you’ve not had a Mike O’Brien-roasted pig, you’re missing out. Just sayin’.) Cornhole games and a specil brew or two round out the fun. Music begins at 2pm, food at 3, and the party goes until 9.

Wednesday, August 22

» You know fall is creeping nearer when the beers change color (and taste). Punkin Pie Ale, Liberty Street’s autumn seasonal, debuts at 3 p.m. and if you like this style but have never had LSBC’s take on it, do yourself a favor and get some. You can thank me later.

Thursday, August 23

» Attention, homebrewers! The monthly meeting of SLAB (that’s South Lyon Area Brewers) is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail. The club is open to homebrewers and wannabes of all skill and interest levels, so don’t be shy. At the worst, you can drink some great Witch’s Hat beers while listening to beer nerds bandy about highfalutin terms like “sparge” and “Vorlauf.” It’s sure to be a good time!

Notes on the Napkin
  • Want to go to the October 27 Detroit Fall Beer Festival in style? Then take the Motor City Brew Tour bus from either Witch’s Hat or Liberty Street Brewing. Tickets are $30 for bus only or $65 for bus plus festival entry. Pickup times are 10:30 a.m. at Witch’s Hat and 11 at Liberty. Go here for more details and to order.
  • Did you know that Babo market, 403 Washington, has Michigan beers on tap? I didn’t, probably because I’ve only been in there once, right after it opened. But there’s room for two small kegs (photographic evidence), so the next time you’re in the area and trying to decide between getting a beer or shopping for some arteeeeesinal groceries, know that you can do both at Babo!

David Bardallis is a freelance writer and editor, blogger, bon vivant, and man about town. Visit “All the Brews Fit to Pint” at, follow @allthebrews on Twitter, or join the "All the Brews Fit to Pint" Facebook page. Email your beer-related thoughts to

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