Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Week in Beer: Say Prost! to Oktoberfest, Part 1

Oktoberfest in Ann Arbor is a little bit more restrained than it is in Munich, but still a lot of fun.
Photo: Flickr user Mabuhay 4U.

Is it prosit or prost? However you say it, it's time to bust out the dirndls and lederhosen and take to the beer tent for some of that old time German oompah music and delicious malty lager. There's much more to come later this month, but let's take it one Week in Beer at a time, shall we?

Thursday, September 13

>> Suds on the River, the annual fundraiser gala for the Huron River Watershed Council, is going on from 6-9 p.m. at Ruth and John Langs’ riverside Ann Arbor Township home. A bonanza of beers from all of Ann Arbor’s breweries and a smorgasbord of snacks from the area’s finest food purveyors are yours for $100 (or $75 for members of the Council). Oh, and live music and other fun things as well. Go here for more information and to get tickets, if still available.

>> Celebrate the beers of the Mitten with Arbor Brewing’s Michigan beer tasting. Sample from more than two dozen Great Lakes State ales and lagers, enjoy a buffet of appetizers, and get a chance to win some cool beer swag. Tasting runs from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $30; call 734-213-1393 to order.

Friday, September 14

>> Begin your Oktoberfest season under the big tent in the biergarten at the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti. Hoptoberfest will be pouring for happy hour from 4-7 p.m. and beyond, and brats and other German-inspired fare will be coming hot off the grill. Dust off your once-a-year Bavarian attire and come for a festive time set to the live German stylings of the Rhinelanders. Children welcome with parents until 9. No cover.

>> Oktoberfest beers are also known as Marzens, the German word for “March,” or the month in which they are typically brewed. Then the beers condition in tanks through the summer until they’re brought out for the early fall celebration. For a variety of reasons (limited tank storage being the major one), many breweries’ Oktoberfest beers are not true Marzens. But Wolverine State Brewing’s Oktoberfest lager is, and it releases today at the taproom at 2019 W. Stadium. Not only that, but the Big House Brown is also back, a super flavorful but low alcohol (3.8% ABV) treat, perfect for all-day football watching. What else is there to say but yum?

Saturday, September 15

>> Head back to Wolverine at noon to get massacred, or anyway, to get your pre-sale tickets for The Massacre Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Dark Lager, Wolverine’s 11.5% ABV beast of a beer that’s been conditioning since January. Two hundred four-packs will be pre-sold for $20.99; the regular price on the release date (October 11) is $24.99. For more information on how the beer came to be, visit the Beer Wench’s blog.

Sunday, September 16

>> Heck, why not spend the whole weekend at Wolverine? At 3 p.m., join Kevin and the Glen Levens in the taproom for a “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” party. Live Irish music from a local American band while you drink German-style lagers (rumor is there will be a new release as well). It’s possibly the most multicultural thing you can do all day.

Tuesday, September 18

>> The fine folks of Ashley's, 338 S. State, are doing their part for the cause: Beginning at 6 p.m., look for the tapping of several authentic German brews including Reissdorf Kolsch, Weihenstephaner Festbier, Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen, Hofbrau Oktoberfestbier, and, pouring for the first time in Michigan, Einbecker Doppelbock. Plus, I bet there's still plenty of pumpkin beers left over from last week... Prost!

Wednesday, September 19

>> Up in Whitmore Lake beginning at 6:30 p.m., Captain Joe’s Grill, 9901 N. Main St., plays host to a five-course dinner paired with the beers of Bell’s. Tickets are $50 all inclusive; call 734-257-9000. And dine al fresco on the patio, weather permitting. Menu is here.

>> Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, Plymouth, proudly presents The Four Porters, an event tailor-made for lovers of the dark stuff. Enjoy – while you can – flights of four different ones: a one-year-old Liberty One Porter, a two-year aged sour Liberty One, a three-year-old Tart Cherry Porter, and a three-year-old Oak Aged Tart Cherry Porter. There is not much left of these beers, so get there early (they open at 3 p.m.) to make sure you get yours.

Notes on the Napkin

  • Hey, Lions fans! (There are Lions fans, aren’t there?) Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, wants to help you celebrate victories or drown your loss-induced sorrow, depending, with $2 Train Hopper IPAs during any Lions game this season. Actually, that sounds like victory all by itself.
  • Bill’s Beer Garden, located in the parking lot of Downtown Home & Garden, was supposed to be in business back in July, but the Michigan Liquor Control Commission continues to hold up the joyous event of its opening as prime beer drinking weather passes us by. Follow the progress, or lack thereof, on the Bill’s Beer Garden Facebook page. MLCC, let my people drink!
  • Metzger’s annual Oktoberfest dinner is coming up September 22 from 6 p.m. to midnight under the big tent at 305 N. Zeeb with Ann Arbor’s most authentic German food, live music, live music, prizes, and, of course, plenty of great German beer. Call 734-668-8987 or visit
  • Something else to put on the radar is the September 29 Fall Harvest Beer & Wine Tasting at Roger Monk’s, 5400 Plymouth Rd. Beers from Bell’s, Founders, Arcadia, New Holland, Flying Dog, and Stone Brewing will be featured. Wines will include red and white (hey, I’m a beer columnist, I don’t keep track of wine). Tickets are $40 and include a dozen samples, appetizers, and a chance to win door prizes. Call 734-239-3639 for more information and to order, or visit

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