Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Week in Beer: Have a Safe and Happy Brew Year

Forget the Champagne. Cheers to beer and a new year!

Not gonna lie. Your correspondent is not really a big fan of New Year's Eve or the whole end-of-year nonsense in general. As holidays go, NYE is pretty lame, bringing out all the amateurs as every Tom, Dick, and Harry establishment tries to woo them with drink specials and various other enticements. There are, of course, some worthwhile events this week, including several on New Year's Eve, but whatever you choose to do, be safe, be happy, and be-er. OK, that was lame. Let's get down to business.

Thursday, December 27

» Celebrate 16 years of Arcadia Ales with 16 beers on tap from the venerable Battle Creek brewery beginning at 6pm tonight at Ashley's, 338 S. State. The list includes a 16th Anniversary Ale, Warcraft (bourbon barrel aged B-Craft Black IPA), and some other interesting looking brews. Find the whole list here.

Friday, December 28

» Head back to Ashley’s for a 6pm tapping of two of Stone Brewing’s Vertical Epic brews (2011 and 2012 editions) as well as bottles of 2006, 2007, and 2010 vintages. Compare, contrast, and enjoy the aggressively hopped profiles that are Stone’s trademark.

Monday, December 31, New Year’s Eve

» The Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, is celebrating New Year’s Eve Untapped, beginning at 8 p.m. Live music from local bluegrassy favorites Dragon Wagon will get your feet tapping and a series of hourly small-batch Rat Pad beer releases beginning at 8:30 will keep your taste buds happy. The fun goes until 2 a.m. No cover.

» At Arbor Brewing, the Diamonds & Pearls Brew Year’s Eve celebration kicks off at 8 p.m. as well. Hourly small batch releases from 8:30-11:30 are also in the mix, along with music from DJ J. Clark beginning at 9 p.m. For those who want to “pre-game,” ABC is offering happy hour prices all day from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. No cover.

» For something a little more formal, Grange Kitchen & Bar, 118 W. Liberty, is offering a New Year’s Eve prix fixe dinner. Tickets are $55 per person, with an optional wine pairing for $35 or, more relevant for readers of this column, a beer pairing for $20. The four-course menu looks pretty amazing, but space is limited. Call 734-995-2017 or visit the Grange website to make your reservation.

» Some people like to travel for New Year’s Eve. If that’s you, consider exotic Howell for your celebration destination, or more specifically, the Shark Club, 1140 S. Michigan. Their NYE party includes a dinner buffet, DJ and dancing, midnight champagne toast and prize giveaway, and, most importantly, an open bar for the duration, including all 68 beers on tap. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door, which opens at 8 p.m. Call 517-540-0300.

Tuesday, January 1, New Year's Day

» Happy New Year! Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, will be open from noon to 8 p.m. for your college football bowl game viewing pleasure, including, of course, Michigan vs. South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, which kicks off at 1 p.m. And try out the just-released Shiny New Toy, a 5.3% ABV Munich and roasted malt brew balanced with German hops and a smattering of wheat and oats. Go Blue!

Notes on the Napkin
  • A few more non-comprehensive notes on holiday hours: Ashley’s is closed both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Original Gravity is open from noon to 8 on New Year’s Eve, closed New Year’s Day. Arbor is closed New Year’s Day. Wolverine’s hours were mentioned above.
  • Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, is also closed New Year’s Day and has new Sunday and Monday hours for 2013: 2-9 p.m. Also, if you missed their Dec. 26 first anniversary party but wanted to try their After Christmas Christmas Ale, a bourbon barrel aged Belgian strong dark ale, bottles are still available for sale as of this writing.
  • Due to the holiday, Grizzly Peak’s monthly Brewer’s Night has been moved to Jan. 8. The special cask ale will be Hellion Double IPA dry-hopped with Liberty hops and French oak chips.
  • Not specifically beer-related, but Woodruff’s, 36 E. Cross, Ypsilanti, kicks off five days of live music tomorrow night with Mittenfest VII, a cool annual festival that benefits 826Michigan. Melody Malosh at the Detroit News has the scoop.

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