Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Week in Beer: Drinkin' in the Rain

Wolverine head brewer Oliver Roberts and Grizzly Peak head brewer Duncan Williams judge a previous year's Mug Club Brew-Off. Can your beer impress these guys?

I know April showers are supposed to bring May flowers, but if this keeps up all they're gonna bring is a very large ark with an extensive animal shelter aboard it. Ah well. In other parts of the country (where they're having French Quarter Festivals right about now), they prepare emergency hurricane kits. That's a bit drastic for Washtenaw County, but it still might not be a bad idea to create a good beer plan to see you through spring's stormy season. You wouldn't want to run dry now, would you? Your Week in Beer will get your planning process off to a good start.

Thursday, April 11

» Tonight from 7-9 p.m., Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, is coming on strong. That is, the theme of this month’s tasting is strong (aka “high-gravity”) beers, and there will be more than two dozen of them pouring along with the requisite appetizer buffet and groovy prize drawing. Tickets are $35 at the door, if available, or call 734-213-1393.

Saturday, April 12

» Missing Michigan football? Well, it’s back! Sort of. The so-called spring game, where Michigan takes on Michigan, begins at 12:30 p.m. If you’re going to the Big House to observe in person, you might consider first stopping by Fraser’s Pub, 2045 Packard, for a warm-up breakfast beer. And I mean warm-up beer: Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA is going on tap as soon as the pub opens at 8:30 a.m. Just don’t have too much or you might miss that spring game.

Tuesday, April 16

» 120 Minute IPA is one of a dozen Dogfish Head beers pouring beginning at 6 p.m. at Ashley’s, 338 S. State. Also on tap: 60 Minute IPA, 90 Minute IPA, Aprihop IPA, Bitches Brew Imperial Stout, Burton Baton Double IPA, Hellhound On My Ale Imperial IPA, Immort Ale English Strong, India Brown Ale, Midas Touch Ancient Ale, Rhizing Bines Imperial IPA (a collaboration with Sierra Nevada), and World Wide Stout. Prepare your liver!

» Today through April 18, Terry B’s Restaurant & Bar, 7954 Ann Arbor St., Dexter, is showing some compassion toward taxpayers, even if the IRS isn’t. Said compassion is in the form a 15% discount off your entire bill on any of these days. This isn’t directly related to beer, but they do always have something good worth drinking and, frankly, right about this time I’m going to need it. Chef Doug Hewitt also kills it in the kitchen. Call 734-426-3727 with questions – their website isn’t any more specific about this deal.

Wednesday, April 17

» The ongoing Rat Fest Redux at Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, begins again at 6 p.m. as beers from the Detroit Draft Divas go on tap. Enjoy Chipotle Chocolate Stout, Divalicious Biscotti Stout, Juniperus Zizania, and Fig Cream Ale. As always, if any beer’s left at 9, you can get growlers to take home with you. Read more about the beers here.

Thursday, April 18

» Get your Founders on up in Howell when the Shark Club, 1140 S. Michigan, taps into a baker’s dozen of beers from the nation’s 30th largest craft brewery by sales volume (sayeth the Brewers Association). Look for rarities like Nemesis Barleywine (2010 vintage), KBS Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Backwoods Bastard Barrel Aged Scotch Ale, and 10 other awesome brews. Check out the fill list here.

» If you haven’t been initiated into the awesomeness that is the Jet’s Pizza Sportsroom, 506 N. Main, Chelsea, then maybe a little tap takeover action will motivate you. Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing is the guest of honor, and among the flavors are Toasted Lager, Hoptical Illusion IPA, RastafaRye Ale, Spring Fling Copper Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Sour Cherry Imperial Stout, Old Howling Bastard Barleywine, Toxic Sludge Black IPA, and White IPA. Blue Point rep Matt Trautmann will also be there to explain all those tastes in your mouth. Well, at least the beer-related ones.

Notes on the Napkin
  • The Chelsea Alhouse, across the parking lot from Jet’s, can haz April happy hour special! Wednesdays from 3-6 p.m. get $1 off all drafts and growler fills. If you’re a Founding Member, you get, like, the double secret discount.
  • Grange Kitchen & Bar, 118 W. Liberty, is hosting its second beer dinner of the year April 25 and featuring brews from Short’s. The menu will showcase “hyperlocal” cuisine paired carefully with some of the many interesting flavors Short’s comes up with. Tickets are $55 excluding tax and tip and can be purchased here.
  • The 2013 Grizzly Peak Mug Club Brew-Off has been announced! Grizzly Mug Clubbers have until May 15 to enter their latest version of the Best Beer Ever (and we mean beer: no meads or ciders are accepted). The first place brewer wins the opportunity to brew a commercial batch of his or her beer to be served on tap at the Peak. Second place takes home a set of four pint glasses. (Yeah, that’s a steep drop-off.) Judging will take place May 21, 4-7 p.m. in the Den. Call 734-741-7325 for more information on how to enter.
  • Area homebrewers will definitely want to be at Adventures in Homebrewing, 6071 Jackson, in Scio Township for the American Homebrewers Association Big Brew observance of National Homebrew Day on May 4. Not only will there be loads of brewing outside in the fresh spring air, but Adventures’ Tyler Barber and Jason Smith have booked Chris White of White Labs to answer your yeast-related inquiries and John Blichmann of Blichmann Engineering will also be on site demonstrating the cutting edge of homebrewing equipment. Free yeast! Free base grains! Raffles! Men with beards! This is kind of a big deal and you don’t want to miss out. More details are here; and check out the signup sheet if you plan on brewing.
  • Our very own Ashley’s was recently named one of America’s Best College Bars by Travel and Leisure magazine. That’s a no-brainer, of course, but your correspondent is amused by the blurb writer’s confusion over the “Budweiser tap takeover” — an April Fool’s joke he or she apparently believed actually happened. Like Ashley’s would ever put Budweiser on tap!
  • You work hard for the money. So you may as well keep some of it when you go out to blow off a little steam. Beginning on April 14 and every Sunday night thereafter, Fraser’s Pub is offering 25% off to service industry workers from 8 p.m. until close. Just bring a pay stub or something else to prove your bona fides and you’re good to go.
  • The final bit of Fraser’s news is sad: Bill “Red” Fraser, who founded the pub in 1962, passed away last Friday. This column hopes you are enjoying the fountains of beer that must be all over heaven, Mr. Fraser.

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