Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Week in Beer: Remembering Those Who Serve

Biercamp: now actually serving bier! Photo courtesy Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt.

This Memorial Day weekend, we would all do well to take a moment out of our holiday fun and festivity to remember the heroes among us whose hard work and sacrifice mean so much in our lives. This column is proud to raise a glass in salute to all those who make, sell, and serve great beer. The world would be a much sadder place if you did not do what you do. Thank you, and cheers!

If you’re packing the cooler, loading up the car, and heading to the lakehouse: Don’t worry; things are going to be pretty quiet around here while you’re gone. Here’s your rather sparse Week in Beer to close out the month of May as we head into the sound and fury of  a new summer season.

Thursday, May 23

» Original Gravity, Arbor Brewing, and Great Lakes are the featured breweries for the Craft Brew-Ha-Ha dinner at Paesano, 3411 Washtenaw, taking place at 6:30 p.m. on the patio if it’s not thunderstorming all over the place. Call 734-971-0484 for tickets (if still available) and see the evening’s menu here.

Tuesday, May 28

» The release party for Green Giant Imperial Pilsner starts at 6 p.m. at the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, and includes two hours of this limited-release brew along with light appetizers. Not had the pleasure of trying the Giant before? It balances all German noble hops with a medium-bodied grainy malt profile and, at nearly 7% ABV, can sneak up on you if you’re not careful, Jack. Cost is free for Arbor/Corner Mug Club members or $10 for the heathen.

» If you can’t make it to the beach, then the beach will come to you. Just be at Ashley's, 338 S. State, at 6 p.m. as Saugatuck Brewing breezes into town with 10 beers inspired by the beautiful Lake Michigan coastline. Actually, I have no idea what inspired these beers, but they’re good and are as follows: Oval Beach Blonde Ale, Singapore IPA, ESB Amber, Neapolitan Milk Stout, Pathfinder Pale Ale, Pier Cove Porter, Hop on a Blonde Ale, Dead Goat Doppelbock, and Citra Simcoe Ale.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Congratulations to Grizzly Peak Mug Club Brew-Off grand prize winners Jamie Kidwell and Andrew Brix. They took the crown with their Wit with Lime beer, a version of which they’ll be brewing commercially with head brewer Duncan Williams in the next month or so. First runners up were Bob and Kim Barrett for Bruce Street Wheat and second runner up was Matt Bing for Saison Brett.
  • Remember late last year when Hannah Cheadle and Walt Hansen of Biercamp, 1643 S. State, won unanimous approval from the Ann Arbor City Council for a microbrewery license? And then when the artisanal sausage makers had to deal with the heinous Michigan Liquor Control Commission to get final approval? It’s all done, and Biercamp is now filling growlers for off-site consumption. Veteran brewer Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt mans the tiny brewing system to keep the two taps flowing, one with flagship Vienna IPA and the other with a rotating style (currently Brown Ale). Fresh-made beer and sausage, united at last!
  • For what it's worth, Clay Risen of the New York Times recommends Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere as a great example of "perfect summer beer." Dogfish's Noble Rot, though? Not my cup of beer/wine.
  • In town and barbecuing for Memorial Day? You’ll want to stock up on beer, obvs. The Wolverine taproom, 2019 W. Stadium, is happy to help. They’re open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., during which brief window you can and should pop in to get two-for-one growler fills, as well as a buy-one-case-get-the-second-half-off special. (And remember, Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager is now one of the bottled choices, or you can create a mixed case.) Score, baby.

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