Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Week in Beer: Still Crafty After All of These Beers

Beer dinners, beer dinners, beer dinners. Chef Brandon Johns of Grange Kitchen & Bar is just one of many talented chefs who know what to do with food and brew.

How's your American Craft Beer Week treating you? Good, I hope. Well, it's been a rough week for yours truly, and if you've been stressed out so far this week, too, there are a whole lot of good things coming up for you to look forward to. Beer dinners, tap takeovers, brew specials, tours, whatever you need to take the edge off, it's going on around town.

Thursday, May 16

» The American Craft Beer Week celebration continues at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, as today brewery and brewpub workers, Michigan Brewers Guild Enthusiast members, and homebrew clubbers all receive 20% off all retail merchandise and half off pints all day. Time to update your summer wardrobe?

» Ashley's, 338 S. State, also celebrates ACBW with the Coast to Coast Toast tonight at 6 p.m. Look for four of craft beer pioneer Sierra Nevada's brews on tap for the occasion, including Ruthless Imperial Rye Ale, Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale, Torpedo Extra IPA, and this month's "Brewer's Dozen" limited release, Belgian Blonde IPA. And don't forget Ashley's is part of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Progressive Craft Beer Tour going on all this week. Stop by for a passport (or a sticker for your passport) and a pint and enter to win some great prizes. Details here.

Friday, May 17

» Arbor is tapping a firkin of something special at 4 p.m., and once again, this is a case of your correspondent advising you to pay a visit to the brewpub and find out for yourself  just what said firkin is. (Another way of saying I don't know.)

» The brewers from Bellaire make a trip down to our neck of the woods when they take over the taps from 5-7 p.m. for happy hour at the Wine and Beer Bar of Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower. It's a relatively tame lineup, considering some of the, um, unique things Short's brews, but I note their excellent summer seasonal Nicie Spicie is among the offerings. See the full list here.

Saturday, May 18

» Arbor Mug Club members get some extra love today in the form of half off all pints all day. Those wishing to join this exclusive club of drinkers get $25 off new memberships. I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member, but this strikes me as a pretty OK deal.

Sunday, May 19

» Head back to Arbor from noon to 1 p.m. for a Meet the Brewer party and behind-the-scenes tour with head brewer Mike Moroney. You get the sense these Arbor people are taking this Craft Beer Week thing seriously, don't you? No cover, but RSVP in advance to

Monday, May 20

» Over in Ypsilanti, Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, 207 W. Michigan, hosts its Monday Beer Enthusiast Night with special guest Blue Point Brewing. Beginning at 6 p.m., check out five drafts from this Long Island brewery, including Toasted Lager, Hoptical Illusion IPA, Sour Cherry Imperial Stout, Old Howling Bastard Old Ale, and White IPA.

Tuesday, May 21

» Whether you entered a beer in the annual Grizzly Peak Mug Club Brew-Off or you just want to watch the drama unfold, pull up a stool at the Den, 122 W. Washington, and grab a beer while you wait to see whose brew wins the grand prize this year. Head brewer Duncan Williams and his hand-selected panel of beer geniuses will sit in judgment. But remember, regardless of what happens, everyone's a winner because beer.

» Got dinner plans? Now you do. The Lake Street Tavern, 127 E. Lake, South Lyon, and Arbor are teaming up for the Brewfest and Feast from 7-10 p.m., featuring five courses paired with five beers. Tickets are $45; call 248-446-8898. Menu is here.

Wednesday, May 22

» Terry B’s Restaurant, 7954 Ann Arbor St., Dexter, teams up with Bell’s for a spring feast from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Your correspondent has seen a sneak peek of the menu, and as per usual Chef Doug Hewitt looks poised to hit another home run. Here are just a few hints: Michigan Shrimp Chowder, Smoked Trout "Sandwich," Chili Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin, and Butterscotch Pot de Creme paired with the likes of Roadhouse Imperial Red Ale, Two Hearted Ale, and Black Note Stout. If there are any spaces left, you'd be crazy not to jump on one.Call 734-426-3727 for pricing and more information. Weather permitting, the deck will be open to enjoy all this al fresco.

Thursday, May 23

» Original Gravity, Arbor, and Great Lakes are the featured breweries for the Craft Brew-Ha-Ha dinner at Paesano, 3411 Washtenaw, also taking place in the great outdoors, weather permitting. The beer and food bonanza starts at 6:30 p.m. on the patio. Call 734-971-0484 for prices and to reserve (if seats are still available); see the full mouth-watering menu here.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Congratulations to both Arbor and Liberty Street Brewing, who both received medals at this year's World Expo of Beer, taking place this weekend in Frankenmuth. Arbor snagged silver in the Sour Ale category for Flamboyant Red Wild Ale and Liberty earned silver for its Glutenous Minimus Gluten-Free Beer in the fierce Specialty Beer category and bronze in Amber Hybrid for Steamy Windows California Common Ale. Now go out and drink yourself some of these award-winning brews, and see all of the winners here.
  • The long-awaited bottling of Wolverine's The Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager is here: Beginning May 17 at noon, you can purchase this hop lover's delight by the bottle, sixer, or case at the Wolverine tap room, 2019 W. Stadium. Stick around for a more formal release celebration with live music and other fun in the evening, and look for six-packs in the more sensible retail outlets soon as well.
  • The Farmers Market is back for the season at Original Gravity, 440 County, Milan. Hit the brewery from 5-7 p.m. every Wednesday for fresh produce from the likes of Zilke Vegetable Farm as well as happy hour prices on beer because all that shopping makes a body thirsty.
  • The bus to the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival leaving from Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, Plymouth, and Witch's Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, is filling up fast. If you're looking to have someone else drive you to this signature event, look no further than Motor City Brew Tours. Get more details on bus and festival packages or bus-only tickets from MCBT, and be sure to check out the latest Witch's Hat news here.
  • Your next date with beer and fine cuisine is June 25 at Grange Kitchen & Bar, 118 W. Liberty, when the beers of Dark Horse are featured alongside Chef Brandon Johns's farm-to-table courses. More information on this and other upcoming events at Grange is here.
  • Another week, another correction: Grizzly Peak's 1995 throwback beer pricing takes place from May 20-26, not, as incorrectly stated by your sheepish correspondent, during Craft Beer Week.

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