Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Week in Beer: Take Time to Stop and Taste

Mundus Vetus Rye Tripel brewed in Ghent, Belgium, by Arbor Brewing and Brouwerij de Musketiers and on tap now at Ashley's.

Sidewalk sitting, outdoor drinking and dining, and beer on the deck: It's summer in Ann Arbor, and you are cordially invited to slow down, relax a bit, and partake of the many marvelous things going on in and around our town. Or, in the words of the fine folks at New Holland Brewing: "Stop and taste."

Friday, May 31

>> You look a little tired. Maybe you’ve been working too hard? Take Friday afternoon off and go straight to the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, where beginning at noon this year’s vintage of Velvet Hammer Sour Ale will be pouring. Velvet Hammer, named in honor of Corner co-founder Rene Greff, begins life as Phat Abbot Belgian-Style Dubbel Ale before aging in funky oak barrel cocoons and emerging in all its tart deliciousness. Other sour ales will also be on deck, including Framboozled, Sodibo, and Flamboyant Red. Stick around in the evening for some live entertainment you won’t soon forget, including everything from tarot card readers and t-shirt makers to magicians and fire dancers. Performances from the Ann Arbor Derby Dimes and A2 Aviary are also in the offing, leading up to the main event, a 9 p.m. burlesque show (not kid-friendly, parents, so you’re asked to have the young’uns home before then). There is no cover charge. Check out the official Facebook event page here.

Sunday, June 2

>> The Taste of Ann Arbor event on Main Street is an annual tradition, made even better with beer! Stroll through and try the sumptuous offerings from dozens of area cafes and restaurants then wash it all down with some brews inside Arbor Brewing’s beer garden (aka a blocked-off Washington Street) from 11-6. On tap: Blackberry Blonde Ale, Bavarian Bliss Hefeweizen, Sacred Cow IPA, and Mackinac Island Fudge Stout. Live music is also part of the awesome. See participating restaurants and more details here.

>> Over in Ypsilanti, the second Halcyon Sundaze of the season kicks into gear beginning at 2 p.m. at the Corner Brewery. Prepare to spend a lazy Sunday kicking back in the beer garden with some refreshing brew and musical vibes from local DJs spinning “songs reminiscent of yesteryear, futurefunk, throwback soul, and AM Gold.” The official Halcyon beer, brewed on May 5, is Simcoe de Mayo Mexican-Style Lager. As always, no cover. See the official Facebook event page here.

Monday, June 3

>> The enthusiasm for beer continues at Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, 207 W. Michigan, Ypsilanti, with the latest Beer Enthusiast Monday event: four taps of Sierra Nevada limited-release “Brewer’s Dozen” beers. Around 6 p.m. look for Hoptimum Whole Cone Imperial Ale, Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale, Belgian-Style Blonde Ale, and Blindfold Black IPA. And while you’re there, eat some of those delicious smoked chicken wings for me.

Tuesday, June 4

>> The monthly Brewer’s Night at Grizzly Peak, 120 W. Washington, is what’s on tap in the Den from 6-9 p.m. Enjoy discounted beer samplers, lively conversation with Grizzly’s brew team, and tours of the brewery – maybe even get a look-see at how the new Old German basement bar is progressing. Also look for a cask of something special on the bar.

>> Over at Ashley’s, the latest in the series of rotating 30th anniversary beers is tapping at 6 p.m., courtesy of Brewery Vivant: Maize and Blueberry Farmhouse Ale. It’s a special commemorative tart brew made with rustic corn and fermented with blueberries. An as-yet-undisclosed-list of other Vivant libations will also be tapping, and brewery representative Kate Avery will be on hand to answer questions and help you drink all those beers.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Summer is coming to Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon! On tap soon will be Simcoe Session IPA and the Hat’s refreshing seasonal hefeweizen, Bear-Ass Wheat. Get some!
  • Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, is now selling mixed cases for the summer. Choose from the (for now) four bottled brews: Premium Lager, Dark Lager, Amber Lager, or Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager. Yours for only $30!
  • Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, is now offering happy hour on beers every day of the week, 4-7 p.m. The good people of the Wine and Beer Bar are also introducing new happy hour “style nights,” where instead of focusing on a particular brewery they will have a number of taps devoted to a specific style. The first one will be IPA night on June 7.
  • Hey! Go like the spiffy new A2 Beer Week page on Facebook. That's right, there will be an Ann Arbor Beer Week leading up to this year's Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti in July. There has to be, right? Because we're the fourth beeriest city in the USA.

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