Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Week in Beer: Enjoy Daylight Drinking Time

Coming soon to a Grizzly Peak basement near you.

Friday is the longest day of the year, which means from this point forward you're going to steadily lose daylight drinking time. But that's all right, day or night, the beer will still taste great, and there's oh so much of it to try in the week ahead. In fact, time's a-wasting, so why spend any more time on niceties? Let's get to the brew.

Friday, June 21

» Shopping time again at Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower — beer shopping, that is. Direct your cart to the Wine and Beer Bar from 5-7 p.m. where eight beers from Plymouth’s Liberty Street Brewing will be on tap for your happy hour pleasure. Meet Liberty’s owner and head brewer Joe Walters and drink his beer! Lineup TBD.

» Just in time for summer, the refreshing Verano Mexican Style Amber Lager returns to the Wolverine State Brewing taproom, 2019 W. Stadium. While you’re there getting your Verano on, ask about Wolverine’s July 13 golf outing to Reddeman Farms Golf Club in Chelsea. Tickets are $40 for golf only or $50 for golf plus beer after-party, which, like duh.

Monday, June 24

» Beer Enthusiast Monday at Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, 207 W. Michigan, Ypsilanti, welcomes the beers of Dark Horse Brewing. Which beers? Follow Red Rock on Facebook for updates.

» Top of the Park is dark, but the Ann Arbor Summer Festival action shifts to Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, at 7 p.m. for the 33 1/3 series, featuring selections from and readings about iconic rock albums. Tonight’s focus is 1967’s The Velvet Underground and Nico, with Ypsilanti uberblogger Mark Maynard reading from Joe Harvard’s book on the album and WCBN DJ Christine Barrera playing clips. Oh, and order a few Festival Saisons to help support the AASF.

Tuesday, June 25

» Top of the Park returns and so does the Tuesday beer tasting sponsored by O&W. Visit the Beverage Garden from 5-8 p.m. to sample beers from guest brewery New Belgium Brewing from Fort Collins, Colorado. There’s a $15 fee for tastings; check the AASF website for more information on upcoming breweries.

» Over at Arbor Brewing, the release party for Anahata Chakra Honey Lavender Ale kicks off at 6 p.m. ABC describes it thusly: “A unique and pleasing ale brewed with honey and fresh lavender flowers. Hints of lavender in the aroma and finish, but never overbearing. Lavender is associated with the Anahata, or heart, chakra and has for ages been thought to bring luck in love and is tied to the Kalpavriksha, or wish fullfilling tree.” I’m not sure what that means, but it almost sounds like the Indian version of a Budweiser commercial: Drink one of these and beautiful bikini-clad babes will parachute onto your lap. (Or manly studs, depending on your preference.) Light refreshments will be served. Event is free for Mug Club members; $10 for outsiders.

» At 6 p.m., Ashley’s, 338 S. State, is hosting the Friends of Founders Appreciation Night, with many regulars and rarities from the famous Grand Rapids brewery pouring forth into your appreciative glass. Check out this sweet 16 lineup tailored especially for Founders freaks: All Day IPA, Backwoods Bastard, Bolt Cutter, Centennial IPA, Curmudgeon Old Ale, Devil Dancer Triple IPA, Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, Doom Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial IPA, Double Trouble Imperial IPA, Imperial Stout, KBS Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale, Porter, Red's Rye PA, and Rubaeus Raspberry Ale. Oh, Ashley's, you shouldn't have. But we're glad you did.

Wednesday, June 26

» Jimmy Ludwig, big famous star of the Broadway stage, returns to his hometown of Ann Arbor for the 2013 Beermuda Triangle Tour in conjunction with the Bagger Dave’s burger chain. As part of his superhero double life as host of The Happy Hour Guys, Jimmy will be visiting Bagger Dave’s restaurants and breweries throughout Metro Detroit. From 1-4 p.m. he’ll be at Arbor Brewing, following up with a tasting and food pairing at the Bagger Dave’s at 859 W. Eisenhower from 6-8 p.m. Drop by, say hi, have a beer. Who knows, maybe he’ll make you famous, too.

» The Dark Horse beer dinner at Grange Kitchen & Bar, 118 W. Liberty, begins at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $60 (excluding tax and tip) for five courses of seasonal, locally sourced goodness paired with good Michigan beer. By the time you read this, it may well be sold out, but you never know. You can call 734-995-2107 or attempt to buy online. And mark July 25 on your calendar for the next Grange beer dinner, this one feature New Holland Brewing.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Remember that brief, happy period when you could buy six-packs of Liberty Street beer from your local store? No? Oh. Well, I do. And I miss that. Fortunately, Liberty has acquired a bottling/labeling line of its own and they have just fired it up. If all goes well, bottles of Steamy Windows California Common Ale and Red Glare Amber Ale should again grace the shelves of your favorite beer seller soon.
  • Two beautiful new tanks have been delivered to the basement underneath Grizzly Peak, 120 W. Washington, and signs are in place above the Ashley St. entrance. The new subterranean bar named in honor of the former Old German is expected to be open and serving German-inspired beer and food in July. And the beer will flow directly from the tanks!
  • What are you doing Saturday, July 13? May I recommend joining me for a walking tour of downtown Ann Arbor breweries? From 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., I’ll be guiding, on behalf of Motor City Brew Tours, an interested group of beer tourists to Blue Tractor, Grizzly Peak, and Arbor Brewing. Meet brewers, get brewery tours, drink beer, and all that good stuff, all for just $38-ish. Go here for more information and to sign up.

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