Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Week in Beer: Beat the Heat with Liquid Treats

Ja! The Old German is now open beneath Grizzly Peak.

Hot enough for ya? Yeah, I smacked the last smartypants who said that to me, too. Maybe you're one of these lucky people with access to a pool or a beach house or something crazy like an air conditioner. Or maybe you're just a poor sweaty shlub with none of those things. If that's the case, might I recommend a cool, refreshing brew or two? It's the next best thing to the beach house. Of course, if I had a beach house, it would be full of beer, too. Why limit oneself?

Thursday, July 18

» Ann Arbor’s version of Mardi Gras is in full swing (that would be the Art Fairs, for those living in a cave), and Bill’s Beer Garden, 218 S. Ashley, is here to help you manage the stress of crowds and summer heat. Every day for the duration of the Art Fairs, Bill’s is open beginning at noon and offering $1 off all drafts. Drop in and see what’s pouring or check the tap list on Bill’s website.

» Ashley’s, 338 S. State, is also offering their Michigan draft beer pavilion for the duration, for when you’re artsying on that side of town and need to quench your thirst. On tap: Atwater D-Light Kolsch; Bell's Ashley's 30th Anniversary Ale, Oarsman Ale, Oberon Ale, and Two Hearted Ale; Brewery Vivant Maize and Blueberry Ale, Dark Horse Rye Kwon Do, Founders Pale Ale, Odd Side Citra Pale Ale, Saugatuck Oval Beach Blonde, and Short's Local's Light Beer.

Friday, July 19

» Head over to the Wine Seller, 2721 Plymouth, for a Brewery Vivant tasting. From 5-8 p.m., enjoy free samples of several Vivant beers, including Trebuchet Double IPA. And check out the store’s huge selection of other great beers, because beer.

Saturday, July 20

» It’s the end of an era: the Shadow Art Fair, an Ypsilanti staple since 2006, is going out with a metaphorical bang. Head to the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, from noon to midnight and check out more than 40 local artists showcasing “the eccentricities of Ypsi.” This is the last time this groundbreaking event will be held, so if you’ve never been, now’s your chance. Another enticement: Corner brewers have created a special commemorative brew, The Cherry Queen. It’s a sour mash wheat wine fermented with fresh Michigan tart cherries.

» Up in South Lyon, the Blues, Brews, and Brats Festival returns to downtown, dishing out plenty of all of the foregoing from 3-11 p.m. Of interest to readers of this particular column, the “brews” portion of the festivities is being handled by Witch’s Hat Brewing, so skip the fizzy yellow stuff and go straight to Train Hopper IPA or Edward’s Portly Brown (an All the Brews personal favorite). More information, plus the chance to volunteer with the event if you’re so inclined, is here.

Monday, July 22

» Bounce over to Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, 207 W. Michigan, Ypsilanti, for a special edition of Beer Enthusiast Night. Use the magic of the Facebooks right now and vote for what Michigan beers you’d like to see, and Red Rock will pair them with appropriate appetizers.

Tuesday, July 23

» Zingerman’s Roadhouse, 2501 Jackson, is hosting a beer-and-cheese pairing featuring the creative brews of Short’s and morsels from Zingerman’s Creamery. Cost is $65, but it’s currently sold out. You can still give the Roadhouse a ring at 734-663-3663 and put your name in, because you never know who might cancel at the last minute. See the beer list here.

Wednesday, July 24

» Over in Plymouth, Karl’s Cabin, 6005 Gotfredson, is gearing up for the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival with a mini brewfest of its own. From 6-8 p.m., behold the Michigan Craft Beer Gala, featuring beers and representatives from Bell’s, Dragonmead, Founders, Kuhnhenn, and Short’s. Tickets are $35 and include 10 three-ounce samples. A munchie buffet is also available. Call 734-455-8350, or get more details here.

>> Hit up Ashley's at 6 p.m. for an event featuring Odd Side Ales. Wish I could tell you more, but then I'd have to kill you. Or at least drink your beer.

Thursday, July 25

» Sidetrack Bar & Grill, 56 E. Cross, is getting their Summer Beer Fest going early with a Short’s tap takeover beginning at 6 p.m. There’s no beer list available at the time of this writing, but it’s Short’s and Sidetrack, so what else do you need to know? (You can watch the Facebooks for the latest, though, if you're the worrying kind.)

» Beervangelist Fred Bueltmann pulls into town as part of the New Holland Stop & Taste Harvest Beer Dinner series. And where else would he go but Grange Kitchen & Bar, 118 W. Liberty, where he’s teamed with chef Brandon Johns to create a multi-course farm-to-table masterpiece paired with New Holland beer and spirits? Start your Summer Beer Festival right with this fresh feast. Call 734-995-2107 to reserve, and go here for more info on New Holland, the Beervangelist, and other dates and locations of the Stop & Taste tour.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, Plymouth, is putting something a little different on tap this week. Introducing Liberty Bell Gin Pale Ale, a 5.1% ABV Belgian-style brew made with juniper berries for a fruity, floral kick. Not sold? Try C-Monster Imperial IPA then, tough guy. It’s a 9.7% ABV beast using all of the “C” hops: Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, Citra, Cluster, and Challenger. How you like that?
  • Liberty is also filling “snarlers,” the 32 oz. little brother of growlers, with beer to go. They’re made of plastic, making them beach and park friendly, and even fit into water bottle mounts on bicycles. It’s like they planned it that way or something. Ask about them next time you’re in.
  • Vote for your favorite Metro Detroit brewpub in the summer Vote 4 the Best thingamabob that Channel 4 does. Plenty of worthy choices, including such great local haunts as Corner Brewery, Grizzly Peak, Wolverine, Liberty Street, and Original Gravity, are on the list. (Yeah, yeah, I know only Grizzly Peak is technically a brewpub. I didn't make the poll.) So, like, go waste a few more seconds of work time on this.
  • Hey! When’s the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival beer list gonna be released? BAM! How about now? Go see all the beers you won’t be able to try* here
  • Oh yeah, Old German's finally open. Now we stop talking about it and start doing something about it!
* Unless you are possessed of superhuman speed and alcohol tolerance plus an ability to skip long lines.

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