Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Every Two Weeks in Beer: Have a Hoppy Halloween

Grizzly Peak head brewer Duncan Williams adds candy corn to the upcoming batch of Biere d'Automne Ale.

Greetings, boys and ghouls! Welcome to the column formerly known as The Week in Beer, now appearing every two weeks but still packed with all that same sudsy goodness you’ve come to know and love over the past four and a half years. (Yes, your correspondent really has been doing this for that long.) This time around, we look at all the scary good beers and haunted happenings on tap around town this Halloween season. Have a safe and hoppy holiday, and beware of things that go burp in the night.

Friday, October 18

» Get your groceries at Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, and while you’re at it, stop by the Wine and Beer Bar between 5 and 8 p.m. for a little Michigan beer Friday happy hour. Saugatuck Brewing will be the guest of honor, and is bringing a special keg of Darker Than Your Soul Stout – ooh, scary! Brewery rep Jon Cole will be there, talking about this and the other Saugatuck beers, all TBD.

Saturday, October 19

» Football returns to Ann Arbor as Michigan takes on Indiana, and if you’re looking for a tailgate party, look no further than the Wolverine State Brewing beer tent at the Ann Arbor Golf & Outing course, where from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. you can drink beer for a cause. Enjoy cans of Wolverine Premium Lager or drafts of Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager for $4, with the proceeds going to benefit the University of Michigan Cancer Center’s breast cancer research. Call it tailgating for ta-tas!

Monday, October 21

» Are you enthusiastic about beer? Then Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, 207 W. Michigan, Ypsilanti, wants to see you for Beer Enthusiast Mondays, when they feature several beers from a particular craft brewery on tap. This time around, they welcome Oskar Blues Brewery all the way from Longmont, Colorado. The least you can do is go to Ypsi!

Tuesday, October 22

» Bill’s Beer Garden, 218 S. Ashley, had so much with their last tap takeover event that they’re doing it again, this time with Odd Side Ales from Grand Haven. Beginning at 5 p.m., enjoy five Odd Side brews on tap including Barrel Aged Black Citra Not So Pale Ale, Firefly Papaya and Habanero Ale, Granny’s Apple Pie Ale (collaboration with Vander Mill), Peach Tea Ale, and Sinister Vertigo Imperial Stout. How does your garden brew?

» Haven’t had enough Odd Side Ales? Then go to Ashley’s, 338 S. State, for the release of another 30th anniversary celebratory ale, courtesy of Odd Side. It’s a double IPA brewed with Citra hops, brewed exclusively for Ashley’s and given the quaint name of Ashley’s Government Shutdown Ale in honor of Washington’s recently furloughed beer name-approving bureaucrats. Also on tap beginning at 6 p.m.: Citra Pale Ale, Dutch Chocolate Stout, Granny's Apple Pie Ale, Jackalope Amber Ale, and Mayan Mocha Stout.

» Head to the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, and bring the kids, a pumpkin, and carving tools for an evening of competition. From 6-9 p.m., carve your best gourd and the top three pumpkin artistes as chosen by the staff will receive gift cards. Free (nonalcoholic) apple cider will be available and, even better, so will happy hour beer prices for all active adult pumpkin carvers.

Wednesday, October 23

» Hey Witch’s Hat Mug Club members! You’ll want to head to the taproom at 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, for Mug Club Appreciation Day! Mug Clubbers will be pampered with happy hour prices all day; half-off 128 oz. of growler fills; half-off all t-shirts, glasses, and coffee mugs; 20% off mugs; plus a number of iterations of the Batch 200 beer, including versions with chipotle and jalapeno peppers, toasted coconut, pumpkin spices, Guatemalan coffee beans, and more.

» At 6:30 p.m. it's dinner time at Grange Kitchen & Bar, 118 W. Liberty, and what better to wash all that fresh farm-to-table food down with than beers from Founders Brewing? This event's almost certainly sold out, but with last-minute cancellations and whatnot, you never know. Cost is $60 per person, excluding tax and tap; call 734-995-2107.

Friday, October 25

» The second edition of Wolverine’s Massacre Imperial Dark Lager goes on sale at noon at the tap room, 2019 W. Stadium. Bottles of the 11.5% lager aged in bourbon barrels for six months will be sure to warm up your chilly autumn evening. There’s even a rumor floating around Massacre may be available on draft for a short time. But that’s only a rumor.

» Road trip time as the Michigan Brewers Guild Detroit Fall Beer Festival is here! Join a few thousand of your closest friends at Eastern Market in Detroit from 5-9 p.m. to sample from hundreds of beers from dozens of Michigan breweries. Saturday’s festivities are sold out, but you can still buy tickets ($35) for Friday online here. Visit for more information and check for a list of breweries and beers, when available.

Saturday, October 26

» Do you know what you’re going to be for Halloween? You better figure it out before the Corner Brewery Halloween Party and Costume Contest, which kicks off at 8 p.m. Some scary good Halloween beers will be on tap, along with haunting tunes from Halcyon Sound and Wax Kings DJs. The Beer Garden will also be open, with a tent full of local artists pushing the boundaries of the known dimensions. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes in five different categories. No cover.

Sunday, October 27

» It’s family pumpkin carving time at the Wolverine taproom from 2-5 p.m! Entertain the kids with that most important of Halloween activities while you enjoy a brew or two.

Monday, October 28

» The featured brewery at Red Rock Downtown Barbecue’s Beer Enthusiast Night is Paw Paw Brewing from, you guessed it, the village of Paw Paw. Beer list TBD.

Tuesday, October 29

» At the Corner Brewery, Olde Number 22 Altbier goes back on tap during a release party from 6-8 p.m. Enjoy samples of the beer as well as light appetizers. Free for Arbor and Corner Mug Club members; $10 for outsiders.

Wednesday, October 30

» It’s an annual tradition: Original Gravity, 440 County, Milan, is once again proud to present Beer and Scary Movie Night. Enjoy a special small-batch Halloween beer release as well as a screening of an appropriately frightful film, both TBD.

Thursday, October 31

» “Dancing at the zombie zoo,” sang Tom Petty, in a song that possibly only I remember. Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, is the site of said zombie dance party, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Break out your creepiest zombie gear and join the invasion for a night of undead dancing to DJ Illigan. On tap will be Night Stalker Pumpkin Cream Stout, Dark Side Black IPA, and Violin Monster Autumn Ale, among others. And don’t miss the zombie costume contest at 11. No cover.

Notes on the Napkin
  • Now on tap at the Old German: Landbier (pronounced “lunt-beer”), the 5.6% ABV German answer to French and Belgian saison-style beers. And currently conditioning in the Grizzly Peak tanks: Biere d’Automne, brewed with roasted pumpkin and candy corn. Look for it at the Peak bar and/or the Den soon.
  • At the Wolverine taproom, you can now enjoy Cucurbita Smiles, an autumnal spiced lager brewed with oats, pumpkin puree, and brown sugar and aged with vanilla beans. Also on tap: 40 Ounces of Freedom Imperial Pilsner, a tasty 8.6% ABV beast of a lager.
  • Up in South Lyon, Witch’s Hat recently put on tap Tuscan Coffee Stout, Gluten-Free IPA, and Big Doedish Double IPA. Want to stay up to date on beers on tap at the Hat? There’s an app for that! Download it on iTunes for Apple, and watch for the Android version coming soon. And see what else is going on at the Hat this month with their newsletter.

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