So one of my resolutions for 2014 is to re-invigorate this blog, which could definitely use some re-invigoration. Or even just some plain old invigoration. As part of that effort, I'm resurrecting The Short Pour, an irregular department that rounds up brief beer news and other tidbits that didn't make it into my regular column (usually, but not always, due to deadline thingies).
- Beer festival! No, not that beer festival. Right now, most of Michigan beerdom is in Grand Rapids for the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Festival. If you sat it out or weren't able to get tickets, Ohio has a beer festival for you closer to home: the Glass City Beer Festival, taking place Feb. 28 in Maumee (aka Toledo). The organizers have lined up more than 200 beers from 45 breweries, a number of which we don't see in Michigan. General admission tickets are $30 in advance ($35 at the door) and VIP tickets (includes special beers and early entry) are $50 in advance ($55 at the door). See all the details, including the beer and brewery list, on the official website.
- Free (and cheap) beer. Really! Keeping up with the high cost of living can be easy if you know where and when to look. Every Friday, you should look at the Produce Station, 1629 S. State St., and/or the Wine Seller, 2721 Plymouth Rd., who routinely host free beer tastings beginning at 5 p.m. to get your weekend started right. After 8 p.m., check out the Wurst Bar, 705 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti, where craft drafts are just $2 after 8 p.m. You're welcome.
- Laissez les bon temps roulez. It's Mardi Gras time, y'all. Both the Chelsea Alehouse, 420 N. Main St., Chelsea, and the Arbor Brewing Microbrewery (née Corner Brewery), 720 Norris St., Ypsilanti, are celebrating in style. On Saturday, March 1, Creole du Nord rocks the Alehouse from 8-11 p.m. with an infectious zydeco groove, and also offers up free dance lessons and a New Orleans-inspired menu. Oh, and beer. On the Day Itself, March 4, the Arbor Microbrewery is hosting a four-course New Orleans-inspired beer dinner beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 (plus tax and tip) and seating is limited to 25. Stop by the brewery or call 734-487-2739 for tickets. Menu is here.
- Taking over the taps. Lagunitas Brewing of Petaluma, Calif., takes over (some of) the taps at Sidetrack Bar & Grill, 56 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti, Feb. 26 beginning at 6 p.m. Beer list is still TBD, but look for something special pouring through the 'track's spiffy new Randall.