It’s April, and I’m fresh out of clichés about warm weather, new life and new beginnings, spring cleaning, college basketball, taxes, and, oh yeah, beer. But despite my lazy — I mean ironic and “meta” — effort here, there is nevertheless a solid schedule of good fun and delicious brew to partake of as spring advances. Here we go.
Thursday, April 3
» On May 6 voters will decide on a new millage to expand the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority’s bus service. If that’s your thing, you may be interested in the “Transit Happy Hour” from 5-7 p.m. at the Ladies’ Literary Club, 218 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti. The event in support of the millage campaign is co-sponsored by the Arbor Brewing Microbrewery and features DJ dannyboy of Halcyon Sundaze fame guest bartending. Maybe the next campaign can be to get the beer on the buses!
Friday, April 4
» Get down to Ann Arbor’s Washington Street beginning at 5:30 p.m. for the annual FoolMoon event, in advance of the FestiFools parade on Sunday. Grizzly Peak will have a tent set up on the street with live music and, of course, some FoolBrew pouring from the taps. Beginning at dusk, catch the scores of people who made luminous sculptures show off their hard work in a whimsical procession. Find out more at festifools.org.
Wednesday, April 9
» Bourbon barrel aged beer fanatics: Head over to Sidetrack Bar & Grill, 56 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti, for a special 7 p.m. tapping of Bell’s Black Note Stout. That is all.
Thursday, April 10
» The Jet’s Pizza Sportsroom, 506 N. Main St., Chelsea, is featuring the beers of South Lyon’s own Witch’s Hat Brewing in a tap takeover event from 5-8 p.m. The beer list is unavailable at the time of writing, but I’ve never had a bad Witch’s Hat beer, have you?
» Go big or stay home. The Arbor Brewing Brewpub, 114 E. Washington St., is hosting a High Gravity Beer Tasting from 7-9 p.m., with more than two dozen big brews including old ales, barleywines, double IPAs, Scotch ales, and maybe a few Belgian specialties. Tickets are $30 in advance ($35 the day of, if available) and include beer samples, tasting notes, an appetizer buffet, and the chance to win cool swag. Call 734-213-1393 to order.
Monday, April 14
» Drop by the Wurst Bar, 705 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti, at 6 p.m. for a Spring Wing Thing, featuring chicken wings dipped in sauces inspired by New Belgium beers and paired with same. Tap list is, unfortunately, unavailable as of this writing.
Tuesday, April 15
» April 15 is normally the worst day of the year, but Ashley’s, 338 S. State St., has a special treat to help soothe the pain of your government mugging. Seventh-generation owner and brewer Jef Versele of the family-owned Brouwerij Van Steenberge has flown in from Belgium and boy, are his arms tired. Meet him beginning at 8 p.m. as he introduces the new Piraat Tripel Hop Ale to these shores, and enjoy other Van Steenberge beers on tap including Gulden Draak, now served in the brewery’s own glassware thanks to a recent change in state law.
Wednesday, April 16
» A brief trip down the road to Ashley's Westland location, 7525 Wayne Rd., Westland, and you can participate in the Brewery Throwdown championship featuring two Michigan aspirants to the crown, Right Brain Brewery of Traverse City and Paw Paw Brewing of guess where. Right Brain, in fact, has already started smack talking with this highly articulate video. Each brewery will face off with eight different brews and whichever sells more, is the victor for 2014.
Thursday, April 17
» Celebrate this major holiday at Original Gravity, 440 County St., Milan, beginning at 3 p.m. What holiday, you ask? How could you not know it’s National High Five Day? OG is getting into the spirit with the annual release of their High Five IPA. Get some and go up high with the person on the barstool next to you.
Notes on the Napkin
- The Michigan Alumni Association recently profiled one illustrious alum, Jolly Pumpkin’s Ron Jeffries. You can read about this pioneering brewer here, while you look for the release of new batches of Jolly Pumpkin’s Biere de Mars and Ale Absurd Rye, which should be out by the time you’re reading this, or soon after.
- Get to World of Beer, 1300 South University Ave., between now and April 20 to enter their Beer Lover’s Getaway Sweepstakes to the Oregon Brew Fest July 23-27 in Portland. All you to do is enjoy pints of eight selected beers for your chance to win. Drink all eight, and you’ll also get a chance to score a Kona Beach Cruiser Bike.
- While you’re at WOB, you’ll also want to check out their new 3 for $3 promotion: Every day look for three different drafts pouring for only $3 each. A great way to stretch your drinking dollar!
- Finally, at the Wolverine taproom, 2019 W. Stadium, Daft 'n' Dank India Pale Kellerbier is now on tap. Read all about it on Wenchie's blog.