Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Every Two Weeks in Beer: Capping Off Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week

Hopman and sidekicks Beer Boy and Yeast Girl celebrate at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival July 26 in Riverside Park in Ypsilanti.

The sturm und drank of Ypsi-Arbor Beer Week continues, with more tappings and tastings than space and/or my short attention span allow me to list here. Readers are encouraged to check out the YABW schedule at, which also includes many in-store events at such notable places as The Wine Seller on Plymouth Rd. and the newly redesigned and reopened Blue Front on Packard St. In the meantime, here are some key highlights to help you cap off (see what I did there?) a great week for beer, local or otherwise.

Thursday, August 7

» Head to Carson’s American Bistro, 2000 Commonwealth Blvd., for some “Cold Beer and Hot Jazz” from 4-7 p.m. Enjoy strolling appetizers on the patio, live jazz, and prize giveaways and brews from Sam Adams, including Boston Lager, Cherry Wheat Ale, Porch Rocker, Rebel IPA, Summer Ale, and White Lantern Witbier. Also available are three Sam Adams shandies: Curious Traveler, Time Traveler, and Illusive Traveler. Tickets are $19.95 excluding tax and tip; call 888-456-3463.

» North to Alaska – or, at least, west-ish to Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, for a taste of the newest out-of-state brewery to roll into Michigan, Alaskan Brewing. You know the drill: Start loitering around the Wine and Beer Bar from 4-6 p.m. when they put the featured beers on – and be sure to also check out some cheese pairings along with a little Alaskan trivia.

» Bill’s Beer Garden, 218 S. Ashley St., gives an 11-tap salute to Arbor Brewing beginning at 6 p.m. Enjoy everyday and specialty beers from the longtime local faves, including Euchre Pils and Eik Zon Sour Ale.

» The first-ever beer dinner at the Original Cottage Inn Restaurant, 512 E. William St., features the sudsy stylings of Short’s Brewing. From 6-9 p.m., dig strolling appetizers followed by a three-course dinner paired with the likes of Cerveza de Julie, Prolonged Enjoyment Session IPA, Nicie Spicie, Bellaire Brown Ale, and Strawberry Short’s Cake. Price is $45 inclusive; call 734-663-3379 to reserve. See the menu here.

» Learn all about Belgian monks and the beers they make at Ashley’s, 338 S. State, with the Trappist Experience, a sampling and learning session led by beer expert John Staunton, who works directly with several Belgian monasteries to import the monks’ beers into the U.S. John will give a 45-minute presentation, then take questions for 15 minutes as you sample from Orval, Rochefort, and Westmalle breweries. Two sessions are available, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are just $10 and can be purchased online here. And be sure to stick around for dinner: Ashley’s is also offering a Belgian beer-infused menu of snacks.

» Over at World of Beer, 1300 South University Ave., look for the crew from Colorado-based Oskar Blues giving out samples and swag from 6-8 p.m. On tap will be Good Game Belgian Quad, Nut Brown Ale, Old Chub Scotch Ale (nitro), and Ten Fidy Imperial Stout (2013). Cans include Dale’s Pale Ale, Deviant Dale’s IPA, G’Knight Imperial Red Ale, and Mama’s Little Yellow Pils.

Friday, August 8

» Whole Foods Ann Arbor, 3135 Washtenaw Ave., is featuring the beers of Dogfish Head at their specialty bar from 5-7 p.m. Roll in for a pint or two and also enjoy some sausage samples to go with that sweet, sweet beer.

» Bill finally has a beer named after him! Check it out at Bill’s Beer Garden, beginning at 5:30 p.m., as The Hideout unveils Bill’s Brew IPA and 11 more concoctions born in their Grand Rapids brewery.

» California brewing juggernaut Lagunitas is stopping by the Sidetrack Bar & Grill, 56 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti, beginning at 8:30 p.m. and wants you to steal a pint. Well, a pint glass, anyway. Order a Lagunitas IPA, Little Sumpin’ Extra Double IPA, or Night-time Black Ale and take the glass home with you. Make sure you cheers with Lagunitas rep extraordinaire Andrew “Finny” Finsness while you’re there, too.

Saturday, August 9

» Grab your bike and head over to Arbor Brewing Microbrewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, at noon for the Brewery-to-Brewery Slow Roll, a leisurely bike ride from the microbrewery to the Arbor pub in downtown Ann Arbor. Both locations will be offering happy hour prices for bikers, who are invited to participate no matter their level of ability or skill. Ride should take about 90 minutes, just long enough to build up a really good thirst.

» Then pedal to Ashley’s at 2 p.m., when the “Let’s Roll!” fundraiser featuring New Belgium beers kicks off. Take part in a quick toast then ride to Gallup Park for some games and giveaways with New Belgium. Pedal back to Ashley’s for a silent auction (ending at 7) for a limited-edition New Belgium touring bike and some liquid refreshments. Ashley’s will donate $1 from every New Belgium pint sold to the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor to build a universal access children’s playground in Gallup Park, and New Belgium will match every dollar. Do good while drinking well, whether you bring your bike or not!

» Bigalora, 3050 Washtenaw Ave., and Lagunitas are teaming up for a special trivia night fundraiser to benefit Ann Arbor’s Neutral Zone from 5-8 p.m. Bigalora will donate a dollar from each Lagunitas pint sold, matched by Lagunitas, to the teen activity center.

» Later on, stop by Bill’s Beer Garden around 6 p.m. for Mark Hodesh’s 70th birthday blowout, featuring live music from Ann Arbor favorites The Macpodz. Wish the man responsible for both Downtown Home and Garden as well as the Fleetwood Diner a happy superannuation – and don’t forget to grab a bite from Mark’s Carts!

Monday, August 11

» Fraser's, 2045 Packard St., is celebrating all that is big and hoppy this week, beginning today with a tapping of Dogfish Head's Hellhound on My Ale, a bold imperial IPA brewed with lemons and released in commemoration of bluesman Robert Johnson's legendary deal with the devil. On Tuesday, look for Founders Devil Dancer Triple IPA and on Wednesday, Founders Dissenter Imperial India Pale Lager.

» Some people like to pair their beer with food. Others like to pair beer with bad movies. At Vellum, 209 S. Main St., you get all of it together at the Craft Beer and Cult Classic Dinner featuring New Belgium. Beginning at 7 p.m., enjoy a menu of courses specially prepared to go with six New Belgium beers, including Tour de Fall Pale Ale, Snapshot Wheat Ale, Fat Tire Amber Ale, Gruit, La Folie Sour Ale, and Gratzer Smoked Ale (collaboration with 3 Floyds), as well as clips from so-bad-they're-good movies. New Belgium's masters of blending Lauren and Eric Salazar will be on hand for the festivities and to talk about the beer. Tickets are $55 (excluding tax and tip); call 734-274-4596.

Thursday, August 14

» Arbor’s “Micro Madness” beer tasting is in the house at 114. E. Washington St. from 7-9 p.m. Sample from a couple dozen of America’s best craft breweries, nosh on an appetizer buffet, and maybe score some cool raffle swag while you’re at it. Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 the day of); call 734-213-1393 or buy at the pub.

Saturday, August 16

» Join a guided tour of three downtown Ann Arbor breweries – Arbor, Blue Tractor, and Grizzly Peak – with Motor City Brew Tours’ latest walkabout from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 and include lunch at Blue Tractor, along with beer samples and tours. Visit for more information, or buy online.

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