Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Every Two Weeks in Beer: Change in the Air – And Your Glass

Seasons may change, but good beer remains.

Change is in the air. The roads, sidewalks, bars, and restaurants are all more crowded, thanks to throngs of students who, like swallows to Capistrano, dependably return to our fair city en masse at the same time every year. Not only that, but the astute observer will have noted the slow withdrawal on tap of various wheats, wits, and other lighter beers in favor of browns, porters, pumpkin beers, and more fall faves. It’s just another reminder of the natural cycle, as well as beer’s long and storied place within it. Be a part of the cycle! Here are some ideas on how.

Friday, September 5

» Have you checked out the new and improved (from a beer lover’s perspective) Blue Front party store at 701 Packard Street? Tonight might be a good time to check it out, if not, because Schramm’s Meadery will be there from 5-7 p.m. pouring free samples. Now I know, mead is not beer, so if it’s not your thing, you have a lot of great bottled brews to choose from to take home with you. Bell’s is the featured free beer pourer on September 12; visit to keep up to date on all the free beer.

» In Saline, Dan’s Downtown Tavern, 103 E. Michigan Ave., welcomes the Bell’s crew in for a party on the patio. While you sharpen your Cornhole skills and compete for prizes, enjoy on tap such Bell’s treats as Amber Ale, Best Brown Ale, Cherry Stout, Hopsoulution Double IPA, Octoberfest Beer, Porter, Third Coast Old Ale, and Two Hearted Ale. The fun and games begin at 6 p.m.

» At long last, the Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak production brewery has a place for the public to go and sample the wares. The NULL Café and Taphouse, 2139 Bishop Circle East, Dexter, flings open its doors to one and all (unless you’re That Guy) at 7 p.m. (If you contributed to the crowdfunding campaign, there is a special reception for you at 5.) Look for refreshments from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, North Peak Brewing Co., Civilized Spirits, Nomad Cidery, and Bonafide Wines. See more at

Saturday, September 6

» While many of us will be watching Michigan play its last game at Notre Dame for the foreseeable future (cue the “Chicken Dance,” Mr. DJ), others may well wish to cruise over to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market for the Homegrown Festival, taking place from 6-10 p.m. Not only will there be local food and beer, including brews from Arbor Brewing, Chelsea Alehouse, Unity Vibration, Witch’s Hat Brewing, and Wolverine State Brewing, but you can also find out who won the Homebrew Competition! Live music and family activities are part of the fun. Learn more here.

Sunday, September 7

» Head back to Kerrytown for some book learnin’ at the Kerrytown Bookfest from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. What does this have to do with beer? Well, your correspondent will be there with his very own booth, talking beer and selling copies of my opus, Ann Arbor Beer: A Hoppy History of Tree Town Brewing. Come say hi and buy some copies. I’ll even sign them in my trademark illegible scrawl! See for the rest of the events and exhibitors.

Tuesday, September 9

» The Bell’s team heads to Buffalo Wild Wings, 205 S. State St., beginning at 7 p.m. for a release party for Best Brown Ale, some tabletop football, and a general good time. Also look for Oracle Double IPA on tap. And that’s all I have to say about that.

» Hallelujah, the Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. bridge is back open! Why not celebrate by driving that-a-way to Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower Pkwy., from a happy hour with Green Flashing Brewing from 5-7 p.m.? Recently whilst I was in San Diego, a knowledgeable bartender explained to me how this local brewery’s name refers to an atmospheric phenomenon in the area that occasionally makes the sunset appear green for a split second. File under: things only San Diegans know.

Thursday, September 11

» Taste some of the best beer Michigan has to offer at the Arbor Brewing Brewpub, 114 E. Washington St., during this month’s Mitten Made beer tasting from 7-9 p.m. Enjoy more than two dozen brews from around the Great Beer State, along with an appetizer buffet, tasting notes, and, as always, the chance to take home some groovy beer-related raffle prizes. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 if purchased the day of; call 734-213-1393.

Friday, September 12

» Belly up to the Whole Foods Cranbrook Wine and Beer Bar for a special 5-7 p.m. happy hour featuring the beers of everyone’s favorite brewery in the world, Founders Brewing. Tap list TBD.

Sunday, September 14

» The last Halcyon Sundaze of the year takes place in the Arbor Brewing Microbrewery beer garden, 720 Norris St., Ypsilanti, from 2-9 p.m. Get ready for one last lazy Sunday afternoon of rotating Halcyon sound engineers spinning the sweetest of song reminiscent of yesteryear, futurefunk, throwback soul, and AM gold. Plus, as usual, there will be a specialty Halcyon brew on tap, $1 records, and demos from local artists. No cover.

Tuesday, September 16

» Celebrate (almost) three decades of Bell’s at Ashley’s, 338 S. State St., beginning at 6 p.m. Fifteen rotating Bell’s beers will be on tap all week long, and you can also enjoy the first release in Bell’s new Planet Series of beers, Mars Double IPA. The Bell’s crew will also be there, so you know it’s going to be a good time. Best way to get more details as they’re available is to subscribe to Ashley’s email newsletter at

Notes on the Napkin
  • Ashley’s is in the running for the Detroit area’s “Best Beer Selection” in WDIV-TV4’s annual Vote 4 the Best poll. Help them take the top spot again this year by voting (you can vote once per day) through Sunday, September 14. You can vote here.
  • After what seems like, ahem, an eternity, Eternity Brewing is set to open promptly at 4 p.m., September 23, in Howell at 4060 E. Grand River Ave. Never mind the ribbon-cutting, though, owners and husband-and-wife team Mike and Dayna Tran plan a brief hop bine-cutting ceremony before pouring out the brew. Congratulations to two people who gave up good-paying careers in engineering to follow their dream of making beer for the people! Find out more at
  • There’s been a price correction to the September 23 Wine vs. Beer Dinner at Vinology in Ann Arbor. Tickets are $75 per person (excluding tax and tip) in advance, or $85 the day of. Call 734-222-9841 to reserve.

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