Thursday, May 17, 2018

Who Will Win Ann Arbor's American Craft Beer Week Challenge?

Those of us who consume American craft beer on a nigh daily basis could be forgiven for forgetting that this week is American Craft Beer Week, as proclaimed by the Brewers Association. Luckily, Wolverine State Brewing, along with six other Ann Arbor businesses, not only remembered, but decided to host a Craft Brew Challenge Charity Brew-Off in honor of ACBW.

Two-person teams from Ashley's, Beer Grotto, HopCat, Rappourt Brew & Chew, the Session Room, and Zingerman's Roadhouse each collaborated with Wolverine staff to brew a special beer on Wolverine's pilot system. The results will be unveiled at 3 p.m. this Saturday, May 19, at the Wolverine taproom as the teams vie for votes to win the challenge.

What sort of beers did the teams brew? You'll have to show up at Wolverine on Saturday to find out; however, I did tease out details from a couple of people involved.

"We brewed a New England-style IPA with Nelson Sauvin hops and strawberries, named 'Nelson's Berry Bandwagon,' said Kim Anderson, beer buyer for Ashley's. "If it's delicious we hope to be able to brew a full batch with Wolverine and have it available on tap at Ashley's this summer."

Rappourt also brewed a New England-style IPA, according to co-owner Hardik Patel, who noted it's a double dry-hopped beer showcasing Galaxy and Citra hops over a melange of mango puree, wheat malt, and lactose.

The rest of the details: live music, grilled burger and brat specials, the opportunity to purchase a sampler package of all six beers (which you can upgrade to include a special event t-shirt), and a vote on your favorite beers. The top three brews will be announced later in the evening, with the brewers of the No. 1 vote-getter taking home the inaugural WSBC-ACBWC trophy.

Quantities of each beer are limited, but if you really, really love one or more of them, Adventures in Homebrewing is selling recipe kits of each at a 10% discount, should you wish to attempt to re-create any at home.

Most importantly, the proceeds from sales of the sampler packages go to help Trail's Edge Camp, which helps children on ventilators experience the fun of summer camp.

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