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Posted on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 : 10:02 a.m.

All the Brews Fit to Pint: Give thanks for beer, for it is good

By David Bardallis


Original Gravity Old School Alt at Ashley's.

David Bardallis | Contributor

It’s coming. In just about a week, it will be here. Are you ready?

No, I don’t mean Thanksgiving. I’m talking about the day before Thanksgiving, the alleged busiest bar night of the year. (Has anyone ever actually verified this with a detailed empirical study, by the way?) Now’s a good time to have a look around town at the various opportunities to keep yourself in fine beer-drinking practice for the big day.

Your pre-Thanksgiving Week in Beer, straight ahead.

Friday, November 20 From 4-7pm, the Whole Foods Market at Cranbrook offers its semimonthly Michigan beer tasting, and this time the spotlight shines on Ann Arbor’s own Arbor Brewing. Owner and brewer Matt Greff and right-hand Renaissance man Dannyboy will be on hand to discuss the featured beers (TBD, though rumor has it the Larry Foote Double IPA will be on tap) and answer brewing-related questions. Draft pints are $3; 4oz. samples are $1 each.

Saturday, November 21 For Michigan football fans, it’s been hard to muster up the proper level of hatred for this year’s Ohio State game. Luckily for us, Ashley's, 338 S. State, has the answer to our problem: beer for breakfast. Drop by beginning at 9am for Ashley's "Kegs and Eggs," featuring a breakfast buffet, a bloody Mary bar, and, of course, all the high-octane beer you need to numb yourself to the end of another sad, sad season.

Tuesday, November 24 From 3-7pm at Ypsilanti's Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, the Winter Farmers' Market rolls on inside the brewery. Come out for an extended happy hour and to celebrate fresh, local food. Call Growing Hope at 734-786-8401 if you are interested in being a volunteer or vendor.

Wednesday, November 25 Busiest bar night of the year? While you’re out and about, you may want to check out the Terminator release party at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, from 6-8pm in the Tap Room. Pints of this much-anticipated dopplebock will be flowing, munchies will be served, and $2 will be taken off growlers to bring home for Thanksgiving. Free for Arbor and Corner Brewery mug club members; $15 for unpopular nerds.

Around the same time at the Corner Brewery, the weekly small-batch release known as the Rat Pad will be a dry-hopped (with Amarillo) cask of the popular pale ale Ypsi Gypsy. Hop heads should be sure to check it out.

And, of course, Bar Louie, 401 E. Liberty, has $3 pints of selected beers from a featured Michigan brewery all day. The winnah! this week is Bell’s.

Notes on the Napkin

  • Paste magazine's list of the 25 Best American Breweries of the Decade features Dexter's own Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales at No. 19, noting that it's "set the standard in America for... French farmhouse style ale." Also making the list were Founders of Grand Rapids and Bell's of Kalamazoo. See the whole list here. (HT: KalamaBrew.)
  • You know how some things get better with age? Sometimes craft beer is one of those things. Mark Monday, Dec. 14, on your calendars for a Jolly Pumpkin Café (311 S. Main) charity auction featuring rare, older (3+ years) beers from the cellar of brewer Ron Jeffries, including bottles of Perseguidor, La Roja Grand Reserve, Fuego Del Otono, and the first batch of Luciernaga. More details to come.

That’s all the brews fit to pint for this week, fellow beer aficionados. Happy Turkey Day, and don’t forget to fill up a growler or three with delicious local brew to have on hand for wherever your festivities take you. Until next time, gobble, gobble, cheers!

David Bardallis is a freelance writer and editor, blogger, bon vivant, and man about town. Visit his Web site,, to engage his services or read his latest. Email your beer-related thoughts to


Spencer Thomas

Thu, Nov 19, 2009 : 3:18 p.m.

Friday, 11/20: Not in Ann Arbor, but anticipated by many area aficionados is the Bourbon Barrel Mead release at B. Nektar Meadery in Ferndale ( I had the opportunity to taste this last week, and it's very nice.