The Week in Beer: A little something for everyone
David Bardallis | Contributor
Thursday, April 4
>> Drop in to Dan’s Downtown Tavern, 103 E. Michigan, Saline, for a spring celebration featuring Arbor Brewing beers including on tap: Bollywood Blonde Ale, Ypsi Gypsi Pale Ale, Bliss Hefeweizen, Buzzsaw IPA, Strawberry Blonde Ale, and Ryeclops Rye Ale (pouring from a firkin!). Check it out beginning at 7 p.m.
Friday, April 5
>> The voice of the turtle is heard again in our land. Longtime Detroit Tigers fans know what I’m talking about, and any that aren’t going to The D for Opening Day might want to check out the doings at Original Gravity, 440 County St., Milan. OG opens early, at 11:30 a.m., in preparation for the 1 o’clock game. And they’ll have house-smoked pulled pork and chipotle gouda cheese nachos (while supplies last) and happy hour beer prices until 6 p.m. Go Tigers!
>> The brewery of honor at the Whole Foods Cranbrook’s Michigan Beer Happy Hour is Brewery Vivant, makers of fine Belgian-style brews. Grab your reusable save-the-planet shopping bag and head over to 990 W. Eisenhower at 5 p.m. to try out $3 drafts of Vivant’s ales. As of this writing, no tap list is available, but it’s Vivant, so it’ll all be good.
>> Bill’s Beer Garden, 218 S. Ashley, is back in action for the weekend, opening 5-11pm tonight, Saturday, and Sunday. Word is there will be another April weekend opening, too, before the regular summer schedule kicks in beginning in May. For a current list of which eight Michigan beers are on tap, check out the official site.
>> Downtown Ann Arbor gets foolish beginning at 7 p.m. as the FoolMoon parade kicks into gear. The street around Washington and Ashley will be full of luminaries, glowing artistic sculptures created by various of our local village idiots. What else is at Washington and Ashley? Oh yeah, Grizzly Peak, which will be pouring beer at a tent outside, including their special collaboration (with Blue Tractor): FoolBrew, a witbier made with pink peppercorn, green trea, and coriander. Your correspondent has tried some and can vouch for its deliciousness.
Saturday, April 6
>> The Michigan men’s basketball team is in the Final Four for the first time in two decades, which means that a substantial number of current Michigan students were not yet born when this last happened. (Insert standard joke about how old I feel here.) Anyway, the place to watch the game is Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, which will be rocking with 15-ounce glasses of Wolverine Premium Lager and Wolverine Amber Lager for just $1 each for the duration of the game. Tip-off is around 9 p.m., and let’s hope Syracuse goes home very sad.
Sunday, April 7
>> On this day in 1933, the first legal crack in the iron curtain of national alcohol prohibition appeared with the passage of an amendment allowing 3.2 percent alcohol by weight beer to be produced and sold. (Officially, that is; full repeal would not come for another eight months.) To celebrate, Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, is tapping their special Ladylegger Pale Ale, a 4 percent alcohol by volume (which is roughly 3.2 percent alcohol by weight) beer brewed with Cascade and Amarillo hops for a crisp, fragrant refresher of an ale. But the most attractive part of the beer may be that glasses of it are just $1 all day (or until it runs out).
>> At 6 p.m., the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, is releasing the long-awaited collaboration beer Mundus Novus, brewed with the guys from Belgium’s Brouwerij de Musketiers, makes of the Troubadour series of beers, among others. The result is a “chocolate rye dubbel” that, again, your correspondent has sampled and heartily approves of. Join Corner head brewer John Ritenour and owner Matt Greff as they talk about the beer, the collaboration process, and whatever else you want to ask them about. And, of course, try the beer!
Monday, April 8
>> Beer Enthusiast Monday at Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, 207 W. Michigan, Ypsilanti, features four beers from Grand Haven’s Odd Side Ales: Simcoe Sensation Session IPA, Java Mint Stout, Citra Pale Ale, and Peanut Butter Stout. The beers flow at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 9
>> The Wurst Bar, 705 W. Cross, Ypsilanti, is welcoming spring with a Bell’s and Bingo event beginning at 4 p.m., when Bell’s “Jazz Series” of beers - Le Batteur, Le Pianiste, and Le Contrabassiste - is tapped, along with the delicious dry-hopped Quinnanan Falls Special Lager, Oberon Ale, and Oarsman Ale. Stick around for bingo and the chance to win some Bell’s booty, too.
>> Beer. Bloggers. Beer with Bloggers. An evening of brew and BS is in the offing at the Corner Brewery from 7-9 p.m. as Ypsi blogger extraordinaire Mark Maynard again convenes a gathering of digital wordsmiths and their readers. Last year, something like 75 showed up for the fun, informal event (alas, yours truly was not among them). For more details, check out co-host Eclecta Blog’s post on the subject and check out the event on Facebook. (Note: As Mr. Maynard himself says, all bloggers are welcome, not just those with a decidedly leftish political view of the world.)
Wednesday, April 10
>> Rat Fest Redux continues at Corner beginning at 6 p.m. as beers from the Brighton Brew Club go on tap for a second time. Enjoy Bombs Away Carbomb Stout, Imperial Lemoncello Weizen, Jack Goes to Scotland Scotch Ale, and Jaeger Blonde Ale. As always, if any’s left at 9, you can get them in growlers to take home with you. Read more about these beers here.
>> At Ashley’s, 338 S. State, the 30th anniversary celebration continues with Rye Kwon Do, a rye malt-brewed version of Dark Horse’s Scotty Karate Scotch Ale, along with a number of other DH brews on tap. Unfortunately, Dark Horse being Dark Horse, there’s no list of taps available just yet. But the party, whatever form it takes, is definitely on.
>> Over in Chelsea, Jet’s Pizza, 506 N. Main, is hosting a beer dinner from 6-8 p.m. featuring four sumptuous courses paired with four different Arbor Brewing beers. Unfortunately at this time, I have no further info, so interested parties are directed to call Jet’s at 734-433-9700 for the full scoop.
Thursday, April 11
>> Tasting time at Arbor Brewing is here again. From 7-9 p.m., enjoy more than two dozen high-gravity brews (translated to regular English that means “strong stuff”), a buffet spread fit for a beer drinker, and the tantalizing prospect of coming home with some cool beer-related swag. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 on tasting day. Drop by the pub to get your ticket or call 734-213-1393.
Notes on the Napkin
- Whole Foods Cranbrook recently announced on their Facebook page that they will be tapping some “magnificent but hard to find on draft” Belgian beers (from Belgium) from time to time as an occasional treat. First up: Delirium Tremens Strong Ale. More, please!
- The Chelsea Alehouse will now be open at noon on Saturdays and Sundays beginning April 6. An even further expansion of hours is coming soon; check chelseaalehouse.com for updates. (Also on April 6, the Alehouse will be projecting the UM-Syracuse Final Four game at 9 p.m. for those wanting to follow the action.)
David Bardallis is a freelance writer and editor, blogger, bon vivant, and man about town. Visit “All the Brews Fit to Pint” at AnnArborBeer.com, follow @allthebrews on Twitter, or join the "All the Brews Fit to Pint" Facebook page. Email your beer-related thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.