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Posted on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 : 8:02 a.m.

The Week in Beer: Your golden ticket to local brews

By David Bardallis


David Bardallis | Contributor


Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing?

Only Mother Nature and that whimsical, enigmatic confectioner with the purple top hat know for sure. (For the record, that’s not Johnny Depp, but Gene Wilder — aka the real Willy Wonka.)

At any rate, though Michigan weather may be unpredictable, you know there’s always one thing you can be sure of: There’s plenty of good beer to be had, made locally by passionate and talented brewers (and their secret teams of Oompa Loompas), whose motto is, “If you want to brew paradise, simply look around and brew it.” Your golden ticket to the Week in Beer awaits.

Thursday, April 21

» The holiday we’ve all been waiting for is here: National High Five Day! What better way to celebrate than to head down to Original Gravity Brewing, 440 County St., Milan, for the release of brewer Brad Sancho’s High Five IPA, an explosion of Amarillo hops that clocks in at a whopping 9 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Brewery opens at 3 p.m.

Friday, April 22

» Another dubious holiday, Earth Day, and another chance to have some great beer, this time courtesy of Ashley’s, 338 S. State, and Cleveland’s own Great Lakes Brewing. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but I assure you that, even though it’s from Ohio, Great Lakes beer is awesome. On tap: Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Eliot Ness Vienna Lager, Dortmunder Gold Lager, Burning River Pale Ale and Doppelrock, plus brewery swag giveaways.

Monday, April 25

» This day is a holiday of sorts for local beer nerds: the release of the highly sought-after Bière de Mars Grand Reserve at Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery, 311 S. Main. As a bonus, Bambic, the blend of Bam Bière Farmhouse Ale and Lambicus Dexterius Lambic, also returns. Sales begin upstairs at 4 p.m.; there will be 330-ml bottles of Bambic and 330-ml and 750-ml bottles of Grand Reserve, as well as a keg of each on tap. There's a per customer bottle limit; cost is Grand Reserve: $20 for 750-ml, $10 for 330-ml and Bambic: $8 for 330-ml bottle. Recommendation: arrive early, if at all possible; Grand Reserve gets a lot of love from people across the country.

Tuesday, April 26

» Come back to Original Gravity at 6 p.m. for two new small-batch releases: Southern English Brown Ale and Schwarzbier. Schwarzbier? Whoever heard of a Schwarzbier? Make the trip to Milan and find out!

Wednesday, April 27

» At Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, Plymouth, be there as the much-anticipated Tart Cherry Porter goes on tap. Bonus: Look for limited-release cobalt blue, flip-top liter bottles of Oak Aged Cherry Tart Porter, available only at the pub.

» Achtung! Metzger's German Restaurant, 305 N. Zeeb, hosts its ninth annual German Bier Dinner. Enjoy a five-course meal paired with five different German beers. The meal includes appetizer, soup, salad, dinner and dessert. Reservations required; call 734-668-8987. Cost is $49, taxes and gratuity included.

Notes on the Napkin

  • This week at Jolly Pumpkin, look for the next beer in brewer Ron Jeffries’s “Project Green Leaf” series, Rapspinachacle, a dubbel style ale brewed with — you may have guessed it — spinach. (The first in the series was the Diaboli-kale IPA and word is the next in the series is going to make use of arugula.)

  • Another reason to pay a visit to Original Gravity: This weekend you can try Beer Bread Grilled Cheese, sourdough rye bread made with IPA and smothered in Vermont white cheddar and deli style mustard. Get it while it lasts!

  • As you read this, the 'Round 12 Dunkel is aging in the “cellar” of Wolverine State Brewing’s tap room at 2019 W. Stadium. Release date is TBD, though Wolverine Beer Wench E.T. Crowe assures it will be “soon.” What’s going in the other three bourbon barrels she acquired from a Kentucky distiller? Stay tuned.

David Bardallis is a freelance writer and editor, blogger, bon vivant, and man about town. Visit “All the Brews Fit to Pint” at, follow @allthebrews on Twitter or join the "All the Brews Fit to Pint" Facebook page. Email your beer-related thoughts to



Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Sadly, won't be able to make the Grand Reserve release - If you love beer and haven't tasted this, make it a priority... David - met you at JP a week ago or so, and tried the Sour blend per your recommendation - Superb! Cheers, John

David Bardallis

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 1:15 a.m.

Sir, I believe you need to try Jolly Pumpkin's La Parcela (for pumpkin beer) and New Holland's Envious (for "fruit" beer) at the very least... it pays to expand one's horizons.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 3:39 a.m.

yea there might be some good local brews in washtenaw county but there are also a lot of nasty brews that should be left in the basement. Pumpkin or fruit flavored beers are just wrong.Ick

David Bardallis

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:03 a.m.

Note that I've changed the prices to Jolly Pumpkin's Biere de Mars Grand Reserve and Bambic to reflect fresh intel I received today. Also, the bottle limit is apparently two bottles of Grand Reserve, regardless of which size, and four of Bambic.


Thu, Apr 21, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

David, Thanks for the heads up on OG's High Five. Sounds very tasty.