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Posted on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

The Week in Beer: Celebrate stout and the calm before the holiday storm

By David Bardallis

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What I had for breakfast on International Stout Day.

David Bardallis | Contributor

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It’s International Stout Day, and that means it’s your duty as a citizen of the global village, or whatever, to celebrate by bending your elbow today with a pint or two of the dark stuff. Otherwise, we have a quiet Week in Beer in the offing, otherwise known as the calm before the holiday season storm. Enjoy it while it lasts, because the rest of 2012 will soon become one big blur, albeit a blur with plenty of good beer.

Thursday, Nov. 8

>> Can’t afford a trip to Belgium? Spend $35 and get the next best thing: a ticket to tonight’s Belgian beer tasting at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington. Sample from more than two dozen Belgian and Belgian-style beers including everything from malty Trappist ales to sour lambics to Flemish browns. The usual appetizer buffet and swag raffle are part of the proceedings, too. Call 734-213-1393 or buy at the door, if any are still available.

Friday, Nov. 9

>> Beer: It's not just for drinking anymore (although that is its recommended use). If you're intrigued by the idea of beer bread, beer scones, and beer crackers, then you might be interested in one of the six spots still available at Zingerman's Bakehouse "Baking with Beer" class, happening from 1-5 p.m. Cost is $70; sign up through the Bakehouse website.

Saturday, Nov. 10

>> Facial hair, tall tales, and good beer are all on tap beginning at 9 p.m. at Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, Plymouth, for the “Live Beards, Real Stories” event hosted by Midwestern Gentleman. One of the featured storytellers will be none other than Certified Cicerone and Grizzly Peak assistant brewer Mike Bardallis. Apparently they waive the “beard” requirement if your mustache has enough gravitas.

Notes on the Napkin

  • Wolverine Winter Lager is available in bottles at the Wolverine taproom, 2019 W. Stadium, and should soon be on store shelves for your cold weather enjoyment (although the weekend forecast appears to be mostly sunny and warmer). Have a couple at the pub and take some home for later cuddling by the fire, or whatever else your winter self gets into.
  • The Chelsea Alehouse continues to inch closer to opening, but remains coy about an actual date. According to an email update, the brewery buildout is 95 percent complete, the first order of malt and hops is in the house, and Founding Members (aka Mug Club members) should prepare for an announcement about special pre-opening activities. For the latest brewery porn pics and other updates, follow Chelsea Alehouse’s Facebook page.
  • Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, has already reached its 100th batch of beer brewed. Batch 100 is a special version of Train Hopper IPA featuring Citra and Michigan-grown Cascade hops, with only 100 bottles being released. How do you get yours? Get a pre-sale ticket for $5 (which is donated to the Humane Society of Huron Valley) beginning on Nov. 13 (if you’re a Mug Club member) or Nov. 14 (if you’re not), limit one per customer. Then come back to the Hat on Nov. 21 to try it on draft and pick up your bottle (22-ounce bomber style) for $10, just in time to take home for Thanksgiving.
  • On tap now or coming very soon at Grizzly Peak: SchwartzWeizen Dark Hefe, Final Repose Barleywine-Style Ale, Biere d’Automne Ale, Verlorene Hosen Uber-Marzen Double Oktoberfest, DubbelHop Belgian-style Pale Ale, and Pure Michigan IPA, brewed with malt from the Lansing area and hops from Northern Michigan.
  • Still looking for stout? Enjoy the uptick in temperatures at Bill’s Beer Garden, 218 S. Ashley, with New Holland Dragon’s Milk Oak Aged Stout and now on tap, Founders Breakfast Stout. Also look for something from Rochester Mills Beer Co. and a gluten-free beer that actually tastes good coming to the Bill’s taps soon.

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 annarborbeer@gmail.com.