The Week in Beer: Get your stout and corned beef and cabbage on
David Bardallis | Contributor
Thursday, March 14
>> For the basketball-minded, the Wolverine State Brewing tap room, 2019 W. Stadium, is opening early for the Big Ten Tournament’s Michigan vs. Penn State game. Tip off is at 2:30 p.m.
>> Get your St. Patrick’s Day weekend started right with a big stout tasting at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, from 7-9 p.m. More than two dozen Irish stouts, milk stouts, chocolate stouts, coffee stouts, Russian imperial stouts, and other such dark brews will be pouring, plus the usual appetizer buffet and swag raffle. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Call 734-213-1393 to order or stop by the pub.
Friday, March 15
>> Bundle up! Bill’s Beer Garden, 218 S. Ashley, is open for the weekend (Fri. - Sun., 5-11 p.m.), though the forecast is calling for highs only in the upper 30s. Luckily, Bill and co. have those great fire pits to go along with the great Michigan beer they pour. See the current tap list and more at billsbeergarden.com.
>> Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, keeps the pre-party going beginning at 7 p.m. when Millish takes the stage. On the taps? Move over, Guinness. How about Chocolate Mint Stout, Milk Stout, and Cocoa Oatmeal Stout? For hopheads, 22-ounce bottles of Big Doedish Double IPA will also be on sale for $10 apiece, while supplies last.
>> Also in South Lyon, the Lake Street Tavern, 127 E. Lake, which always has good beer on tap, is running Irish food specials including Corned Beef and Cabbage, Homemade Shepherd's Pie, and Slow Roasted Lamb Stew.
Saturday, March 16
>> For something a little different, head up to the Northville Winery, 630 Old Baseline Road, Northville, for some fine ciders and live music, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with Steve Mullan and continuing at 8 with Josh Gierada. (As an aside, the winery plans to eventually produce sour ales as well, which beat both cider and wine in my book!) No cover.
>> At the Wolverine tap room, local sensations Dragon Wagon take the stage at 8 to provide the soundtrack for your St. Practice Day. Food will also be available from Debajo Del Sol “with an Irish twist.” Spanish + Irish = Spirish food? I’m down. Also look for Snakes on a Shamrock Irish Red Lager, along with other amazing Wolverine brews.
>> At the Chelsea Alehouse, 420 N. Main, Celtic Jam provides traditional Irish and Scottish tunes while you sip your beer beginning at 8 p.m. Come back Sunday from 3-5 p.m. and you can join in the Celtic Jam yourself, at least if you’re a musician who plays Irish music and you want to join in on the session.
Sunday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day
Is it all right to skip church if you’re celebrating a saint’s feast day? Whether or not it is, a number of local joints will get the ol’ Irish ball rolling early.
>> Ashley’s, 338 S. State, opens its doors at 6:30 a.m., with the beer flowing at 7. $10 cover includes breakfast and a 2013 St. Paddy’s Day T-shirt, while supplies last. Throughout the day, drink specials include $4 glasses of Guinness and $3.50 for Arcadia Brigid’s Irish Red Ale. Food specials include Corned Beef Sandwich and other Irish-inspired stuff. Slainte and all that!
>> Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, opens at 7 a.m. and features a breakfast buffet as well as a morning happy hour until 11 a.m. Try five stouts on tap: Michael Faricy’s Irish Stout, Blackheath Sweet Stout, St. Pat’s Strong Stout, Espresso Love Breakfast Stout, and Steamroller Russian Imperial Stout. At 7:30 p.m., dig the live stylings of Dragon Wagon. No cover.
>> Casa Dominick’s, 812 Monroe, is officially open for the season, but God help you if you try going anywhere near it today.
>> In Ypsilanti, the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, also opens at 7 a.m. with happy hour prices plus an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet of Corned Beef Hash, Biscuits and Gravy, Scrambled Eggs, Lucky Charms, various fruits, coffee, and orange juice for $8 (or only $6, if you present this coupon). After 11 a.m., food specials include Irish Nachos (now we’re doing Irican food?) and Shepherd’s Pie. Kevin and the Glen Levens rock the house from 3-8, and stouts on tap include Faricy Irish Stout, Sarsaparilla Stout, and Girl Scout Cookie Stout. The beer garden will be open, weather permitting. No cover.
>> While in Ypsi, drop by Sidetrack Bar & Grill, 56 E. Cross, for some free beer. Oh yeah, I said it. If your name begins with Mc, Mac, or O’, then Jessica French will buy you a pint. (Details and coupon here.) There will also be plenty Irish-inspired eats: Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish stew, Shepherd’s Pie, Soda Bread, Potato Leek Soup, and Chocolate Guinness Floats. Live bagpipers and fiddlers round out the fun. No cover.
>> Original Gravity, 440 County, Milan, opens at noon and brings the stout: seven of them, in fact. In addition to the rotating tap of Lumpy Oatmeal Stout, there will be small batches of Imperial Chocolate Mint Stout, Dry Stout, Foreign Extra Stout, Milk Stout, Coffee Stout, and Ginger Dry Stout. Also, while they last, enjoy house-cooked corned beef sandwiches on bread made with oatmeal stout and baked potato salad from the Erie Bread Co.
>> For more St. Patrick’s Day ideas, check out AnnArbor.com’s mega-guide (though note: I don’t believe the ABC to Corner shuttle is happening this year).
Tuesday, March 19
>> Get help filling out your March Madness bracket at the Wolverine tap room beginning at 7 p.m. when famous sports guys Ira Weintraub, Sam Webb, Pete Tiernan, and John Bacon. More details are here.
Wednesday, March 20
>> Extended Rat Fest continues as the leftovers from the Ugly Mug’s brew club go on tap beginning at the Corner Brewery at 6 p.m., including Cascara Pale Ale, Del Diablo Dark Ale, Mango Blonde Ale, and Imperial Scotch Ale. Learn more about the beers here, and if there’s any left at 9, you can take them home in growlers.
Thursday, March 21
>> Fraser’s Pub, 2045 Packard, is the battleground as they and Arbor Brewing host a Kill the Keg challenge beginning at 5 p.m., with a sixth-barrel of Buzz Saw IPA against one of Mr. Delicious Double IPA. Which will blow first? Head to the pub and find out. Did I mention there will be cool prizes?
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.