UPDATED: The Week in Beer: Go grab a brew - it's good for you
David Bardallis | Contributor
Note: This article has been updated to reflect several new events and also include hyperlinks and stuff. So if you read it, you should re-read it. Cheers!
Dear Loyal Readers, it is with sadness I announce that due to a death in the family, this Week in Beer will contain 75 percent less wit and charm than usual as I try to put it all together in record time before leaving town for the funeral of my Uncle Geno. Accordingly, I got nothing else to say other than that, though you didn't know him, maybe you'll still join me in raising a pint to his dear, departed soul.
Thursday, March 1
>> I know, I know, it's a drive, but Bell's fans will want to consider begging, pleading and/or cajoling a designated driver to take them out to Ashley’s Westland, 7525 Wayne Road, for the Bell's tap takeover beginning at 4 p.m. Eighteen Bell's taps await you, including all the usuals plus Hopslam, Hell Hath No Fury Ale, Rye Stout, Oarsman Ale, Special Double Cream Stout, Sparkling Ale and plenty more. Timed tappings include Golden Rye Ale at 5, Quinannan Falls Special Lager (one of your correspondent’s favorites) at 6, and (drum roll, please) Black Note Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout at 7. The latter was once released in bottles. If you blinked, you missed it. Don't blink. Go to Westland and check it out, while you enjoy the wit and wisdom of Bell’s reps David Munro and Monica Mooney (formerly of Ashley’s Ann Arbor), who will be conducting games inspired by “Minute to Win It,” which I’m informed is some kind of game show I don’t know about because I’m from Ann Arbor and therefore too cool to watch TV.
Saturday, March 3
>> Are you a Beer Enthusiast? Duh, you’re reading this, so yeah, you are. But I mean like an official, paid Michigan Brewers Guild enthusiast. If so, you’re entitled to one of them cool brewery tour and tasting things that happen every so often if you’re in the club, and this time it’s at the Corner Brewery from 1-2 p.m. You wanna go? Make sure to RSVP to email@example.com, because spaces are limited. For more info on becoming an MBG enthusiast member, see here.
>> Afterward, you have plenty of time to pile in the car and drive up to the Shark Club in Howell, which at 3 p.m. is hosting the "Women of Craft Beer" event. Once upon a time, it was a tall order to attend any sort of beer tasting and see anything other than fat dudes with beards, but nowadays, women of all sorts are totally into the good stuff, too! (It’s too late for me, but you twentysomething dudes are lucky.) Anyway, a mere $20 gets you appetizers, beer samples and some key knowledge from cool ladies, including Wolverine State Brewing’s E.T. Crowe, Kristy Smith of MillKing It Productions, Erin Cottongim of Witch’s Hat Brewing, Angie Williams of the Corner Brewery, Cindy "Stoutgirl" Hegenauer of the Detroit Draft Divas and Amy Sherman of Great American Brew Trail. Great American what? That's what I said, too, so check here. Chicks and beer. Why would you miss this?
Monday, March 5
>> It’s back! The Grizzly Peak Polar Bear Day is on again outside the doors of the brewpub at 120 W. Washington. Mug Club members (only, Sparky, so bring your card) in the mood for cold beer in cold temperatures can enjoy $1 drafts outside along with half-off appetizers and pizzas. Did I mention you need to be a Mug Club member? Yeah, you do.
Tuesday, March 6
>> Join Duncan Williams for A Very Special Brewer's Night at the Grizzly Peak Den, 120 W. Washington. What's so special about it? Duncan has this problem he needs help with. He's got all these kegs of high-gravity beer that have been aging anywhere from six months to a year. Can you help him drink them? Come to the Den from 6-9 p.m. for brewery tours, discounted samplers, and Final Repose Ale, the first keg that needs killing! You have to help. That barleywine is not going to drink itself.
>> Down the street at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, the next Rob Reinhart Essential Music Listening Party gets rockin' beginning at 7:15 p.m. Come by for some "dead" music, live music, and a taste of great beer, including Arbor's The Listenership, a smoked ale brewed especially for these parties. The fun includes a free performance from Tim Monger of Great Lakes Myth Society. For more information on what this is all about, go here.
>> The Rotary Club of Chelsea is hosting a fundraiser auction at 7 p.m. at the Silver Maples. Why do you care? Because one of the prizes is the first-ever Brewery Membership of the Chelsea Alehouse, scheduled to open sometime later this year. That's right: You could become the very first mug clubber at the Alehouse by giving those Rotarians enough cash! For more information on the event, go here.
Wednesday, March 7
>> It’s a drive. We covered this. But no one else is doing a bracketed Brewery Throwdown — no one except Ashley’s in Westland, and this time around it’s for the rights to see who will take on Short’s Brewing in the finals. Will it be hometown favorites Wolverine Brewing or those guys from Michigan Brewing, which I believe is located in Whereversville. Anyway, Wolverine will be bringing Wolverine Dark, Wolverine Amber (nee District 16 Vienna), Gulo Gulo, Faustian Baltic Porter, the re-branded Revilo India Red (henceforth Gulo Revilo), and the world premiere of Gulo Noir India Black Lager. In Michigan’s corner, we have Big Stout, Sunset Amber, High Seas IPA, Wheatland Wheat, Winter Warmer, and Vicious Hibiscus. Who will win? You, because all these beers sound pretty good. Show up at 6 p.m. and vote early and often by buying pints of your favorite.
>> Not up for leaving the protective bubble of Washtenaw County? Well, I don’t blame you. Here’s your alternative: Go to the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti for the next stage of "Let's finish drinking the leftover kegs from Rat Fest." Once again, the brews from the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild will be featured, and for you celiacs out there, rumor has it the Saison Sans Gluten will be one of the four beers tapped. If anything’s left at 9, growlers to take home will be available.
Notes on the Napkin
- Get it while you can! The Poisson Rouge (aka Red Fish) is back on tap at Grizzly Peak. It’s a barrel aged versions of Grizzly’s Steelhead Red, and you’ll dig what three months in a funky oak barrel does to it. Look for a tart, funky taste on top of Steelhead’s normal caramel notes, and prepare yourself for a smooth, woody finish. That’s what she said. Or he said. Or whatever.
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.