The Week in Beer: Observing Michigan Craft Beer Month the right way
David Bardallis | Contributor
Friday, July 8
>> The biweekly Michigan beer tasting at Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, Ann Arbor, doesn’t get any more Michigan than this: Come out from 5-7 p.m. and enjoy the beers of Webberville-based Michigan Brewing Co. Beer guru Jimmy and team serve up $3 glasses, $1 sample pours, and Michigan beers by the bottle at various prices.
Sunday, July 10
>> Although this column tries to stay focused on beer-specific news, sometimes our local breweries take part in interesting musical, charitable, or other events worth mentioning. Such an event, both musical and charitable, is going down at Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, in the form of a 5 p.m. concert in the tap room from Mr. B’s Joybox Express Quartet. Ann Arbor pianist Mr. B (Mark Braun) and his fellow musicians have been bicycling all the way from Saugatuck, pulling their instruments — including a string bass, drum set, guitar and a 352-pound piano — behind them. Wolverine’s Beer Wench E.T. Crowe is biking with them along the Chelsea to Ann Arbor leg, helping the band raise money for Pioneer High’s recently de-funded girls’ lacrosse team. Visit joyboxexpress.com for more info on the band and its charitable efforts.
Thursday, July 14
>> The summer beer season continues in full swing with the wheat, wit, and lambic beer tasting at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, from 7-9 p.m. Roughly two dozen American wheat ales, Belgian wits and lambics, and other light, refreshing brews will be on offer along with the usual savory appetizer buffet and thrilling door-prize auction. As always, tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of. Call the pub at 734-213-1393 to make sure you don’t miss out. Better yet, stop in for a pint and pick up your ticket personally.
Notes on the Napkin
- At Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, Plymouth, Emperor Norton Russian Imperial Stout is on tap and the chocolatey, fruity, coffee-ish, 11 percent alcohol by volume brew is receiving enthusiastic thumbs-up from local beer connoisseurs (not, alas, your correspondent, yet). Unfortunately, it may be all gone by July 17 when Plymouth’s fifth annual Bumpers, Bikes, and Bands Festival kicks off at noon. However, amidst all the classic cars and motorcycles on display in the street, Liberty will be pouring from their regular fantastic lineup of beers along with a couple special taps for the occasion. (Root beer floats are available for the kiddos.) If you still haven’t been to Liberty (shame on you!), now is a great time to check them out. Visit oldvillageplymouth.com for details on the live auction, live music, and more festival fun.
- Cornhole Tuesdays are back at the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti! Enjoy this summer pastime (it’s pretty much a bean-bag toss) out in the beer garden, beginning at 6:30 p.m. and going until the sun goes down, every Tuesday through Aug. 30. And while you are dominating the competition, you can also down some of the great beers on tap including Arborealis Double IPA, Bavarian Bliss Hefeweizen, Mackinac Island Fudge Stout, Tree Fort Summer Beer, and Strawberry Blonde Ale.
- If you’re still on the fence about going to the 14th annual Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park, it’s time to decide —tickets are going fast and will certainly sell out. Ask at your favorite local brewing establishment or buy online at the Guild’s website. Also check out the just-released list of breweries that will be pouring this year (a record 62!) here.
- Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery, 311 S. Main, Ann Arbor, now has 16 taps and, if it’s not yet pouring by the time you’re reading this, the much-anticipated seasonal Luciernaga Grand Cru returns to refresh the summer palates of discerning beer drinkers. Also coming back on draft soon after a long absence is Oro de Calabaza, a golden ale voted best Belgian ale by the New York Times, who declared that it out-Belgianed the actual Belgians!
- And speaking of Jolly Pumpkin, congratulations are in order to brewer Ron Jeffries and crew as they were ranked fifth in the country in the “Spirit of Homebrew” award, chosen by the 28,000 readers of Zymurgy, the magazine of the American Homebrewers Association. Other Michigan breweries represented in the results of the magazine’s annual “Best Beers in America” poll include Bell’s (ranked as the No. 2 brewery in the country) and Founders (ranked No. 6). Check out the full survey here.
- Finally, apologies to readers of the AnnArbor.com print edition (who, I know, probably won’t even see this) and my (hopefully) understanding editor friends for the absence of my column this week. Owing to holiday hangover, your correspondent missed his Monday deadline, so we're rolling online only this week. Mea culpa.
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.