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Posted on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 : 5 p.m.

The Week in Beer: Rat Fest only one of the great local events this week

By David Bardallis


The sold-out Rat Fest homebrew beer festival returns to the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, this Saturday from 2-5 p.m.

David Bardallis | Contributor

Beer classes, tastings, food pairings, releases, even a festival — there’s so much great stuff to tell you about this Week in Beer I can't even stand to spend another second writing this silly introduction. Let's get on with it, then, shall we?

Friday, Jan. 27

>> Head to Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, from 6-7 p.m. for the first "beer class" of 2012, entitled "Value Beers for the New Year." Learn from a Whole Foods expert about great-tasting brews that go easy on your pocketbook. $6 for six samples; call 734-997-7500.

Saturday, Jan. 28

>> Rat Fest at the Corner Brewery is here! You have just three hours, from 2-5 p.m., to sample from 33 beers created by homebrewing clubs like the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild and Plymouth's Sons of Liberty on the Corner Brewery’s 10-gallon "Rat Pad" system. Word is that the festival is now sold out, but if you got your ticket in time, it includes appetizers, a commemorative tasting glass and samples from such curious creations as Pig Roast Porter, Occupy 99% Java Stout, Rye Caraway Ale and Tangerine Coffee IPA. See the full beer list at or, if you have an Apple iThing, search for the "RAT FEST 2012”"app in the iTunes store.

Sunday, Jan. 29

>> Frita Batidos, 117 W. Washington, hosts its first-ever beer tasting and food pairing from 4-6 p.m., featuring a lineup of Michigan brews and plenty of delicious Frita food. Tickets are $20; RSVP at or call 734-761-2882. Space is limited.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

>> Jackhammer Old Ale returns to the taps of Arbor Brewing at a 6-8 p.m. release party at the pub. It's a seductively strong brew with a clear alcohol presence; complex, fruity flavor; and dry, spicy hop finish. Party includes light snacks and discounts on merchandise and carryout purchase of Jackhammer. Admission is free for all Mug Club members and $10 for infidels.

Wednesday, Feb. 1

>> Want to learn more about what goes into beer? Join brewer Karl Hinbern in the tap room at Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium, from noon-4 p.m. when he conducts what figures to be the first in Wolverine’s "beer school" series. This week's topic is "common malts."

>> Cafe Ollie, 42 E. Cross, Ypsilanti, kicks off a new weekly wine and beer tasting series with a sampling of Jolly Pumpkin beers. From 6-8 p.m., enjoy tastes from four different JP beers along with an appetizer plate, all for just $10. In addition, discounts are available for purchases or special orders of Jolly Pumpkin brews at the MI General Store next door. Call 734-482-8050 for more info.

Notes on the Napkin

  • On tap now at Grizzly Peak, 120 W. Washington, is Bitter Tony's Rye Bitter, a dry, 4.4 percent alcoho-by-volume (ABV) amber brew with a light citrus and earthy, bitter hop finish. Find out what else is going on at the Peak at their newly redesigned website at

  • Down the street at Blue Tractor, 207 E. Washington, look for the return of Bad Moon Ryeizen, a delicious brew with rye and wheat malt as well as a bitter finish courtesy of Warrior and Columbus hops. Also look for Oak Aged “Hands Off My Goat!” Stout, aged in barrels for seven weeks and ready to tickle your taste buds.

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