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Posted on Thu, Jan 17, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

The Week in Beer: Seasonal brews for the winter blues

By David Bardallis

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Original Gravity Brewing Southpaw IPA.

David Bardallis | Contributor

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Around this time of year, your correspondent begins to get winter fatigue. With no offense to the well appointed breweries and watering holes of our fair city, I miss being outside with my beer in the warm sunshine. But at least in the meantime there are still a lot of great seasonal brews to sample while dreaming of beaches and short sleeves...

Thursday, Jan. 17

>> The Wurst Bar, 705 W. Cross, Ypsilanti, is celebrating one year in business and from 4-5 and 10-11 p.m. tonight, they’re offering $1 drafts, with all proceeds going to charity. (Which one? The one that gets the most love on their Facebook page.) Happy first birthday — you guys are the Wurst!

>> At 6 p.m., Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, releases Logjam Pale Ale, brewed with homegrown hops from the Rouge River drain basin. Members of The Friends of the Rouge get a half-off discount until this special brew is gone. You can join while at this event, or just make a donation to the cause.

Friday, Jan. 18

>> It’s Michigan Beer Happy Hour time again at Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, from 5-7 p.m. Or is it? For the first time ever, the featured brewery in question is not from the Great Beer State. But it’s still great: Great Lakes Brewing, from Cleveland, Ohio, will be in the house with awesome beers. Which ones? As of this writing, there’s no published list. But the brewery that makes such delicious brews as Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and Dortmunder Gold will be sure to please, whatever they bring.

Sunday, Jan. 20

>> Like biking in the cold? Then you’ll want to join the Wheels in Motion Worst Day of the Year Ride, beginning at noon at the Farmers Market in Kerrytown and (most importantly for our purposes here) ending at Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, for a 3-7 p.m. after-party including free hot soup and not-free cold beer. Visit the Wheels in Motion website for details on routes and departure times.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

>> Ashley's, 338 S. State, turns eight taps over to Liberty Street Brewing beginning at 6 p.m. There will be plenty to love including Brewer’s Garden IPA, Steamy Windows California Common Ale, Red Glare Amber Ale, Emperor Norton Imperial Stout, Liberty Belle Blonde Ale, Liberty One Porter, The American IPA, and Punkin Pie Ale. Get to know the great brews from our friends in Plymouth!

Thursday, Jan. 24

>> In Saline — yes, Saline — Short's Brewing comes to Dan's Downtown Tavern, 103 E. Michigan, taking over at least 15 taps with their ah, unique, beers beginning at 7 p.m. Come out for some creative beer and to chat up the Short's team. Maybe they'll even bring some sweet brew booty to give away.

Notes on the Napkin

  • Notable brews on tap or coming soon: At Grizzly Peak, look for Bitter Tony’s Rye Bitter Ale, a quaffable 4.5 percent alcohol-by-vlume brew with a bit of rye spice and nice hop character, and EOB Extra Pale Ale, brewed with pilsner and Michigan wheat malt with all hops added post-boil. At the Wolverine taproom, 2019 W. Stadium, look for Basement Fire Smoked Pepper Lager, brewed with cherry wood-smoked malt and aged with peppercorns and chipotle peppers, and High ’n’ Dry Rye Pilsner, brewed with (duh) pilsner malt and 20 percent rye malt and complemented with spicy Saaz hops. Finally, the Chelsea Alehouse is introducing two new brews today: Interstellar Black IPA and Winter Wind Oatmeal Stout. I’m getting thirsty just writing about this.
  • The inimitable Mark Maynard has an extensive Q&A with the fine folks of the Corner Brewery all about the upcoming Rat Fest on Jan. 26. It’s (almost) everything you wanted to know about the premier wacky homebrew-ishy beer festival. I’ll have a bit more details on the fest in a separate article, coming soon.
  • Tickets are now on sale for a special Jan. 31 tasting of Right Brain Brewery beers with owner Russell Springsteen at The Last Word, 301 W. Huron. Russell will talk a bit about the brewery and lead a tasting of Mangalitsa Pig Porter and three other brews. Tickets are $15 and include 6-ounce samples and Russell’s right-brain musings; buy tickets at The Produce Station, 1629 S. State, or online here.

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.