The Week in Beer: Something old, something new
David Bardallis | Contributor
Thursday, April 18
>> Founders freaks! Get thee to Howell where the Shark Club, 1140 S. Michigan, is tapping a baker’s dozen of beers from the famous Grand Rapids brewery. Look for rarities like Nemesis Barleywine (2010 vintage), KBS Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Backwoods Bastard Barrel Aged Scotch Ale, and 10 other awesome brews. See the fill list here.
>> At the Jet’s Pizza Sportsroom, 506 N. Main, Chelsea, Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing is pouring flavors including Toasted Lager, Hoptical Illusion IPA, RastafaRye Ale, Spring Fling Copper Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Sour Cherry Imperial Stout, Old Howling Bastard Barleywine, Toxic Sludge Black IPA, and White IPA. Brewery rep Matt Trautmann will also be there to demonstrate the proper way to drink Blue Point beer. (It involves a hand, a glass, and your mouth.) The fun begins at 6 p.m.
Friday, April 19
>> What’s better than beer? Free beer! And that’s just what you get Fridays at The Produce Station, 1629 S. State. This time around, it’s Brewery Vivant’s recently released seasonal Zaison Imperial Saison Ale that’s pouring gratis. from 5 to 6 p.m., enjoy samples of this delicious (but potent) brew made with Tellicherry black peppercorn and orange peel.
Saturday, April 20
>> Can it really be one year already? Yes, it can, and Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, 207 W. Michigan, Ypsilanti is celebrating with an anniversary party all day long. On tap look for Bell’s Hopslam Ale, Founders KBS Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, New Holland White Hatter Belgian-Style Pale Ale, Old Crafty Hen Vintage Ale, and others as yet to be named. Also, barbecue. Mmm, barbecue.
>> It’s 4/20 and that number means something to certain people, especially certain people in the Land of Fruits and Nuts. I mean California, of course, and one of that state’s many great breweries, Lagunitas, will be in the house at Ashley's, 338 S. State, to commemorate every stoner’s favorite digits. On tap beginning at 7:20 p.m. (AKA 4:20 Pacific time) will be Lagunitas IPA, Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale, and Waldos’ Special Ale, a limited-run double IPA of which there are only six kegs in Michigan. Check it out, maaaan.
Wednesday, April 24
>> Extended Rat Fest draws to a close at the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, as beers from the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, Hopheads division, go on tap at 6 p.m. They include Blueberry Pancake Barleywine, Chocolate Raspberry Stout, Lemonheads IPA, and Domo’s Best Brown Ale. Gee, for hopheads, they kinda sound like fruitheads! Growlers available at 9, if anything’s left. Learn more about the brews here.
>> Are you part of the “beer and cheese” crowd? That’s right, craft brew is challenging another traditional bastion of wine, and it’s coming on strong, like a whiff of Limburger. (Sorry, that was lame.) Intrigued? Check out the Bell’s beer and cheese pairing at The Last Word, 301 W. Huron, beginning at 7:30 p.m., where five Bell’s brews will be paired with five cheeses selected by The Produce Station’s Eric Lundy. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at The Produce Station or online here.
Thursday, April 25
>> Head to Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, 4-7 p.m., for a little taste of something old and something new. It’s the official release party for Arbor’s collaboration beers with Brouwerij de Musketiers of Ghent, Belgium: Mundus Vetus (Old World) Rye Tripel Ale, brewed in Ghent, and Mundus Novus (New World) Rye Chocolate Dubbel Ale, brewed at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. Both are available only for a limited time, so you’ll want to make sure you try them while you can. There’s no cover for the event, and your first sample is free, even!
>> As if to emphasize the point above about beer vs. wine pairings, babo Market, 403 Washington St., plays host to its own Beer vs. Wine Taste-Off from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Five rounds of beer, wine, and food pairings, where you decide which goes better: suds or grapes. Cost is only $12; pay at the door and you’re in. For more information and to see the full menu, which looks pretty amazing, check out the babo blog.
>> The second beer dinner of the year for Grange Kitchen & Bar, 118 W. Liberty, commences at 6:30 p.m. It’s a feast of (really) locally sourced dishes paired with the beers of Short’s Brewing. Imagine the flavor palette Chef Brandon Johns has to work with! Tickets are $55 excluding tax and tip and can be purchased here.
>> Also at 6:30 p.m., Whole Foods Market and Wolverine State Brewing team up to present the movie The Love of Beer in The Gulo Room of the Wolverine taproom, 2019 W. Stadium. The movie follows women who are making their way in the craft beer world, battling stereotypes, struggling with their rising fame, and working to raise their families — not in the name of feminism or equality, but for the love of beer! Following the movie, Wolverine’s own Beer Wench, E.T. Crowe, will lead a complimentary tasting of Wolverine flagships Premium Lager, Amber Lager, and Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager; answer questions; and give tours of the brewery. Admission is $5, 100 percent of which goes to benefit Slow Food Huron Valley. Cash bar and must be 21 to have beer (duh), though anyone can view the film. More information at wolverinebeer.com.
Notes on the Napkin
- Demon Cleaner Belgian-Style Tripel Ale is back on tap at Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, and if it lasts until April 24, you can enjoy it while you peruse local artists’ work during Gallery Night at the Hat from 2-11 p.m. Witch’s Hat is also installing a new tank, glycol chiller, and pump as you read this. Keep up with all the things going down there with the Witch’s Hat newsletter.
- At Liberty Street Brewing, 149 W. Liberty, Plymouth, check out Siamese Dream (AKA Liberty Two) Imperial IPA, on tap now at a whopping 9.8 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV). This bitter bomb will be joined this Saturday by another hop monster, 42nd Parallel IPA, which will also be available in bottles for take-out, albeit in limited quantities.
- Need moar IPA? Chelsea Alehouse, 506 N. Main, Chelsea, is now pouring Irontown IPA, too. It’s a hophead’s world.
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. He is also working on a book about Ann Arbor’s illustrious beer past and present. Email your beer-related thoughts to email@example.com.