The Week in Beer: Enjoy the hot summer with cold brews
David Bardallis | Contributor
Hot town, summer in the city, but don't walk around half-dead on those sidewalks hotter than a match head — cool down on the patio with a cold, refreshing beverage! Ice water is great for staying hydrated, of course, but for great flavor, you can't beat a beer. We've got so many local varieties to choose from, we often take it for granted. So your assignment is to get outside and take the time not only to appreciate the great outdoors, but to appreciate a delicious craft beer. Now get to it!
Thursday, June 21
>> Like brewing your own beer? Live near South Lyon? Like awesome acronyms? Then you want to go to Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, for the second meeting of S.L.A.B., or the South Lyon Area Brewers, at 7:30 p.m. Actually, you don’t even have to like brewing your own beer or know anything about it. If you’re interested in the idea and want to learn more, you’ll want to go. Unlike other hobbies and clubs, homebrewing does not consist of Buffys and Chads who will look down at you if you don’t know about their biz —quite the opposite, they’ll be super excited to get you to join them! Check out the S.L.A.B. Facebook page for more info. Hee, hee, S.L.A.B.
>> Or maybe you just prefer to drink the beer others have made, especially if said others make beers as good as Dark Horse Brewing. Hit the road up to Howell for a 7 p.m. tapping of such DH stalwarts as Crooked Tree IPA, Reserve Black Dark Strong Ale, Raspberry Ale, and Sapient Trip Ale at the Shark Club, 1140 S. Michigan. But also on tap are small batch beers like 501 Sun Hybrid American Wheat Ale, Lost Droid Chestnut Porter, and Death Star Lover Oak Aged Raspberry Stout, as well as several variations on Crooked Tree that showcase a single particular hop. Try the beers while you chat with Jon “Beer Geek” Cole and Dark Horse rep Mike Earnheart. And tell them I sent you!
Friday, June 22
>> Get your Hatter on at Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, as prodigal son Jimmy returns to his former stomping ground with the iconic beers of New Holland. Celebrate the season with Mad Hatter IPA, Black Hatter, Rye Hatter, Oak Aged Hatter, and the new White Hatter. Happy hour runs 5-7 p.m. Be there!
Sunday, June 24
>> It may not be a tour of Willy Wonka’s factory, but it’s almost as cool. All aboard for a behind-the-scenes peek at the operations of the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris, Ypsilanti, as part of the Michigan Brewers Guild enthusiast tour series. Beginning at 1 p.m., join the brewing team as they show the workings of the brewery and, if you’re lucky, dispense some of the fruits of their labor. Must be a Brewers Guild enthusiast member (join here) and RSVP in advance to email@example.com or at 734-480-2739.
Tuesday, June 26
>> The Ann Arbor Summer Festival continues in full swing, and so do the beer tastings, with tonight’s theme being brews from the “dark side.” Get thee to the Grove at Top of the Park beginning at 6:30 p.m. for generous sample pours of Brooklyn Brown Ale, Anchor Brekles Brown Ale, Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Newcastle Brown Ale, and Saugatuck Pier Cove Porter and Neapolitan Stout. The event, which is $15, is hosted by longtime Festival sponsor O&W.
Wednesday, June 27
>> Ashley's, 338 S. State, continues its tradition of introducing new beers and breweries to our area with their latest tap takeover: Greenbush Brewing from Sawyer, Mich. Although the names of Greenbush’s beers tend to be fairly non-descriptive, the beers themselves are anything but. Try brews with monikers like Anger, Distorter, Retribution, Mr. Hyde, Sunspot, Red Bud, Dunegras, Terminator X, Traktor, Closure, and more. What are these beers? Luckily, Internet research is easy! Check out Greenbush’s website for descriptions of each brew. The tasty fun begins at 6 p.m.
>> It’s patio season, and Paesano Restaurant & Wine Bar, 3411 Washtenaw, Ann Arbor, is kicking off summer with a special “Micro Brew-Haha” al fresco beer dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. Five courses will be paired with beers from local breweries including Arbor Brewing, Original Gravity, Frog Island Brewing, and Wolverine State Brewing. Dishes include potato and haricot vert, skewer grilled sausage and eggplant, pan fried green tomato, porter-marinated flat iron steak, and strawberry gelee shortcake with rhubarb cream. Tickets are $45; call 734-971-0484 for more information and to make reservations.
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.