The Week in Beer: Still plenty of summer beer season left
Ann Arbor Farmers Market
Editor's note: This column has been edited to remove an inappropriate reference.
Summer's going fast, but there's still time to get outside and take in what the season has to offer, which is to say: beer. Block parties, patio tastings, street festivals — you name it, and your Week in Beer has it.
Thursday, Aug. 8
>> Head up to Whitmore Lake, where Captain Joe’s Grill, 9901 N. Main, is bringing in some Founders brews for a tap takeover. Pouring on the patio (weather permitting) beginning at 6:30 p.m. is All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, Red’s Rye PA, and Rubaeus Raspberry Ale.
>> Micro Madness at Arbor Brewing! 114 E. Washington is the scene for more than two dozen beers from around the country chosen solely for their awesomeness. There is, as always, an appetizer buffet to go along with the beer, as well as the chance to take home some cool door prizes. Tickets are $30; call 734-213-1393 or buy at the door, if available. The madness runs from 7-9 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 9
>> Free-range chicken? Check. Fair-trade coffee? Check. Organic toothpaste? Check. Awesome beers on tap? CHECK. Whole Foods Cranbrook, 990 W. Eisenhower, has all the items on your shopping list when you stop by the latest Michigan beer happy hour from 5-7 p.m. Featured brewery is Milan’s Original Gravity, and brewer/owner Brad Sancho will be there to give you the excruciating details of how he made what’s in your glass. Or maybe just drink one or two with you. Tap list is TBD as of this writing.
>> Down in Saline, the annual Saline Summerfest kicks off on the streets of downtown beginning at 5 p.m. The fun lasts through Saturday. Most importantly, there’s a beer tent. Unfortunately, I don’t know what’s being served in it. But anytime there’s a beer tent somewhere, I feel like it’s my duty to mention it. So: beer tent.
Saturday, Aug. 10
>> Fraser’s Pub, 2045 Packard, is turning 51 years young, and as a thank-you to all you loyal patrons, they’re declaring today Customer Appreciation Day. What’s that mean? From 6 p.m. to midnight, take 25 percent off your beers, food, and whatever else you order. As an added bonus, the Fraser’s team is also tapping a keg of Dark Horse Plead the Fifth Imperial Stout. Now how can you pass that up?
Monday, Aug. 12
>> Heads up! Members of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters are taking over Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor from 6-10 p.m. for their annual whatever-it-is. The street party includes live music, classic car and hot rod displays, and a 5K Fun Run and pub crawl.
>> Over in Ypsilanti, Red Rock Downtown Barbecue, 207 W. Michigan, is featuring Short’s for its Beer Enthusiast Monday tap takeover. Beginning at 6 p.m., join Beer Liberator Brian Talpos as six different Short’s beers pour forth for your edification. Ask him any questions, too. He can’t be stumped. Or, anyway, if he doesn’t know the answer he’ll make something up and you won’t know the difference. Tap list TBD.
Tuesday, Aug. 13
>> Every second Tuesday of the month, WCBN hosts a free movie night at the Arbor Brewing Tap Room, starting at 8:30 p.m. This month they are rolling a masterpiece of world cinema: Cool As Ice, the 1991 epic starring none other than Vanilla Ice. So drop that zero and get with the hero. And drink some beers.
Wednesday, Aug. 14
>> Every Wednesday at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, 315 Detroit, through Sept. 11, the HomeGrown Festival is sponsoring a Beer Garden where you can relax with a little music and some Michigan-made beer and wine after you pick up your produce. You can also buy HomeGrown Fest T-shirts and pint glasses. The Beer Garden is open 4-8 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 15
>> At Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, Mug Club members (only) can enjoy the spoils of a bourbon barrel bottle beer release. From 2-11 p.m. (or while supplies last), get 12-ounce bottles of the following bourbon barrel aged brews: Night Fury Imperial Stout with Vanilla Bean, Night Fury Imperial Stout with Coffee, or Fear of the Dark Barleywine. Each bottle is $7.50, and there is a limit of four bottles per Mug Club member. Keep up with the latest Witch’s Hat doings with their newsletter.
Notes on the Napkin
- On tap now at Grizzly Peak, 120 W. Washington (at the Peak bar only) is Blah Blah Ginger, a gingered-up wheat ale created by assistant brewer Mike Bardallis, who’s been brewing versions of it at home for years. Official description for this hazy gold, 5.4 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV) summer brew: “American style wheat ale, to which we have added lots and lots of fresh ginger at practically every point in the brewing process. Dry, snappy, and refreshing.”
- Julie Halpert has a nice review out of Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery, 311 S. Main, for AnnArbor.com. She concludes the food, like the beer, does not suck. I must agree.
- You can now pre-order the book that will soon be taught in every institution of higher learning in the land. I’m talking, of course, about Ann Arbor Beer: A Hoppy History of Tree Town Brewing. Or you can wait and buy it at one of the many stops on my brewery, er, book tour around town in September. Stay tuned for more details as they become available, and be sure to follow "Ann Arbor Beer" on Facebook.
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 the author of Ann Arbor Beer: A Hoppy History of Tree Town Brewing, due out Aug. 27 from the History Press. Email your beer-related thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.