The Week in Beer: Drinking with Dear Old Dad
Photo: Flickr user meaduva
Father's Day is this weekend, and you've been scratching your head over what to do for the dear, sweet man who helped bring you into the world. Oh, you already know where I'm going with this, do you?
Fine, I know nobody reads these columns for their scintillating introductions, so yeah, I'll say it: Take Dad out for a beer! Maybe after a couple pints you can even get the old bird to loosen up enough to tell you all the sappy things he normally suppresses. Onward to a jam-packed Week in Beer!
Thursday, June 14
>> Summer’s right around the corner, and that means, among other things, beers with fruit in them. Not hanging off the side of your glass (though that happens) but as an ingredient added during the actual brewing process. Head to Arbor Brewing, 114 E. Washington, from 7-9 p.m. and sample from two dozen-plus such beers, from blueberry stout to cherry altbier, as well as various ciders. Tickets are $30. Call 734-213-1393 or buy at the door, if available.
Friday, June 15
>> Arbor’s Festival Saison is back, just in time for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival that inspired it. Drop in to the pub beginning today to enjoy this light-bodied mix of refreshing lemon zest and ginger balanced by yeasty tropical fruit flavors. One dollar from every pint sold goes to support the Festival, a worthy cause if ever there was one.
Saturday, June 16
>> Can you believe Original Gravity, 440 County, Milan, is now a four-year-old toddler? Help owner/brewer Brad Sancho and his merry crew celebrate their anniversary beginning at 11:30 a.m. with eight different IPAs on tap, including South Paw, High Five, EZ Duz It Session IPA, Train Jumper Black IPA, Rye IPA, Citrus IPA, Mango Pineapple IPA, and Session Dry IPA. Food will be served at 1 p.m. until gone, including Primordial Porter Corned BBQ Beef and South Paw IPA Honey Brined Turkey on Erie Bread Co. bread, along with a ridonkulous array of sauces and condiments. Live music begins at 7 p.m. with Grand Rapids band Valentiger and Milan’s own Johnny Lunchbox.
Monday, June 18
>> It’s tap takeover time at the Wurst Bar, 705 W. Cross, Ypsilanti, as the beers from Brewery Vivant invade the joint. On tap from opening at 11 a.m. until close or whenever everybody drinks them all will be the following brews: Solitude Abbey Ale, Mother’s Milk Stout, The Golden Road Euro Pale Lager, Big Red Coq Red Ale, Barrel Aged Triomphe Belgian-Style IPA, and Tela, aka Barrel Aged Farm Hand Farmhouse Ale.
>> Arbor Brewing combines beer, writing, and music together in one event with the first 33 1/3 Reading and Listening Party of the season. Join the Ann Arbor Summer Festival crew from 6:45 to 9 p.m. as Nicholas Rombes reads from his book Ramones and a guest DJ mixes tracks from the pioneering punk rockers. Check arborbrewing.com for other installments in the series.
>> New York City's own Happy Hour Guys are rolling into town again and shooting more beer dork footage for their popular Internet show at — where else? — Wolverine State Brewing, 2019 W. Stadium. Swing by for a pint and to meet Jimmy Ludwig and the HHG crew. Who knows, maybe you'll even get a cameo as a barfly.
Wednesday, June 20
>> The New Holland crew brings Mad Hatter Days to Fraser’s Pub, 2045 Packard, starting at 4 p.m. Enjoy the rogue’s gallery of Mad Hatter IPA (on cask), Imperial Hatter, Black Hatter, White Hatter, Rye Hatter, Farmhouse Hatter, and, as an added bonus, Dragon’s Milk Oak Aged Ale. Also on tap is Piraat Belgian Strong Pale Ale, an actual Belgian beer (from Belgium!) that won a gold medal at the recent World Beer Cup. Better bring a designated driver or else the number of a good cab company for this event!
>> The folks over at Ashley’s, 338 S. State, are introducing yet another brewery’s beers to our area for the first time. At 6 p.m., come by the pub for a tapping of Bad Bear Brewing’s Brown IPA and Wheat IPA. Unconfirmed rumor has it that a keg of Polish Breakfast Stout may make an appearance as well. Bad Bear is the beer brewing arm of Sleeping Bear Winery, located just west of Jackson, and is one of the newest additions to Ann Arbor-based distributor Rave Associates’ already impressive Michigan beer portfolio.
Thursday, June 21
>> Head up to Witch’s Hat Brewing, 22235 Pontiac Trail, South Lyon, at 7:30 p.m. for the second meeting of S.L.A.B., the newly formed South Lyon Area Brewers homebrew club. The first meeting packed the house, so get there a little early for a good seat and some good Witch’s Hat beer. And be sure to check out S.L.A.B. (that makes me giggle, sorry) on Facebook.
Notes on the Napkin
- Witch’s Hat is the other new Michigan beer picked up for distribution by Ann Arbor’s Rave Associates, so you should soon be seeing kegs of Train Hopper IPA, Edward’s Portly Brown Ale, and other great WH beers around your local watering hole. (Mark your calendar: Ashley’s has scheduled a July 10 Witch’s Hat kickoff tap takeover.)
- And the Witch’s Hat news don’t stop: Starting in July, the brewery will be open Mondays and will also bump up its opening time to 3 p.m. Mondays are also live local music night, so if you like some tunes with your beer, you’ll want to get over there.
- Hey, you’re thinking, this lousy column never tells me what’s on tap at Blue Tractor, 207 E. Washington. Quite right, so let’s remedy that now. Coming up this weekend is Mad Cow Milk Stout, a 6 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV) mix of roasted malts, oats, and milk sugar. Also look for the latest entry in the Hopicidal Maniac series, a 7.3 percent ABV IPA single-hopped with Summit hops, and Twice As Nice Dunkelweiss, a German wheat beer. And coming soon is an as-yet-unnamed roasted rye pale ale, generously hopped with Columbus and Millennium hops. There, that oughta hold you for a while!
- At Grizzly Peak, 120 W. Washington, El Hefe, a German wheat beer aka hefeweizen, continues to pour, along with La Fille du Farmier Saison, and, coming soon, Poolside Lager, a Munich-style helles. All great to drink outside with your dad on a hot summer day!
- Wednesday evenings at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market just got a little more awesome. Now there will be a beer and wine garden in the space, sponsored by rotating nonprofits who benefit from sales. Naturally, there may be a bias toward Michigan-made beers and wines. See more details here.
- Local distributor and longtime Ann Arbor Summer Festival sponsor O&W, which furnishes beers for Top of the Park, is pleased to announce a series of beer tastings beginning Tuesday, June 19, with Hops Night. From 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Grove at Top of the Park, enjoy six 7-ounce pours of beers including Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, Anchor Liberty Ale, Leinenkugel Big Eddy Imperial IPA, Brooklyn Brewery IPA, and Saugatuck Singapore IPA and Continuum Imperial IPA. Tickets are $15 and include plenty of great conversation with brewery reps. For details on the other upcoming tastings, see here.
- Congratulations to all the medalists from the sixth annual ABC Brews Crews Homebrew Competition, held Saturday at the Corner Brewery. (And congratulations to Alex and Claudia Pettit and the rest of the crew from the Ann Arbor Brewers Guild for pulling off another successful event.) More than 100 homebrewers from across Michigan entered nearly 400 beers, making it the biggest and best Brews Crews ever. Check out brewscrews.aabg.org for the full list of winners.
- Tickets are on sale now for Wolverine's Aug. 4 Detroit Tigers field trip and beer drinking extravaganza. Check out this deal: For $70, you get beer and brunch at the tap room, a round trip bus ride to The D (with a keg on the bus, natch), and tickets to the game. You wanna talk about the perfect Father's Day gift, this is it. Call the tap room at 734-369-2990 or stop by to sign up.
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 email@example.com.