WESTLAND — Michigan craft brewers Shorts Brewing Company and Dark Horse Brewing Co. will face off in the first match of the inaugural Ashley’s Invitational Brewery Throwdown. The event, hosted at Ashley’s Bar and Grill in Westland, will feature eight Michigan breweries battling it out against each other, Jan. 4 through Apr. 4.
“This is the first such tournament of its kind,” said Ashley’s co-owner Jeff More. “Three rounds of head-to-head competition leading to a tournament champion. There have been individual matches and beer throwdowns but not a bracketed, multi-round brewery tournament that we could find.”
The first match begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4. Over 40 brewers were considered for the competition; Ashley’s chose eight as each having something special to bring to customers.
“Each brewer is a winner just by being good enough to get into the tournament. Brewers war chosen to compete based upon what they could bring to our guests,” said More.
In the first round each brewer must offer four different draft beers. First round matches occur each Wednesday in January. Winners go on to the second round in February and March where they have to offer six draft beers. The finals will be in April where each brewer must offer eight draft beers. Brewer representatives will be present at each round to answer guests’ questions about the beers.
“The purpose of the Throwdown is to have fun but also to educate our guests about the great beer now available,” said More.
With two locations in Ann Arbor and Westland, Ashley’s is known as “Michigan’s premier multi-tap.” Draft Magazine rated Ashley’s one of the 100 best beer bars in the country, and voters have voted Ashley’s as having the “Best Beer Selection” in WDIV’s “4 The Best” every year since 2007.