WESTLAND – The Michigan Cask Ale Festival returns Saturday, May 13, to Ashley’s Beer & Grill, 7525 Wayne Road. The Festival is the largest offering of cask-conditioned craft beers at one time anywhere in the state.

cask ale festivalMore than 20 cask ales from renowned breweries across Michigan and from coast-to-coast across the U.S. will be pouring from 2pm to 5 pm.  This year’s Festival will include a special offering of Michigan nanobreweries, small craft breweries that self-distribute and thus are generally not available outside of their local community.

Cask ale, also called real ale, represents the traditional, centuries-old way of serving ale, unfiltered and naturally carbonated by the live yeast in the vessel it’s served from. This cask conditioning results in a more complex, delicately flavorful beer, closer to the way the brewer intended than when it’s poured on a draft system. Because these beers are hand made, brewers can create new and unique flavors in the cask not possible in regular draft craft beer.

“Most venues can’t serve cask ale,  what we call ‘the craft beer of craft beer,’ because the living nature of the beers means they require special handling,” said Roy More, co-owner of Ashley’s. “As the market for craft beer explodes, more and more beer lovers are seeking something special. Ashley’s is committed to providing them with unique taste experiences they can’t find anywhere else.”

Cask Ale festival

Participating Michigan breweries include Arbor (Ypsilanti), Arcadia Ales (Battle Creek), Arclight (Watervliet), Batch Brewing (Detroit), Ellison (East Lansing) , Founders Brewing (Grand Rapids), Greenbush Brewing (Sawyer), Griffin Claw (Birmingham), Kuhnhen (Warren), Liberty Street (Plymouth), New Holland Brewing (Holland), Odd Side Ales (Grand Haven), Short’s (Bellaire), Speciation Artisan Ales (Comstock), Transient Artisan Ales (Bridgeman)  and Witch’s Hat (South Lyon). There will also be special casks from Blake’s Cidery and Northville Winery.

The Festival also brings in these unique beers from across the country. From California (Lagunitas) and Utah (Epic) to Maryland (Heavy Seas) and Great Lakes (Ohio).  

Tickets are $35 at the door. For the latest info on the Festival, including the list of rare and even unique Follow the Festival’s Facebook page and Ashley’s Westland on Twitter (@ashleyswestland).

Beer list:

  • Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery: Buzzsaw with Mosaic and pink peppercorn
  • Arcadia Ales: Mango Surprise and Whitsun with Habanero
  • Arclight Brewing Company: Mojito Moe’s IPA
  • Batch Brewing Company: Passion Fruit Pulque – Traditional Mexican fermented beverage made from agave with Passion Fruit.
  • Ellison Brewery + Spirits: Sexy Little Thing –   Double Dry Hopped all New Zealand Hopped IPA 7% ABV.  This is a beer that is an experiment for them and you will be the first one outside of the taproom to pour it with an additional hop charge to the firkin
  • Epic: Los Locos Mexican Lager with lime & sea salt
  • Founders Brewing Co.: Dirty Bastard with hazelnut praline.
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company: Turntable Pilsner with sichuan peppercorn
  • Greenbush Brewing Co.:
  • Griffin Claw: Nawt a Cawp – with grapefruit purée
  • Heavy Seas Beer: Custom Loose Canon – with Citra, Equinox, Simcoe, Apple and Maple woods and Orange peel
  • Kuhnhenn: Porter Colada – Pineapple coconut flavored porter.
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co: Lagunator California Common with Simcoe dry hop
  • Liberty Street: Pub House Brown – a Southern English Mild.
  • New Holland Brewing Co.: Poet Stout
  • Odd Side Ales: Peach Mango Dirty Dank Juice
  • Short’s Brewing Company: Space Rock with citrus zest
  • Speciation Artisan Ales: Dry Hopped Genetic Drift Batch #3 dry hopped with Citra and Vojvodina hops
  • Transient Artisan Ales: Honeystone with mosaic, lemon lime zest, local honey
  • Witch’s Hat Brewing Company: Three Kord Kolsch with Orange Zest & Cranberries

#micaskale

cask ale festival

About Ashley’s

Founded in 1983 next to the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Ashley’s has been proud to serve its guests a wide selection of great beers from around the world for over three decades. Today, as “Michigan’s premier multi-tap,” Ashley’s features an ever-rotating lineup of flavorful draft beers from nearly 120 different taps at our two locations in Ann Arbor and Westland, as well as more than 80 bottled beer selections.

Ashley’s was rated one of the Top 100 Beer Bars by DRAFT Magazine in and Top 50 Beer Restaurants by RateBeer.com and most recently as one of the Top 33 Craft Beer Bars in the Country by ThrillList

 

founders detroit

Founders Brewing Co. announced today that, for the first time in their 20-year history, they will open a second taproom. The new facility will feature a fully-operational brewery and retail taproom located in the lower Cass Corridor neighborhood in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, a burgeoning cultural hub adjacent to sports arenas, music venues and more.

founders detroit“Having been born and raised in the metro area, Detroit has long held a special place in my heart,” said Mark Dorich, Founders’ Vice President of Retail Operations. “It’s a hard working, no-nonsense, culturally diverse and musically-inspired town, which happens to have the best sports teams in the country. Some of our strongest support has come from the east side of Michigan, and we could not think of a better place to expand our taproom experience. We anticipate creating a taproom that is inspired by what we do in Grand Rapids, but unique in its own Motown way. We’re excited to be a larger part of ‘the D’!”

Based in Grand Rapids since 1997, Founders’ decision to open a second taproom in Detroit reaffirms their longstanding commitment and pride in their home state of Michigan. The new location will include a full-service taproom serving unique menu items and locally-made Founders beers from the on-site brewery, in addition to the classic Founders lineup. Founders plans to staff the facility primarily with Detroit-area employees in an effort to contribute to local job growth and economic revitalization. Hiring will begin in summer 2017.

The 14,000 square foot building is located at 456 Charlotte St. and will undergo construction beginning in summer 2017. The grand opening is targeted for winter of 2017. Founders has partnered with Midtown Detroit Inc. and Invest Detroit on the development of the property.

“The introduction of a brand like Founders Brewing Co. to the South Cass neighborhood will have a catalytic impact and attract others to invest,” said Sue Mosey, executive director, Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Midtown Detroit Inc. has partnered with Invest Detroit to bring the development to life.  

“We are again pleased to partner and co-invest with Midtown Detroit, Inc. to facilitate the redevelopment of a building in this emerging district,” said Dave Blaszkiewicz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Invest Detroit. “Sue Mosey and her team have done an amazing job of attracting new businesses to the community. This location for the highly recognized Founders Brewing Co. will be a critical asset to encourage additional investment to revitalize the surrounding area.”

 

founders detroit

 

Founders explains further, and answers a few more questions before they’re asked:

Why are we opening a taproom in Detroit?

Our commitment to our home state of Michigan was established long ago and we intend to continue fulfilling it, even as our reach elsewhere increases. We have toyed with the idea of opening another taproom for years now and, when finally moving forward, it was a no-brainer choosing Detroit as the city to host it.  Not only do we have tons of fans on the east side of the state, we also have a personal history and love for Detroit. Both our Culinary Director and Vice President of Retail Operations hail from metro Detroit and have long been petitioning that we deepen our roots there.

While our Grand Rapids taproom is and always will be home to us, we feel it is important to spread the Founders love and allow even more of our fans the opportunity to experience drinking from the source themselves.

What will the taproom experience be like?
We are in the initial planning stages so there is not much information to share at this point, but we will keep you all updated as the project progresses.

Will the taproom be modeled after the Grand Rapids taproom?
The Detroit taproom will certainly take inspiration from the Grand Rapids location, but it isn’t intended to feel like a duplicate of it. We recognize and appreciate that Detroit and Grand Rapids, despite being in the same state, have a number of distinctions and our intention is to celebrate and embrace those. Every effort will be taken to ensure that the Founders culture represented in the Grand Rapids taproom comes through just as passionately in our Detroit location.

Will we brew at this location?
Yes, we plan on brewing at this location and will create beers unique only to it. In addition to those, we will also offer our year-round, seasonal and specialty beers on tap as well. Our Barrel-Aged Series beers will be on tap depending on availability.

How are we staffing this location?
We will open up a select number of positions internally to our current staff however the vast majority of jobs will be new hires and filled locally – we anticipate over 100 new jobs total. This process will extend from summer 2017 through winter 2017.

How will this impact the local economy?
Not only will the presence of this taproom create jobs in Detroit, we anticipate it will drive in more traffic to the lower Cass Corridor neighborhood. Located adjacent to arenas and music venues, the location is already seeing the beginnings of revitalization and we strive to be at the forefront of it. Our Grand Rapids location helped to spur the revitalization of the downtown neighborhood it is located in and we anticipate the same will happen in the lower Cass Corridor.

 

Detroit, MI: Two breweries along the Detroit and Windsor riverfront, Batch Brewing Company (Detroit, MI, USA) and Motor Craft Ales (Windsor, ON, Canada), have released their latest collaboration beer, Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree. The rosemary and chestnut pale ale is brewed with Michigan malt and chestnuts. Motor City Malthouse’s German-style malt and Treeborn’s chestnuts are accompanied with a clean yeast profile, allowing the rosemary’s herbal and piney qualities to shine, while the chestnut sweetness provides depth to the beer.

The name of the beer, Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree, comes from the first part of the seventh chapter of George Orwell’s novel, 1984. It reads as;

“Under the spreading chestnut tree

I sold you and you sold me:

There lie they, and here lie we

Under the spreading chestnut tree.”

“The collaboration beer symbolizes a place where revolutionaries, patriots, and lovers of craft beer can come together,” said Stephen Roginson Owner of Batch Brewing Company. “No walls, only bridges and tunnels. No irony, only ideals and art.”

This is the second collaboration beer Batch Brewing Company and Motor Craft Ales have crafted and according to the owners of both breweries, there will be many more in the future.

“For us these collaboration beers really celebrate what our countries share, in terms of both beer and culture,” said Gino Gesuale, Owner of Motor Craft Ales.

 

Detroit, Mich — Spring is in the air and “Whango” mango wheat fruit ale from Atwater Brewery is in the bottles.

Whango is Atwater’s popular seasonal beer and one of its fruitiest, most flavorful brews. Softly sweet and tropically aromatic, Whango is an American-style wheat beer similar but less yeasty than its German Weizen (or wheat ) cousins.

In 2016, the Whango product had completely sold out just a couple of months into its run.  For 2017, Atwater owner Mark Rieth has committed to increasing production five-fold, although he said even much of this run is already committed via retail purchase orders.

whangoRecognizable to taste buds through its unique mango flavor, Whango is recognizable to the eye through its unique packaging – a shaggy-haired surfer dude with only his paddleboard standing between him and the salmony/pinky/orangey/yellow Detroit skyline.  (The paddleboard pays homage to their growing presence on the Belle Isle shoreline in Detroit; the colors pay homage to spring and summer.)

“Spring’s coming and we think Whango is a great reflection of the fun and freshness of spring and summer days,” says Rieth.  “Whango is one of our eight special seasonal brews that are now available in 24 states, ready for people everywhere who are ready to get outside and enjoy the weather.  Whango is the beer to pack for whatever they want to do.”

Atwater’s Whango

  • ABV 4.90% IBU:14
  • Style: Fruit Beer  Color: Straw

German Pale Wheat malt lends this clean offering a lightly citric crispness at the back of the palate. The addition of real mango adds a soft, sweet roundness to the body and natural mango flavoring lifts the aroma to match.

Whango and Atwater’s other beers and ales are available throughout Michigan and in 24 other states with new distribution being added on a regular basis.   Whango is already joining Atwater’s Vanilla Java Porter and Dirty Blond among the Atwater’s most popular flavors.

Atwater is hosting a Whango release party on Wednesday, March 1 at Slow’s BBQ from 5pm – 8pm with a host of give-aways and raffle prizes on hand.

 

Cultivate

Around the corner near the railroad tracks in Depot Town you’ll find a sanctuary operating as a non-profit beer and coffee bar called Cultivate. Their name refers to developing connections and facilitating relationships within the neighborhood as much as it describes the gardening done on site that benefits local food charities. All profits and tips go toward fighting hunger.

From the moment the idea was planted they’ve involved the community, opening after a successful crowd-sourced campaign through Patronicity raised more than the original goal. Volunteers helped transform the space inside and out during the summer of 2015 leading to a soft opening serving coffee and tea in September. Approvals to serve beer came shortly after, and they celebrated their first anniversary of being fully open in October 2016.

Cultivate

Cultivate’s thirty six taps dispense some of the most sought-after brews and include a dedicated mead faucet featuring a selection from Schramm’s. In addition to generous pours at reasonable prices, a flight of 4 tastes is available for most of the offerings with the exception of certain high gravity or limited releases. Crowlers and growlers are available to go, as well as prepackaged bottles and cans from time to time. The latest listings can be found on BeerMenus.

Mug Club memberships are available for beer, coffee, or both. The beer program is $50 per year and entitles the holder to $1 off each beer ordered plus access to monthly interactive events with experts. February’s featured event is a Goose Island vertical tasting with a short discussion about cellaring and aging beer.

The knowledgeable staff behind the bar consists of paid employees and volunteers led by three directors who each bring an aspect of the vision to life; Bekah Wallace in charge of Community and Connections, Ryan Wallace taking care of the Beer and Business aspects, and Billy Kangas leading the Coffee and Causes portion. “We invest a good amount of time in training volunteers, helping them to get employment, and empowering them in the areas they are passionate about that help our city,” said Ryan Wallace.

Cultivate

Billy Kangas, Bekah Wallace, Ryan Wallace

People young and old flock to Cultivate for a wide range of reasons, from the impressive beer offerings to the ever-evolving list of activities and opportunities that take place there based on what the community desires. You can learn about year-round gardening, be tutored in physics, play chess and other board games, or simply sit and knit with others.

While there, you may hear jazz from local musicians, poetry and curated readings, or a group practicing conversational French. There’s a new moms meet up, an empty-nesters gathering, and one for the generation who are acting as caregivers for their aging parents. Planned events can be found on the large wall calendar in the taproom or on their Facebook page

There are a variety of baked goods and sandwiches available onsite to enjoy with the beverages. An expanded menu with larger artisan sandwiches and small plate offerings featuring up to 90% Michigan made and produced ingredients will be launched in March.

Recently the beer garden was transformed from a summer-only space to an enclosed area with patio heaters to accommodate the swells of patrons wishing to enjoy the sense of community while having a beer or two.

As Cultivate grows it is finding new ways of evolving and adapting to fulfill their mission of feeding the hungry. Over the summer the volunteer-tended garden in the back grew vegetables that were donated to Food Gatherers. Current projects include creating a “Hunger Map” for Washtenaw County, “which is a full assessment of both needs in our county and what non-profits are doing to meet those needs in what areas,” Ryan Wallace said. “Our goal is to create something that everyone can use in order to address the issue of hunger and to help us know what solutions we need to create moving forward,” he added.

 

Over the past several years, there has been a marked increase in brewing and distilling industries, small and mid-scale agriculture, and processing infrastructure. With this confluence of events, it’s the perfect time to increase consumer and producer knowledge of how to use local grains in craft beverages, and what characteristics to expect from these beverages.

Hosted by Fermenta: A Women’s Craft Collective, New Growth Associates, and Michigan State University, this unique workshop will provide participants with the skills, inspiration, and ideas to use locally grown grain in the distilling and brewing process, as well as the opportunity to support the increasing number of midsize Michigan farmers.

Agenda:

5:30 pm          Registration & Networking

6:00 pm          Welcome and Overview of Workshop

6:15 pm          MSUE Barley Research Initiatives in Lower Michigan ~ Ashley McFarland,        MSU Extension

6:30 pm          Malt Sensory and Flavor Profiles with a Tasting ~ Andrea Stanley, Valley Malt

Andrea Stanley (Valley Malt) shares her expertise as the first artisan maltster on the east coast, and explores the world of malt sensory evaluation. Utilizing the newly developed and approved Hot Steep method, we will explore a “malt flight” and participants will come away better understanding the malting process and get to smell and taste a wide variety of malts.   

 

7:15 pm          Using Local Grains in Brewing/Distilling Panel

Featuring Duncan Williams, Grizzly Peak; Ryan Hamilton, Michigan Barley; Tom Laboda; Dan Bailey, Motorcity MaltHouse; & Steve Berthel, New Holland Brewery

 

8:15 pm          Closing Remarks/Q&A

8:30 pm          Happy Hour/Networking Event ~  Sponsored by Country Malt 

Tickets are $15 for Fermenta members and $25 for non-Fermenta members. They must be purchased online.

This event will be a precursory event to the annual Great Lakes Hop & Barley Conference, which will be taking place in Detroit, MI on Thursday and Friday March 2-3, 2017.

 

Fermenta

 

 

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – How are the traditions of beer defined? Can traditional beer-making methods enhance the modern approach to brewing?

Those are two vital questions that brewer Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt and business development veteran Spike Oliver will explore at their new brewery, Edelbrau Brewing Company. With the sustained emergence of craft brewing, the pair believe their approach, which weaves together history, artistic expression, and modern science, will give Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan something unique to look forward to.

edelbrau

Spike Oliver and Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt

“The traditional aspects of craft beer are often forgotten as the market expands and focuses on quick turnaround,” says Watson-Ahlbrandt. “We want to pay homage to Old World methods of making beer as well as traditional beer styles, taking what has been forgotten and re-interpreting it for today’s palate.”

“We’re challenging ourselves to create a portfolio of beers that reflects something new from something old,” adds Oliver. “An artist has the flexibility to work in water color, oil, spray paint, clay, or other media to create a piece of art. The end result and the experience will be unique depending on which medium is chosen.”

With a production facility secured at 719 W. Ellsworth Rd., Watson-Ahlbrandt and Oliver are actively looking for additional space to open a pub with a retail store and taproom where they can also host events and conduct brewing classes. They are targeting an opening for August of this year.

“Right now we’re working on getting licensed and making flavorful and unique beers that we can distribute to the Ann Arbor area,” says Oliver. “But our full vision is to create a space where Ann Arborites can feel cozy, have a great pint of beer, learn about brewing, and be entertained.”

 

About the Team

Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt – Brewery Manager

Ann Arbor local Teo Watson-Ahlbrandt runs a brewery consulting business geared toward serving clients across the state of Michigan. Recent projects include expansion plans for Ypsilanti-based Unity Vibration Living Kombucha as well as the launch of new Grand Rapids brewpub East West Brewing. Teo also serves as internal consultant and head brewer for Big Hart Brewing Company in Hart as well as for Biercamp in Ann Arbor. He has worked in several Michigan breweries including Arbor Brewing Company’s Brewpub and Microbrewery, Original Gravity Brewing Company in Milan, and Dark Horse Brewing Company in Marshall. Teo holds a bachelor degree in biochemistry from Eastern Michigan University and is an enthusiastic supporter of the school’s new fermentation science program.

Spike Oliver – Sales, Marketing, and Business Management

A native Chicagoan and avid homebrewer, Spike Oliver immersed himself in the food and beverage industry after college, working for Chicago-based chocolatier Vosges Haut-Chocolat, where he oversaw numerous aspects of the company’s multi-channel business. He currently runs the corporate gifts department at Zingerman’s Mail Order and is responsible for business development including sales, marketing, project management, hiring, and training. Along with his passion for the arts and business, Spike has a love for and fascination with the history of beer and food.

 

About the Brewery

More than two years in planning, Edelbrau Brewing Company was formed when Spike and Teo met through mutual friends at Zingerman’s. Over a few beers they noticed their passions and visions were perfectly complementary. They chose the name Edelbrau to express their unified goals – “edel” from the German word for “noble,” which not only refers to a certain class of hops but to the honorable craft of brewing itself and its importance in fostering a sense of community.
Edelbrau Brewing Company is currently in the licensing phase and hopes to open in August of 2017. The company will focus on creating full flavored beers to be distributed in Ann Arbor and throughout Southeast Michigan.

 

Dexter City, MI— New Year, New Beer. Headed your way this month is a new style of IPA for North Peak, an East Coast IPA called Stormy.

The brewery staff boasts this beer quickly became a favorite among them. “It’s a perfect beer for the wintery stormy weather we get here in Michigan,” says Northern United Brewing Company Production Manager Sean Brennen. “The malty, oat backbone balances the assertiveness of the six hop varietals leaving you with a fresh, hazy beer we all can’t get enough of.”

north peak

Coming in at 6.7% ABV and 35 IBU, Stormy Oat IPA is full of haziness along with dry/late hop additions to create a juicy mouth feel with citrus, piney notes unlike any other IPA. Stormy is now available in draft and North Peak’s signature stubby bottle 6-packs.

All North Peak beers are represented by a character and accompanying folklore tale (most famously Diabolical and the jackalope). Stormy is depicted by an underwater panther deep in the Great Lakes.

In the deepest depths of Lake Superior lives the most powerful being in the underwater world. The murky, dark, churning waters of its surroundings inspired our unfiltered IPA, Stormy.  A mysterious creature with a body of a wild feline, horns of a deer, a scaled back and a tail so long it wraps around its body ending with a fish tail. With a warning hiss like the sound of rushing water, the underwater panther lives as protector of the vast amounts of copper in the Great Lakes. It’s been said that anyone who tries to steal copper from the lakes has grave misfortune befall them. Strangely, the metal has been found on numerous Great Lakes shipwrecks. Perhaps a mere coincidence, but it might behoove you to carry nothing of copper aboard your ship when crossing the Great Lakes.

North Peak is part of Northern United Brewing Co. NUBC’s philosophy focuses on a dedication to conservation, inspiration and locally sustainable practices.

Find NUBC products at stores, restaurants and bars all throughout Michigan, including: North Peak Brewing Company, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin, in Traverse City; Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak, in Ann Arbor and Jolly Pumpkin in Detroit. North Peak can also be found outside of Michigan, in select markets.

 


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