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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

 

Ashley's

For the past six years, Ashley’s of Westland has hosted it’s Belgian Beer Week, serving only beer brewed in Belgium over an eleven day period. In 2015, they added the North American Belgian Beer Festival and this year are adding a second ‘festival within a festival’ by hosting the Ultimate Funk Beer Fest.

Friday February 12 is the inaugural Ultimate Funk Beer Fest. This event will feature more than 120 beers from 60 breweries in 8 countries. The featured styles will include lambics, gueuzes, Berliner weisses, goses, Flemish red ales, oud bruins, wood-aged ales, rauchbiers, and more. Beers aged in bourbon barrels will be well represented as well, with stouts, quadrupels, Scotch ales, barleywines, and other styles making an appearance.

“As we evolve to ‘Craft Beer 2.0,’ brew enthusiasts are seeking the next big thing,” said Roy More, co-owner of Ashley’s. “American consumers are just now really beginning to discover sour and other funky ales that are in reality based on centuries-old styles. Many are blended and aged for years in oaken barrels, called foeders, before being ready for release like fine wines. The resulting beers are often delicately complex and a rewarding experience for those who have cultivated a taste for them.”

“Since 1983, Ashley’s has existed to help people have a good time and discover new tastes,” said More. “This inaugural Funk Beer Fest is in line with our mission of expanding our guests’ experiences in new ways.”

Saturday February 13 sees the return on the North American Belgian Beer Festival, the country’s largest Belgian-only beer event. The event is sponsored by the Consulate General of Belgium/Flanders Investment and Trade, a partnership that blossomed at last year’s inaugural event.

As many as one thousand attendees will be able to sample more than 220 beers from the more than 80 Belgian breweries represented.

“You would have to go to Belgium to find this many Belgian beers in one place,” said Xavier Van Honsebrouck, fifth generation owner of Van Honsebrouck brewery in Ingelmunster, Belgium — who attended the 2015 festival and plans to attend again this year.

Belgium is recognized by many experts as one of the world’s top beer nations, with Belgian brewers creating more recognized styles of beer per capita than any other country.

“This event showcases exclusively craft beers brewed in Belgium,” said Luc Strybol, head of the economic mission of Flanders. “There will be breweries that trace their roots back a thousand years, breweries that have been owned by the same family for over a hundred years, and others that just formed in the past few years.”

Festival attendees will also have the chance to pair the many unique specialty and boutique brews with a menu of Belgian-inspired “cuisine à la bière.” Brewers and other Belgian beer experts will be on hand to help educate and guide guests through the amazing diversity and complexity of the Belgian beer world.

Due to the success of the last year’s festival, the 2016 event will take place in an expanded, heated tent next to Ashley’s. It will include several educational sampling sessions that cover the history of Belgian brewing, the Trappist monasteries that make beers, and beer blending. New this year is a VIP suite within the festival that will include a private Belgian-inspired buffet as well as exclusive samples.

“To address the growing interest among beer drinkers, many American craft brewers are making their interpretation of Belgian beers,” said Roy More, co-owner of Ashley’s. “This festival offers guests the opportunity to try the originals.” More, along with co-owner and brother Jeff, are frequent visitors to Belgium, where they were both knighted last fall by the Belgian Brewer’s Guild in recognition of their support of the Belgian beer industry.

Tickets for both events are available online at the following links-

Ultimate Funk Fest- www.ashleys.com/events.xhtml

North American Belgian Beer Festival- www.nabbf.org/registration.

Ashley’s Westland hosted a Dark Horse Nation (DHN) viewing party on Tuesday night. Roy More’s team couldn’t help but join in the fun…

Ashley’s Westland hosted a Dark Horse Nation (DHN) viewing party on Tuesday night. Roy More’s team couldn’t help but join in the fun…