Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wolverine Opens Wide!

So my regular readers know I am a Microbrew Enthusiast. And most of you know I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Today there is a special event for Ann Arbor Microbrew Enthusiasts, and I would be remiss if I didn't give it its due, but more importantly still, one of the primary entrepreneurs is a fellow writer, Liz Crowe. who has guested HERE!--You KNOW HER! She was a guest in September when she had a short story released, and has since had Breathless Press INSIST on printing her whole book. (We should all be so lucky, ne?)

So today I am talking a little about good beer, drinking locally, and my own newest local watering hole.

Drink Locally

The Germans were early beer purists, and while in most domains, purity is a negative for me, where beer is concerned, they have a point. Beer should have Barley, Hops, Yeast, and Water. Nothing else. Ever.

You know what it REALLY should never have? Rice. Corn. Fermaldahyde. All three of those ingredients are found in Budweiser. (no wonder it tastes like crap, ne?) In fact preservatives will ALWAYS mess with beer flavor. In Ireland, I am a big fan of Guiness. Locally? Not so much—you see, shipping so far requires preservatives... same with Heineken or Becks. GREAT BEER... if you drink it where it's made... In reality, every effort should be made to drink beer brewed close enough to you that preservatives are NOT NECESSARY. You won't be sorry. In fact... if you think you don't LIKE beer, you might be shocked that what you really don't like is all that extra crap.

When I was a beer pusher (aka: microbrewery waitress) I maintained that anyone who thought they didn't like beer, hadn't really tried to find the kind that suited them, as there was a brew for everyone.

So anyway... Moving from Oregon to Michigan was a little culture shock in 2000, but Michigan is coming into its own, microbrew-wise. I find New Holland Brewings Mad Hatter and Poet Stout two of the best micros I've had ANYWHERE...VERY locally (the way it should be) Arbor Brewing does an impressive job with Red Snapper (a red bitter—my favorite) and Sacred Cow (an IPA and close second).

Enter Wolverine...

You need a brief beer lesson here... TECHNICALLY... the above stuff is all ALE. Ales are brewed HOT and TOP fermented. This is a faster process and more feasible for small batches because you can brew a batch every few days in the same vats. BEER is COLD fermented—which happens at the BOTTOM and takes longer. It is a different sort of product. BUT...

There is a misconception...

Because so much nationally brewed CRAP is technically BEER, people think beer is less strong and less varied—not necessarily so... only nationally distributed BIG HOUSE crap is less varied and weak. In reality, the same range exists for both forms...

Why am I telling you? Because Wolverine is the first Microbrewery I've seen making BEER instead of ALE... and the two I tried when I went to the 'exclusive invite only because I'm special' party *shifty* were no less complex than any ales I've ever had. I drank a glass of 'emOATable' (an oat ale that was dark and oaty like an oatmeal stout, not quite so heavy, but delightful) and the 'insolent mink IPA'--a play on Wolverines and varmints... minks being a pungent sort, as IPAs are, because of their hops. The brews were very good. The range was good. And I LOVE having a microbrewery that is walkable not just for ME (I will walk anywhere) but for my husband or beer loving neighbors.

Why am I telling you all TODAY?

Tonight is their public Grand Opening!

Tonight, beginning at 7 pm is $1 off beers (they are normally open earlier but have a VIP event). There is free pizza until 9:00. It is at 2019 W. Stadium in Ann Arbor (behind Big George's Appliances and the bike shop). Head down and check it out! Normally they open in the afternoon, but today you need to let them get ready for the PARTY.  Ann Arborites, I strongly recommend it! Visitors, be sure to check it out next time you are in town.

And Congrats to the Beer Wench!


Simon C. Larter said...

You made me crave beer at 8:15 in the morning. Yeah, thanks for that.

(Usually it takes me till 8:30 to crave a beer....)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Catering to Simon's habit I see!

I didn't understand the difference between ale and beers and the local brewing thing. Now I do.
Are you going back tonight, Hart?
Wish your friend all the success in the world!

Hart Johnson said...

I will have to see if I can conjure a date tonight--my husband went to the VIP Party with me, but he is neither as social, nor as picky discriminating about beer as I am (he drinks Bud Light *gag*)--if I can find a neighbor to head down there with me though, I very well may.

erica and christy said...

I don't know that much about beer (although I know a little more now), but we have some great microbreweries in Wisconsin, too. (bud light *gag* here, too)

gideon 86 said...

I'm not the biggest beer lover, but specialized beers sound interesting. There are few beers I do like. Chin Dow and Saporo ... I think that's how these are spelled.

Sounds like you're on the verge of a fun weekend.

BTW Hart, I'm having an HP trivia post all week for the Deathly Hallows debut on Friday. I'd love to see you there. I've got some tough questions.


Anonymous said...

Ich will dunkel Bier bitte

Oh, how I miss German beer. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

If I were in Ann Arbor, I would surely join the party tonight. It would definitely not do for a great microbrewery to be in walking distance for me. I'd be there waaay too often. Totally agree about Bud.

Old Kitty said...

Oh want to get NAKED and go to this!!!! Now all I need to do is sprout wings and zoom across the pond..!!

LOL!! Yay for real ale and real beer!!!!

Yay for beer wenches too!! Take care

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I really wish I could be there! Sounds like a wonderful place. :) Buying local is a good long as the beer is good! Sometimes, good microbrews are hard to find (I'm talking about in the South). I usually will get my really exotic beers from microbrews that bottle. I have tons of favorites!

Hart Johnson said...

Erica've had some Frog something or other from Wisconsin! I have a friend Matt who brought me some when we met in Chicago!

Michael-EXCELLENT! Love the HP stuff!

Ciara-teehee No hablo Aleman...

Carol-I can tell you and I would be a poor influence on each other. teehee

Jenny--YAY I wish you could be here, too!

Elizabeth-I'd love it if you could be here! I think the Microbrews will spread--it is so much better, it pretty much has to.

sue said...

Couldn't agree more. And I love the microbreweries where they have tastings, and talk to you about the product and which is best with different dishes (like wine). I simply hated beer till I tried a fresh, local, unadulterated brew - we now brew our own which is a lot of fun, but dreadful for the waistline.
I liked that in the Czech Republic it's acceptable to start the day with a beer :D

David L Macaulay said...

sounds great - I'm a big fan of micro breweries and the US has some funky ones. It's a pity Bud and Miller (s)lite etc. gives US beers such a bad name. There are a lot of small breweries in Britain, the beer's warm, of course. Wolverine sounds like it's worth a visit. Maybe not from Virginia, tho

Powdered Toast Man said...

I love microbrews. I'll take 2.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We had the best microbrewery in Salem, OR. Around here, wineries are big in NC.

Lisa said...

Passion and beer. What's not to love?