Thursday, August 30, 2007

News: Michael Jackson is dead

Sad news for beer lovers today. Patriarch and brew luminary Michael Jackson died yesterday. Forever known as "No, not that Michael Jackson," Jackson was a world-renowned beer hunter with a huge influence over today's upsurge in craft beer appreciation.

Below are a few links to other blog posts about his death. (If you only click one of the links, check out the last one. Lew Bryson has a nicely done tribute.)

A Good Beer Blog
Appellation Beer
Brookston Beer Bulletin
Seen Through a Glass

Update: Another link, this time with a full article:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Event: Dayton AleFest 2007

It's time once again for the Dayton AleFest. It's next Saturday, August 25th at Carillon Historic Park in Kettering, OH. This'll be my fourth year. We always have a great time--there are nearly 300 beers from about 50 breweries. Tix are $30 in advance (see Belmont Party Supply, Arrow Wine, The Little Store, Boston's Bistro), and $35 at the door. Best bet is to get your tix in advance--there's always a long line and you risk them being sold out if you wait until the day of.

Check the local bars (particularly Tank's and Boston's) for pre-parties and mass transit. I will warn you--be sure you've got a designated driver well in advance--the small samples go down quickly and easily and you'll be in no shape to drive.

Here's hoping it doesn't rain again (we're 2 for 3 on thunderstorms since I've been attending). Check this site after the event--I'll do my best to take note. (Here are my notes from last year.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Recap: Michigan Vacation, part 1

Earlier this month, my wife and I, along with our boys, spent about 8 days in Michigan--the Midwest's Beer Mecca. We started the trip in Ann Arbor, where her sister was getting married in the historic Michigan Theater. While most of that portion of the trip was devoted to the wedding, we were able to snag some good beer and take a few trips to the local brew pubs. And the best part about being in Michigan was that virtually every bar or restaurant we went to served great, local beer on tap. In fact, the wedding itself featured Bell's Oberon on tap. Below are a few of the beer notables from Ann Arbor.

Super Liquor IV
Not much of a name, but a great selection! We were lucky enough to stay right down the road from this craft brew haven. The selection rivaled my local, Belmont Party Supply, which is quite a feat. The best part was the access to the myriad beers I couldn't get in Ohio. After long deliberation, I choose Dark Horse Brewing's Crooked Tree IPA, a solidly-built IPA with strong pine hop flavors.

Arbor Brewing Company
Friday night, Grandma watched the boys while G and I headed out to this staple brewery. The place was packed, but I think most of the folks there were somehow related to the wedding. I bounced around from relative to relative, trading tastes for the various beers. There were two cask ales on tap--an IPA and a porter, and both were excellent. I also tried the Dark Corner 2007 and the Big Ben House Mild. The Dark Corner was a huge, high-gravity beer, while the mild is something I could have ordered again and again. My wife gave her thumbs up to both the Bavarian Bliss Hefe Weizen and the Brasserie Greff Blonde.

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company
We hung around in Ann Arbor for an extra day after the wedding to check out the town. For dinner, we hit Grizzly Peak, the other local brewpub. GP has a real Colorado feel. I had a grade chicken cherry salad, paired with their Cascade Ale, which happened to be cask conditioned. And I rounded the meal off with their Bear Paw Porter. Both beers were very well-done, although it's the porter that I can still conjure the taste of weeks later.

After Ann Arbor, we headed west to Grand Haven. Look for details about our trip to Bell's and New Holland, coming soon in part 2.