A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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jake -

I went to school at U of Michigan so I spent a few years in Ann Arbor. The couple times I made it out to Arbor Brewing Company I wasn't a big fan, I much preferred Grizzly Peak to ABC. Grizzly Peak is right down the street from ABC, it is on the the other side of main street on washington. Grizzly Peak has wonderful beer and delicious food. Their standards are great, especially the bear paw porter and their stout; but there seasonal selections are even better, and they usually have a cask ale that is terrific. Next time you are in Ann Arbor, give GP a try, order a burger (they are kind of build your own, add the cajun spices to it) and make sure you get their sweet potato fries with it.

Other good places for beer in AA, Ashley's (great beer selection, tons of microbrews from all over Michigan, and If I remember right something like 80 different beers on tap) and Red Hawk (much smaller but well varied beer selection but the food is amazing). Both are right on state street between I think williams and north u.

Alan -

Excellent information, Jake. I really liked Ann Arbor and can see heading back for sure. Add to what you point out the proximity of Jolly Pumpkin and the Detroit brewers and south-east MI becomes one of the premier beer destinations in at least the Great Lakes area.

jake -

I also forgot about the Main Street Party Store. It is at main and ann (which is a block north of huron). Just a liquor store, but their beer selection is pretty impressive. It's been awhile but I know they also have a lot of regional microbrews and a good belgian selection.

if you go back and want some more ideas, just shoot me an email. ann arbor, has some really really good restaurants.

I loved my years in ann arbor and am more than happy to share some tips.

Michigan overall, is one of the better states for beers, each year they have a beer fest just outside of ann arbor where most of the michigan breweries come, it's a good time and it's kind of surprising how many breweries there are in michigan.

Spencer -

@Jake: Arbor's beers improved significantly (in my opinion, of course), recently, with the departure of the previous brewer. If you're back in town, you should give them another chance.

As to the Alt, purists will say that it's not an Alt -- it's too dark and too big. Yes, that's true. But it's still a great beer, somewhere between a brown ale, an alt, and a porter.

The bottled beers are actually produced at the Corner Brewery, in Ypsilanti. The Corner is a microbrewery with a 22-bbl system and a bottling line, while ABC is a brewpub (so can't wholesale beer under Michigan law). ABC is owned by Matt Greff, while the Corner is owned by Rene Greff -- a situation again necessitated by Michigan law, which prohibits an individual from owning companies in different "tiers" of the brewer - distributor - retailer 3-tier system. The brewers rotate between the two breweries, helping to ensure consistency of flavor between the on-tap product and the bottled product.

Spencer -

Forgot to say: The IPA is on hand-pull at the brewpub, which makes it even more awesome.

Alan -

Thanks again Jake and to you, too, Spencer. Excellent information. I am not familiar enough with alts to know one way or another but it was as immersive an experience of a beer as I ever have had - like Marshall McLuhan thought about newspapers, a beer that was like getting into a warm bath.

Ron Pattinson -

That character recognition software must almost match my aged eye-brain combination. I'm not sure I can prove I'm human.

Punk music? My kids love The Ramones. Blitzkrieg Bop, in particular. One of my few memories of university is drinking iced Mild and listening to the Ramones debut album when I should have been revising for my first year exams.

Ron Pattinson -

Almost forgot why I wanted to post. I've actually drunk Arbor IPA on cask in the pub and was dead impressed. Just wanted to share that.

Alan -

Who what where when? Was it exported to Europe?

Mike Laba | Cameron's Brewing Co. -

Hey folks,

Myself and a few friends passed through Ann Arbor two weekends ago on our way to Lebowski Fest in Chicago. I picked up a mixer 6 pack of a nice selection of Arbor's brews.

I started off with the IPA..not a bad beer. Nice hop nose and decent finish. I cracked into the Sacred Cow and really like this beer. It's a pretty big beer with a nice bite. Overall, good balance and a beer I would definitely have again.

The third beer worth mentioning was their Stout. I woke up in the morning after a late night and was debating on whether I needed a beer to get back on track. I reached into my cooler and grabbed whatever beer hit my hand. I read the label and it read: Espresso Love Oatmeal Stout. Very fitting. A delicious beer with a nice coffee hint. Somewhat similar to Mill Street's Coffee but thicker and smoother as it's a stout and not a porter.

All in all, Arbor Brewing has a solid brew lineup.

MichMash -

If you really want a good taste of Michigan beers, I suggest attending the Michigan Brewers Guild summer beer festival in Ypsilanti July 25-26. You could also check out the Arbor Brewing Co. new project, The Corner Brewery while you are in Ypsi. Being a lifelong Michigan resident I'm proud to say Michigan has the most breweries of any Great Lake State or Provence. So come on over and drink up!


Alan -

I let a bottle of Ann Arbor Espresso Love go seven months and it has developed a nice cherry tang along with the dusty roasty dark notes. Explosive bottle, though.