Beer Guide: MI Brewers Pour Their Hearts Out

. July 2, 2018.
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Siris Ann Arbor

207 N Main St
734-263-1296 | sirisannarbor.com

Michael P Holloway: Manager

Michael P Holloway: Manager

The moment you knew you were a beer enthusiast: Probably when my pops pulled me from my mum’s arms as a toddler and handed me a PBR.

What drew you towards a career in beer: I’ve always enjoyed beer, but I actually left retirement when I was offered the opportunity to oversee the opening of Siris. I simply couldn’t pass up the chance to manage a place that was going to have over 120 taps!

What’s the furthest you’ve gone for a specialty brew? To Seattle, to try Elysian Space Dust before it was available here.

Favorite MI beer: That’s a cruel question. There are so many great beers in Michigan! But my seasonal choice right now— since it’s summer— is probably Founder’s Green Zebra. Or maybe Bell’s Black Note.

Beer presently in your fridge: At home I actually have a refrigerator larger than my food refrigerator for beer! There are far too many to list. No joke.

Favorite pairing: Right now? Probably our Smoked Half Chicken with Petoskey Juicy. The citrus and fruit are an amazing complement to the smoky flavors of the chicken, which we smoke in house, by the way.

It’s a fight to the death: Ales vs Lagers. Who do you bet on? I know most people will say ales, but I’m a lager guy. If anyone wants to debate the point they can come down to Siris and we’ll discuss it… over a lager.

The Garage Bar & Pizza House

618 Church St
734-995-5095 | garagebarannarbor.com

Danilyn Wilce: Manager

Danilyn Wilce: Manager

The moment you knew you were a beer enthusiast: We, at Garage Bar, knew we were enthusiasts after visiting a beer expo. There were thousands of types, styles, and flavors which allowed us an opportunity to learn and expand our palettes.

What are the qualities of a great brewer? Variety, balance, and depth of flavor are key.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about your business? Our outdoor venue stays open all year round! We have six large heaters that keep the Garage Bar toasty in the winter, despite our very large garage door opening. We also have the best happy hour in town. From 3-6pm, we sell all of our drinks at half price and offer a $5 food menu. Everything is $5 or under. You can’t beat that!

Favorite MI beer: Bell’s Two Hearted and/or Short’s Soft Parade—classics.

Lucky’s Market Ann Arbor

1919 S Inductrial Highway
734-368-9137 | luckysmarket.com

Armando Rios: beer specialist

Armando Rios: beer specialist

The moment you knew you were a beer enthusiast: When I started with Lucky’s Market in 2015 I was amazed at the verity of options that were out there.

What drew you towards a career in beer: Talking with the previous leadership in the beer department.

Toughest part of your job: C’mon this is not tough, it’s fun!

Best part of your job: The customer and all the knowledge and suggestions they bring and the trust they have in me.

Favorite MI beer: Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale.

Beer presently in your fridge: Rodenbach Flanders Red Ale.

First beer: Of course, Corona.

Favorite pairing: Red ale and pizza.

What beer do you recommend for day-drinking? Can Do Brew Lager by Rhinelander Brewery exclusively for Lucky’s Market (shameless plug).

What’s the theme song for your favorite beer? “Miss you” by the Rolling Stones with Emergency Brexit ESB from Mean Streets Beer Company.

It’s a fight to the death: Ales vs Lagers. Who do you bet on? Ales.

What’s the furthest you’ve gone for a specialty brew? Left Hand Nitro.

Best beer to take home to mom? Short’s Soft Parade Shandy.

Adventures in Homebrewing

6071 Jackson Rd
313-277-2739 | homebrewing.org

Daniel Flory: Store Manager

Daniel Flory: Store Manager

What drew you towards a career in brewing? A. The beer. B. The people. Craft beer, in my opinion, is equal parts the beer and the folks in the industry. I love craft beer for the stories, the story the brewer is trying to tell with his beer, the story of the brewery itself, the story of the friendships cultivated over craft beer.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about your business? Our guests are our family. We will do anything we can to help our family love the hobby. From taste testing homebrew and giving advice to talking on the phone with the guest any day of the week to help solve their brewing problem.

What are the qualities of a great brewer? Loving to brew, the rest will fill in as needed.

Favorite MI beer: Boss Tweed – Old Nation Brewing Co.

Homebrew fiasco story? Dropping a glass carboy and it shattering and spilling 5 gallons of my delicious beer… everywhere. The key to homebrewing and life for that matter is not making the same mistake twice.

What beer do you recommend for day-drinking? Literally any beer.

It’s a fight to the death: Ales vs Lagers. Who do you bet on? Ales.

What’s the farthest you’ve gone for a specialty brew? Across the country

Wolverine State Brewing Co.

2019 W Stadium Blvd
734-369-2990 | wolverinebeer.com

Matt Roy: co-owner

Matt Roy: co-owner

The moment you knew you were a beer enthusiast: When the Full Moon first opened, I was a student at the University of Michigan. They used to have a deal where you drank one of each of their beers and you would get your name on the wall. My friends and I would walk all the way to Main St. from central campus to enjoy their, at the time, huge selection of beers and try and get our names forever displayed on the wall.

What drew you towards a career in beer: For me, beer started as a hobby. Right out of law school I started homebrewing and my hobby quickly took over the kitchen … then a room in the basement… then the entire basement. Eventually I realized that it was time to go pro and I was lucky enough that over time my hobby became my profession.

Favorite MI beer: Can it be one of our own? In all seriousness, I still think Crooked Tree is one of the best and most underrated IPA’s on the market.

It’s a fight to the death: Ales vs Lagers. Who do you bet on? It’s not even close, Lagers have been refined and honed to perfection over time carefully mastering their art. In a fight to the death Lagers would toy with the naivety of Ales, leading them on to believe that they had the upper hand, and then, right when Ales thought that they were going to win, Lagers would deliver their devastating blow, stunning Ales just long enough to remind them why Lagers are the number one style of beer consumed in the world!

Arbor Brewing Company Brewpub

114 E Washington St
734-213-1393 | arborbrewing.com

Chris Davies: Head Brewer

Chris Davies: Head Brewer

The moment you knew you were a beer enthusiast: When I started looking at beer release calendars, wondering when I would get to taste something new.

What drew you towards a career in brewing? My path has been a winding one, but there was a lot of luck and good timing that led me to this industry.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about your business? Our company is 100% Michigan owned.

Favorite MI beer: I’ll bend the rules and give two answers–for draft, Grizzly Peak’s Sheerwater Burton-style IPA is quite exceptional, served on handpull, and is a rare style to find. For bottles or cans, Bell’s Lager of the Lakes is a rather fine pils.

Brewing fiasco story? The time I damaged a cold water pipe, creating a large shower in the brewery, that was directly related to cooking all the yeast I had just added to a fermenter. I was very glad to still have a job when I left work that day.

What beer do you recommend for day-drinking? Preferably something refreshing, under 5%, and not so intensely flavored that your palate is fried before dinner. On a hot day, I’d recommend our Cucumber Lime Gose.

It’s a fight to the death: Ales vs Lagers. Who do you bet on? It’s hard not read too much into that question. It seems there’s a lager renaissance going on right now (which pleases me greatly). I think the two might get in the ring, shake hands, and agree to go grab a beer somewhere. There’s plenty of room for both ale and lager to happily coexist.

What’s the farthest you’ve gone for a specialty brew? I’ve hand-picked a lot of hops, spruce tips, hunted for wild hops, peeled a lot of cucumbers and limes…anything that turns brew day into a field trip or a prep kitchen is fun.

Townies Brewery

2350 W Liberty St
734-222-9000 | facebook.com/towniesa2brewing

Dan & Patty Arban: Owners

Dan & Patty Arban: Owners

The moment you knew that you were a beer enthusiast: For many years we have been traveling and visiting venues and sampling beers all over the US and Europe.

What drew you towards a career in brewing? Love of the community and the art in the craft of making beer, as well as other artisan beverages.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about your business? All the different offerings we have onsite, such as great craft beer, wine and ciders to our unique venue which has a large outdoor backyard space to our B & B, game room and art studio. Something for everyone.

Favorite MI beer: Avacious Amber.

What beer do you recommend for day-drinking? The one that makes you feel good, if you can’t be with the beer you love, then love the beer you’re with….

It’s a fight to the death: Ales vs Lagers. Who do you bet on? Ales, you can do far more with an Ale, variety, character, flavor, Lagers are heavy, old and slow…

What’s the farthest you’ve gone for a specialty brew? 300 miles.

Dan’s Downtown Tavern

103 E Michigan Ave | Saline
734-429-3159 | facebook.com/dansbars

Dan Kolander: Owner

Dan Kolander: Owner

What drew you towards a career in beer? I started as a bartender and worked my way through the ranks until I was able to buy my own place.

We pour 64 taps, mainly Michigan-based breweries. There is so much great beer in Michigan that there’s no reason to look elsewhere to fill my taps. Founders Wolverine State Brewery, OG , Dark Horse, New Holland, Old Nation Stoney Lake in Saline has great beer too. These are just some of my favorites.

Beer presently in my fridge: M43, Founders Rubeaus, KBS, Dogfish 120.

Although I am not a brewer, what has allowed me to expand is basically the Michigan-based breweries and how many good, solid beers are available in this state, from lagers to ales. We are very spoiled here!!!

The furthest I have traveled for a good brew: is California.

What beer do you recommend for day-drinking? Is there such a thing as a bad day beer?

What are the qualities of a great brewer? All the brewers I have met have one thing in common, they are all laid back, calm, relaxed people who are in no hurry to go anywhere quickly! Like a mad scientist always trying to find a new angle or taste for a great new beer! And their creativity always amazes me. Look at some of the names they have come up with— Amazing!!!

O & W, inc.

3003 William St | Ypsilanti
734-480-4012 | onwbeer.com

Kit Wanty Lambert: Vice President

Kit Wanty Lambert: Vice President

The moment you knew you were a beer enthusiast: The moment I was born. I am the 5th generation in my family’s beer distribution business, so beer is part of who I am.

What are the qualities of a good brewer? A good brewery partner to me is one that strikes a balance between creativity and innovation, and a strong business plan. You have to have both to be able to make beers that are appealing, that draw a consumer in and make them want to grab it from the shelf or choose it in a sea of draft handles. But all products need to be backed up with a strong business plan that addresses costs, margins, production, packaging, marketing plans, quality control… there are many hats a brewery wears and all are critical to the success of a brewery and distributor partnership.

What’s something people wouldn’t guess about your business? It is much more complex than you would think. Beer is touched at a minimum of 10 times before it even gets put in your fridge. It’s a labor-intensive business, but one we all love! The other thing we are very proud of is that we provide jobs for close to 200 people, and these are jobs that no one can ship overseas. These are good paying jobs, Michigan jobs with great benefits and we are proud of that.

What’s the theme song for your favorite beer? “If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer.” It’s the original Miller High Life song and we recently found the original sheet music from the ‘70’s that we got from the brewery.

What’s the farthest you’ve gone for a specialty brew? I travel a lot for work and have the good fortune of visiting breweries all over the country. I am blown away by the beer scenes in both Portland and Miami. So totally different in beer styles but both thrive on the vibe of the cities they are in. Culture is so important in a brewery and the beer they brew, and these two cities have a great sense of who they are.

Best beer to take home to mom? I would take home a one of our new rosé ciders. They are really good!

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