City Sips 2016

. April 3, 2016.

Ann Arbor might be know as “Tree City” in the spring, but we like it for a whole different reason — it’s time to get out and enjoy all the different brews the town has to offer. We talked with bartenders, beer mavericks, and alcohol experts to get their take on what they love about serving Ann Arbor.

Greg Smale

Beer Program Director

311 Maynard St.

What Makes your bar special?

We started out with the sole mission to provide the best beer in the world to our customers. Now, we have an equal commitment to environmental sustainability and being a nourishing atmosphere for craft beer drinkers of all levels and backgrounds, not just beer nerds.

Favorite Brewery right now?

Griffin Claw Brewing, their attitude and willingness to experiment. They had a hilarious liquid response to last years Budweiser Super Bowl Ad and do fun beers like their BBA Pumpkin.

Latest Obsession?

Farm to bottle beers and beers I can shotgun.

Samantha Edwards

Head Barista

B-24’s Espresso Bar
217 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti

Why B-24’s stands out?

We stand out because we feature lots of Ypsilanti history. It’s also in a beautiful location in the downtown area, right by the library.

Latest obsession?

Girl Scout Cookie Breve. Steamed half and half. Espresso, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and coconut. So good!

Strangest order?

Someone ordered a regular latte, then they wanted me to add 15 sugar packets to it. Also smoked salmon bagel with lox, shallot cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, peanut butter and jelly, and I once got an order for a bagel with only mayo on it.



1950 S. Industrial Hwy.

Sage bartender advice?

For faster service, sit near the register.

Funniest thing that’s ever happened?

A man was lighting candles on a birthday cake here at the restaurant.  While reaching to the candles across the cake, the guy’s shirt sleeve caught on fire!

Most revealing drink order?

Sex with an alligator.

Jake Espinoza

General Manager

Blue Front
701 Packard St.

Sage advice from behind the counter?

Ask for stuff! If you’re looking for a specific beer, we can help you find it fast. If you’re looking for something new, we’re happy to offer informed suggestions. We’re good at doing things for people.

Funniest thing that’s ever happened?

In the few months after we opened, we had several people stop in and exclaim, “This place is classy as F&%#!” We loved it. We’re thinking about making t-shirts.

Can’t live without?

Good people! We like to get to know people! We’re lucky to have a handful of regulars who stop in to hang out. They don’t always buy beer, and they don’t have to – it’s just nice to have them around.

Jeremy Seaver

General Manager

Tio’s Mexican Café
401 E. Liberty St. #2

Can’t live without?

Do I have to choose one tequila? I guess if you pressed me I would say Corralejo Blanco, but Don Julio 1942 and Herradura Reposado are close, close seconds.

Strangest tip? 

Strangest or best? Both really because the most memorable tip I ever got was an invitation to attend a holistic healing and raw food retreat complete with a voucher for a whole body massage. I am not a vegan by any stretch and I wasn’t sure if they intended me to take them up on it, but I did and I have to say it was a very cool experience. 

Strangest order? 

Someone once asked me for a hot glass of sangria. I know there are hot, spiced wine cocktails out there, but ours isn’t really intended for that. He seemed to like it, but I still felt weird trying to boil the wine.

Jamie Kessler

Assistant GM

The Beer Grotto
303 S. Ashley St. 

What makes your bar special? 

We rotate taps very frequently and encourage people to try a beer or two before they commit to a pint.

Favorite Brewery right now? 

Sierra Nevada Brewery, they are one of the most consistent breweries out there. I don’t know where the craft beer scene would be without them.

Favorite Sierra Nevada Beer? 

Otra Vez, it’s unlike anything out there. It’s a very good intro to a sour beer yet is very thirst quenching and refreshing.


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