Adrian Beer Week Ends with Blues & Brew

The second annual Blues & Brews Festival on October 19 finishes off a whole week of celebrating Michigan in Adrian. I am sad that I can’t make it to the main event but I am hoping to get one of adrian 2these events…

Monday: The Brick Wall & Pub featuring Paw Paw Brewing Company.

Tuesday: El Chapulin / Grasshopper featuring The Hideout Brewing Company.

Wednesday: Hooligan’s Grill featuring Ann Arbor Brewing.

Thursday: Sauce Italian Grill & Pub featuring Schmoz Brewery.

Friday: Mandy’s Uptown Bar & Grill featuring Petoskey Brewing.

I am impressed that Adrian is a having beer week. It’s a town that is around the same size as Monroe and I am not sure it could be done here. Plus they have a brewery with Cotton Brewing Company. Good job Adrian beer geeks!

Adrian Blues and Brews Fest

 October 19th, 2013 3-9pm

$25 in advance, $30 at the door.

You may purchase tickets at United Bank & Trust locations in Lenawee County or click here for tickets and more information.


Beer and Movie Night – ” Beer Hunter the Movie”

If you hear the name Michael Jackson and the first thing that pops into your head is beer then keep reading. If you are thinking the pop singer then you won’t find this post a thriller so beat it.

Original Gravity will be showing a movie about one of the most important promoters of great foreign and craft beer this Thursday (October 3, 2013).  Anyone that loves great beer owns at least one Michael Jackson book. And his book Beer Companion was practically required reading when Sarah and I took the BJCP course a few years back.

From OG’s website…

10.3.13 – Beer and Movie Night – ” Beer Hunter the Movie”
Come enjoy a pint and check out the new documentary about one of the legends of craft brewing education Michael Jackson. No not the pop singer, but a hugely influential author that help sprout the craft beer culture in the late 1970’s. Learn more at
Movie starts at 8:oopm. No cover.

J. Trees Cellars

(Co-written with Sarah Nash)

Sarah and I were having lunch at the “The Stable” in Blissfield, Michigan (the casual JTreesdining partner of the famous  Hathaway House) a few weeks ago when she offered me a sip of the wine she was drinking. We went to the restaurant because we’d heard that they had a great craft beer selection but we had a moment which made us think,  “We have been living under a hop vine!” We drink wine so we weren’t surprised that we loved a wine. The revelation was that this wine was made right here in Monroe County.

J. Trees Cellars opened in 2008, growing grapes and producing wine and cider in Petersburg, Michigan. A tasting room was soon added in Blissfield across from “The Stable.” In their words they are a “small Michigan winery, crafting fine wines & ciders from estate grown fruit, as well as other high quality Michigan fruit.”

Once we discovered that they existed we knew we needed to visit them as soon as we had a free night. We  finally paid a visit to their tasting room yesterday.  Our hosts were charming, very excited about their products and extremely patient. (We brought our kids and… well… they were kids being kids but didn’t faze them a bit.)

Every single one of their offerings was excellent. We said we weren’t going to do a full tasting JTrees1but once we got started we couldn’t help ourselves.  We like our wines on the drier side, which most of theirs are. I really enjoyed their Dry Riesling, a recent silver medal winner at the Indy International Wine Competition and the Michigan Wine Competition. Sarah enjoyed their Dry Rose which was fruity, luscious and tart yet well-balanced and would make a great base for a summer sangria. Their House Red  was a spot on I-could-drink-this-any-time-of the year-any day-of-the-week simple yet finely crafted red wine. They also sell  hard ciders including “Farmstead,” a crisp, refreshing dry cider, fermented by the wild yeast in the orchard and “Cin-ful” a cider fermented with cinnamon bark. Sarah suggested that they offer a warmed version of the “Cin-ful”  in the fall. They also sell an “Ice Cider” made with apples frozen on the tree and harvested and pressed in January making it the very sweet high ABV character you would expect from a traditional ice wine. We were also lucky enough to get a “sneak peak” of their Sparkling Riesling which they released today!

As I mentioned earlier, a few of their wines are served across the street at The Stable which is a JTrees2great place to enjoy it with a number of great “upscale pub food” offerings.  You can also find their wine at the Hathaway House, Evans Street Station in Tecumseh, Flicks in Lambertville and a number of other places across Michigan. You can find all locations on their website. Unfortunately, while their products are created in Monroe County you can currently only find them at one location in the city of Monroe,  Danny’s Fine Foods. We’ll happily shop for it there but have made it our mission to try to make them more widely available in Monroe. Until then, “like” them on Facebook and take a trip down to Blissfield and enjoy a flight in their tasting room and maybe a glass at “The Stable.”  It’s well worth the trip.


Detroit Fall Beer Fest Goes on Sale August 1st 10AM

From the Michigan Brewers Guild…

5th Annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival

Eastern Market, Detroit

Friday, October 25, 2013 – 5pm to 9pm Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 – 1pm to 6pm

Tickets on sale Aug. 1 @ 10am

Enthusiast member pre-sale . July 31, 12am to 11:59pm (limit 1 pre-sale ticket purchase per Enthusiast)

About the Event:

Join the Michigan Brewers Guild at Eastern Market in October for one of the largest all-Michigan beer tastings around. Attendees can enjoy some incredible food from Detroit area restaurants (available for purchase) and listen to a talented line-up of local musicians while sipping any of more than 400 craft beers from over 50 Michigan breweries.

Ticket Sales:

Purchase tickets beginning August 1 at 10am. Tickets for the Detroit Fall Beer Festival will be available online only prior to the festival. Any remaining tickets will sold at the gate on the day of the event – but this festival is expected to sell out, so we encourage you to buy tickets in advance.

Click here for link.

I Like to Drink Wine More than I Used to…

“How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides,  every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.  Remember when I took that home wine making course, and I forgot how to drive?” Homer Simpson

I am excited to tell you about the Downtown Monroe Wine Crawl this Friday July 19 from 5:30 to 9pm. It’s a wine tasting but also a tour of Monroe businesses where you can share food and drink with friends. And it’s priced at just $20.

This is a perfect event for the City of Monroe. I feel like we should be a big wine town. We are located on the Raisin River which was called that because of the wild grapes that grew along it. Plus we were founded by the French. How did we lose this heritage?

Here is  a list of the participating businesses…

Wine Tasting Locations:
Book Nook
Frenchie’s Fine Jewelry
Monroe Bank & Trust
Hotel Sterling
Calendar Group (Formerly Steve’s Tavern)
Wise Guy
Martin’s Shoe House
Mind/Body Balance
Steven’s Family Chiropractic
Ryan Donaldson Photography

Food Locations:
United Bank & Trust
Monroe County Convention & Tourism
Belle Fleur
River Raisin Banquet Center
Victoria Day Spa

Off Beat Productions
Live jazz music
Monroe Big Band

2 Drink Maximum

Homer:  “Now son, you don’t want to drink beer. That’s for Daddies, and kids with fake IDs.”

Dads are the Tenzing Norgay of the married couple. The tremendous strides made by women in the work place overshadow the expectations of fatherhood. While women are properly applauded for rising to the ranks of CEOs and Heads of States men have been helping out more and more at home with little to no props. Yet there are still commercials with dads who can’t cook dinner or change diapers. I challenge any women to a  diaper change-off. Fathers are now more involved.

Parenthood has changed me and my priorities over the last 5 years. Time doesn’t allow me to brew and blog as much. I don’t get to as many events as in the past. And I definitely have reduced the amount of beer I drink. Words IMG_20121110_120357that end in ATOR aren’t just for doppelbocks anymore due to Doofenschmirtz’s INATORS on Phineas and Ferb. What would have surprised me 5 years ago is how little I miss all these things.

The amount I worry about how my daughters see me is the biggest surprise about fatherhood. This winter Maggie drew a picture of the family. Nana, Papa, Sarah, her little sister were all in the picture along with something that looked similar to a snowman. So I made the mistake of asking her about the picture and she said, “the fat one is you Daddy!” I knew I shouldn’t have asked. What’s worse is that it looked like I was struggling to keep up. Even the baby looks like she is walking faster than me.

So this year I decided to take better care of myself. In January I earned a beer for every half hour I exercised. At the end of the month I could tell you every beer I drank. Hopslam and Sapient were heavily in the mix. If I was only drinking three beers a week they were going to be good ones. So with beer as my reward and Maggie as my muse I have been working to get myself back into shape.

I have a strange mix of pride and embarrassment when Maggie points out Oberon when we are at the store. Granted there isn’t a lot of judging in a beer section but I want my girls to understand that I love the taste of beer and that is how I genuinely enjoy a drink. It’s about how a beer pairs with food and how you enjoy every sip by taking the time to understand what went into brewing it. And most of all don’t drink unless you can afford to drink good craft beer.

It seems odd to enjoy something that at times feels like the helicopter scene in “The Goodfellas”. Much like Henry Hill had to deal with Jimmy the Gent not wanting the guns, I cook dinner for a four-year old who won’t eat it because I served her ziti instead of mostaccioli. While Henry watched the feds following him I have my eyes glued to a baby making sure something on the floor doesn’t end up in her mouth.  But the good times out weigh the bad 100 to 1. I hope that in the future they go back and read the blog and see a different side of me. And in case they do, I want to let them to know how much I love them and enjoy them being in my life.

Or maybe they’ll just say, “What’s a blog, Dad?”

Summer at the OG

If I were to open a brewery in Monroe it wouldn’t be much different from Original Gravity in OG Logo F1Milan. The would be different. Probably some horrible pun like “The Nash Tun”, “Decoction Nash” or even “No-Beer-Named-After-General-Custer Brewing Co.” The latter would just be to get that question out of the way.

There is so much to love about Original Gravity in addition to their tasty beer… and that should be more than enough. The atmosphere is relaxed and family friendly. OG believes in cultivating community. On Wednesdays OG has a farmers market set up so you can buy your veggies for the week.  It is the type of place that you can’t believe there was a time before it existed.

I particularly love going there in the summer. The patio is open and you can sit in the shade and enjoy a beer . It’s something man has done since civilization began. Or at least since man invented patios. It’s engrained in us.  When you think of how many summers you have in your life time why would you sit inside when drinking a great summer beer like Two-Wheeler?

OG turns five this year and so does my oldest daughter. I joked the other day that I remembered that Maggie turns five because Original Gravity does. Everyone is invited to OG’s party this Saturday, June 15. You aren’t invited to Maggie’s but a gift of beer for her Dad would be appreciated.

Below are just a few of the highlights of what looks to be a great summer at the OG…

OG 5-year Anniversary Party on June 15th!
10 IPAs on Tap!
Beer Inspired BBQ provided  by Ypsilanti’s Red Rock BBQ from 2pm til gone!
 Live Music on the (soon to be renovated) patio from Valentiger wsg Steve Leaf @ 5pm!
Additional outside seating and bar will be available.
No Cover!

Original Gravity Farmer’s Market!! Wednesdays
The farmers Market is now OPEN for the Season. Thanks to Zilke Vegetable Farms, Erie Bread Company and everyone else who helps make the Wednesday Market awesome!


Greenbush Tap Takeover of 129 Lounge on June 1

129 Lounge’s deck is one of the best local places to enjoy a good craft beer. You can sit in thegreenbush brewing co shade, listen to the river roll by and drink Michigan craft beer.  That is the making of a great night. Greenbush just started distributing much to the excitement of beer geeks all over the state. Putting both together will make a great thing even better.

Call (734) 241-4008 or stop by 129 Lounge for details on the canoe race and for tickets.


Saturday June 1

4 t0 9pm

Greebush Brewery is taking over our taps and we are having a kayak and canoe race on the Raisin River!!! Tickets are $30 individual, $50 for a pair. and if you are entering the river race it’s only $20! Admission includes BEER, food, raffle entry, and cash prizes for the river racers!!!  Here`s the lineup: Dunegras, Sunspot, Anger, Brother Benjamin, Distorter, Doomslayer, and Damn Dirty Ape!!!