Repeal Day, Monroe and Prohibition

A state convention gathered in Utah on this date in 1933 to ratify the 21st Amendment. A three quarter majority was needed to make it official and Utah became the 36th state to do so. Making December 5 the official day the 21st Amendment was ratified. Now this date will be known as Repeal Day.
Of course history is more complicated than that and I plan on covering some of those stories in the next few months. During my research I discovered a great blog post by Kathy Warnes. It is about Monroe during the beginning of prohibition. I will share the first paragraph then link it below. It’s fun and informative.

Rumrunner Muskrat La Framboise preferred to move his bootleg whiskey stored in jute bags tied together at the tops like ears in his boat equipped with a stopper resembling a bathtub plug. He rowed along the Detroit River Highway from Ecorse to its mouth near Monroe taking orders and delivering his liquid refreshment. When a government agent or policeman spotted him and gave chase, he pulled the plug and the boat would sink. After the drama of the chase and capture died down, he’d return to his boat and dive for his liquor, or if he had a large shipment, he would bring a few friends along to help. Muskrat became as skilled as a loon diving for fish at this method of River recycling.

Bootlegging Down The Avenue de Booze

Local Homebrewer’s Beer on Tap at 129 Lounge

Last December, 129 Lounge and Saugatuck Brewing teamed up to hold a local homebrew competition where the winner would get to have his or her beer on tap for all to sample. This inaugural event had many tasty entries but the winning beer was a coffee stout brewed by the Muskrat Mashers’ own  Dan DeSloover, named Night Grind. Dan won a brew day at Saugatuck Brewing where he brewed his beer, they kegged it and now 129 Lounge is putting it on tap this Saturday, May 9 at 7pm.

I am excited about a local homebrewer’s beer being on tap in Monroe. I seriously can’t remember when a Monroe brewer has had a beer on tap at a local bar. And since there hasn’t been a brewery in town since before Prohibition you may need to go back that far to enjoy a beer by a Monroe brewer.

It will be a good weekend to go to 129. The weather is supposed to be perfect for sitting out on their back deck. What a great way to toast to the fact that this long winter behind us.

129 Lounge is located at 129 E. Front St. in Monroe, MI.

Beer Won’t Make You Bilious

I was doing some research today and found this Green Seal beer ad from 1915. It was brewed by the Buckeye Beer Company out of Toledo, Oh.
I love the health benefits that Green Seal claimed. It’s really hard to read some of the print but I did see that “good beer makes good blood”. It was probably true that beer was healthier than milk and water. I feel they implied that a government official bestowed a green seal of approval to their beer. I picture C. Everett Koop.

IMG_1197-0.JPG

Lake Erie Metropark and Beer History

Take it from someone who has been married for over ten years. Nothing will make your wife happier this Valentine’s Day than to take her to a beer event on love’s biggest day. It sounds like I’m joking but I have taken Sarah to this event before and we loved it.
What is it? Actually, it’s two events presented by Lake Erie Metropark. On Saturday, they are talking history, beer history, from the first fermentation to the craft beer boom. Sunday, the subject is rum-running which we have attending. It was informative and fun. If you love history, beer or beer history I recommend going.
Here are the details…

History of Hooch
Marshlands Museum & Nature Center
Sat 02/14/2015 2pm
Lake Erie Metropark
Description
From its ancient beginnings to the modern craft beer era, people have been brewing beer for thousands of years. Join an interpreter for a historic journey of all things beer, including a brief home-brewing show-and-tell. Sorry folks -no samples will be provided! Please preregister.

Rum-Running Stories
Marshlands Museum & Nature Center
Sun 02/15/2015 2pm
Lake Erie Metropark
Description
The Detroit River was a pretty busy place during Prohibition. With tremendous amounts of illegal liquor entering the United States from Canada during the 1920’s and early 1930’s, stories abound. Join some young “old timers” as you travel back to the era of blind pigs, rum-running, and panther sweat. Participants are urged to tell a few stories of their own! Please preregister.

Here is the event page to per register. http://www.metroparks.com/Lake-Erie-Metropark/Events

The Remains of a Brewery?

Wahl Brewery stood on the banks of the River Raisin in Monroe, MI for about 50 years. Most of the pictures I have found in the public record are drawings. Two of these drawings contradict the location and layout of the brewery.
I’ve walked around the site where the brewery stood and it hit me what a strange piece of property it is. There is a big wall that runs along side the river, steps that walk down to a lower level of the site and an old foundation that separates the lower land from upper. I plan on looking into it more when there isn’t a foot and a half of snow on the ground. But for now I am sharing these pictures with you.

IMG_1189.JPG

This is the wall that could be the foundation of the brewery. If this is the case then the first of two brewery pictures must be the more accurate one.

IMG_1192-0.JPG

IMG_1190.JPG

Inaugural Walleye Winter Brewfest January 2

This should be a great event and I am really looking forward to it. I love it when beer Fest are that close to my house. Below are the details from the event’s website…

Tap into a beer lover’s wintertime paradise at the inaugural Toledo Walleye Winter Brewfest on Friday, January 2. Tickets are on sale now! The Winter Brewfest will take place at Fifth Third Field during the much anticipated 10-day Walleye Winterfest, presented by ProMedica.

Beer beginners and experienced enthusiasts will get to sample more than 250 beers from over 50 breweries while enjoying live music on two stages AND fun and games all around the main concourse!

BUY TICKETS
Advanced tickets are $35. Ticket will be $45 on the day of the event. That price includes 15 “taste tickets”, each good for a 3-ounce beer sample. Additional taste tickets will be available at the event.

There will also be a special VIP ticket available for $55, which includes 20 taste tickets, grazing stations and exclusive beer drafts.

Not a beer drinker? Designated Driver Brewfest tickets are available for $25. DD VIP tickets, which include early access to pregame grazing stations, are $45.

BUY BREWFEST TICKETS ONLINE!
All that beer taste-testing is sure to make you hungry. The Hen and Hound will be open during Brewfest and serving plenty of delicious food for those wanting a hot bite to eat.

Doors open to VIP ticket holders at 5:30 p.m. Gates open to the general public at 6 p.m.

http://www.toledowalleye.com/site/story/over-250-beers-will-be-featured-at-winter-brewfest-party

IMG_1141.JPG

Buy Beer Memorabilia in Monroe?!

Today is Small Business Saturday and it’s time to seriously think about Christmas shopping. Believe it or not there are ways to support a business here in Monroe and get the beer lover in your life a piece of history.
Monroe Currency and Coin is one of the newer stores to downtown Monroe, Michigan, it opened in 2012. My initial thought was I have a child in day care I don’t have money to spend on currency that I don’t intend to spend so what does this store have for me? I was so wrong.
I met Joe Peruski, the owner of Monroe Currency and Coin, by pure coincidence. And we started to talk about local brewing history. I used something his Grandfather wrote as a reference when writing about Wahl Brewery. It turns out he sells antique beer memorabilia including some stuff from Monroe. But don’t just pop in without talking to Joe. He is knowledgable about local history and the really good stuff is in the back room.
So if you are looking for unique gifts Monroe Currency and Coin is a great place to find it. It’s located at 125 E Front in Monroe, Mi.

IMG_1047.JPG

IMG_1043.JPG

IMG_1042.JPG

IMG_1109.JPG

Homebrew Contest at 129 Lounge

Saugatuck Brewing Company and 129 Lounge are having a homebrew contest Saturday December 13 starting at 7 pm. The winner will brew on Saugatuck’s brewing system then have their beer on tap at 129 Lounge.
This is a really nice prize with a cash value of over 250 dollars. It would also be nice to get together with other local home brewers. Come on out to share some of your beer and if someone who is passionate about homebrewing pass this event onto them, the more the merrier. Yes, it is short notice but homebrewers also have beer ready to serve this time of year.

IMG_1108.JPG