Bring a Beer and I’ll Salivate

The founders of Temperance, Michigan – so inspired by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union that they named their fledgling community after it – would be shocked to learn that their beloved town is now the hotbed of Monroe County’s beer scene. The once dry city has The Liquor Cabinet, one of the best beer stores in SE Michigan, and Forest View Lanes, a bowling alley with an insane craft beer menu. What really would have the bun stranglers in a tizzy is that their hamlet is now the home to Pavlov’s Brewing Company, Monroe County’s newest microbrewery! Huzzah!

I visited Pavlov’s last Saturday. The brewery was constructed in an old bank and has a really nice space inside. I was impressed with the variety of beer they offered. There was something for everyone on the menu. They offer four pour flights or you can order taste by the beer. I thought the best of the four was Submission, a hefeweizen that was really well balanced with some fruit flavor. I also enjoyed Stinkeye which is their IPA. I liked it enough to take a growler home. Bringing home a growler to my wife makes me feel like a hunter/gatherer. I was really impressed with their beer considering how young the place is.

I will be curious to see how they utilize their space in the future.Okay, I’m just throwing out some ideas. It’s an old bank. I want to fill out my flight sheet with a pen on a chain so I can’t steal it. Also, it would be great to pull up to the drive-through and have howlers delivered through the pneumatic tubes. And I want to have a rye malt variation of their Stickeye called Stinkrye. Sorry, I love puns.

I’m really excited about having another brewery here in Monroe County. Better yet, I am thrilled that I love the place. Seriously, make the trip down to Temperance to visit Pavlov’s. It’s worth it. Just let me know and I will try to meet up with you.

For a Toledo Blade article on Pavlov’s click here.



129 Lounge, Jake’s Liquor & Atwater Hop-A-Peel Launch Party

Is everyone ready for spring? I know I am! Good news everyone! The first day of spring is only 2 weeksHop-A-Peel away. The end of this winter deserves a good party and 129 Lounge, Jake’s Liquor and Atwater are throwing one.

This is a cool event. The premiere craft beer store is getting together with one of the best and first good beer bars in Monroe to put on a launch party. I am hoping it’s a nice enough night to walk down and enjoy some Hop-A-Peel. Let’s think positive.

129 Lounge, Jake’s Liquor & Atwater Hop-A-Peel Launch Party

Thursday, March 20 7:00pm until 10:00pm

Come join us at The 129 Lounge in conjunction with Atwater Detroit Brewery and Jake’s Liquor for Atwater’s 2014 launch of Hop-A-Peel!!! It’s the first time Hop-A-Peel will be available in bottles, Jake’s Liquor will be taking care of that, and we’ll have pints and samplings on tap of this wonderful I.P.A. from Detroit’s Atwater Brewery!!! We’ll have MI Craft Beer specials, stuff to give to you, Atwater Beer, more stuff, drinks, and fun. Come out and show your support for Atwater Detroit, Jake’s Liquor, and 129 Lounge…Say YES to Michigan!!!

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.


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!


Bell’s Tap Takeover at Buffalo Wild Wings

I hope you excuse the short notice but I found out about this tap takeover during a very busy weekend. It’s Bell’s so this will be a great event with fantastic beers including Black Note! How good is Black Note? It received a 100 on Beer Advocate. That’s a perfect score!

Here are the details…

Bell’s Tap Takeover

Buffalo Wild Wings in Monroe, MI

March 12, 2013 6 to 8pm

special tapping of Black Note at 7pm

Join us as we introduce our new spring seasonal beer, Smitten golden rye ale. We will also be featuring some of our specialty beers throughout the evening including Black Note, which will be taped at 7 p.m. Still not convinced? The event takes place on Wing Tuesday, so there will be discounts on wings all day.

March of Dimes Michigan Beer & Wine Tasting

Once again I am pleased to tell you about the March of Dimes Michigan Beer & Wine Tasting. This is the third year for the event and this one promises to be even better.

The drinks are supplied by Rave Associates. They distribute Bell’s, Founders and New Holland. We hope to have a beer and wine menu in the near future. And if you like Harbor Inn & Ale’s food you will not be disappointed. I have been told that they are really bringing it this year.

There is also a silent auction of gift baskets some donated by local businesses. Last year, the baskets had some incredible stuff in them and if it wasn’t for the fact that I just had a baby I would have been tripping over myself to bid on one in particular that I really wanted.

Best of all you are helping by drinking some great local beer and wine. That’s a win win!

March of Dimes Michigan Beer & Wine Tasting
Saturday March 23, 2013
1 to 4pm
$35.00 Includes lunch buffet, 12 three ounce pours and door prizes. 
50/50’s and silent auction baskets available.
For tickets call Darcy Merritt @ (734) 968-7991 or Mac Merritt @ (734) 552-6410,
tickets also available at Harbor Inn & Ale.
Help us eradicate prematurity and birth defects.

Greenbush Comes to Monroe

Greenbush has only been open for a few years but it seems like they have been around forever due to the huge buzz created by their beers. Their booth at the Michigan Brewers Guild festivals has become a must stop for all beer geeks.  Located in Sawyer, MI on the opposite side of the state from Monroe the only real chance here to enjoy their beer was on the rare occasion when it was on tap.

But no longer, Greenbush just released their beer in bottles last week. And as of last Friday you can pick up Anger, Closure, Distorter and Dunegras at Jake’s Liquor in Monroe.

For more articles on Greenbush follow this link…


Atwater Tap Takeover of 129 Lounge

This March is shaping up to be a great month for beer drinkers in Monroe with two beer events and St. Patrick’s Day you can’t complain about nothing going on.

On Friday March 8 Atwater Brewery will be taking over the taps at 129 Lounge. This event starts at 7pm. The cost is $15 for advanced tickets and twenty on the day of the event. For that you get seven samples and a chance at prizes plus a new beer launch. Also included is a sausage which doesn’t sound like a draw but it will be cooked in Atwater beer so it should be tasty.

Atwater Tap Takeover 129 Lounge Sausagefest

Friday March 8, 7pm

$15 pre-order $20 day of

7 samples plus raffle and a sausage

Tickets are limited so don’t wait to pick them up. They are available at 129 Lounge.

facebook event page

More to come on the other events I alluded to.