May 11, 1933

I’m reposting my article from a few years ago in commemoration of the amended Volstead Act on this day at 6pm.

It’s Thursday, May 11th 1933 at 6pm. What would you as a beer drinker be doing? Most likely waiting in line to buy your first legal beer in Michigan for 15 years. Since the beer law was signed on April 7th, the state was preparing for this moment. Trucks and trains full of beer had been delivered to warehouses around the state for the sale of 3.2 beer. Yes, in spite of Michigan being the first state to repeal the 18th amendment on April 10, 1933. You could not sell beer until May 11th. Detroit got its first taste of legal beer on May 10th. One hundred and fifty barrels went on sale that night at a special charity ball by the American Legion. Now, it was the rest of the state’s turn.

Tax on the sale of beer was not the only way the government made money. License fees also brought in revenue to the state. While beer sat in warehouses, license seeking business owners like bar owners, retailers, restaurants hotels and clubs lined up at government bureaus hoping to get one before the flag dropped on selling of beer. In Escanaba the licenses were actually flown in by airplane to insure that beer could be sold on May 11th.

Most Detroit breweries would not have their beer ready till late June or early July. One exception was Stroh’s. They were prepared for selling their beer. They had 15 to 20 thousand cases ready to compete against the out-of-state breweries. In spite of breweries from other states and Canada pouring in shortages were expected.

Why did it take so long after the U.S. government amended the Volstead Act to make 3.2 beer legal? Obviously, Michigan wanted alcohol to be legal. The state was the first to repeal the 18th amendment on April 10th. It was basic government bickering over how to legislate beer. They didn’t want the problems that they had before prohibition. Also, the business had been ran by the mob for the last 15 years and they needed that to be addressed. Unfortunately, what they created was a lot of bureaucracy that is still handcuffing breweries in this state today.

Here is just a sample of the new laws enacted. Beer must be sold to a customer seated at a table. There is no free beer with food, no curb service, no free lunch and no gambling, drunkenness or idling on the premises. All packages must have the state tax stamp put on before it is turned over to retailers. No sales between the hours of 2am and 7am. No wholesaler or brewery can make deliveries to homes. The last law mentioned still hurts MI’s brewing and wine industry today. One thing of interest was that the drinking age was 18.

The May 12, 1933 Monroe Evening News reported that sales were disappointing here in Monroe. I blame Ohio. They had legal 3.2 beer on April 7th. In Detroit though the party was big. Woodward Avenue was the scene of a party that was compared to an holiday parade. Fortunately, there were only 15 arrests.

So this May 11th at 6pm raise a glass to legal beer in Michigan. It was beginning of a Michigan’s great brewing industry. A brewing industry that is respected and apprecaited all over the world. Oh… and when you do toast, please don’t use 3.2 beer. Toast with one of the finest beer’s Michigan has to offer.

St Patrick’s Day at Original Gravity

20130313-212314.jpg

Below is information about St. Patrick’s Day at Original Gravity from Brad Sancho.

I do want to add one thing about
the Oatmeal Stout pumpernickel beer bread from Erie Bread Company. It will have cheddar cheese and onion baked in. Their bread has become as much of a part of our St. Patrick’s Day as stouts. It will be available at Erie Bread on Saturday.

Looking forward to a great time this St. Patricks Day @ Original Gravity Brewing Company on Sunday March 17th! We will have extended hours this year since it is Sunday. We will be open from Noon until 11pm. Lumpy (Oatmeal Stout) will be on tap later this week to also enjoy on Sunday. We will also have (6) additional small batch stouts on tap for Sunday.

Imperial Chocolate Mint Stout
Dry Stout
Foreign Extra Stout
Milk Stout
Coffee Stout
Ginger Dry Stout

We will be serving huge corned beef sandwiches made with house cooked Grobbels corned beef on Oatmeal Stout pumpernickel beer bread from Erie Bread company. Served with a side of homemade baked potato salad from Erie Bread Company.

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.

Muskrat Mashers’ Beer On Tap at Corner Brewery

There are many things that I love about Corner Brewery but the top of my list is their sense Muskrat Mashersof community. They even let local homebrew clubs come in and brew on their rat pad system so they can show off their beers during their annual Rat Fest. A lot of beer is brewed for this event and even though every ticket is sold there is still beer left over. That is good news for anyone that couldn’t get to Rat Fest in January. Starting February 27 the remaining beer is released every Wednesday night at 6pm. Growlers are available after 9pm if there is beer left.

The Muskrat Mashers, Monroe’s homebrew club’s release party will be on March 6. I would like to invite anyone interested in coming out to join us. It doesn’t matter if you brew or not we would love to share a beer with you.

Here is our beer list…

  • Bourbon Oak Brown Ale: Chocolate, vanilla, hints of oak and bourbon.
  • Chocolate Rye Porter: Delicious chocolate malt flavors with hints of rye spices.
  • Citra Bomb: Crisp grapefruit citrus flavors shine through this India Pale Ale.
  • Cayenne Cherry Rye: Tart, sweet cherry, spicy rye notes with a subtle cayenne heat finish.

Click here for the Rat Pad release dates.  There will be a lot of fantastic beers released during this series. Check it out.

 

 

 

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…

http://www.harborcountry-news.com/articles/2013/02/23/features/doc51250a48e37de382662462.txt

 

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.

 

 

Smitten Golden Rye Ale Available Today

A month ago I posted about a new beer from Bell’s with the promise that I would keep you updated on when it would be released. Good news! that day is today. Smitten Golden Rye Ale hits Monroe’s best beer stores in which include Jake’s and Meijer. You can go to Harbor Inn & Ale if you want to try it on tap.

The drinkers at Beer Advocate is giving this beer an 85 and only 20 cases are being sent to Monroe so get it fast before it’s gone.

Follow this link for a review…

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/287/43223

Wolverine State Brewing Company announces capacity expansion

image003(ANN ARBOR, Mich) – The Wolverine State Brewing Company is expanding for the second time in two years.  With the arrival and installation of new fermentation and conditioning tanks being added to its cellaring operation, the brewery’s production capacity is doubling.   Sales in 2012 exceeded company expectations with nearly 1100 barrels sold between retail and wholesale business.

In 2012, the company declared that it is “Leading the Lager Revolution,” and it remains one of the nation’s only lager-centric craft microbreweries with 15 different lagers currently on tap in the Tap Room. The brewery’s three flagship beers—Wolverine Premium, Dark, Amber lagers—are available in six-packs at most major grocery store chains in Washtenaw and Livingston counties including several Meijer, Whole Foods, Busch’s and Kroger stores.  In 2013 a fourth year-round bottled beer will be available:  the unique and highly sought after Gulo Gulo.  This ground-breaking beer is styled as an “India Pale Lager,” and is brewed with over 3 lbs. of hops per barrel and dry-hopped twice.

 

As a lager-centric small brewery, the Wolverine State Brewing Company is proud to push boundaries for a once-maligned segment of beers. This year, patrons will be able to try numerous new one-of-a-kind lager beers, including:

 

  • BARISTA – a brown lager made with coffee in collaboration with RoosRoast of Ann Arbor
  • REVILO – an India Red Lager
  • DRAG ME TO HELLES –  Maibock
  • GREENTHUMB – a lower alcohol, more citrusy version of the India Pale Lager, Gulo Gulo
  • CHRYSALIS – a Belgian Wit lager
  • VERANO – a Mexican style lager
  • WOOD AGED SERIES –  including a German-style bock aged on hickory and an India Pale Lager aged on soft maple.

The brewers at the Wolverine State Brewing Company hand craft every batch with care and precision and allow ample time for all the lagers to come into their own. This means that the time “from grain to glass” is much longer, and the amount of beer available for sale or purchase is less, than at ale-centric breweries.  The sales numbers can be deceiving since many ale breweries can produce and sell up to 5000 barrels with the same or similar tank capacity. But when the founders of The Wolverine State Brewing Company decided to “go all lager” they put their time, money and craftsmanship behind this unique and expensive business model.  So far, all signs point to success, with a Tap Room expansion done, and standing room only crowds most nights.

The lagers-versus-ales-debate is one of taste and preference for drinkers, but for breweries, it is a matter of business choice.  The Wolverine State Brewing Company has become a local favorite very quickly. And has more plans for expansion in the works.