Merry Christmas/Happy Hannuka/Kwanzaa/whatever! Hoppy Holidays!
Just got back from an out-of-state run to visit the family. One of the best things about being 500 miles away is the regional beer varieties. I think I drank barleywine just about every night for the past week! My liver's thanking me for the rest.
Two places of note: Arbor Brewing and The Beer Depot in Ann Arbor, MI.
Ann Arbor is a neat town in and of itself. Home to the University of Michigan. Nice college town feel and the huge U of M signs at the stadium are big enough to bring down small aircraft if they were to fly just a little too low. Arbor Brewing is right down the street from the stadium, 114 E. Washington Street. Parking's ample; a few spots on the street and an at-least-5-story parking garage right across the street. They have the typical brewpub 7 barrel system but they crank out some very tasty beers! This was my second visit and I decided to try their Milestone Cask Porter (absolutely delicious!), their Sacred Cow Cask IPA (very smooth hoppy flavor and nose) and their Terminator Dopplebock. Their selection is only upstaged by the taste of the beer. To boot, the place is pretty kid-friendly as a handful of little ones were scampering about. Nice family place. The food is darn good as well.
After feeling full and pretty buzzed (the wife was driving), we make a quick hop over to The Beer Depot. After reading a few sparkling reviews on the net of this place, I certainly was intrigued.
Let's just say this: over 650 different beers (two dozen of which are brewed right in Michigan) AND it's also a homebrew store. That's right. A huge selection of beer---and homebrew supplies.
You can't get much better than that!
The guy behind the counter was the owner of the store, proudly wearing an Ann Arbor Brewing Guild shirt. We talked for a few minutes before the wife's started to glaze over with boredom, and then headed out.
So yeah, I restocked my cellar barleywine complement and grabbed a few interesting brews too. Hope whatever you're drinking, it's good.