New Dearborn Brewery Set To Offer Craft Beer for the Average Beer Drinker

John Rucinski never expected all this attention. “I just think of myself as a guy who wants to make beer for people,” he states. “It blows my mind that people actually want to talk to me about it.” With aspirations of “middle of the road, balanced craft beers”, Rucinski’s Dearborn Brewing Company has Michigan craft beer enthusiasts like us excited to try his brews.

Rucinski started making his own beer well over a decade ago. His first Mr. Beer kit didn’t quite produce the quality he was looking for, so he purchased better equipment and started practicing. He went on to win various local and national awards, including a bronze medal at the 2003 National Homebrew Competition. Rucinski is also a graduate of the Siebel Brewing Institute course on brewery planning.

Dearborn Brewing will be located at 21930 Michigan Avenue, near Nichols Ski and Snowboard. Rucinski says he intends on opening the brewery with six taps: An amber ale, a cream pale ale, a Belgian, and possibly a brown ale will be featured as mainstays. Then, rounding out the sextet will be 2 seasonal beers.

At 2,450 square feet, the brewery will feature seating for up to 25 people and the décor will have a “Black and Tan” feel. The focus will be mainly on beer production and selling to other establishments in the Dearborn area. Rucinski is in the process of getting a state microbrewers license (rather than a liquor license), and hopes to open Dearborn Brewing in late summer.

Although he currently works a full-time job as a project manager at Nissan North America in Farmington Hills, Rucinski’s brewery and taproom won’t be a “toy”. Rather, he intends to make this his full-time job. Along with his wife, Sheila, they’ll pretty much be doing everything themselves – brewing, pouring, and delivering.

Dearborn Brewing recently achieved their Kickstarter goal of $25,000 for renovations and repairs such as upgrading the electrical system in the building, putting in floor drains, and installing a bar. Rucinski says he’s grateful for every bit of help. “I appreciate all the support from each and every person who backed us, shared our posts, and otherwise helped us! Soon, we’ll have craft beer in Dearborn!”

You can keep up with Dearborn Brewing on Twitter and Facebook.

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BRU is Back with Bell’s, Burgers, & Benevolence

Here’s more good news for Bell’s beer lovers in Metro Detroit:  BRU Fest is returning to Royal Oak next Saturday, June 14th - with proceeds going to a really great cause, the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.  Drink some great beer, eat some tasty food, AND make a difference…can’t beat that with a stick.

Here are the details released by BRU Fest organizers:

 

BRU

Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan Hosts Fourth Annual BRU Fest Fundraiser in Royal Oak

TROY, Mich. – The fourth annual BRU FEST Michigan fundraiser will pair local craft beer with delicious food and entertainment with proceeds to benefit the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. 

The event will take place on Saturday, June 14 from 7 p.m. to 11p.m. at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market. General admission tickets are $39, and VIP tickets are $60. VIP tickets include 6 p.m. early entrance, private beer tapings with exclusive food pairings, a larger mug and more. With each ticket purchase, attendees receive 10 tokens for one half-pour of beer each and four tickets for burgers and wings. Tokens and tickets for additional beers and food can be purchased for $1 each.

BRU Fest fundraisers bring together aficionados of great craft beer and delicious food, with microbrews provided by Bell’s Brewery and food provided by Buffalo Wild Wings and
 Bagger Dave’s Legendary Burger Tavern. The event has sold out in previous years, with beer lovers enjoying the casual, fun environment to raise money to support a worthy cause.

Event sponsors include:

•  Culinary partners: Bagger Dave’s Legendary Burger Tavern, Buffalo Wild Wings  

•  Exclusive Microbrew Brand: Bells Brewery, Inc.  Bells will provide 22 craft beers, six of which are rarely available to the public.

•  Exclusive Microbrewery Distributor: Rave Associates

•  Exclusive Dealership Sponsor: Mike Savoie Chevrolet

The Hype Syndicate will provide the musical entertainment for the event.

The Beer List For BRU Fest:  

•  Oberon Ale

•  Two Hearted Ale
•  Amber Ale
•  Lager of the Lakes

•  Quinannan Falls Special Lager
•  Third Coast Beer
•  Midwestern Pale Ale

•  Double Cream Stout
•  Expedition Stout
•  Cherry Stout

•  Java Stout
•  Porter
•  Kalamazoo Stout

•  Oatmeal Stout
•  Bull in A China Shop
•  Sweet Potato Stout

•  Bourbon Barrel Aged Kalamazoo Stout
•  Berry Ale
•  Mercurial Belgian Style Ale

•  Wheat Love Ale

First-Ever BRU Pong Tournament

For the first time ever, BRU Fest 2014 will feature a fundraising  “BRU Pong Tournament.” The tournament will allow teams of two to enter a single-elimination tournament and represent a CLF patient family in their quest for the grand prize, with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Leukemia Foundation’s The WALK fundraiser on July 21st. The individual donation to participate in the BRU Pong Tournament is an additional $5 to a regular BRU Fest ticket.

“An event doesn’t have to be black-tie to make an impact,” said Bill Seklar, president and CEO of Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. “We created this first-of-its-kind food and craft beer event four years ago to reach a younger, broader audience through an affordable experience. Royal Oak has been a perfect home for this event that raises
 awareness and funds for our patients and families based in Michigan affected by leukemia, lymphoma and other blood-related diseases. “ 

For more information or to register for the event, visit https://brumichigan.com/.

About Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan

Headquartered in Troy, Mich., Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan is a statewide
 nonprofit organization helping families cope with leukemia, lymphoma, and related disorders by providing information, financial assistance and emotional support. In addition, CLF has provided more than $6.5 million in research dollars to Michigan’s comprehensive cancer institutes. For more information about Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, please call 248.530.3000 or visit http://leukemiamichigan.org.

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Yes There’s a Jet’s Pizza Serving Craft Beer

When folks first hear about a Jet’s Pizza tap takeover, the common response is “Wait, did you say JET’S Pizza?” followed immediately by “There’s a Jet’s Pizza that serves BEER?”  The answer is very definitely YES.

But wait, it gets better.

They just don’t serve beer, they serve CRAFT beer.  Think of it like a more amazing redux of the way Pizza Hut used to be back in the day…you know, before people realized you could get a pizza that tasted just as good but with half the grease and at half the price.

Nevertheless, the magical beer-serving Jet’s Pizza we’re talking about is the one in Chelsea at 506 N. Main Street.  This past Thursday April 10th, South Lyon’s Witch’s Hat Brewing was the participant in Jet’s most recent tap takeover, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to come see this incredible place in person.

Jet's Chalkboard

Sure as shootin’, the second you walk through the door you’re greeted by nicely-sized bar and a boatload of taps.  Then there’s the dining area, which is large and offers both tables and booths in a number of configurations.

The menu is the same as you’d find at your local Jet’s Pizza delivery & carry-out store, but that’s where the similarities stop.  Chelsea’s version has music, friendly staff, a spectacular Star Wars-themed restroom, and of course the aforementioned Michigan craft beer.

This ain’t yer daddy’s Pizza Hut, kids.

It’s better.

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Chelsea’s House that Ale Built

Fifteen miles or so west of Ann Arbor sits the town of Chelsea, which is commonly associated with Jeff Daniels, the Chrysler proving grounds, and the Jiffy baking company. Like many of it’s neighbors, Chelsea boasts a well-preserved 19th century downtown, and thankfully, a brewery now as well.

The Chelsea Alehouse, located at 420 N. Main Street, features a sizeable yet comfortable taproom, and a bar overlooking the brewing vessels in the adjacent room. There are both booths and tables in a variety of sizes, all of which help add to the comfortable atmosphere.

As the name implies, there are a number of ales on the taplist. Highlights were the rye IPA and rye porter…not sure what’s going on with the rye in Chelsea, but wow does it make some great beer.

The staff was friendly, the beers were plentiful, and in the end, it was hard to leave. The Alehouse really felt more like an Ale-HOME and we can’t wait to come back.

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Cask Ale is Comin’ Again

Now Spring has finally freakin’ sprung, we can all look forward to drinking some beer outdoors again…and Ashley’s in Westland has the perfect kickoff party – Cask Ale Fest. Here’s the official press release:

Seventh Annual Michigan Cask Ale Festival at Ashley’s to Showcase Largest Selection in the State

WESTLAND – The Michigan Cask Ale Festival returns Saturday, May 3, to Ashley’s Beer & Grill, 7525 Wayne Rd., with the largest lineup of cask-conditioned and served craft beers in the Festival’s seven-year history – and the largest available at one time anywhere in the state.

More than 30 cask ales from renowned breweries across Michigan, the U.S., and even the ocean will be pouring from noon to 5 p.m., while guests also enjoy live music, interaction with brewers and brewery representatives, a menu of premium snacks and entrees, and exhibits designed to highlight National Homebrew Day, which is observed on May 3.

Cask ale, also called real ale, represents the traditional, centuries-old way of serving ale, unfiltered and naturally carbonated by the live yeast in the vessel it’s served from. This cask conditioning results in a more complex, delicately flavorful beer, closer to the way the brewer intended than when it’s poured on a draft system. Even familiar beers long available in bottles or on conventional draft, which typically mixes the beer with extraneous CO2, can exhibit enhanced flavor when conditioned and served from a cask.

“Most venues don’t handle cask ale, or what we call ‘the craft beer of craft beer,’ because the living nature of the beers means they require special handling and serving techniques,” said Roy More, co-owner of Ashley’s. “As the market for craft beer expands, more and more beer lovers are seeking something special, and Ashley’s is committed to providing them with unique taste experiences they can’t find anywhere else.”

For the first time, the Festival will take place entirely outside in the spring air, as Ashley’s opens its new outdoor beer garden to the expected 1,000 or more festgoers. Local band Rustbelt Revival will provide live music throughout the day.
Participating Michigan breweries include Arbor (Ypsilanti), Arcadia Ales (Battle Creek), Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo), Brewery Vivant (Grand Rapids), Founders Brewing (Grand Rapids), Greenbush Brewing (Sawyer), Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (Dexter), Dragonmead Brewing (Warren), Latitude 42 (Portage), Liberty Street Brewing (Plymouth), New Holland Brewing (Holland), Vander Mill (Northville), North Peak Brewing (Dexter), Odd Side Ales (Grand Haven), Right Brain Brewery (Traverse City), Saugatuck Brewing (Douglas), and Short’s Brewing (Bellaire).

The Festival also brings in cask beers from across the country and border to border, from California (Green Flash and Lagunitas) to New York (Blue Point) and Maryland (Heavy Seas), from Louisiana (Abita) and places in between such as Utah (Epic) and Colorado (New Belgium). From England, Harviestoun brewery will be represented.

Tickets are $45 at the door, and each ticket includes 12 drink tokens (more can be purchased on site), program and tasting notes, and festival glass. Designated driver (DD) tickets are also available for a nominal cost. For the latest info on the Festival, including the list of rare and unique beers, visit micaskale.ashleys.com and follow the Festival’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michigan-Cask-Ale-Festival/113722341974871. Follow Ashley’s Westland on Twitter (@ashleyswestland) and use hashtag #micaskale.

About Ashley’s

Founded in 1983 next to the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Ashley’s has been proud to serve its guests a wide selection of great beers from around the world for over three decades. Today, as “Michigan’s premier multi-tap,” Ashley’s features an ever-rotating lineup of flavorful draft beers from nearly 120 different taps at our two locations in Ann Arbor and Westland, as well as more than 80 bottled beer selections.

Ashley’s was rated one of the Top 100 Beer Bars by DRAFT Magazine in and Top 50 Beer Restaurants by RateBeer.com and has been voted as having Metro Detroit’s “Best Beer Selection” by WDIV-TV4 viewers six years in a row.

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