Last night I had the fortune of attending Ann Arbor Brewing Company's IPA tasting event. It was in a word, perfect.
ABC is a great brew pub and restaurant located right in downtown Ann Arbor, just 4 blocks from my house. When some fellow grad student friends suggested checking out the IPA tasting this month, I was all game.
The tasting ran from 7 to 9pm, but people started lining up at 6:30! We grabbed our tickets and hopped into line.
Upon entering, we were greeted with rooms full of different styles of IPAs, all microbrews, ranging from the local ABC brews to other breweries across Michigan and the US. For $25, you get unlimited tasting of all of the beers and a free appetizer bar! We quickly began tasting and taking notes on all of the great IPAs.
After the first round of drinks, we loaded up at the appetizer bar. The fare was great: veggies, cheese, periogies, fresh hot pretzels and lots of meat-friendly options too. The food was key to keeping our alcohol levels low-- especially at an IPA event!
Later, we went into the cellar where the strongest and hoppiest beers were being poured. I got to try some totally wacky sweet IPAs (ew) and of course had a few tasters of my favorite high-gravity, Bell's Hopslam. It's in the cellar where we began to get the most inebriated :)
The best part of the whole night though were the awesome pourers behind the beers! They were all super friendly, had great stories and loved talking about beer. Everyone's favorite pourer is Roger, he tells incredible stories AND is a microbiologist to boot! When Dave told him I was a microbiology student, Roger let me come behind the pouring table for a photo!
Sadly, our 2 hours went by so quickly! I have to say that the beer I was feeling the most last night was New Holland's Imperial Mad Hatter. Not surprising, as I love New Holland, but I was won over by the imperial blend!
The night ended with more joking with the pourers, a raffle, and general revelry. I had a blast and ended up running into so many grad student friends! I can't wait to go back next month.
Have you ever been to a beer tasting?