Patti Smith

Patti Smith

Patti “TeacherPatti” Smith lives in Ann Arbor with Boyfriend Ken, her dog Buddy and her stepcats Ali and Cyrus. She is a special education teacher by day, local history buff and brew drinker by night (see the hybrid history/beer blog at She also loves watching most Detroit sports on TV, boxing, brewing beer, storytelling, board games and recently wrote a middle grade/YA book that she hopes to convince a publisher to publish! Meantime, she is working on a book about the history of downtown Ann Arbor for Arcadia publishers. Her favorite beer styles include Russian Imperial Stout, pumpkin beers, Kolschs and most things with peppers in them.

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Recap of American made Oktoberfest's at Ashely's in Ann Arbor!

Before I changed careers and became a teacher…before I moved to a college town…before I started following my religion again…September has always felt like the “new year” to me. The weather changes (sometimes drastically), people start buying new school clothes and there’s just a general feeling of settling into a new routine. Something else wonderful happens every fall: Oktoberfest beers start appearing at our favorite pubs!

Homegrown Festival: Homegrown Food Music and of Course—Beer!

Last weekend, Ann Arbor hosted its fifth annual Homegrown Festival. Yeah, yeah, I can hear all of the pot jokes you naughty folks are making but seriously folks, this thing is a winner.  The festival brings together farmers, gardeners, nonprofit groups, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers and brewers—all under one big tent! There was music, tons of food and a most wonderful beer tent where I am not at all ashamed to say I spent most of my time.

Recap of Wolverine State Brewing Company's

My friends and I, we didn’t know what to expect. I thought that they would come into the bar so fully in character such that, if a murder broke out and we demanded that they call 911 on a cell phone, they would reply, “What art thouest a phone of cell?” sending us into chaos as the shooting continued. Or perhaps they would be in period costume and throw around a lot of thous and arts and nunneries. What would it be?!?!

Variations on a Theme: An IPA Beerposium at Copper Canyon

When I first became interested in craft beer, I immediately drifted towards hoppybeers. Then I realized that everyone liked hoppy beers and me being me, well, that justwouldn’t do. So, I started shying away from IPAs and Imperial IPAs and RyePAs (exceptRed’s Rye) and instead drinking browns and porters and stouts and fruit ales and everything in between.

The lovely Rene Greff!

The flying cars and the jetpacks never really thrilled me. I knew even before I ever stepped foot on an airplane that I would hate flying. And, hate on me if you must, but I love cars—always have and always will. Many of my childhood cartoons spoke of flying this and flying that and so to me, the magical “21st century” never looked all that awesome. None of that stuff really spoke of the future to me.

Tuity Fruity: Recap of Arbor Brewing Company Fruit Beer Tasting

For the longest time, I eschewed fruit beers. I’m not really sure why except that it might have started the first time I ever drank a Corona, which of course had the eponymous lime wedged into its neck. I remember thinking, “Huh! This is kinda good!” and then I realized that what was “good” was the freaking lime. (Speaking of Limes, is there a cooler dude than Harry Lime in The Third Man? I mean, that fat dude who sold no more wine before its time was spot on in that role…spot on).
Monday, May 21, 2012

2012 Brews Crews Wants YOU!

2012 Brews Crews Wants YOU!

Really, it was the nail polish remover smell that got me to think about beer judging. Specifically, it was the fact that I was sitting at a table with a bunch of guys and none of them could place the smell in the glass. I finally took the glass, sniffed and said, “Oh for Pete’s sake! That’s nail polish remover!”

Lagerpalooza Baby! Many Nights of Awesome Jams at Wolverine State Brewing Company

Youth, as they say, is wasted on the young. When I was a wee lass back in 1991, a friend of mine said that she was going to something called “Lollapalooza”, featuring bands called Nine Inch Nails and Pearl Jam. Having never heard of the “Lollapalooza” or the Nine Inch Nails or the Pearl Jam, I begged off on her invitation to go with her. I also spent an inordinate amount of time debating whether that was nails like fingernails or nails like what you pounded into the wall.

Come out to try the Great Brunch Offered at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a “breakfast” person. My earliest classin college was 11:00 a.m. I about died when I was given a schedule in law school (my first “career”, if you will) and the first class was at 8:30. I really didn’t like reallife, which came with an 8:00 a.m. starting time. Now as a teacher, I find startingtimes even earlier than 8:00 and that just makes me sad. No one should have to function before about noon, in my opinion. When I take over the world, not only will everyone have summers off, but nothing important will start before 11:30 orso. It will be a wonderful world, I assure you.

Recap of Going to Chocolate—er, Copper Canyon: A Chocolate Beerposium with Beer Todd

I like to think that I defy gender stereotypes in many ways. For example, I do not enjoy shopping, I own about five pairs of shoes, and I think I drive pretty badass. I also am not a huge fan of chocolate. I will eat it if it is around, but I don’t buy it myself and rarely find myself craving it. Boyfriend Ken, on the other hand, loves the stuff. So when I heard about a chocolate beer tasting—a Beerposium—at Copper Canyon, I knew we had to go.
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