Friday, April 11, 2014

7th Michigan Cask Ale Festival at Ashley’s to Showcase Largest Selection in the State

Written by  Paul Starr
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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), Vandermill (Northville), North Peak Brewing (Dexter), Odd Side Ales (Grand Haven), Right Brain (Traverse City), Saugatuck Brewing (Saugatuck), and Short’s Brewing (Bellaire).

The Festival also brings in these unique 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 the great breweries here in Michigan to Louisianna (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. For the latest info on the Festival, including the list of rare and even unique beers, visit micaskale.ashleys.com and follow the Festival’s Facebook page. 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.

Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.