The great beer tour
In which our tasters and wasters hit 8 great beer bars and dozens of beers in 11 hours
Published: October 20, 2010
9 p.m. Soon the whole group is at Detroit Beer Co. (1529 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-962-1529), which seems like a little bit of upscale Royal Oak dropped in the thick of downtown Detroit. I decide upon a Detroit Dwarf, and a few others go for the seasonal brews, including a spiced beer or two. Pelot slams down a beer, waits 15 minutes without drinking or smoking, then uses the breathalyzer. It reads a drunk-as-hell .29, and a smile spreads across his face.
I keep trying to document the beers, but now we're talking about people farting during Zen meditation, and how it can turn people off of Buddhism. At this point the micro-cassette recorder begins to malfunction. We have only a few blurry cell phone photos of revelry that show faces locked in laughter to tell the tale. Surprisingly, though, I'm still not at all drunk, just a bit giddy.
10:30 p.m. We decide to head for the final destination of the night: Grand Trunk Pub (formerly Foran's, at 612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043). It's close enough to walk, but we drive over in the rain, like real Detroiters. And we're in for a surprise: Dave Kwiatkowski is behind the bar tonight. Ever cautious — I haven't had more than one beer every hour or two — I finally decide to pair a Dragonmead brew, Final Absolution (8.5 percent ABV), with a plate of French fries. Abrams is wolfing down a fried fish sandwich. He offers me some and it flakes apart on the bar as I try to stuff it down. I look back across the high-ceilinged room at the nine celebrants, many of whom are loaded. When serious foodies eat fried and breaded dill pickles with relish, you know serious drinking has been afoot. (Abrams tweets: "Belly full of fish and beer. Football on the teevee. All beneath the hallowed Grand Trunk ceiling.")
11:30 p.m. Despite debates on all the great beer bars we've missed, including Ashley's, Jolly Pumpkin, and Ye Olde Tap Room, we decide to pack it in for a night. Pelot stumbles toward me and whispers, "Last call at Woodbridge?" Some things never change.
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