First opening in 1983, Ashley’s became the oldest craft beer restaurant and pub in the state of Michigan. It’s safe to say they opened before the term “craft beer” was even coined. Ashley’s is located right in the center of downtown Ann Arbor at 338 South State Street and has a second location open in Westland, located at 7525 N. Wayne Rd. This year, Ashley’s is celebrating their 35th anniversary and is very proud to say they are 8,965 days Bud Light free. No better way to celebrate than to custom brew a special commemorative batch of beer!
Brought to us by Bell’s Brewery (Michigan’s oldest and largest independent craft brewery), Ashley’s 35th Anniversary Ale is an Imperial Oatmeal Stout with an ABV of 8.5%. It’s only available on draught and will be around through December. Trust us, it’s delicious; but if you would like to try something else, Ashley’s has around 70 beers to choose from. Owner Jeff More refers to it as a “collection” rather than a “selection."
We wanted to know a little more about beer, and how to find the right one, so we sat down with Jeff to get some pro-tips.
What is beer made of?
“There are 4 ingredients in beer: water, yeast, malt, and hops. Hops are a preservative, an agent for aroma, and they contribute to the bitterness of the beer. Malt provides the sweetness, and body in alcohol. All ingredients must be balanced and in harmony in order to achieve the perfect beer”
How do I find a beer I really like?
“Look at what flavors you like when it comes to food. Now look at how those flavors can be used to craft a beer. The palette of ingredients that can be used in beer is so diverse that such amazing flavors can be created. There are 1,000’s of different types of yeast to choose from, like butterscotch yeast or citrus yeast. It’s amazing what you can do.”
What’s the perfect temperature for beer?
“Good beer will be served north of 40 degrees. You will notice how great the flavor is. If your beer is being served ice cold, you’re definitely missing out. For example, Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout is a beer that ages in bourbon barrels. These bourbon barrels have previously aged maple syrup… so can you image what rich flavor it has? It should be served warmer, about 45-50 degrees.”
What does DIPA mean?
“This just means the beer has double the hops and malt, so it’s stronger and contains a higher alcohol content. It stands for Double India Pale Ale, and is also known as Imperial IPA.”