Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Is A2 up for the challenge?

Grant Martin has graciously agreed to write travel pieces for the A2 Journal. His first is on the Michigan Beer Cup. Have you ever heard of it? Get ready for some fun.

By Grant Martin
Guest Writer

It’s Craft Beer Month in Michigan, an official celebration set forth by the governor herself.

Throughout the entire month of July, festivities across Washtenaw County have been taking place in bars, restaurants and public places, from Beer Trivia at Ashleys Monday to Bells Brewery Night Wednesday at The Arena to the highly anticipated Michigan Brewers’ Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti next Friday and Saturday.

In addition, this year’s celebration comes with a twist: the inaugural Michigan Beer Cup.

Through the end of next week, residents of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor will be pitted against each another in an ultimate showdown of which city can drink the most Michigan beer.

The winners of this grand challenge get both bragging rights and the company of the official Michigan Beer Cup, which will be touring each participating bar from the winning city.

Local participating restaurants include Ashleys, Red Hawk, The Arena, Bar Louie and Arbor Brewing Co. among the more than 25 total watering holes, so make sure you stop by at some point during the week to do your part for Ann Arbor. And remember, it has to be a craft Michigan beer to qualify for the cup.

Scoring will be expertly weighed to consider the number of participating pubs per city and pints consumed therein, so Ann Arbor's higher volume of bars serving craft beer doesn't give the city an unfair advantage.

The first of what is hoped to be an annual event, the Michigan Beer Cup is the brainchild of Rick Lack at Rave Associates (,) a local importer and distributor of wine and beer.

As a means to support Craft Beer Month and increase exposure to the wide spectrum of Michigan beers, Lack conceived, arranged and launched the concept this year. He also will be naming the official winner next week at the Summer Beer Festival.

In case you won’t be around for this year’s Michigan Beer Cup, fear not. Planning for next year’s event is already under way, with other cities in the region already expressing interest in competing for the prize.

Data for the Michigan Beer Cup will be collected through Friday. Have a few pints before then, and drive safely.

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