Stout-lovers and rare beer hunters can indulge in a 12-day scavenger hunt for a dozen seasonal pints during Rochester Mills Beer Co.’s 12 Days of Milkshake Stout progressive tap takeover.
Kicking off Thursday, the annual event includes nearly 50 participating bars and restaurants across Michigan. Each day for 12 days the bars will tap a specialty version of Rochester Mills’ Milkshake Stout, which is their take on milk stout and is brewed with lactose and coco nibs.
The order that the beers are tapped is a secret until the day of, and they’ll be tapped in the same order at each location.
Some of this year’s versions of Milkshake Stout are chocolate orange, bananas Foster, Santa’s breath (peppermint milkshake stout) and cinnamon swirl French toast. These join tried-and-true varieties like bourbon barrel-aged milkshake stout and the blueberry pancake milkshake stout.
Once a participating bar taps that day’s keg, the stout is offered until it sells out. Originally the folks behind Rochester Mills thought that by the third or fourth day, pubs would have enough variety to offer flights of their milkshake stout varieties, but more often than not the beer of the day was selling out before day’s end.
This is the third year of Rochester Mills’ 12 Days of Milkshake Stout tap takeover. While the promotion has been successful each year, David Youngman, director of marketing for the brewery, said not every beer has been a hit. He told me the first year, which included only 12 bars, a pumpkin pie milkshake stout was brewed with too much clove and nutmeg and the result just wasn’t right.
“It was awful, It almost ruined the whole thing because (it was released on) the second day,” said Youngman. “Luckily blueberry pancake (milkshake stout) came right after it saved the day.”
This year’s participating bars cover much of the state, from Monroe to Manistee. In the tri-county area, catch your favorite flavor in the 12 Days of Milkshake Stout at TAP at MGM Grand Detroit, Clubhouse BFD in Rochester Hills, Ale Mary’s Beer Hall in Royal Oak, Butter Run and Terry’s Terrace in St. Clair Shores, Cicerelli’s in Utica, Brown Iron Brewhouse in Washington and Ashley’s Beer & Grille in Westland. A complete list is available at beercos.com.
Naturally, the Rochester Mills Beer Co.’s pub at 400 Water in downtown Rochester is also participating. The brewery’s Auburn Hills production facility, 3275 W. Lapeer, is getting ready to open a tap room. Get a sneak peek at the tap room during the 12 Days of Milkshake Stout when it will be open and serving the stouts from 2-6 p.m. weekdays only.
For those who don’t want to hit up a participating bar 12 days in a row to try to nab a taste of each creamy stout, you’re in luck. This year Rochester Mills has produced a holiday 12-pack that includes a 16 ounce can of each of the milkshake stouts.
Retailing for $24.99, the 12-pack rolls out this week at Meijer and other well-stocked beer stores in the area.
Toasting the end of prohibition
Repeal Day is a celebration of the end of the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the consumption of alcohol in the United States. It was scrapped on Dec. 5, 1933, and as of late local bars have taken to honoring the change in law with parties on Dec. 5.
Look for Repeal Day parties in downtown Detroit at the Whisky Parlor (608 Woodward) and the Keep (140 Cadillac Square). In Ferndale, Public House (241 W. Nine Mile) will have specialty cocktails and they encourage 1930s-era clothing.
Also in Ferndale, Otus Supply, a newly opened, 10,000-square-foot bar and restaurant at 345 E. Nine Mile, will celebrate Repeal Day with live music from roots band Dragon Wagon at 8 p.m. and cocktails featuring Old Forester bourbon.
■Terry’s Terrace in St. Clair Shores – one of the participating bars in the aforementioned 12 Days of Milkshake Stout tap takeover – opened the DK Beercade inside the restaurant this week. The vintage-style arcade has quarter-operated games including pinball, Ms. Pac Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II and more.