Ashley's beer bars in Westland and Ann Arbor have a special relationship with Michigan's Bell's Brewery. When Bell's first started making beer in 1985, founder Larry Bell would deliver his product directly to the original Ashley's in Ann Arbor, which is only two years older than the brewery.
To honor their longtime business relationship, both Ashley's locations will hold a 30th anniversary party for Bell's. On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Ashley's in Ann Arbor (338 S. State) will have 31 Bell's products on tap. Besides the usual suspects (Bell's Porter, Amber, Midwestern Pale Ale and Oarsman), the lineup includes Bell's 30th Anniversary Ale, Hopsoulution, Octoberfest, Bear Hug Imperial Stout and a special brew of Oberon with mango and habanero. Sparkleberry will be available after 4 p.m. A mystery keg will be tapped at 8 p.m.
Another Bell's-centric party will be held Thursday, Sept. 24, at Ashley's Westland (7525 N. Wayne) in their outdoor beer garden. Look for rare and limited Bell's products like Wild One sour ale, Oracle double IPA and Boiling Pot pale ale. The Westland party will also have the mango and habanero Oberon.
"Ashley's has served about 100 different Bell's beers over the years, the most from any brewery," says Ashley's co-owner Jeff More, who says the first Bell's beer they sold at Ashley's was the Kalamazoo Stout.