August dinner parties, food fests and more

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Food events

Michigan Summer Beer Festival at Riverside Park: More than 1,000 craft beers made by around 150 Michigan breweries will be on hand to taste. 5-9 p.m. Fri. and 1-6 p.m. Sat. $40-$45 in advance, $45-$50 at the gate. 2 E. Cross, Ypsilanti. mibeer.com/summer-festival.

Taco Showdown at Eastern Market: Sample tacos and salsa from area taquerias. Tickets include one taco and one margarita or other drink, and more are available for purchase. 1-4 p.m. Sun. $20-$30. Shed 5, Eastern Market. facebook.com/tacoShowdown/

Summer Dinner Party at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms: A strolling dinner party with farm-fresh vegetables, charcuterie, cheese, breads, pizza, barbecue and dessert, plus cocktails. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Aug. 2. $75. 8540 Island Lake, Dexter. cornmanfarms.com/events.

Beekeeper’s Honey Wine Dinner at the Whitney: St. Ambrose Cellars of Beulah will host this dinner and beverage pairing with partial proceeds benefiting Bees in the D. 7-10 p.m. Aug. 4. $125. 4421 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 832-5700.

VegMichigan SummerFest at Madonna University: A celebration of vegan food with local restaurants, food makers and nearly 60 food trucks, plus family friendly fun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 5. Free. 36600 Schoolcraft, Livonia. vegmichigan.org.

Made to Eat in Michigan at Leon & Lulu: Sample and purchase Michigan-made food from candy to hot sauce at this annual market. 5-8 p.m. Aug. 7. 96 W. 14 Mile, Clawson. (248) 288-3600.

Somm Slam at Wolfgang Puck Steak: MGM Grand Detroit’s sommelier Gerry Baker will compete against award-winning somm Justin King of Bridge Street Social during this two-hour event that includes a four-course meal with two wines per course. Guests will judge on which wine choice is best. 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8. $125. 1777 Third, Detroit. (313) 465-1644.

Savor Food & Wine Festival at Detroit Zoo: Sample unlimited cuisine from some of the area’s most applauded restaurants, plus beverage tastings and live music. Private tasting seminars are available for an extra fee. 6-10 p.m. Aug. 10. $65 and up. 8450 W. 10 Mile, Royal Oak. Detroitzoo.com.

Melon Festival in Howell: This longstanding community event includes live music, food, the Melon Run, a kids’ melon patch and other melon-related fun. Aug. 17-19. 200 E. Grand River, Howell. howellmelonfestival.com.

Detroit Sushi Festival at Eastern Market: Food from local sushi restaurants and vendors of Japanese culture. Aug. 24. $27, $54 VIP. Shed 5, 2934 Russell, Detroit. detroitsushifest.com.

Dining, food news

Stroh’s to release seasonal whitbier: Stroh Brewery Co. announced this week it will release Spirit Witbier. The seasonal beer is available only in Michigan, and only through September. There will be a celebration for the new launch on Aug. 6 with a Slow Roll bike ride through Detroit beginning at Beacon Park, 1901 Grand River. Spirit Wit, which is 4.2 percent alcohol by volume is brewed at Corktown’s Brew Detroit.

Public House, Imperial chef steps down: Chef Brandon Zarb of Ferndale’s Public House and Imperial has stepped down from helming those two kitchens after accepting a position at Rising Stars Academy. He said he’ll be working with special needs students to teach them to become employed in the foodservice industry. “I am so excited to bring my passion for cooking to an organization that helps both the local community and local restaurants,” he said in a statement.

Jim Brady’s Ann Arbor is opening soon: As Jim Brady’s new Ann Arbor location (209 S. Main) gets closer to its opening date, the restaurant has teamed up with the Michigan Small Business Development Center to host a job fair for hourly positions at Washtenaw Community College from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 1 and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 2. Look for job fair signs at the campus entrance, 4800 E. Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor.

Mr. B’s in Royal Oak opens speakeasy: Johnny’s, a small, speakeasy-style restaurant, has opened underneath Mr. B’s, 215 S. Main in Royal Oak. The hidden, 1,500-square-foot restaurant has a different concept than Mr. B’s, serving small plates and craft cocktails. The grand opening is Saturday. Reservations and a secret code are required for entry, and can be obtained by calling (248) 794-1261.

Ackroyd’s launches gelato, sorbet line: Family-owned Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery (25566 Five Mile, Redford) has launched a line of Scottish-inspired gelatos and sorbet. The limited-edition flavors include club orange biscuit gelato, fern cake gelato, maltesers gelato and black currant tea sorbetto. Each four-ounce container retals for $5.

Melody Baetens