(Ann Arbor, MI) – 2013 marks 30 years since the founding of Ashley’s Pub, Michigan’s premier multi-tap beer bar and a beloved gathering place for generations of University of Michigan students and alumni, Ann Arbor townies, and “beer tourists” from around the state, country, and world.
To celebrate this milestone, Ashley’s has commissioned 12 leading breweries to craft unique commemorative 30th anniversary beers, to be released throughout the year at exclusive events at both Ashley’s locations in Ann Arbor and Westland. In February, Ashley’s is partnering with another of Michigan’s most well known craft beer institutions, Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo.
Also founded in 1983 (as a homebrew supply shop), Bell’s has had a close relationship with Ashley’s since it converted to a brewery in 1985 and founder Larry Bell personally delivered his beers to Ashley’s out of his van. To honor this longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship, Bell’s has taken the extraordinary step of brewing Ashley’s 30th Anniversary Ale, the inaugural commemorative beer to be released only at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor and Westland this Friday, February 1, at 3 p.m., with a special 6 p.m. celebratory toast in Ann Arbor.
According to Marketing Director Laura Bell, Bell’s was eager to help Ashley’s mark this milestone.
“Larry was like ‘let’s do it.’ He was really excited about being able to do that,” she said. “We don’t do very many beers like (this), so it takes a really special reason for us to make a commemorative beer for some of our favorite friends.”
Bell describes the beer, a brown ale brewed from a recipe created by Larry Bell himself, as “a very malt-forward beer with almost no aroma hops. It’s got this wonderful, complex, malty, bready, dark characteristic to it. It’s very different than what the popular trends are today.”