Patti Smith

Patti Smith

Patti “TeacherPatti” Smith lives in Ann Arbor with Boyfriend Ken, her dog Buddy and her stepcats Ali and Cyrus. She is a special education teacher by day, local history buff and brew drinker by night (see the hybrid history/beer blog at www.teacherpatti.com). She also loves watching most Detroit sports on TV, boxing, brewing beer, storytelling, board games and recently wrote a middle grade/YA book that she hopes to convince a publisher to publish! Meantime, she is working on a book about the history of downtown Ann Arbor for Arcadia publishers. Her favorite beer styles include Russian Imperial Stout, pumpkin beers, Kolschs and most things with peppers in them.

Website URL: http://www.teacherpatti.com

 
When locals heard that the party store Blue Front was closing, more than a few of us started the “nothing gold can stay” laments that soon turned into much reminiscing about the past and the things that used to be here, but are no more. The building on the corner of Packard and State can be traced back to 1908, when it was listed as being a news depot. It later became a cigar store, and in the 1920s became known as the Blue Front. The reason for the name is lost to the ages, but we do know that a man named Ray E. Collins bought the Blue Front Cigar Store in 1927 and made the place legendary.

Fermenta article

As I’ve mentioned before, women were always the brewers. The Industrial Revolution, Prohibition, changes in beer production, and many other factors changed that. But now women are joining the ranks of beer professionals in leaps and, er, hops!

Women were always the brewers. Beer was a foodstuff and, like all foodstuffs, it was made by women. This changed as beer moved from the home into the commercial realm in the Middle Ages; it changed rapidly during the Industrial Revolution when breweries became big and employed men as their brewers.

 Cool Classy Old German Bar and Bierkeller in Ann Arbor

When the Revolution comes—and it will come my brothers and sisters—we will need to rely on bars and brewpubs for meetings, information exchanges and espionage. The Old German is the perfect place for headquarters—kind of dark, downstairs, extremely comfortable, friendly and has excellent beers. (Why yes! I have seen Inglorious Bastards and I do count to three using my thumb and so I probably will get shot first).

Batch Brewing Company Wins Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest

Cinderella said that a dream is a wish our heart makes. That certainly may be true, but for those of us who aren’t cartoon characters and who don’t live in a castle…well, dreams take money. There are a few ways to get this initial capital—trust fund (sign me up please), rich dead relative (ditto), bank loan (difficult for any start-up) or the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest. And this year, the winner of Hatch Detroit was none other than Batch Brewing Company!

 Bill's Beer Garden in Ann Arbor

It isn’t often that I look at something and think, “Man! I wish I had thought of that!” The Lite Brite game was one time (although it came out before I was born) and so was the Twilight series (the books are abysmal but somehow that broad got an agent, a publisher and made a zillion dollars). More recently, and in my own little town, I looked at the wonder that is Bill’s Beer Garden and thought, “Wow! I really really wish I’d thought of this!” Because seriously, doesn’t everyone like to sit outside and drink Michigan beer?

Review of 51 North Brewing Company in Lake Orion

Despite growing up on the border of Oakland and Macomb counties, I never traveled much beyond a handful of cities. So when I figured out that I would be visiting a brewery in Lake Orion, I was quite excited to leave Ann Arbor and visit a city I had never been to.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review of Detroit Beer Company

Detroit Beer Company

Ah, Detroit! Some say it is on the brink of a huge renaissance. Others say to put a fork in it. Wherever you stand on the issue, one thing is for certain: the city has excellent choices for beer.
Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Rat Fest 2013: Rise of the Rat

Rat Fest 2013: Rise of the Rat

Friends know that I am a huge fan of the HBO series “The Wire”. Like many hot blooded women, I found McNulty adorable but such a rascal! The way he drank the Jameson and the beer…it got me thinking that it would have saved the character some time (and money) if those two great tastes came together. I honestly never thought it possible until I attended the annual Rat Fest at the Corner Brewery.

Recap of American made Oktoberfest's at Ashely's in Ann Arbor!

Before I changed careers and became a teacher…before I moved to a college town…before I started following my religion again…September has always felt like the “new year” to me. The weather changes (sometimes drastically), people start buying new school clothes and there’s just a general feeling of settling into a new routine. Something else wonderful happens every fall: Oktoberfest beers start appearing at our favorite pubs!
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