A yearly tradition that takes over downtown Ferndale during the second week of July, Metro Times' and Woodward Avenue Brewers' Pig & Whiskey is set to return to the space between the WAB and the Emory this weekend. Here's a preview of things to come.
Over 50 whiskeys are set to be featured at Pig & Whiskey and their names range from the familiar and easy-to-find Jack Daniel's and Jameson to more sought-after brands like Elijah Craig and Buffalo Trace. Other familiar faces include Wild Turkey, Crown Royal, and Fireball, and local distillation will be represented by Right Brain and New Holland. Sure, the water of life is a big pull for this event (it's in the name after all), but the folks behind Pig & Whiskey understand that the brown liquor isn't for everyone. There will also be tequila from El Jimador and rum from Sailor Jerry.
The best way to enjoy this selection of booze is to head to Brown-Forman's Cocktail Corner to sample cocktails crafted by local bartenders. Check out our Raise the Bar column for a full schedule of cocktails.
Not into booze? There'll be plenty of local beer from Blake's Hard Cider, MIP, Roak, Rochester Mills, and New Holland. Pabst Blue Ribbon, New Belgium, and Perrin will also be on deck.
Purchase a pile of tickets and take them around to each and every food truck and food vendor, all the while trading them in for savory slabs of meat and delicious sides like mac and cheese and coleslaw. Each vendor brings a selection of what's available on the menu inside their restaurant and perhaps something that's even special to the event. While the list of restaurants participating in Pig & Whiskey doesn't exactly match the number of booze brands you'll find there, the selections are quality. You'll see Union Woodshop, Slows, Zeke's, Rub Pub, Old Carolina Barbecue Company, Woodpile BBQ Shack, the Proper Pig, Jay Ray's BBQ, Famous Dave's, and Smoke Ring BBQ. Rubbed, Rock City Eatery, the Mac Shack, and Treat Dreams will also be on-hand.
Live music is also a huge part of Pig & Whiskey. The event draws local bands that perform on the huge stage on East Troy Street. Each year the lineup becomes more varied, representing the vast and sundry acts that Detroit is known for producing. Friday's lineup consists of Will Sessions, Tunde Olaniran, the Handgrenades, Beggars, and Unlimited Head. Saturday's long list includes Murder by Death, Oak Bones, Old Empire, the Muggs, American, Mars, David Biermann, Overdrive, and Billy Brandt. Sunday will feature Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers, Ryan Dillaha & the Miracle Men, the Blueflowers, and Ryan Allen & his Extra Arms.
As if a prime selection of whiskey, smoked meats, and live local music aren't enough, there will also be retail vendors will also set up shop. Detroit MFG, Detroit Respect, Kart2Kart, Motor City Rags, Soul Vision, Detroit Shirt Company, Soul Vision, Detroit Be Afraid of Detroit, and others.
Pig & Whiskey is Friday, July 17 from 6 p.m.-midnight, Saturday, July 18 from 11 a.m.-midnight, and Sunday, July 19 from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; East Troy Street, Ferndale, between Woodward Avenue Brewers and the Emory; pigandwhiskeyferndale.com; admission is free, but tickets must be puchased for drinks and food; all ages welcome.