Issues & Ale | Michigan Radio
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Issues & Ale

Issues and Ale is an event series from Michigan Radio designed to engage people in conversations about important issues facing Michigan... in an informal atmosphere.  The events are hosted by Michigan Radio reporters and feature experts on the topic. All events are free, and the public is invited to join in the discussion. You can find information on upcoming and past Issues & Ale events on the pages below.

We hold Issues & Ale events at venues all across our listening area. You can share your suggestions for future topics or locations by e-mailing us at marketing@michiganradio.org

Wednesday, June 26, 6:30 -8:00 PM
Michigan Princess Riverboat
Grand River Park, Lansing, MI 48917

The divided political climate in the U.S has ushered in a new generation of leaders across the country. We're beginning to see more people of color, women, and young people running for public office. At our next Issues & Ale event, we'll discuss Michigan's next generation of leaders...where they're coming from, who they're representing, and what has motivated these first-time candidates to bring their voices to politics.

Join host Zoe Clark and our panel, as we talk about the potential impact these new faces are having on government. Have a pint, and let's talk politics as we cruise down the the Grand River for this special Issues & Ale on the Michigan Princess River Boat in Lansing.

Issues and Ale is an event series from Michigan Radio designed to engage people in conversations about important issues facing our area...in an informal atmosphere.

Crissy Zamarron / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s wavering spring weather was in our favor this week as Issues & Ale took the discussion outside for the first time this year. Our panelists and listeners joined us on the patio of J.B.’s Smokehouse in Canton for a discussion on the state of child care in Michigan.

Michigan Radio’s Doug Tribou hosted the discussion, bringing his own experience as a father of two young girls who has encountered these issues firsthand. Doug was joined by fellow parents and experts in children’s education and care in Michigan:

Wednesday, May 22, 6:30 -8:00 PM
J.B.'s Smokehouse
225 S. Canton Center Rd., Canton, MI 48188

Join Michigan Radio's host of "Morning Edition" and father of two, Doug Tribou, for a discussion on the state of child care in Michigan. He and our expert panelists will talk about some of the current problems facing parents like affordability and quality of child care, and look for solutions.  Register to attend,  and join in the conversation.

Issues and Ale is an event series from Michigan Radio designed to engage people in conversations about important issues facing our area...in an informal atmosphere.

Crissy Zamarron / Michigan Radio

Hosts of Michigan Radio’s That’s What They Say, Rebecca Kruth and Anne Curzan, took over the latest Issues and Ale event in Grand Rapids to discuss an ever important issue to many public radio listeners: language and grammar! The pair led our audience in an educational, enlightening, and often hilarious conversation about everything from the newest slang, to the impact of texting on language, to the ever-controversial, Oxford comma.

Crissy Zamarron / Michigan Radio

The Issues & Ale series was glad to provide a special presentation on March 7th featuring a visit from our colleagues from the BBC Newhour staff from London.

Michigan Radio and BBC fans flocked to The Rust Belt Market in Ferndale to join in a thought-provoking conversation about international and U.S. politics with our panel. Our own Lester Graham hosted the discussion while our visiting guest speakers included...

Monday, April 15, 6:30 -8:00 PM
City Built Brewing
820 Monroe Ave NW, #155, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

Join University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan and Michigan Radio's Rebecca Kruth, the hosts of That's What They Say, for this fun evening discussing our changing English language and your favorite language pet peeves.

Issues and Ale is an event series from Michigan Radio designed to engage people in conversations about important issues facing our area...in an informal atmosphere.

Issues & Ale panel
Crissy Zamarron / Michigan Radio

Gearing up for the State of the State Address on Feb. 12, our Issues & Ale crew gathered Monday, Feb. 4, at Brewery Becker in Brighton to talk about the new administration in Lansing. Over 100 politically engaged listeners packed into the venue for the entertaining night of local and national politics.

Thursday, March 7, 7 -8:30 PM
The Rust Belt Market
22801 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale, Michigan 48220

A very special Issues & Ale is coming this March as we welcome our friends from the BBC for a unique discussion of American politics. Staff from the BBC Newshour will join host Lester Graham to talk about the government shut down, the border wall…and perhaps some of the big news from across the pond.

Issues and Ale is an event series from Michigan Radio designed to engage people in conversations about important issues facing our area...in an informal atmosphere.

Issues & Ale: The Changing of the Guard in State Goverment 
Mon, February 4, 6:30-8:00 PM
Brewery Becker
500 W Main St, Brighton, MI 48116

We’ve sworn in our new governor and as the position shifts from red to blue, the state anticipates changes ahead. At our first Issues and Ale of 2019, we’ll be talking about Governor Whitmer’s first month in office and what Michiganders can expect from the new administration in its first year.

Issues & Ale: It’s Just Politics Election Preview
Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018
6:30 - 8:00 pm

Harmony Hall
401 Stocking Ave NW,
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Host: Zoe Clark

Michigan Radio’s Issues & Ale discussion series traveled to Toledo Monday night for the station’s first event of this kind in Ohio. The event took place at Black Cloister Brewing Company and focused on Lake Erie’s toxic cyanobacteria blooms and the safety of Toledo’s water.

Issues & Ale: The Downtown Dilemma
Tue, Sept 11, 6:30-8:00 PM 
Bill’s Beer Garden
218 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(Note: Since this is an outdoor event. In case of bad weather the rain date will be Wednesday, Sept. 12).

Issues & Ale: Seeing Green in Lake Erie
Mon, August 20, 6:30-8:00 PM

Black Cloister Brewing Company
619 Monroe St, Toledo, OH 43604

In the summer of 2014, toxic bacteria in Lake Erie forced some 400,000 people in the Toledo area (including several communities in southeast Michigan) to stop bathing in or drinking their tap water. Although the past few years have not been as bad, farm runoff and other factors have led to toxic cyanobacteria blooms in western Lake Erie every summer since then. Will voluntary farm restrictions be enough to solve this problem and if not, what else needs to be done?

Tuesday, July 31, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Michigan Princess River Boat
Grand River Park, Lansing, MI 48917

Voters across Michigan will go to the polls on August 7 for Michigan’s primary election. They’ll be selecting the Republican and Democratic candidates in statewide races for governor and attorney general, as well as candidates in several open U.S. House of Representatives seats and State House and Senate districts.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s Issues & Ale team hit the road again Wednesday night. This time, they stopped at Fillmore 13 Brewery in Pontiac to talk about the future of regional mass transit.

Wed, May 9, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Fillmore 13 Brewery
7 N. Saginaw St
Pontiac, MI 48342

Transit in Southeast Michigan has again surfaced as a major issue as area leaders have been unable to agree on a regional transit plan. Should Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties all work together to develop rapid bus transit lines and commuter rail, or should car dependent areas focus on maintaining or expanding their network of roads?

Steve Chrypinski / Michigan Radio

Mental illness is an issue that “knows no class, no gender, no race, no geography,” said Joe Linstroth, executive director of Stateside and host of Wednesday night’s Issues & Ale event.

He asked the audience – a full house at Jolly Pumpkin Dexter’s brewery – to raise their hands if they have a personal connection to mental health or mental illness. Most every hand went up.

Issues & Ale: "That’s What They Say" Grammar Night
Wed, April 25, 6:30-8:00 PM
JB’s Smokehouse BBQ
 225 S Canton Center Rd
Canton, MI 48188

If it drives you crazy when someone uses "literally" to mean "figuratively," or have ever wondered how "YOLO", "bracketology," and "bromance" became actual words, then this event is for you. 

Issues & Ale: The State of Mental Health in Michigan

Mar 7, 2018

When: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
6:30-8 p.m.
Where: Jolly Pumpkin Dexter
2319 Bishop Circle East,
Dexter, Michigan 48130
Host: Joe Linstroth

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

 

The many elections of 2018 could stir up a big political year in Michigan.

Issues & Ale, an event series from Michigan Radio, hit HopCat in Royal Oak Monday night to discuss the political balls up in the air this year – and why they could spell excitement to come.

Monday, Jan 22,  2018
6:30 - 8:00 pm
HopCat
208 5th Ave., Royal Oak, MI 48067

2017 was certainly an eventful year in politics, and 2018 promises to be more of the same. We have a race for governor and every statewide office in Michigan up for grabs, open Congressional seats across metro Detroit, key ballot issues, and national mid-term elections to look forward to.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Monday night’s Issues & Ale event dove into the complicated world of sports – where players kneel during the national anthem, college students get payoffs, and misinformation swells around concussions and other injuries.

 

Monday, November 20, 2017, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Zingerman's Greyline 
100 N. Ashley St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104  

What happens when the controversies of politics and the realities of life intersect with the sports we love to watch? Issues like domestic violence, players kneeling for the national anthem, and payoffs to college players have all helped to move stories about our favorite players from the sports page…to the front page.

Join Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou as he talks with sports experts about some of the controversies facing the world of sports. Joining Doug will be author and Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon, former NBA player and UM 'Fab Five' member Jimmy King and sports journalist Joanne Gerstner. 

Tony Brown / Michigan Radio

As the sun began to set at Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Brewing on Wednesday night, Michigan Radio’s Doug Tribou started a conversation with pub-goers about the future of public education in our state.

Issues & Ale: The Future of Public Education
Wed, Sept. 27, 6:30-8:00 PM

Arcadia Brewing Co.
701 E. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Host: Doug Tribou

Most people would agree that public K-12 education in Michigan is facing challenges – issues like teacher turnover, budget cuts, and reduced enrollment due to the growth of charter schools. And the most recent Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Report ranks Michigan 41st in the country for education outcomes.

Join Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou as he talks with education experts about the major challenges facing public schools in Michigan, and potential solutions.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has announced the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. If Trump follows through on those plans, the country would pull out of the international agreement in November 2020. So what does that mean for Michigan, both now and in the future?

As part of Michigan Radio’s Issues & Ale event series, climate experts gathered on Tuesday night at Bill’s Beer Garden in Ann Arbor to discuss just that.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Monday night’s Issues & Ale event plunged back in time to the days surrounding the 1967 rebellion – the historic conflict between citizens and police that led to 43 deaths and thousands of buildings destroyed during five summer days in Detroit.

Tues, Aug. 15, 6:00-7:30 PM
Bill’s Beer Garden
218 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Free Admission –
Host: Rebecca Williams: Reporter/Host – The Environment Report

This past June, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise when he announced that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, and end the implementation of carbon reduction targets set under the Obama administration. What are the implications of this decision on climate policy in the United States? And can local governments and the private sector fill in the void left by the federal government?

Mon, July 17, 2017; 6:30-8:00 PM
Northern Lights Lounge
660 W. Baltimore St
Detroit, MI 48202

Free Admission

Host: Lester Graham

This July marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit uprising, a civil disturbance that turned into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in the history of the United States. The uprising resulted in dozens of deaths, thousands arrested, and National Guard and U.S. Army units deployed to patrol the streets of Detroit.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team took over a tent at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival last night for an Issues & Ale event.

Co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta joined panelists Chris Kolb, president of the Michigan Environmental Council, and Colleen Pero, chief of staff for the Michigan Republican Party, to talk about the latest political news in our state.

In the heat of the afternoon, Pluta began the discussion with a summary of the big news that came out yesterday in relation to the Flint water crisis:

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