Craft Beer Conversation: 97.1 The Ticket Teams Up With Ellison Brewery And Spirits

Sports and craft beer. A perfect match.

WWJ News
September 19, 2019 - 11:16 pm

WWJ’s Zach Clark is searching metro Detroit for the best of the best when it comes to craft beer. On a quest for the best tastes, funkiest brews and most unique experiences on the craft beer scene, “Craft Beer Conversation” will be a weekly series highlighting the area’s best. Be sure to check it out every Friday.

(WWJ) -- Sports and craft beer. A perfect match.

WWJ’s sister station, 97.1 The Ticket, rolled out a pair of craft brews earlier this month in collaboration with Ellison Brewery and Spirits out of East Lansing.

Owner and head brewer Aaron Hanson says the partnership with the sports talk station makes sense.

“We just don’t compromise on the quality or the ingredients of the product and that was one thing that 97.1 and Entercom do well. We do it on the beer side and they do it on the radio side, so it fits.”

97.1 The Ticket
The 97.1 The Ticket American Lager is a classic, smooth-drinking beer brewed with a combination of American ingredients. The flavorful lager “won’t let you down, even if your favorite team does,” the folks at The Ticket and Ellison say. Meanwhile, the 97.1 The Ticket DDH Hazy Pale Ale is brewed with Mosaic and Simcoe hops, described as a “full bodied flavor, yet deceptively easy to drink.”

Hanson says the two styles speak to the local die-hard sports fans of all kinds. The American lager is a “crushable” beer suitable for any game day, while the double-hopped hazy pale ale is one of the hottest styles on the craft beer scene right now, he says.

“Obviously, that American lager is that quintessential Red Wings-or-Tigers, crushable, hot weather or cold weather beer,” Hanson said. “The hazy pale is absolutely hot right now. One thing we did notice in the market is, the hazy IPA is very hot, but no one’s really doing a hazy pale ale. We’re blurring the line a little bit with the double dry hopped hazy pale ale and just trying to crush it with the super easy-to-drink American lager.”

Many breweries have been teaming up with not only other breweries and distilleries these days, but with local establishments. Hanson says this was the first time collaborating with a non-brewer.

97.1 The Ticket

“We try to keep it simple. Obviously, the conversations between brewer to brewer versus brewer to non-brewer can be very different as far as the scientific ins and outs of recipe writing and the brewing process. But we tried to keep it simple with ‘what to people like to drink’ first, and from there, just kind of did our thing,” Hanson said.

The Ticket beers will be available on-tap at several bars throughout Michigan, and will be hitting shelves in cans soon.

Ellison opened in 2015, east of the Michigan State University campus, just off Grand River Avenue on Dawn Street. Learn more about Ellison on their website and more about the new brews over on The Ticket.

Have a favorite brewery or brewpub you want Zach to highlight in his “Craft Beer Conversation” series? Reach out on Twitter at @ZachEClark or via email at

Listen to more of Zach Clark's conversation with Aaron Hanson: