Grizzly Peak Brewing Company

14 09 2008
  • 120 W. Washington
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 741-7325
  • Website
  • Menu
Grizzly Peak Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor.

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company in downtown Ann Arbor.

Our day in Ann Arbor was coming to an end and I was starting to get really hungry again.  Earlier in the week, I asked for suggestions on where to eat dinner and there was no shortage of recommendations.  Since we had spent a pretty good chunk of money on lunch and shopping, I didn’t want to hit up one of fancier restaurants on Main Street even though they were quit tempting.

What we settled on was the Grizzly Peak Brewing Company which was a suggestion from Amy.  Grizzly Peak is located just off of Main Street in a big corner building.  We parked across the street in a public lot and walked over to the brewery.  When we walked in, we found the hostess station.  There was a lady bent over the stand and I just assumed she was the hostess.  Nope.  She was waiting for her husband or something.  A waiter saw us standing there and came over to seat us.  Here was my big complaint about the meal.  I probably should have asked to be seated in the bar so I could watch the football game, but I didn’t.  Outside of the bar, there was one other couple eating and one large group.  The dining rooms at Grizzly Peak are huge and there are several options.  They seated both us and the other couple right next to the large group in a cramped dining room near the back of the space.  Come on now.  Why would you seat a couple next to a group in an empty restaurant.  We just wanted to enjoy a nice dinner, but the group wanted to catch up and you know how people get when they haven’t seen each other in a while.  Grandpa at one end of the table is yelling to his grandson at the other end of the table.  Doesn’t make a good dining experience for anyone around them and we were right next to the table.  Read the rest of this entry »


Black Forest Brew Haus & Grill

1 09 2008
  • 281 Heinlein Strasse
  • Frankenmuth, MI 48724
  • (989) 652-6060
  • Website
  • Menu
Sullivans Black Forest Brew Haus & Grill in Frankenmuth, MI

Sullivan's Black Forest Brew Haus & Grill in Frankenmuth, MI

My parents have been to Lansing several times since I moved here from Central Illinois.  On I-94 going through Indiana, they always see a billboard for Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland.  Christmas is a big deal in my family and this year it’s even more special. My brother and his wife are expecting my parents first grandchild.  My mom, dad, and aunt decided to come north for Labor Day and I suggested we drive over to Frankenmuth to check out the town.  I heard it was pretty touristy and it was.

Before we did the tourist thing, we needed to find something for lunch.  My parents had been on the road since 8:00 AM CST and we arrived in Frankenmuth at about 2:00 EST.  Everyone kept saying, “Go to Zehnder’s” or “You have to eat at the Bavarian Inn.”  I did a little research and noticed the chicken dinners everyone raved about were $20/person, so that was out.  Seems pretty expensive…even for an all-you-can-eat.  I mean, really, it’s just chicken.  I didn’t get a whole lot of suggestions when I asked for one on Chowhound, but I ended up stumbling across a website for the Black Forest Brew Haus & Grill.

We ended up finding Black Forest right across the street from Bronner’s. My family was marveling at just how big the Christmas store was when I turned in the driveway for Black Forest.  They all turned around and said the same thing about the big, castle looking building we were now sitting in front of.   We hit up the brew pub during off peak hours.  It wasn’t quite lunch nor was it quite dinner.  We were right in between so there weren’t a whole lot of people in the restaurant at the time.  We were met at the door and show to a table in the dining area to the left of the bar.  Besides the bar area and the dining room, there was a four seasons patio not far from where we sitting.  Upstairs, there were big banquet rooms.  The dining room and bar area is realy spacious.  There are high exposed ceilings and lots of seating.  There is a big room enclosed in glass where the distillers sit.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bell’s Beer Back in Chicago

4 08 2008

The Kalamazoo Gazette is reporting that Michgan brewer Bell’s Beer has shipped 750 kegs to the Windy City for the first time in two years.

“I love Chicago, and there’s no big city I spend more time in,” Larry Bell. “I’m thrilled that our beer will be available again in this market.

“The wholesalers we’ve been able to partner with haven’t been involved in craft beer very long, but all of them have hearts of gold. … I couldn’t be happier to find such good people to work with.”

Bell said Thursday afternoon in a telephone interview that he sent seven trucks carrying about 750 kegs to Chicago. Bell’s Oberon, Amber, Porter and Stout will be sold now, but Bell said he’s unsure when he’ll get other brands, such as Two-Hearted Ale, into Chicago.

Some Bell’s-loving taverns in Chicago, such as Sheffield’s and Hopleaf, are planning special events for the beers’ return, Bell said. He expects to spend much of next week in Chicago supporting the move and helping to get the numbers back to previous distribution levels.

“We can’t turn the tap on just like that. It’s going to be a process. It will take a little bit of time,” he said.

Now, all of you taking the Amtrak to Chicago can find a little piece of home.  One of my girlfriend’s co-workers always orders an Oberon when we go out for drinks.  I had never heard of that before moving here.

Olde Peninsula Brew Pub

20 07 2008
  • 200 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 343-2739
  • Website
  • Menu
The sign for Olde Peninsula Brew Pub in downtown Kalamazoo

The sign for Olde Peninsula Brew Pub in downtown Kalamazoo

After a weekend in Chicago, I had to drop my girlfriend off in Kalamazoo for work.  Before we parted ways for the afternoon, we thought it’d be nice to check out what Kalamazoo has to offer in terms of restaurants.  I saw a recommendation for Olde Peninsula on, so that’s what I went looking for.

Olde Peninsula is located on the corner of Michigan and Portage in what used to be known as the Big Corner.  The first brew pub opened on St. Patrick’s day in 1896.  The current incarnation opened after the 1980 tornado that almost destroyed the building.  We walked into the building and found the hostess station near the door as an extension of the bar.  The building is divided into two dining rooms.  The smoking section also has the bar.  The distillers are visible through a glass wall opposite the bar.  The non-smoking section is divided by a wall that serves as the bar’s back wall.  We were seated in a booth which was on a raised platform on this back wall.

The waitress came over for drinks and we stopped her from leaving to place our order right away.  While there were several options that looked good, we were both in the mood for our usual sandwiches.  I went with the Olde Smokey burger.  The 1/2 lb burger was topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and a bbq sauce.  The sandwich is served with a side of beer-battered fries.  The sandwich was big.  I had a hard time getting it in my mouth.  The bacon was nice and crispy and the burger was just slightly pink which lended itself to a good flavor.  I didn’t really notice the bbq sauce until the last couple bites where it had soaked into the bun.  The fries were interesting.  Beer-batterd fries aren’t usually my favorite, but the breading was not overpowering which made these better than normal. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Micro-Brews Kill Budweiser?

25 06 2008

Interesting article on MSN tonight.

Although craft beers account for only $5.7 billion of the industry, they have seen a 58% increase in dollar sales since 2004, according to the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colo. Last year, while imported and noncraft beer both experienced a growth rate of 1.4% in volume, craft beer enjoyed a 12% growth rate in volume, according to the Brewers Association. Read the rest of this entry »

Brewpubs Could Be Allowed to Participate in Beer Festivals

23 06 2008

I just noticed that HB 6187 and 6188 passed the House on June 11.  In reading the analysis for the bills, it looks to me like there has been a problem with brewpubs participating in beer festivals.  The way the law is currently written, brewpubs can only sell their product to be consumed at their licensed facility.

These two bills would do two things.  Allow brewpubs to sell their beer and special liscense holders to buy the beer.  The bill was crafted for the Michigan Brewers Guild which holds two beer festivals a year.  Over 200 beers from 30 breweries will be featured, but none from a brewpub. Read the rest of this entry »

Press Release – Grand River Connection

23 06 2008

From the GRC Website:

For our 4th Tuesday networking night in June, GRC will be returning back to where it all began. In June of 2005, a small group of 28 people gathered at Harper’s for what would become the first-ever Grand River Connection event! On June 24, 2008, from 6pm to 8pm, GRC will be returning to Harper’s (131 Albert Avenue)for our 3rd Anniversary Event. Bring a friend and come on out and spend time with people you’ve met at previous events, and meet new people! Read the rest of this entry »

Michigan Brewing Company

12 04 2008

We were on our way to the Tanger Outlets in Howell on a Saturday afternoon, but both my girlfriend and I were really hungry, so we decided to stop before we got there. A sign along the highway advertised the Michigan Brewing Company. After a quick conference with her, I hopped off I-96 and went looking for the pub. Our first attempt was met with disappointment. We pulled up to a building that had for sale or lease signs on it. Thinking it was closed, we almost left, but she noticed a sign tha said “Visit us at our new location. Turn at McDonalds.” So, we went up the road and took a right at the McDonald’s into a business park.

After a short drive down the road, we pull up to a building that looks more like an office building than a restaurant and only a sign in the parking lot marks the place as the Michigan Brewing Company. We both kind of look at each other and wonder if this is the right place. Then, we notice people sitting at some tables through the window.

When you walk in, again, it looks more like an office than a restaurant. There’s a small shopping area off to the left then you walk through a big empty room to get to the first dining room. The pub is split up into a bar area which you get to by walking through a dining room area. We walked into the bar and found a table near the back of the space. The tables were the high pub tables with high back chairs. The decor was very rustic and really what you look for in a brew pub. The bartender came over with menus and gave us a few minutes to look over the beer menu. They only serve their beers and root beer…didn’t even have soda.

We both went for the Sunset Amber Lager, which according to their menu is “A refreshing, crisp and clean amber colored lager. Made in a Vienna-style with distinct caramel malt flavor and aroma.” It was a little bitter for my taste and a very heavy, filling beer. Both of us had a little trouble finishing.

For lunch, I had the Hog’s Heaven Sandwich. The sandwich is a shredded pork sandwich which tasted like it came from a can served on a ciabatta roll with a pickle spear and kettle chips. The sandwich was alright, but like I said, it wasn’t fresh made on site. It was a litltle small and not incredibly filling.

My date got the Twisted Turkey sandwich which was turkey, provlone, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mustard served on a pretzel roll. She really liked her sandwich commenting more than once that it was tasty. For her, the portion was just right as she had a few extra chips for me.

The Michigan Brewing Company seemed like a place where beer lovers gather. We stopped in around 1 on a Saturday and there were quite a few guys there enjoying a cold one. There are no TV’s, so it’s not a place to go watch a game and have a beer. It’s more of a gathering spot for good converstaion. A lot of guys were coming in with pony kegs to get refilled and most everyone had a jug that they were getting refilled.

The atmosphere was interesting adn the food was alright. For those that like micro-brews, this would definately be a stop. I’m not a huge micro-brew fan myself, but it was a good meal just off the highway.