The other weekend, Andy, Rachel, Troy and I embarked on a mini-brewery tour of Mid/Southwest Michigan. This was a belated Christmas present to the Proctors. It's kind of like those gifts where you're really giving a gift to yourself too.
We left on a gorgerous Saturday afternoon and Andy had to get gas, so Troy got 5instant scratch off tickets. We won $15 dollars. So we stopped at another gas station and got beer. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Our first official stop was the Dark Horse Brewery in Marshall, MI.
This was our favorite brewery. I already knew I LOVED their Crooked Tree IPA from buying a Joe 6 pack here and there. Amongst us we ordered the Amber Ale, Raspberry Ale, an IPA and a few stouts. I sampled them all and they were all good. I most liked the atmosphere and HUGE beer garden in back. It happened to be National Home Brew Day so there were some fellas brewing and drinking. I could have stayed there all night, but we had breweries to visit and beer to drink, so on we moved to . . .
Arcadia Ales in Battle Creek, MI.
The beer was fine, some better than others, but here's why Arcadia doesn't top my list - it was too nice. It was almost fancy inside, actually. When I go to a brewery, I want to experience a more laid back atmosphere. I want to feel like I'm in some drunk Uncle's basement bar. So, while the beer was good, I wasn't feeling the vibe. So after a quick detour to our elegant Knight's Inn to drop off our bags, we caught a cab to . . .
The Olde Peninsula Brewpub and Restaurant in Kalamazoo, MI.
This is billed as the oldest Brewpub in K-zoo. But, since they are just a brewpub, their beer selection is pretty much limited to a red, a stout, and an IPA. They were all tasty and the place is really more of a restaurant. The food was good and the place was hoppin'. Off to our final location of the night . . . .
Probably the most well-known brewery in Michigan. They had a great beer garden also, but it was a bit too chilly to enjoy it. There was a band playing that night and we cozied up on some couches in an upstairs loft area. There was a definite hippie-feel to the place. Of course, the beer was very good - I've always really enjoyed Bell's beer. I would say this was my 2nd favorite brewery of the tour and sometime after midnight we had a cab bring us safely back to the Knight's Inn because Andy had drunk himself drunk by that point.
Overall, it was a great time and I've knocked off 4 more breweries on my Michigan list. I think that puts me around 20, but I'd have to pull the book out to be sure.