Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Arbor Brewing Company

So October means pumpkins, right?  So is there a better way to celebrate the coolest month of the year than with a brewery that is named after the coolest squash on the planet?

Well, that was the plan, anyway.  The Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Dexter has now has a few locations scattered around where you can eat, drink and be merry.  The Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery in Ann Arbor would have been cool, I'm sure, but there was a little problem - a 90 minute wait!    You HAVE to be kidding me!  90 minutes?! Sure it was a Friday night in Ann Arbor, but still....90 minutes?  Ohhhhhh, what to do....

Right around the corner, on Washington Street, is the Arbor Brewing Company.   Knowing I liked some of their beers (not this one),  we figured this was a chance to see the whole show in action.

While enjoying a blackened chicken fettuccine in asiago cheese (!), the Big Ben House Mild (#651) hit the spot. Its light on the eyes (as far as we could tell in the dim light), but not on the tongue or nose. Well balanced but certainly hopped (it is a Pale Ale). Crisp. Beautiful lacing.  Pretty fair stuff.  3 out of 5 for sure (maybe more for some). The No Parking Pilsner (#652) was very well done.  It appeared golden in color (again - dim light) and demonstrated a nice, long-lasting head.  The hop finish was a little punchy but still made a for a great beer.  4 out of 5.  (Note - the above pic was ISO 200 f8 for 15 seconds (hence the striped ghost (the hostess!)) That is how dim it was! Good thing I had my Gorillapod!)

On top of having some very good beers, some decent food, and the coolest dining atmosphere I have seen in a long time, they are starting to "go green".  Like the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland,  they buy local and organic, and make a lot of stuff from scratch. 

Good beer.  Great service. Friendly staff.  Cool place. Get there.

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