Thursday, June 14, 2012

Michigan Road Trip part 4

Gerald Ford International Airport, Grand Rapids
When David and I landed in Grand Rapids, our chauffeur was waiting to pick us up.  After taking a picture of a sign welcoming us to Western Michigan, we jumped into that waiting SUV and headed directly to Walldorff Brew Pub & Bistro.  Since James and Hayes (BBA behind the scenes guy) were still driving up from Columbus, we had time to start exploring Michigan beers.

standard brewpub chalkboard menu
We arrived in the small town of Hastings, a small charming red-bricked downtown with grassy squares to the side, and parked in front of Walldorff.  Upon entering, it wasn’t crowded, but there was no room at the bar so we shared a cocktail table and promptly ordered a 9-beer sampler, followed by a few appetizers.

Walldorff samples!
My favorite beer we tried was Cobain’s Double Dark IPA.  Other offerings include Hopnoxxious IPA, Bee Sting Honey Rye, State Street Stout (on nitro).  For food, I ordered the Schnitzel sliders which were very good.  The Walldorff is a nice small town brew pub.  If you are in the immediate area, by all means, make a stop there.   Or have Craig pick you up at the airport and take you there.

Bouncing back to the afternoon of our third day (second full day), we had already visited  Arcadia Ales and Dark Horse Brewery, so we headed west to Paw Paw, MI to sample beers at Paw Paw Brewing Company.  Paw Paw is a small, relatively new brewery, but had a lot of character.  Not to mention I was smitten over the bar keep Whitney! 

stolen picture from Paw Paw Facebook page
When we walked in, some of the locals drinking at the bar were kind enough to make room for the five of us.  The clientele was so friendly, I love it.  The selection of beer and the creativity of their names had me excited when I ordered the sampler; Urban Assault Pale Ale being my favorite. 

We ended up meeting a brewer, Trevor, who happened to be hanging out there, and he offered to take us to Paw Paw’s new brew house just down the road. Trevor was great; he gave us a tour of the brew house even though it was closed for the day.  He is easily the most excited person I have ever met regarding craft beer.  Thanks for the tour Trevor!

Next we headed even farther west to Benton Harbor, MI, famous for Whirlpool Coorporation and being the hometown of Vivica A. Fox and Ernie Hudson (“who you gonna call?”)
The Livery lighter colored beers
Before heading to the Livery Brewery, we had dinner at Charlies Grinnin and Piggin Barbeque.  I was thoroughly impressed with their pulled pork sandwich and rib tips.

The Livery dark beers
Then it was down the street to The Livery, the number 100 ranked brewery in the world according to (amazing, 4 of the top 100 are in western Michigan, and two more are close by!).  We didn’t get the full experience of The Livery since a charity event was going on upstairs.  But we were happy at the downstairs bar.  Once again we ordered a sampler of every beer before explaining our BBA shirts to the bar tender and some of the bar’s patrons.

This was our 12th brewery and my palate was wrecked.  Everything was tasting the same to me at this point, which really sucked because I was curious try some of The Livery’s offerings.  The food menu looked really good as well.  I really wish I was able to give the beer a fair shake, but our ambitious trip caught up with us and I was unable to.  That being said, I definitely recommend a trip to The Livery on a clean palate and sample their beers.

beers sampled:
Walldorff Brewpub
Bistro Blonde
Sundancer Wheat
Bee Sting
State Street Stout
Purple Haze
hopnoxxxiois IPA
java Brown
Conbain’s Dark IPA
Organic Kolsch

Paw Paw
Paw Paw wheat
Black river stout
St. James English ale
Laughing paw
Urban assault American pale ale
Jakes Vanilla porter
Black Talon IPA
2 paws

The Livery
Black dynomyte
Bier Munro
Mr. Tee
Dark tripped
Steep Canyon
Old Cedar


Let the Better Beer Authority know what you think. Leave us a comment!