It’s a veritable craft beer bonanza in town:
This brew pub loves to pair their beer with their food. Their Peninsula Pale Ale, an American Style Pale Ale, is suggested for BBQ and Buffalo Wings, Beadle's Best Bitter is a classic-English style brew served best with full-out ribs and Harvest Moon Oatmeal Stout is a suggested after-dinner sipper. Located in the heart of downtown, the bar and restaurant are fashioned after the inside of a Great Lakes vessel. (161 E. FRONT ST., 231-933-1100, MACKINAWBREWING.COM)
Right Brain is a non-smoking bar and micro-brewery with a great style. They want you to come as you are to the Warehouse District in Traverse City and test one of their (usually) 12 Northern Michigan beers—and they only sell their own. Read their menu just to enjoy the names: Waltzing Matilda Rye Amber Ale, a full bodied beer with hop presence; Ancho Chili Dutch Double Chocolate Porter, made with dried poblano peppers, chocolate malt and lots of real Dutch Chocolate; and Distill My Heart Bourbon Street (the nice vanilla tones come from the Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels. Oh, and need a haircut? Check out the Salon Saloon where you can get a clip while you sip. (221 GARLAND ST., 231-944-1239, RIGHTBRAINBREWERY.COM)
Located on the garden level below North Peak Brewing Company in Traverse City, Kilkenny's has the dark and cozy feel of a true Irish pub. Leinster Irish Lager, a golden lager, is named after the Irish province of Leinster where the town of Kilkenny is located. Marble City Red is a nitrogenized Irish Red Ale, brewed with a smidgen of hops and named for Kilkenny's many footpaths and buildings constructed with marble quarried near the town. And the fruity hop aroma of Saint Canice Pale Ale is named for St. Canice, the patron saint of the shipwrecked. (400 W. FRONT ST., 231-941-7325, KILKENNY'SPUB.COM)
Jolly Pumpkin Old Mission is the newest addition to the Traverse City brew world, a delicious partnering of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales out of Dexter and the creations of Chef Paul Olson of Bowers Harbor Inn. Located behind the Inn, Jolly Pumpkin Old Mission's head brewer, Mike Hall, has put together a list of brews that include North Peak's Majestic Wheat made with Michigan-grown hops as well as award-winning beers crafted by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales using an open fermentation process and conditioned in oak casks. These delicious beers are paired with Olson's menu that puts his own spin on comfort foods. Pizzas include Pancetta Pie or Smoked BBQ Chicken, there are Kobe Beer Burgers and even parmesan-crusted Mac & Cheese. (13512 PENINSULA DR., OLD MISSION PENINSULA, 231-223-4222, BOWERSHARBORINN.NET).
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