There is no better way to get to know the microbrewery scene in any given location than by brute force...visit them all, that is! Have a craft beer sampler, take in the unique atmosphere, enjoy the music of beer drinkers, and try some of the creative food choices, which often accompany eclectic beer styles. I am establishing the great breweries of Detroit in the annals of Examiner.com in proper fashion. Each Wednesday I will be reviewing another microbrewery, hopefully doing justice to what I know will be series of great experiences.
My first stop on my plan of attack is a small brewpub I pass by several times each week. The Great Baraboo Brewing Company is a proud member of the Michigan Brewers Guild located just south of Metro Parkway (16 Mile) on Utica Road in Clinton Township, Michigan.
Shiny copper brew kettles were the first to catch my attention upon entering The Great Baraboo Brewing Co. Bar and Restaurant. The plethora of TV's sported sports of all sorts. A large Irish flag hanging from the rafters told me I was in the right place. The music was mellow, but subject to an Internet Tunes jukebox tucked neatly in the corner (speaking of which, some joker sprung a series of Justin Bieber not-so-hits on me shortly after I sat down - be kind, people). The U-shaped bar drew me in, and Monica, my beer maid and Baraboo veteran of 8 years, was quick to drop a sampler in my lap.
The sampler consisted of six 4-ounce pours, five of which were their year round staples. A buttery wheat beer, a very light pale, a thin IPA on the bitter side, a meaty red ale, an award-winning porter (a family recipe dating back to before prohibition), and a seasonal apple ale, which was definitely unique, crowded together on a wooden tray. All but the seasonal apple ale have been staples and are the original recipes of the original brewmaster, the apple ale being a concoction made popular by it's second brewmaster. Adam, a longtime brewmaster's assistant recently took over brewing duties, so look forward to a new generation of beers at Baraboo.
I am typically not a fan of porters, but the Blackstone Porter smelled of charred ribs as I drank, and I'm sure a pint will follow as I am definitely a fan of both ribs and charred things. The Tigers are playing, too, which means $1 off Baraboo pints, but you'd better specify which of the thin drinks you're looking for. Unlike a lot of die-hard craft breweries, Baraboo offers a full bar and domestic bottles as well. If you're a fan of bulk, Baraboo offers boombas and weekly specials on the 35-ounce tanks. Ask for a growler for the road, but leave the lid on until you get home. Take advantage of a sweet happy hour and nightly drink and meal specials as well!
Speaking of meals, Baraboo's menu offers a great combination of quality and value. They have Buffalo wings deals throughout the week, and their ribs are always a hit. An array of sandwiches, salads, appetizers, fresh seafood, Italian entrees, and steak meals are prepared with quality and care. Expect a beer sampler, an average meal, and a few beers to tally a modest $25 or so.
The Great Baraboo Brewing Company offers a great atmosphere and an array of craft beers only found on premises in this Clinton Township jewel. Come out and chat up the help, who are more than friendly, and I hope to see you there!
The Great Baraboo Brewing Co.
35905 Utica Road
Clinton Township, Michigan