Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mackinaw Brewing Company

Our first stop on our Traverse City brewery tour! This is right in the heart of downtown T.C. on a main drag and it was 4th of July weekend but we were able to get a hi-top table right away. The place was definitely bustling, mostly people grabbing lunch and a brew. The long and narrow building has a historical look to it with its brick interior walls. The food menu was plentiful and featured smoked meats - and not that fake smoke stuff, but the real deal - we could smell the smokers at work as we were walking up. Being BBQ afficionados as well, we were pleasantly surprised and knew we were also going to get lunch here.

The sampler tray was generous - 8 5oz samples, so we really got to try everything.

G.T. Golden Ale
A] Drinkable light beer - 5/10
T] Perhaps the most boring beer since Busch Light - 2/10

Summer Love American Wheat

A] Very light wheat, not heavy enough - 3/10
T] Busch Light with lemon - 3/10

Belgium Whitecap

A] Not my favorite wheat style, but still OK, pretty light considering the cloudiness, sort of a let down :( - 3/10
T] Way too light, needs more body. Like brewing a pot of coffee with half the amount of grounds - 3/10

Vienna Lager

A] Too sweet for me x/10
T] Malt, schmalt! If you like crappy malt, then this is for you - 3/10

Red 8 Ale
A] Smells sweet (apple cider plus porter) - 2/10
T] Not malty like a standard red, needs more flavor - 2/10

Peninsula Pale Ale
A] Not fair for me to comment, I don't like hoppiness - x/10
T] "Hops heads rejoice" - Not exactly an entry level pale ale 6/10

Beadle's Best Bitter
A] Not my style but at least it is flavorful - 4/10
T] Balanced, but bitter is too subtle, malt overpowers slightly - 4/10

Harvest Moon Oatmeal Sout
A] I smell coffee, drinkable for me, tastes like espresso. Not a "meal in itself", it's light, really - 5/10
(note: I don't like porters so 5 is pretty good from me)
T] Another letdown, I geared up for a big powerful beer but I didn't get it - 5/10
(note: the reason I like it is probably the reason Tim doesn't like it)

So by and large, the beer was a letdown and we were concerned they were watered down or something! The wheat looked like it would be delicious but alas... I'm still looking for a brewery that has my favorite style of german hefeweizen. Anyway, let's talk about the FOOD! They have a great selection, and Tim ordered the brisket sandwich and giant onion rings while I had the pulled pork sandwich and fries. Tim thought the onion rings were delicious, I hate to mention there was a hair on his place as I know that could happen anywhere including my house, but he felt the BBQ was "fine" or nothing special. I thought the pulled pork was good, maybe a little mushy, but I appreciated that they smoked it on site as we are an owner of a smoker ourselves.

This is a brewery with a mass-appeal for bringing the whole family in for a decent lunch and the location right in downtown Traverse City is excellent.

Mackinaw Brewing Company
161 East Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49684

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