Thursday, September 24, 2009

North Peak Brewing Company

The North Peak Brewing Company is one of three breweries located in the downtown area of beautiful Traverse City. We were in town for the 4th of July weekend and North Peak was our favorite brewery of the three in town and we visited North Peak twice, once for beer tasting and then back again later for dinner.

North Peak is a large restaurant with a big bar in the center and it was quite busy both times when we were there, though we had no problem getting a seat at the bar or a booth for dinner later. The atmosphere has a cool "up north" feel to it, with an "industrial meets lumberjack" look. Might sound strange, but it's very cool. The food coming out of the kitchen looked great, you could tell this would be one of those places that had creative dishes and not just your regular bar food, and there seemed to also be several beers on tap.

We sat down at the bar and Tim ordered a sampler so we were able to try 8 beers right off the bat.

Northern Light
T] Unfinished, still has a "zing" to it - 1/10

A] Not a great light beer, sort of sweet. - 2/10

North Peak Pale Ale
T] Decent pale, good hoppiness to it, drinkable - 6/10

A] Too  bitter/hoppy for me, but that's just me - 2/10

IPA (Seasonal)
T] Very good, would've liked to have seen a little more hops - 8/10

A] Tastes like flowers.. you know I don't like IPAs... x/10

Steelhead Red
T] A decent malty flavored red - 7/10
A] Not for me, too burnt caramelly - x/10

Belgian Dubbel (Seasonal)
T] Black licorice - 4/10
A] Too high alcohol for me, 7.5%, but good banana - 6/10

Cask Ale
T] Tastes like bourbon - 70 degrees warm = not right - 2/10
A] Tastes like bourbon/whiskey, which I hate - 1/10

Mission Point Porter
T] Good roasty flavor - 7/10
A] Ick - not for me - x/10

Shirley's Irish Stout
T] A decent stout, could use more roast - 6/10
A] Double ick, milky. Where is the wheat beer here???? - x/10

So I was disappointed that it was the middle of the summer and I couldn't find an awesome hefeweizen anywhere at any of these breweries.. or even a good summer wheat beer. When we went back to North Peak for dinner, on the way out I did notice we missed the other side of the bar that said something about a Cherry Wheat but unfortunately I had ordered the - very flat - rootbeer instead with dinner, so I was sad I missed out on that cherry wheat. We were in the cherry capital, after all!

The food was excellent, I ordered the Wild Mushroom Hearth Baked Pizza which was glorious and Tim had the Herbed Monte Cristo which was also delicious and the pricing is very reasonable considering the quality and uniqueness of the menu. You could tell they tried to incorporate their house brews into the dishes they prepared into the kitchen whenever possible and everything on the menu looked really good. With the assortment of beers on tap, great atmosphere and delicious food, you won't be disappointed when you stop in at North Peak!
North Peak Brewing Company
400 1/2 W Front Street
Traverse City, MI

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