Monday, November 17, 2008

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company

The Location: 120 W. Washington (between Main and Ashley)

The Facts: Grizzly Peak opened in 1995, after refurbishing an older building just south of Kerrytown. It is one of two breweries still in Ann Arbor, since the departure of Leopold Bros. GP keeps about 6 beers constantly on tap, with three other seasonal specialties. These are swapped almost every week, and more than once, I've seen them swapped while I was there. Drafts are $4.50 dollars during regular hours, but after 11pm, all drafts are $1.99 all nights. You can order beer samplers as well, where you can taste some or all of the various beers on tap for fairly cheap (price varies on how many beers you get). There are also various wines, and bottled beers, as well as a fairly well stocked liquer cabnet.

Grizzly Peak also offers a quite nice menu for lunch and dinner. The prices are moderate, though I would have to say my personal favorite is the pulled pork slider for $1.99. I generally get 4-6 and I must say. They're delicious. Be wary, the kitchen closes at 11, the same time happy hour starts.

GP has a 'Mug Club' where, for around $60 you can buy a lifetime membership, and get 25% off all in-bar and to-go beer (growlers, mini-kegs, etc.). Also, when ordering a draft, you get your beer in a special mug, which is slightly larger than a normal pint. Other perks of Mug Club membership include special 'Mug Club only' events, and other special deals.

The first tuesday of every month, there is a 'Brewer's Night' from 6-9 where there is discussion on home brewing techniques and tips, as well as $2 off beer samplers.

I find GP to be a fantastic place to go and 'hangout'. I don't think I've ever gone there on a weekend with a bunch of people, but almost every Sunday, my two friends (though one of them has lamely been absent recently) and I head out around 10:30 and have a few beers and chat. You can often find various Ann Arbor locals/professors doing the same. I would regard it as a much more stereotypical 'pub'/'brewpub' than anywhere else in Ann Arbor, even ABC has a bit of a 'college bar' atmosphere, compared to GP.

There are a few televisions around the bar, that generally have various sports games, and sometimes news on them. I certainly wouldn't consider it a 'sports bar' but on the occcation, townies will show up to watch an NFL game dressed in their favorite team's gear.

The biggest problem I have with Grizzly Peak is the location. If you live near Kerrytown, this is a fantastic hangout, but it is a bit out of the way to someone like me who lives in University Towers (hopefully for the last time after this year...). As it gets colder I'm afraid I'll be less and less likely willing to make the trek, but we'll see.

Given the choice of late night hangout, I would chose GP first or second in almost any situtation. The prices are low, and I'm becoming a bit more 'low-key' as I evacuate my youth, which, matches the atmosphere there. I wouldn't really want to go there for a birthday, or some other event with a lot of people, and going there early is asking for a large tab, but a dinner there is pretty nice, with pretty good food. I give GP 4 stars. The food and drink is quite good, and the atmosphere is fantastic if that's what you're looking for, but the prices other than late night beers make this prohibitive for anything but special nights, at least for my wallet.


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