29 May 2012

Michigan Road Trip

This past week we took a trip to Traverse City, Michigan. I've wanted to head up there for a while and just get away from things for a week.  The area around Traverse City is a great location to get a cabin for the week, and not really do much, or do as much as you want.  Traverse City has an exploding food culture, at least 33 wineries in the area,(I think many more than that) fantastic hiking, boating, beaches, and they even had great beer on top of that!

Our first beer related stop was at Jolly Pumkin. I've always been a big fan of them, and this location did not disappoint.  It is set on a beautiful piece of land that is just a short drive up the peninsula from Traverse City.  The Jolly Pumkin location is a restaurant, brewery, and distillery that is very warm and comfortable.  The food was fantastic as well.  One of the best meals I've ever had at a brewery.  It was so much more than "pub" food, and is something I would love to eat at again.

I started out with a pint of Bam Biere.  It was 90 degrees the first day we were there and this hit the spot.  I then went through a flight from North Peak Brewing Company.

Fresh Bam Biere.

The four beer available on draft from JP.

North Peak tap handles.

North Peak flight: Dark Angel Cherry Porter, Dubious Chocolate Stout, Wander Session IPA, Sinuous Celtic Ale, Furry Black IPA, Vicious Wheat IPA.

The session IPA was just fantastic.  Huge hop aroma and very refreshing for the heat of the day.  The Sinuous Celtic Ale was really a wonderful mash-up of a scotch ale and a red ale.  Crisp and refreshing while still being malty and roasty.  The Vicious wheat IPA was another winner.  I thought it to be in the same arena as Gumballhead, and very good.

Front door of Jolly Pumpkin

The next night we went to Mackinaw Brewing Company in downtown Traverse City.  They are a full service restaurant and brewery downtown.  I got another flight here and I really liked their seasonal brown ale.  It was very full and robust, but it was finished with honey and provided a nice sweetness to the beer. They had a cider and a mead on the menu that were also highlights of the the flight.

Left to right: G.T. Golden, Peninsula Pale Ale, Red 8 Ale, downtown brown, oatmeal stout

Left to right: oatmeal stout, West Bay IPA, Hard Apple Cider, and a mead.

 I've got some more beer trip photos I will share in the next couple of days.



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