Grizzly Peak Brewing Company
120 W. Washington
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Visited multiple times 2010-2012
The first time I visited Grizzly Peak Brewing Company, I wasn’t all that impressed. I was very hungry, which always puts me in a foul mood, and my meal wasn’t big enough to really satiate my appetite. Well, actually it was, but when it first came out it sure didn’t look like it. I also wasn’t all that impressed by their beers.
Since that first visit, I’ve been back several times – a few times for beer and once for food as well. And I have to say, the place has grown on me. It’s big and nice without being pretentious. There’s always at least eight beers on tap, with potentially two coming out of a cask, and they’re all well above average. Though I have yet to find anything to blow me away, most anyone would love to have this be their neighborhood pub.
As for the food, after having put down a brewery steak sandwich (hanger steak on potato cakes with cheddar, bacon and porter crème fraiche), I was both extremely full and extremely impressed.
All in all, I believe this might be my favorite brewpub in Ann Arbor. Though the food is fantastic at Jolly Pumpkin, I’m just not a fan of sour beer.
Ann Arbor is a cool city. Aside from an admittedly gorgeous campus (coming from a Buckeye), the downtown is vibrant, hip and full of delicious restaurants serving local, imaginative fare. This includes no less than four brewpubs in a quarter-mile radius.
My first choice was Grizzly Peak. The location is pretty big, being on the corner lot of a downtown city block. The interior is slightly rustic with a lot of woodwork, as one might expect from the name. The seating seems ample as you wind your way through the various rooms and archways. My only gripe on the location is the single-toilet bathrooms, meaning you have to wait for the guy in front of you to finish before going in.
The food was decent, but certainly not worth the price I paid for it. I ordered a smoked chicken club which came adorned with bacon, avocado, arugula and avadela cheese on a grilled Italian bun. Sure it sounds great, but it was fairly small. And accompanied with a tiny cup of lentil soup, it was not quite worth the nine bucks I paid for it. Maybe the inventive pizzas or fancy platters featuring trout or bison are better worth the money, but for just a sandwich, I would look elsewhere. (But it was pretty good.)
As for the beer, nothing really stood out to me. The message boards on Beer Advocate claim this place has better beer than Arbor Brewing down the street, but I disagree. Everything was solid, don’t get me wrong, but nothing stood out except the El Heffe, which was surprisingly flavorful for a wheat beer. I don’t typically go for the Weiss, but the surprising flavors in this one made it unique and a standout.
The service wasn’t great, either. After taking my order for the sampler, I had to wait to ask for a menu and I was starving. A guy sits down at 6:00 p.m. in a restaurant and I promise he wants some food. There were many times I found myself wanting the waitresses attention only to find her gossiping and chatting with the rest of the staff. Maybe if they were busier she’d be better and more attentive.