C.J.’s Brewing Company
14900 N Beck Rd
Plymouth Township, Michigan
Visited on August 6, 2010
I was pretty pleasantly surprised by this place. Even though it was far out of the way for a concert at DTE, I made the trip because hey, it’s what I do. I don’t recall many specifics, other than that it is way off the highway near a bunch of small lakes. But I do remember a pretty general feeling of contentment.
CJ’s is located in the middle of a gorgeous area of Michigan. Driving there you’ll pass countless lakes and windy roads. In fact, the brewpub is located right across the street from one. A lake, that is, not a windy road. Don’t let the parking lot fool you, the old building isn’t a satellite location, it’s a vacant office building. CJ’s is the nice-looking, brick structure.
Upon first walking in I was greeted by a horseshoe bar with a few tables along the glass wall displaying the brewing equipment. Behind the bar sits the rest of the restaurant, which didn’t look too big, but I never ventured back there. They stock a full bar, have seriously gigantic televisions, and maintain a very nice place. The bartender’s perfect ass also added to the scenery.
I ordered a meat-lover’s, “deep dish” pizza. This is not deep dish pizza. It’s thick crust, pan pizza. That doesn’t mean it’s not good, because it is. The crust was extremely flavorful with nice char marks and they weren’t stingy on the toppings. But don’t call it deep dish unless there’s enough cheese in there to make Wisconsin jealous.
The beers weren’t great, though they did have a few standouts. We’ll start with the ones you can pass on. The golden is much too sweet without any hops at all. I think maybe even my mother would like this, and she hates beer with a passion. The wheat was the same as the golden but with a slight texture difference. The IPA was a bit better. It had plenty of hops – nearly too much – but didn’t quite have enough of the floral tones from them to make it stand out. It has a flat profile. It needs more depth.
The better choices include the amber, which after the golden and wheat, is surprisingly not sweet at all. It’s rich, malty and thick, but not a Scottish ale at all. Now the stout, oh the stout is good! It’s perfect. It’s rich, smoky, flavorful and deeper than the abyss. Perfect marks. As is the Summer Seasonal. It’s really fresh, crisp, slight fruit notes, and potent. I’ve never had a summer ale that was more than eight percent before.
The service, as noted, was awesome. If the girl still works there, next time I’m in, I’m just sitting there all night long and staring. I don’t care if people notice.