BAD Brewing Company
440 S Jefferson St
Mason, Michigan
Visited on August 24, 2012

Bad Brewing is one of the newest ventures in the Lansing area in the world of brewpubs. One of three establishments to begin brewing and selling their own beer, it’s also the one furthest away from the main population center of the city.

But doesn’t seem to have affected business.

Within the first week of their grand opening, Bad Brewing ran out of beer. So they closed for a couple of weeks to get their stocks back up before coming back with a limited opening for the annual weekend-long summertime fest in Mason. I don’t want to be too hard on them, but running out of beer that quickly as a startup puts up red flags to begin with.

Or maybe their beer is just really good.

They were fairly busy the evening I stopped in. The place is very small, but they’ve done a good job refurbishing the ancient space. Several long tables protrude from the wall, sticking out towards a moderately sized bar. More space for seats and drinks line the wall next to the bar, and in one corner they’ve got a small coffee table with some more lounge-type chairs. Everything seems pretty crisp and clean. It’s everything you could want in a small-town watering hole, other than maybe some more space for pool, shuffle board, or anything more than a couple of dart boards.

There’s no food to speak of, outside of some locally sourced snacks hanging from the wall. And there’s no real service either. Just order at the bar – if you can get someone’s attention – and bring it back to your table.

As for the beer, it’s pretty average. Each variety was much more malty than I expected, with a thickness and taste that – to me at least – speaks of fermentation at non-controlled temperatures. That’s really what makes the tell-tale difference between professional brews and homebrews. Not that homebrews are bad – as these weren’t – but it’s an easy distinction to make.

They had seven beers on tap when I came in. A pilsner, a CPA (halfway to an IPA), an IPA, a wheat, a raspberry wheat, a porter and a standard pale. Everything was clearly within its style. That’s a plus, as I’ve been to places where the difference between the blond, wheat and pilsner was impossible to discern. Of the bunch, I’d say the IPA or porter were my favorite. I appreciate a good malt bill, and the amount of hops that were used in the brews. In my opinion, there’s a lot of promise in the recipes, but they could use some professional grade and professional sized equipment.

Location: 17
Food: N/A
Beer: 15
Service: 15
Overall: 15
Total: 62 (out of 80)