sauglogoSaugatuck Brewing Company
2948 Blue Star Hwy
Douglas, Michigan
Visited on July 2, 2014

Saugatuck Brewing Company is a staple throughout the Mitten. You can go into just about any decent store that carries beer and find their bottles. Before visiting their location, however, I had never drunk more than a dozen or two of their beers—just nothing I had ever wowed me into wanting more of the same or into trying more varietals.

After two giant sample platters during my week-long vacation to the shores of Lake Michigan, my mind hasn’t changed.saugout

First off, they had a ton of different beers on tap—I think at least 16—meaning I had to pick and choose the dozen that would come with my sampler. I stayed away from the lagers and hefeweizens; even though its summer, they’re still not my favorites. Even so, there weren’t a lot of dark options to choose from.

Jumping from glass to glass, few of the varieties really distinguished themselves in my memory. The milk stout was thin, the brown and pale forgettable, and the Darker Than Your Soul just kind of plain weird. I remember having their True Scot, Irish Ale, and Dunkel, but wouldn’t suggest you do too.

That being said, there were a few excellent beers. I very much enjoyed the well-balanced Belgian IPA that had the perfect kiss of Belgian yeast flavors, the Doppelbock (perhaps because that’s my favorite style anyway), and Hop in Yer Rye, an excellent entry into rye IPAs, though I wouldn’t call it a double at eight percent like they do. I would have happily drank several pints of any of those, or indeed, most of the menu.

sauginThe food that came out of the kitchen was also pretty decent. I went with a brisket sandwich that was pretty okay and my wife got a grilled shrimp and polenta salad that was fantastic; why don’t I ever look at the salads? The service was also pretty decent, though equally unremarkable.

But the highlight of Saugatuck Brewing is probably the location. The beers always taste better on a nice patio or in a nice pub with clean lines, nice colors, and not too many decorations. If they had a TV, I’d have watched the US soccer game here. But they don’t.

My one complain would be the price. Our bill for lunch and the equivalent of roughly four pints of beer came out to just over $50. Their samplers are a bit steep at $12 a pop or $2 per sample.

Location: 18
Food: 16
Beer: 17
Service: 16
Overall: 17
Total: 84