Going South past Dearborn, Lincoln Park’s ample FORT STREET BREWERY opened in a new-sprung freestanding red brick building with green awning during ‘05. Visited August ’06, its high ceiling interior featured an L-shaped bar with silver kettles, exposed ductwork, and well-placed TV’s.

Inexpensive sports pub fare went well with lighter offerings such as straw-grassed wheat-dried maize-husked yellow-fruited clove-licked Lincoln Lager, mandarin orange-soured, banana-pineapple-dabbed, cracked wheat-backed Summer Sunsation Hefeweizen, and acrid hop-roasted chocolate-nutty Farmers Tan Brown Ale.

Better were astringently alcoholic red-orange-fruited nut-charred Steam Engine, espresso-embittered chocolate-soured maple-walnut-tinged floral-spiced Beernormous Imperial Stout, and bluntly orange-grapefruit-soured pine-backed Amarillo-hopped Piston Pale Ale.

Incredible cask conditioned Sloe & Fizzy soaked Steam Engine Beer with Tanqueray Gin for a clean-tasting wood-dried red-fruited wheat-honeyed juniper-fig-aided stimulant. Sharp hop-spiced root beer, Doug’s Turbo Sasparilla (named after brewer Doug Beedy), with its ginger-rooted grassy grains sufficed non-alcohol crowd.

During February ’14 trip, my pal Dennis Flubacher enjoyed the $9 sampler beer tray and quesadillas while blues music played in the background. He picked up a certain peanut-shelled walnut and pecan influence for my previously imbibed Lincoln Lager, then moved on to some newer offerings.

Old West pilsner, Downriver Fog, placed peppy hop bittering alongside walnut and hazelnut illusions.

Peat-malted black tea earthiness and dill-pickled souring surrounded caramel malted Malcomson’s Scotch Ale.

Uniquely blended Snowplowed, an unusual light-bodied winter warmer, brought caramel nuttiness and rye-honeyed oats to mild juniper berry bittering.

Equally abstruse Kudzu IPA plied dry Japanese Sorachi Ace hops to sake-riced black and red peppering.

9th anniversary celebrator, Wheat Wine No. 9, loaded white-sugared honeyed wheat with apricot, pear and quince nuances to contrast its bitter alcohol-fueled hop astringency.

Two more limited edition Valentine’s Day brews made the rounds as well. Crisply clean moderation, Pommaceous Apple Ale, allowed Granny Smith apple souring to snazz up its wheat-grained lemongrass dalliance. Kombuchu, a German-styled moderation, placed barley-wheat malts and brown-riced sweetness against herbal lemongrass souring.

As for the updated Beernormous, its viscous coffee bean-oiled dark chocolate and Blackstrap molasses entry gained a nutty respite to contrast mild hop bitterness.

Bought several King, New Holland, Traverse City, Nine G, O’Fallon, and Summit bottled beers (plus Two Brothers Incinerator) at South Dearborn’s remarkable Merchant’s Fine Wine in August ’06.

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