Per capita, Warren’s one of the greatest suburban brewpub meccas (visited August-September ’04, July ’05, August ’06), flaunting 11 Mile Road’s DRAGONMEAD and Chicago Road’s KUHNHENN BREWING, tiny inconspicuous freestanding venues with a no-frills approach just a few miles west of Detroit.
KUHNHENN, which is also a winery featuring Chamblaise, Chardonnay, Dry Italian, Bourgeron Blanc, and Riesling styles, brews rotating fruit ales as well as Belgian-Scotch ales and stouts.
On my first visit, tasted KUHNHENN’S deeply citric-hopped bitter Loonie Kuhnie Pale Ale, ripe stoned-fruited coriander-spiced chamomile-backed Belgian-styled Tangerine Wit, and diacetyl hop-softened apricot-dried kiwi-tinged Peach Apricot.
Soapy berry-tart Wild Blueberry Pancake Ale may’ve been lackadasical, but the rest of this night’s fare was distinguished.
Sticky pine-resinous fruit-hopped IPA, tangy orange-bruised Oktoberfest, mild espresso-doused Stout, and extraordinary barrel-aged whiskey-licked Cognac-smitten barleywine-swooned A Few Shillings Too Many Scotch Ale (a cherry-ripened 12.5% alcohol bomb) ruled the roost.
Listed in Beer Index are supreme bottled versions of Kuhnhenn Simcoe Silly, Heather Ale, Devils Horn, Tangerine Wit, American IPA, Kuhnhenn 9 Belgian-style Abbey Ale, Kuhnhenn Blackberry Porter, etc.
Second trip in July ’05, tried syrupy malt-sticky orange-bruised cherry-pied Maibock, peat malt-smoked, ice coffee-smeared, black cherry-veered, soft hop-seared Penetration Porter, medicinal, caramel-malted, Cognac-burgundy-bitten Fourth Dementia, smoky, tea-like, chocolate-roasted, tangerine-fruited, currant-sharp Iron Monger Dunkel, and lemony orange-pepped, leafy hop-softened Hefeweizen (with its surging banana-clove sweetness).
Outstanding dessert beer, Crème Brulee Java Stout, glided meringue-like cappuccino thickness atop caramel-burnt black chocolate éclair, buttery cocoa, coffee bean, raspberry puree, overripe cherry, and charred cedar illusions.
During August ’06 trip, met owner Eric Kuhnhenn, whose sons (Eric and Brett) continue to impress as first-rate brewmasters exploring the outer limits of beer making. At Ypsilanti’s Summer Beer Festival, the brothers experimented successfully with its limited “Kuhnhenn Kandy Land” line, featuring confectionery renditions like Red Hots Rye Ale, Candy Apple Ale, Junior Mint Chocolate Stout, Tootsie Royal Beer, and Double Chocolate Cherry Cream Stout.
New finds on this 3-hour stop included barleywine-like soother Anneliese Amber, a caramel malted sweetie with nifty mandarin orange, banana, and quince sequence. Not to be outdone, Belgian-styled Nine 10.5% Dark Strong Ale rushed cherry-bruised banana-bruised grape-soured fruiting into cedar-lacquered sherry-soaked chocolate liqueur whir.
Bourbon-cognac illusions deepened cocoa-buttered hazelnut-centered cherry-bruised wood-drenched heavyweight Bourbon-Barrel Fourth Dimension Olde Strong Ale.
For dessert, quaffed unendingly raspberry-tart, Scotch-malted, brown chocolate-y, maple-sugared, apple-candied Raspberry Eisbock.