Located behind gigantic Bronner’s Christmas Store, castle-like wood-arched BLACK FOREST BREWHAUS featured upstairs and basement level banquet facilities plus patio area to complement ski lodge-styled main area. On September ‘04 afternoon trip up from Detroit, discovered many fine libations at this capacious ‘Little Bavaria’ outpost.
Well defined dark brews seem to be specialty, as per terrific smoked chocolate-fronted, mash tun-wafted, butterscotch-soured, maple-sugared ‘Muth Porter, dry earthen-grained, coffee-roasted, oats-charred, anise-embittered Sully’s Irish Stout, and creamy chocolate malted Russian Imperial Stout (with its sugared fig-date-raisin cluster, sweet cherry wining and spiced rum lacquering).
While moderate-bodied, lemon-limed, Vienna-styled Amber Waves Of Grain Lager and pallid lemon-dried, bubble-gummy, wheat-backed Woody’s Light Golden Ale denote lighter fare, sharp red-fruited, ruby grapefruit-tingled, perfume hop-embittered IPA, lemony pine-hopped Frolfing Pale Ale, and dark-fruited, pecan-buttered, raisin-figged Scottish Rye Ale signify more complex fare.
Seasonal brews included harshly brass-toned, raw-honeyed, spice-hopped Honey Bee Wheat and phenol, floral-dried, apricot-soured Angry Bald Man Bitter.
On September ’04 jaunt, discovered two opposing brewpubs in German town holiday haven 100 miles north of Detroit. While Frankenmuth Brewery offered fine conventional mainstream fare, Sullivan’s Black Forest Brewhaus concentrated on experimental American and Bavarian-styled choices.
Overlooking the Cass River, spacious brick FRANKENMUTH BREWERY (second oldest brewery behind Yeungling re-developed after destructive ‘96 tornado) featured original beer cellar, wooden table-stool setting, high ceilings, mezzanine area, and wood carved columns at lower level bar (with six stainless steel brew tanks).
Traditional Bavarian beers were bold whiskey-rye-soured hop-fizzed German-Style Pilsener and warming leafy wheat-grassed hay-leathered Marzen-styled Octoberfest.
Grain-based American heartland styles included dry wheat-husked lemon-apricot-soured Mel-O-Dry Light Lager, soft-bodied corn-dried yellow-fruited hop-fizzed Geyer’s Cream Ale, sharp hop-embittered grapefruit-soured Pioneer Pale Ale, bitter lemony orange Old Detroit Amber Ale, and dry wheat-breaded mocha-diluted Mitternact Muncher Dark Lager. Excellent cream-frothed, coffee-roasted, tobacco-chewed, nitro-injected Dry Stout wrangled rich black cherry,blackberry, raspberry, and date influence.