Much like nearby Detroit, this University of Michigan hotbed offered incredible brewpub selection August ‘04. Marvelous ARBOR BREWING flaunts cozy booth-laden bar area, backroom darts-jukebox section, wide ranging on-tap microbrews (Arcadia, Avery, Bell, Mendocino), terrific line of hand crafted Belgian styled ales (listed in Beer Index), and multiple diversified on-site brews by Doug Jukubiak.

Lighter fare included soapy wheat-husked yellow-fruited pale ale Big Ben House Mild (for amateurs); dryly bitter-hopped Huxell Best Bitter Pale Ale; fizzy Band-Aid-nosed salami-like Smoked Lager; bright clove-banana-soured Bavarian Bliss Hefeweizen; Cascade-hopped herbal tea-blared Red Snapper Special Bitter; and tangy dark-fruited Triple Stone ESB.

Darker fare included smoky tobacco-stained hop-charred Olde Number 22 German Alt; tartly citrus-soured off-dry Sacred Cow Cask Conditioned IPA; frothy hop-charred chocolate-dried coffee-roasted Milestone Cask Porter; and dry mocha-roasted Faricy Fest Irish Stout (with its ample coffee-embittered cocoa-beaned tobacco canvas).

On August ’06 afternoon trip, sampled creamy dark chocolate-fronted, brown-sugared, espresso-dried, anise-dabbed, plum wined Russian Imperial Stout.

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