In the historic Hartz Building, mainstream downtown venue, DETROIT BEER CO. opened September ’03 and has ties to equally centrist Royal Oak Brewery and Rochester Mills Beer Co. Serving decent Americana cuisine alongside predictable, yet well-rounded, hand-crafted libations, this spacious two-floored space with high tin-tiled ceilings, exposed pipes and prominent brass brewtanks sits across Comerica Ballpark and Detroit Opera House.
A veritable sportsbar with multiple TV’s, Detroit Beer Co. benefits greatly from its accessible central locale. A front porch area gets set up when weather warms up and a relaxed ambiance suits local businessmen.
Though stylistically underwhelming, each on-site beer had its moments. Farmhouse Pale Ale brought hoppy lemongrass herbage to sweet Belgian yeast sugaring undone by phenol astringency. Local 1529 IPA provided refreshingly clean floral-bound grapefruit and navel orange zest. Detroit Dwarf Altbier maintained a red ale-like citric spicing and caramelized nuttiness over toasted hop bittering. Semi-sweet brown chocolate malting and roasted hazelnut consumed Brokedown Brown.
Belgian yeast affected best offering, Dark Strong Ale, a Belgian-styled strong ale bending grape-soured stewed prune, raisin and black cherry fruiting into coffee-stained burgundy wining.
For dessert, citra-hopped Yeti Barleywine suited stronger tastes with its candi-sugared fruit zest and fusel alcohol burn.