May 28, 2013 by kkeerr
It was Memorial Day and the weather was cold, rainy, and just generally crappy so why not head to the lake shore, right? Right.
It wasn’t until after noon that we decided our day needed a little road trip so, because of proximity, we decided on Saugatuck; we could go to the dunes and hit Saugatuck Brewing Company on the way for lunch and be back before it was too late in the day. We had the roads mostly to ourselves, people must have decided to wrap up their holiday weekend early on account of the weather, so the drive was pleasant and not as long as we had thought. When we arrived at the brewery the parking lot was packed. “Everyone must have had the same idea we did,” we thought. Nope, everyone must have been at the antique store next door because the brewery was only about half full.
We bellied up to a table and ordered cashew crusted brie and a round of drinks. For Austin, the Singapore IPA (a solid IPA, but nothing specific stands out) and for me, the Bonfire Brown (not my favorite of the local browns but the slight smokiness was nice). We really wanted to try the Dramanatrix (“A Foreign Extra Stout barrel aged in 1st use bourbon barrels. The 1st use barrels impart vanilla and bourbon notes. This stout is rich and dark with a burst of chocolate and roasted malts blending with the bourbon and oak flavors.”) but unfortunately they no longer had it on tap. After our first round Austin ordered the Neapolitan Milk Stout which is interesting and unlike any stout I’ve had before as it is just slightly fruity (strawberry). The cashew-crusted brie was very good and we probably should have left it at that but we order entrees that were not great. Mine was decent, a slightly fancied-up veggie burger (sun-dried tomato mayo and grilled peppers) but the bun was its downfall – it was terribly dry. Austin ordered a fish wrap that was difficult to eat and not very rewarding when he could manage to get it in his mouth. Next time we go we will stick to apps and drinks. The atmosphere was great and the staff was very friendly. The place was really clean (bathrooms were god damned immaculate) and they have darts and shuffle board.
Saugatuck also offers patrons a chance to come in and brew their own beer and then return in a couple of weeks and bottle it. I think that’s a pretty cool idea, and I haven’t found another place that offers that experience.
Just the facts ma’am:
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Location: 2948 Blue Star Highway, Douglas
Number of Taps: 12-15 (?)
Austin’s Overall Experience Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5 Pint Glasses (the food was a killer for Austin’s rating)
Singapore IPA: 87/100
Bonfire Brown: 65/100
Neapolitan Milk Stout: 80/100