A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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macbean -

three places I would recommend off the top of my head.

Dark Horse Brewery in Marshall (http://www.darkhorsebrewery.com/) (just off I69)

Michigan Brewing Co. (http://www.michiganbrewing.com/) (off our path, east of Lansing but worth the trip)

Redwood Lodge, just south of Flint (http://www.flintfood.com/rw.htm)

Spencer -

I wouldn't say that Michigan Brewing is kid-friendly. It's basically a bar, except that they keep the lights up. :-) Ok, there are peanuts, but you can't throw the shells on the floor since they moved to the new location.

Redwood Lodge is expensive food-wise. I haven't been there for a year, so won't comment on the beers.

I recently stopped at Lumber Barons in Bay City and at the reopened Frankenmuth Brewery in (wait for it...) Frankenmuth. I was underimpressed with Lumber Barons, finding about 5 beers out of 11 drinkable. The space is huge and anonymous.

Frankenmuth Brewery had some decent beers and a nice location overlooking the river. It's worth the small detour from I-75. Frankenmuth itself is a tourist town and probably has something that would interest "the lad," if you can take the time for a longer visit. (My kids being 18, I'm not current with the things that would interest the younger set.)

Don't bother detouring for Harpers in East Lansing. It's still aiming for the college/party crowd.

I will second the recommendation of Dark Horse for the beer. I haven't been to the brewery, so can't comment on its kid-friendliness.

As for roads... I tend to stick to the interstates. That part of the state is, as far as I'm concerned, "fly-over" country. A bit further north and/or east, you can get some nice lake views, and a couple hours further north it actually gets kind of hilly.

Spencer -

Ah. I just read the last bit about going from S. Bend to Midland. If you go up the "west coast" of Michigan, there are some beaches and some dunes that are pretty impressive, once you realize that the big hill between you and the lake is really a sand dune. Saugatuck (just south of Holland) has a "chain ferry", which is pulled across the inlet by a person turning a crank to pull the ferry along a chain that stretches from one side to the other. Once on the "lake" side you can walk up over the dune to the lake. The best dunes are further north, but if he has never seen big lakeside dunes before, it's worth a stop.

If you've got an extra day, Grand Rapids has a bunch of stuff (including brewpubs and breweries). Meijer Gardens is very nice, if you are into that sort of thing. It's a combination garden and sculpture park, with some neat sculptures. They usually have a butterfly house, too, with lots of butterflies.

From there to Midland, you'd probably go up 131 to 10 and then across. That is some pretty countryside, and you avoid backtracking your previous route.

Sounds like a fun trip. Good traveling!

Josh -

For the South Bend area, there's The Pub that is owned by Mishawaka Brewery. Granite City Brewery is new to the area. They are based out of Fort Wayne, I believe. The Pub and Granite City are located within 1/2 mile of each other.

Downtown South Bend has the Madison Oyster House and Fiddler's Hearth that are located side by side. They have great selections of beer. Also, there's C.J.'s Pub.

Also, there's Hansell's Oaken Bucket located in the River Park neighborhood in South Bend. They are considered to have one of the best hamburgers in the area.

If you are going to visit Notre Dame while in town, there is a restaurant and pub called Legends of Notre Dame that is located just south of the football stadium. You can see there beer list here: http://www.legendsofnotredame.org/pdfs/drinks.pdf

As for sightseeing, there's of course Notre Dame. Also, both South Bend and Mishawaka have a river walk. I prefer Mishawaka's. If you like cars, we have the Studebaker museum.

Going from South Bend to Midland, I would concur with Spencer and go up the west coast if you would like beaches and wine. Or, you could go through Kalamazoo and stop at Bell's Brewery and have some of their tasty Oberon summer ale.

Alan -

Fabulous information guys. Please keep it coming.