Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company in Ann Arbor, MI

On our recent beercation to Ann Arbor, we had dinner at Grizzly Peak Brewing Company.   We heard from many friends and even some local Ann Arbor folks that Grizzly Peak was one of the places we needed to visit.  I was curious to see what this brewing company had to offer both in terms of both food and beer.


Food
My fiancee ordered the Grilled Steak Salad. This came with grilled hanger steak sliced over a salad of quinoa and mixed greens with manchego cheese, marcona almonds, roasted red beets and a side of basil pesto ranch dressing for $13.95.  The steak was cooked to a perfect medium temperature and paired well with the quinoa and beets.  The basil pesto ranch dressing was amazing.  I am not even a fan of ranch dressing and I would have eaten an entire salad topped with this dressing.  The only real criticism of this dish is that my fiancee wished there would have been more nuts and beets to help balance the meat and greens on the plate.   That being said, she would highly recommend this dish for the salad/steak lover!
It took me all of ten seconds to make my dinner choice. When I looked at the menu and saw Hanger Steak with a red Thai Chili reduction, I knew I had to order it! The dish was also served with mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed Swiss chard and red onion for $18.95.  The steak itself was cooked to a perfect medium. The combination of the steak and the red Thai Chili reduction created a perfect bite.   I loved the rich, tender flavor of the steak.  The reduction added a perfect balance of both sweet and spicy to everything on the plate.  I even ended up dipping every bite of the well seasoned mashed potatoes in this reduction!   Simply put, this dish was well proportioned, delicious and very reasonably priced.  I'd order this dish again in a heartbeat.
After dining at Grizzly Peak we understand why so many people said we had to eat here.  We were very happy with the food, and we gladly eat dinner here again!

Drinks
When we arrived, we had about a 20 minute wait before we were seated.  We took this opportunity to order a sampler from the bar so I could see what Grizzly Peak had to offer.  The sampler prices were very reasonable.  Six four ounce samples were $6.95 and for every sample over six they only charged a dollar more.
From left to right we ordered the Pale Ale, Porter, Warm-Up Winter Ale, Irish Stout, Cask IPA, and the Cask Junicade Red Ale.  Of these six the pale ale and the cask IPA were the most drinkable.  Their flavors were light but well balanced.  The porter and the cask stout were next, but really lacked body for the styles.  Finally, the winter ale and the red ale were our least favorite.  The winter ale had a very odd spice to it which really threw it out of balance.  The red ale had a buttery note which was really off putting and we did not finish the sample.  The beers at Grizzly Peak didn't wow either of us.  I felt all of the beers were very "safe". Luckily they are owned by the same group that owns North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin, so they had a good selection of North Peak beers in bottles.  I picked a bottle of the North Peak Dubious Black Chocolate Stout to drink with my dinner.  This 5.5% abv. stout is light in alcohol, but not in body or flavor.   This is one of the best session stouts you'll find anywhere, and is available here in Cleveland. 
This was the best I could get with the lighting in the bar.  
Atmosphere and Service
The atmosphere at Grizzly Peak is what you would expect at a very nice brewpub.  Fun, friendly, and a little noisy thanks to the group of guys standing behind our table. Our server for the evening was very friendly and  was open to giving suggestions about both food and beer.  When I asked her what North Peak offerings they had, she didn't remember, but quickly found out and told me about each and every one in detail.   We also liked that the brewery took the time to add recommended beers to each and every dish on the menu.
Overall
Grizzly Peak didn't wow us with their house-made beer, but they did with the food.   The good news about the beer is that they carry a full line-up of North Peak beers which are usually very flavorful and very sessionable in terms of the abv. content.   If you visit Ann Arbor, we would recommend stopping by Grizzly Peak for dinner and a sampler as we did.  If you do, let us know your thoughts!  Cheers!

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

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