Home > Blog > Arbor Brewing, Grizzly Peak & Jolly Pumpkin – Ann Arbor (MI) breweries
Arbor Brewing Company
Arbor Brewing Company

Arbor Brewing, Grizzly Peak & Jolly Pumpkin – Ann Arbor (MI) breweries

Following our visit to the Kalamazoo breweries we headed onto our final destination of Ann Arbor about 2 hours east of us. We left the beautiful sunny weather behind us and encountered rain for the remainder of the day.

Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery

Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery
Jolly Pumpkin
Cafe & Brewery

Our first stop was the downtown Ann Arbor location from the nationally renowned Jolly Pumpkin Brewery, which is famous for their sour beer. They also have two breweries in nearby Dexter and Traverse City. As well as lunch we embarked upon a sampler of 9 beers (left to right):

  • La Roja american wild (Jolly Pumpkin) – 7.2%
  • Arch Angel Cherry Wheat american pale wheat (North Peak Brewing) – 5.0%
  • Siren Amber Ale american amber/red ale (North Peak Brewing) – 5.0%
  • Bam Biere golden farmhouse (Jolly Pumpkin) – 4.5%
  • Majestic Wheat sour wheat (North Peak Brewing) – 5.5%*
  • Cross Czech Pilsner (Redhook) – 5.3%
  • Nomad Hard Cider (North Peak Brewing) – 6.7%*
  • Oro de Calabaza biere de garde (Jolly Pumpkin) – 8.0%
  • Chocolate Stout (Tortuga Ale) – approx 5-6%
Jolly Pumpkin sampler
Jolly Pumpkin sampler

* designates our favourites from this sampler.

If we were to have one criticism it is that we expected all the beers to be from Jolly Pumpkin going by the name of the venue, instead we found out that this Cafe is a joint venture between North Peak Brewing and Jolly Pumpkin. Not that this is a problem but it is not made crystal clear that the beers being served are from multiple producers. We feel that some clarity on this matter would be useful within the Beer Menus. Regardless the beers were enjoyable and the food was good.

Arbor Brewing

Round the corner on the same block is Arbor Brewing so we took up our position at the bar and embarked upon a sampler of 11 beers (left to right):

Arbor Brewing sampler
Arbor Brewing sampler
  • Bollywood Blonde biere de garde – 6.0%, 7 IBU.
  • Casa Grande vienna lager – 4.4%, 28 IBU.
  • Red Snapper Roasted Pale Ale – 5.2%, 41 IBU.
  • Sacred Cow Cask Conditioned IPA – 6.9%, 80 IBU.
  • Mackinac Island Fudge Stout – 5.5%, 35 IBU.
  • Buzz Saw IPA – 7.1%, 51 IBU.
  • Strawberry Blonde – 7.7%, 7 IBU.
  • Olde #33 German Alt – 7.5%, 44 IBU.*
  • Mundus Novus (New World) rye dubbel – 8.8%, 35 IBU.
  • Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel – 8.5%, 20 IBU.
  • Phat Abbot Belgian Triple – 9.5%, 26 IBU.

* designates our favourites from this sampler.

Arbor Brewing Company
Arbor Brewing Company

This was probably the best selection of samplers on our whole trip to Michigan, in our opinion none of the above were bad beers in the slightest. We are not particularly fans of highly hopped beers but the Sacred Cow was so smooth by being cask conditioned it really rounded out the flavours, also the Buzz Saw had great flavour without being over powering.

The highlights of the selection were the Olde #33 German Alt and Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel with the latter being a fantastic example of the style and the Olde #33 being cask conditioned was so smooth and drinkable that we could have stuck to that all day… apart from the 7.5% would have made it an early night!

The bar staff were very helpful and friendly which made our visit to Arbor Brewing Company very enjoyable – well worth a visit.

Arbor Brewing beer menu
Arbor Brewing beer menu
Olde #33 German Alt & Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel
Olde #33 German Alt &
Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel
We Pour Michigan Beer
We Pour Michigan Beer

Grizzly Peak Brewpub

Grizzly Peak Brewpub
Grizzly Peak Brewpub

Our final visit in Ann Arbor, and for the whole trip, was to Grizzly Peak Brewpub a block away. This was our last pub meal and last sampler (left to right):

  • Victors Gold – 4.6%
  • G.P. Pale – 5.3%
  • Steelhead Red – 5.6%
  • Bear Paw Porter – 6.0%
  • Mighty Willamette Bitter – 4.5%
  • El Heffe hefeweizen – 5.1%*
  • County Cork’s Irish Stout on Nitro – 5.1%
    Grizzly Peak sampler
    Grizzly Peak sampler
  • Sheerwater IPA – 6.0%
  • Liquid Summer cask conditioned – 5.1%

* designates our favourites from this sampler.

Grizzly Peak is located in an old building with some interesting beer logos painted on the brick walls as can be seen here:

Grizzly Peak Berserker
Grizzly Peak Berserker
Grizzly Peak Humongous
Grizzly Peak Humongous
Grizzly Peak Hellion
Grizzly Peak Hellion

2 comments

  1. I really have to question the beer prowess of someone who prefers anything North Peak makes over Jolly Pumpkin’s wonderful offerings, especially La Roja and Oro de Calabaza. Interesting read, nonetheless!

    • On the day we were there the Majestic Wheat & Cider were the preferred pours in the opinion of the 3 of us, it is not to say Jolly Pumpkin’s beers were bad just that overall on this day we felt they were not the best in the sampler.

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