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A move away from bustling Downtown Traverse City might have been a brave and bold move for Right Brain Brewery, but customers and its new neighborhood have embraced the change.

Its original location — in the now popular Warehouse District — became known for its eclectic collection of furniture, its low-key, non-bar-esque atmosphere, and, of course, a unique selection of microbrews.

Why would a business move away from the area in which it had become prosperous? To expand the brewhouse, of course.

Right Brain originally brewed in just 900 square feet, and as its success grew, ample brewing space dwindled. The brewery now has a vast 12,000 square feet for brewing. This allows it to keep up with demand — distribution is soon expanding to Ann Arbor and Lansing — and also plan for the future.

The new, larger location can be found in the recently formed “SoFo district.” It still has the same Right Brain atmosphere, complete with barber’s chairs, couches and picnic tables made with scrap wood.

The new location has also allowed Right Brain to transcend beyond being just a brewery. “The SoFo neighborhood has been grateful to have us. We really have become an advocate for creativity,” said Leif Kolt, Events and Marketing Coordinator.

With more space, Right Brain has been able expand its operations to include more community events. In the months since they have reopened, they have hosted a variety of events: From a balloon bouncing competition on New Year’s Eve to a Tweetup on Michigan’s birthday to benefit Goodwill Industries.

On Feb. 4, Right Brain is hosting an exclusive beer dinner along with Roaming Harvest (a local food truck which can often be found outside the pub). The dinner will feature five courses paired with Right Brain brews.

While Right Brain has become a “cultural hub,” it hasn’t lost touch with the great beer we have come to love. Using local products and culinary inspiration, new creative brews are fully researched before being brewed on a full-scale operation. This process has brought to life craft beers featuring flavors of mint, chipotle, Thai peanut and even pork/bacon.

With the success of their creativity, Right Brain recently started bottling its beer and, throughout January, has released a different brew each week. Bottled beers include CEO Stout, Looping Owl and Mangalitsa Pig Porter.

The bottle releases will conclude with an Imperial Release Party on February 8. The release party will feature a Pink Floyd laser light show and the exclusive Imperial Series 4-Pack (only 300 will be made).

Despite its move from the eclectic warehouse district, Right Brain remains the place where you can find someone working on their laptop in the afternoon and return in the evening to meet friends for the best Traverse City has to offer: Creativity, foodie inspiration and quality craft beer.

A move away from bustling Downtown Traverse City might have been a brave and bold move for Right Brain Brewery, but customers and its new neighborhood have embraced the change.
Its original location — in the now popular Warehouse District — became known for its eclectic collection of furniture, its low-key, non-bar-esque atmosphere, and, of course, a unique selection of microbrews.
Why would a business move away from the area in which it had become prosperous? To expand the brewhouse, of course.
Right Brain originally brewed in just 900 square feet, and as its success grew, ample brewing space dwindled. The brewery now has a vast 12,000 square feet for brewing. This allows it to keep up with demand — distribution is soon expanding to Ann Arbor and Lansing — and also plan for the future.
The new, larger location can be found in the recently formed “SoFo district.” It still has the same Right Brain atmosphere, complete with barber’s chairs, couches and picnic tables made with scrap wood.
The new location has also allowed Right Brain to transcend beyond being just a brewery. “The SoFo neighborhood has been grateful to have us. We really have become an advocate for creativity,” said Leif Kolt, Events and Marketing Coordinator.
With more space, Right Brain has been able expand its operations to include more community events. In the months since they have reopened, they have hosted a variety of events: From a balloon bouncing competition on New Year’s Eve to a Tweetup on Michigan’s birthday to benefit Goodwill Industries.
On Feb. 4, Right Brain is hosting an exclusive beer dinner along with Roaming Harvest (a local food truck which can often be found outside the pub). The dinner will feature five courses paired with Right Brain brews.
While Right Brain has become a “cultural hub,” it hasn’t lost touch with the great beer we have come to love. Using local products and culinary inspiration, new creative brews are fully researched before being brewed on a full-scale operation. This process has brought to life craft beers featuring flavors of mint, chipotle, Thai peanut and even pork/bacon.
With the success of their creativity, Right Brain recently started bottling its beer and, throughout January, has released a different brew each week. Bottled beers include CEO Stout, Looping Owl and Mangalitsa Pig Porter.
The bottle releases will conclude with an Imperial Release Party on February 8. The release party will feature a Pink Floyd laser light show and the exclusive Imperial Series 4-Pack (only 300 will be made).
Despite its move from the eclectic warehouse district, Right Brain remains the place where you can find someone working on their laptop in the afternoon and return in the evening to meet friends for the best Traverse City has to offer: Creativity, foodie inspiration and quality craft beer.

TRAVERSE CITY — Recently relocated Right Brain Brewery has announced it will release 22 oz. bottles every Friday for six weeks in January and February.

The announcement follows the late 2012 releases of the brewery’s CEO Stout and Naughty Girl Scout.

The releases will kick off Jan. 4 with Fire Starter Chipotle Porter, followed by Northern Hawk Owl Amber Ale on Jan. 11, Barrel Aged Looping Owl on Jan. 18 and Mangalitsa Pig Porter on Jan. 25.

February’s releases will include Dead Kettle IPA (Feb. 1) as well as a special Imperial Series release, in which four imperial ales will be released Feb. 8, packaged in a collector’s edition box.

5.6% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Pitch black with a medium dark tan head. Keeps a decent amount of lacing.
Aroma: Peppermint and chocolate with roasted malts.
Taste: Roasted malts stick on the tongue, but peppermint lingers as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, more carbonated than expected.

We all look forward to those Thin Mint cookies from the Girl Scouts — and Right Brain has managed to capture the best elements of these in liquid form. There’s a strong peppermint flavor, complete with some minor chocolate and roasted malt overtones. The light alcohol content makes for an easy-drinking, smooth brew that’s perfect for any holiday or winter occasion.

TRAVERSE CITY — Local music, food and beer — a fine combination by any right, but in the setting of a beautiful evening in Northern Michigan they become something even better. The annual Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival is a celebration of the vibrant local culinary and music scene, with a sampling of some of best beer Michigan brewers have to offer.

Set within the grounds of the renovated state hospital (now known as the Village at Grand Traverse Commons), the increasingly popular festival is a playground for foodies and beer geeks alike.

The festival was a change of pace from the previous beer festivals I’ve attended, in that this one held a pretty equal emphasis on beer, food and music. That said, most of the breweries here left the barrel-aged and one-off experiments at home, something that I was initially not too excited about. Most everything that was present was something that I’ve either had before, or was readily available in bottles.

After a few samples of some old standbys, it got me thinking — having constantly been in the search for aforementioned barrel-aged monsters, I realized how spoiled I’ve become living in such an amazing beer state as Michigan. What has become the “norm” on the beer shelves in this state are some truly world class beers that are excellent, well balanced representatives of their respective styles.

I took this opportunity to stroll down hazy-memory lane with the old malty friends that got me started on craft beer in the first place. To twist a phrase from the side of Short’s Pandemonium Pale Ale, sometimes I forget to stop and behold the bitter hysteria.

Jolly Pumpkin — La Roja
An wild American amber ale, this beer is a perfect example of the signature JP funk. Pours a deep ruby red body with a thin, fizzy white head. Nose is dry and tart, with the sour funk from the wild yeast predominating. Its body features the lightly roasted malts you would expect from an amber ale. Slightly more acetic and tart than the nose, with another hefty dose of the brett funk. Finishes with the funk and bit of grapefruit from the hops. Very well-rounded beer and a great starter for those who have yet to delve into sour ales.

Short’s Brewing Company — Pandemonium Pale Ale
A beautiful, light copper colored body with a loose, fluffy white head. Its smell is a perfect mix of earthy hops and toasted malts. Toasted, biscuit flavors from the malt present throughout the body, with a pleasant hoppy finish. There’s nothing overpowering about this beer — it’s very well balanced — a beer you could easily have a few of on a hot summer day.

Right Brain Brewery — Black (eye) PA
A rich, dark tan head sits atop a midnight black body. The head leaves a gorgeous thin lacing the entire way down the glass. Roasted malts, chocolate and citrus hop flavors dominate the nose, continuing into the body. Tastes the same as the nose — roasted malts fade into a pleasant hoppy finish. A fantastic take on a relatively new style, this brew is a must try for stout fans who are looking for something a little lighter on the body during the summer months.

Russell Springsteen talks all things Right Brain during the 2011 Michigan Summer Beer Festival. Springsteen gives us an outlook into the start of the four-year-old Traverse City brewery, its inspiration of the famous asparagus beer, and the future of its brews.

Want more Right Brain? Check out our review of its fruit beers!