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Saugatuck, Mich. — The Mitten Brewing Company is bringing its signature craft beer and pizza to a third Michigan town: Saugatuck.

The brewery’s new location at 329 Water Street will open on Friday, June 8. It’s located across the street from The Mermaid Bar and Grill, Coppercraft Distillery, Ridge Cider and just a few doors down from Coral Gables.

mitten brewing

The small building is a pre-Civil War home that had been converted to a commercial space.

“We seem to have an affinity for choosing old buildings at the Mitten,” said The Mitten Brewing Co-Owner Chris Andrus. The Mitten’s original location is in an historic Grand Rapids firehouse.

Like The Mitten’s original location, the new space required some rebuilding—much of which Andrus and Co-Owner Max Trierweiler did themselves.

The new space will seat 80 patrons: 36 indoors and 44 outside on the covered patio and in the lawn on picnic tables Andrus and Trierweiler built.

Andrus and Trierweiler built the new bar from 1840s-era lumber—from back when Saugatuck was a lumber town and port. The wood was a gift from Saugatuck Brewing Company Founder and Former Saugatuck Mayor Barry Johnson, who Andrus said is a friend and mentor to The Mitten.

“That bar is pretty much the centerpiece of the building,” Andrus said. “It’s a neat piece from the former mayor of Saugatuck himself. We’re really excited to have that.”

In addition to a pub and restaurant, the space will host a small brewhouse that will focus on sour beer production. Apparel made by The Mitten State will also be available for purchase on site.

Adding another location was a natural next step for The Mitten Brewing Company, Andrus said.

“We’ve spent the last 5 years making our brand as strong as possible, and we’ve been reinvesting in our processes and our people,” Andrus said. “What we do best, in my opinion, is our taproom experience and the way our staff interacts with our guests. We wanted to bring that to a new place. Saugatuck was a natural fit.”

Andrus and Trierweiler hired 21 local residents to run the Saugatuck location.

 

7.9% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Dark brown with garnet highlights, beige and foamy head.
Aroma: Hazelnutty sweet malt, barely perceptible hop presence.
Taste: Plum, date, raisin and toasted bread flavors.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied, creamy, smooth, well carbonated.

A by-the-book doppelbock, Dead Goat uses all traditional ingredients: German malts, hops (Tettnanger and Northern Brewer) and ale yeast combine into a rich, malty beer worthy of spring — and your taste buds.

5.5% ABV, Draft

Appearance: This stout pours with a fluffy off white head, which dissapates into thin lacing. The overall tone is dark brown with amber hints.
Aroma: Roasted, burnt smells dominate with a slight vanilla scent.
Taste: Subtle transition of tastes occur throughout each sip. Milk-like qualities are apparent with a roasted and slightly sweet flavoring. The sweetness is mostly vanilla and cream (gives it a cream and sugar in your coffee feel).
Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied with creaminess.

This is another well-balanced brew from Saugatuck. It throws back to classic, true stout style without forgetting flavor. Stout Abides Porter is not overly toasty, nor too sweet (just a slight hint). This meets all the standards of a stout while not being boring. I am once again impressed with the attention to detail by Saugatuck Brewing Company.

TRAVERSE CITY — During a time of the year when Michiganders are tiring of the snow, Timber Ridge’s Suds & Snow brought excitement back to the season.

The seventh annual event was held Saturday, which paired favorite winter activities with microbrews and served as a fundraiser for Children and Family Services.

Upon entering the festival, I was greeted by a fun, casual atmosphere. In the main part of the event, attendees were able to sample beers from Bell’s, Saugatuck and Greenbush breweries. I sampled Saugatuck’s Bonfire Brown, an American Brown Ale that is intended to remind you of a campfire with friends and family. It had a nutty flavor with notes of chocolate and had a slightly smoky finish. Indeed, it paired perfectly with the bonfire right across from their booth.

Food was also available in the main part of the event. Travino’s, Schelde’s and Red Mesa Grill were on site to offer small plates.

After enjoying a great brew, many people ventured down the snowshoe trail or played a few rounds of disc golf. New this year, a three-hole disc golf course was donated by Carly’s Playground (Mt. Holiday). Tilley’s Party Store also donated discs for the event.

If you ventured down the snowshoe trail, you ended up at the infamous trail station, where the atmosphere seemed to be more young and carefree. This is where most people seemed to stay, enjoying brews from Short’s, Right Brain and Schmohz breweries. There was also live music from a variety of favored local musicians.

It has been quite a snowy winter in Northern Michigan, and Suds & Snow utilized that in the best way they could. Most breweries, including Short’s, served over snow bars instead of tables.

“This is great. We didn’t have to bring ice with us this year,” said a volunteer from Short’s Brewery, which created the most elaborate setup for the event. Short’s also had two snow sculptures and a large tap setup.

I sampled Short’s Bloody Beer, which is brewed with Roma tomatoes. Not a big fan of Bloody Marys, I have been hesitant to sample the beer previously. However, I was pleasantly surprised. It had a strong tomato taste, but it was not overwhelming. It was lighter beer with a robust flavor and a hint of peppercorns at the finish.

I was also able to sample the Bone Crusher Stout from Schmohz Brewery. It has an intimidating name, but was one of the smoothest stouts I have tried. With a smooth chocolate flavor, it finishes with a nice balanced malt taste.

“This is a great event. And it’s in such a great place,” said a volunteer with Schmohz.

It was my first time attending Suds & Snow, and I have to agree. Timber Ridge Resort hosts a variety of great events throughout the year, and this has become my one of my favorites.

TRAVERSE CITY — During a time of the year when Michiganders are tiring of the snow, Timber Ridge’s Suds & Snow brought excitement back to the season.
The seventh annual event was held Saturday, which paired favorite winter activities with microbrews and served as a fundraiser for Children and Family Services.
Upon entering the festival, I was greeted by a fun, casual atmosphere. In the main part of the event, attendees were able to sample beers from Bell’s, Saugatuck and Greenbush breweries. I sampled Saugatuck’s Bonfire Brown, an American Brown Ale that is intended to remind you of a campfire with friends and family. It had a nutty flavor with notes of chocolate and had a slightly smoky finish. Indeed, it paired perfectly with the bonfire right across from their booth.
Food was also available in the main part of the event. Travino’s, Schelde’s and Red Mesa Grill were on site to offer small plates.
After enjoying a great brew, many people ventured down the snowshoe trail or played a few rounds of disc golf. New this year, a three-hole disc golf course was donated by Carly’s Playground (Mt. Holiday). Tilley’s Party Store also donated discs for the event.
If you ventured down the snowshoe trail, you ended up at the infamous trail station, where the atmosphere seemed to be more young and carefree. This is where most people seemed to stay, enjoying brews from Short’s, Right Brain and Schmohz breweries. There was also live music from a variety of favored local musicians.
It has been quite a snowy winter in Northern Michigan, and Suds & Snow utilized that in the best way they could. Most breweries, including Short’s, served over snow bars instead of tables.
“This is great. We didn’t have to bring ice with us this year,” said a volunteer from Short’s Brewery, which created the most elaborate setup for the event. Short’s also had two snow sculptures and a large tap setup.
I sampled Short’s Bloody Beer, which is brewed with Roma tomatoes. Not a big fan of Bloody Marys, I have been hesitant to sample the beer previously. However, I was pleasantly surprised. It had a strong tomato taste, but it was not overwhelming. It was lighter beer with a robust flavor and a hint of peppercorns at the finish.
I was also able to sample the Bone Crusher Stout from Schmohz Brewery. It has an intimidating name, but was one of the smoothest stouts I have tried. With a smooth chocolate flavor, it finishes with a nice balanced malt taste.
“This is a great event. And it’s in such a great place,” said a volunteer with Schmohz.
It was my first time attending Suds & Snow, and I have to agree. Timber Ridge Resort hosts a variety of great events throughout the year, and this has become my one of my favorites.

8% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Caramel brown with a small head.
Aroma: Berries with some caramel and yeast.
Taste: Hoppy with some fruit, caramel, sugar and a bit of nut.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Saugatuck’s recent addition to the bottle market, Hop-Scotch Ale, is a sugary, fruity, nutty brew that screams flavor mixed with hops. The brew is a bit earthy as well. Overall this is an interesting take on the style, with the addition of some extra sweetness from the fruity-like qualities.

4.9% ABV, Draft

Appearance: Clear gold with a small head.
Aroma: Hoppy and earthy.
Taste: Hops, with a bit of sweetness, bread and some spice.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied.

Saugatuck’s recent bottle release, Pathfinder Pale Ale, is a smooth, light pale ale with hints of sweetness throughout. While hops are certainly present in the nose and taste, the sweetness, coupled with bread and spice flavors, balance out the brew quite well.

5.5% ABV, Bottle

Appearance: Clear, copper-amber in color, slightly tan medium head, good lacing.
Aroma: Sweet and bready malts along with fruity hops.
Taste: Malt forward with caramel, toffee, and toasted bread notes balanced with moderate citrus and floral hop flavors.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, rather light carbonation, slightly dry finish.

According to the trusty BJCP style guidelines, ESB (Extra Special Bitter) and Amber Ale are two different beer categories, so what gives with Saugatuck Brewing’s ESB Amber Ale? Upon closer inspection, however, it is revealed that ESB is considered to be a “rather broad style that allows for considerable interpretation by the brewer,” while Amber Ale offers a nice balance of malty sweetness with often citrusy hop flavors. Either style is eminently drinkable, and even if the Saugatuck folks couldn’t make up their mind what to call this beer, you’ll have no trouble deciding to have another glass of it.


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