Wine Enthusiast Magazine recently discussed some dining options in Ann Arbor, including a few that are of interest to beer aficionados in A2. The places that fall within that category that I’ve also been to (as a drinking establishment, not just for dinner):
The wine scene is just as vibrant. Fatherdaughter team John and Kristin Jonna (who formerly worked for Benziger Winery) opened Vinology Wine Bar and Restaurant (110 S. Main Street; vinowinebars.com), in downtown Ann Arbor during 2006. Pair seasonally inspired small plates with an impressive wine list that includes 38 wines by the glass. Don’t miss the “bubble room” downstairs—an intimate space with 400 hand-blown glass balls suspended from the ceiling; it’s next to a retail wine shop.
The wine list at vinology is insane, but they do also have a beer menu, including craft brews from Bells, New Holland, Flying Dog, and others. The rest come in a trifecta:
And what would a university town be without microbreweries? In 1995 Rene and Matt Grieff opened Arbor Brewing Company Pub & Eatery (114 E. Washington Street; arborbrewing.com). Always evolving, their latest mantra is to buy from local, sustainable producers to build items like stone-grilled pizzas and corned beef sandwiches. Drop in for a pint of light (Brasserie Blonde) or dark beer (Espresso Love Breakfast Stout). Much of the food at Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery (311 S. Main Street; jollypumpkin.com), comes from local farmers markets. Pair the brewery’s artisan ales with tempura-battered vegetables, a beerfriendly cheese board and market salads.In suburban Milan, Original Gravity Brewing Company (440 County Street;ogbrewing.com), has about 15 beers on tap, ranging from an eclectic 440 Pepper Smoker (German smoked malt and jalapeños) to a Pale Ale.
I think the blog’s general vibe on Arbor is consistent (meh beer, very poor customer service). Jolly Pumpkin is rather Belgian-focused, but even as a huge fan of the style, I haven’t found a beer there that I’m particularly enamored with. Original Gravity is new to us as of this summer, click the link for Paul’s thoughts on our first trip there.
What’s missing? I guess some of these might not be relevant to the wine drinker, so their exclusion makes sense (though Zingerman’s Deli doesn’t serve wine either… hm), but Grizzly Peak, Ashleys, and Blue Tractor are at least notable for a first time visitor to our fair city.
(HT: Ann Arbor Chronicle for pointing out the original article)