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Active Beers: 31
Beer Ratings: 221
Beer Avg: 3.6
Taps: 8 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery, Store ]
190 5th Street
phone: (269) 925-8760
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $
this was the final stop of a beer trip to Michigan, with an arrival of a little after six o'clock. the establishment takes up two floors of the building, with the second level open to live events and a general restaurant area, along with a basement tap room and cafe. there was a blues band playing upstairs, with general music playing in the basement.
atmosphere is true to a basement bar, with rudimentary finishing and wooden tables and chairs. heavy timber structure throughout gives it a historical feel, along with the live music that really gives it an authentic feeling.
quality is good. proper glassware and clean conditions; no complaints.
service was great. the brewmaster was grabbing a brew at the bar, and was happy to talk beer and brewing with a few BAs, quite friendly and with a good sense of humor. the bartender was responsive and open to samples and general inquiries.
selection was great. quite a wide variety, with ales, lagers, and light to strong varietals. the only complaint here is that throughout the spectrum all the brews were imparted with a lightly tart finish, bordering on a lightly sour quality.
food was decent. sandwiches come with a small side of lays potato chips, but the prices were quite inexpensive.
overall, this is a wonderful stop for beer. another plus is that each brew can be ordered in a 10 oz, 16 oz, or 22 oz. glass. very convienient if one is driving, or if one wants to try a few styles without drinking too much. cheers!
01-03-2009 17:48:56 |
More by botham
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
The Livery reminds me of one of those "just off the radar" kind of places. Nothing too pretentious here, and they don't give a damn about anything resembling a corporate-themed brewpub. Located in the basement of an old livery dating to the 1800s, they are what they are, a converted horse-shoe business. The logo shows it best: a bald-headed yeoman affixing a horse shoe to a mare while standing behind its ass. I think there's a not-so-subtle message aimed at someone there! :-)
The beer, all done in the classic European styles (especially British and Belgian), are some damn special brews. In particular, I enjoyed the Synapse ESB, the Thoms Special IPA, and the Dixie O'Flynn stout (dry). All were made with loads of TLC, no doubt about it.
I also had the Beef dip (French Dip) sandwich for dinner, which was quite tasty, especially on a cold, rainy and crappy autumnal Michigan evening. Additionally, the barstaff/waitstaff couldn't have been cooler and friendlier, and we got to listen to the full new Metallica album (the owner's a BIG FAN) piped in from behind the bar.
My friend and I, unfortunately, had to high-tail it outta there and get back to our wives in Chicago that very evening, and I asked for a "to-go" cup of their coffee, which was also quite good.
The Livery is place to check out, guys. (I failed to mention but they have an upstairs room that is used "50% of the time", according to one of the bartenders. It's a live music venue in reality, and it looks pretty kick-ass. Wish we could've stayed around long enough to hear a live act.
11-11-2008 02:50:17 |
More by RedBaron
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Visited late on a rainy Thursday night on the way to Madison for Great Taste. Called ahead to make sure they would be open.
Sierrags and I had been here once before and enjoyed ourselves very much, we were anticipating a return. Plus it was nice to share the experience with our fellow BA travelers dashirey and brewslut.
Located in the basement of an old brick building in "downtown" Benton Harbor, a place that has that "We have seen better days" feel. Once inside though all that changes with three beer engines and the ability to have 15+ beers on tap!
For entertainment a pool table adds to the interior brewerania decor.
Mikey, our old school, punk rock loving, tender was the shit! He was generous, like saving us a few hits of what was on cask....he had shut the engines down for the night before we got there..:-( To being simply delightful and talkative about how great Southern Tier Creme Brulee' is, to how STUPID it is that some places wont fill a growler if they arent "their" growler...that rant was priceless!
We even got to see Wally, another tender, to whom Sierrags and I had given a bottle of Troegs Nugget Nectar to last time through. He remembered us and let us know how awesome he thought NN is!
All in all, the Livery is a MUST stop if you find yourself anywhere in southwestern Michigan. The beers are top notch and the ambiance and staff are simply an added bonus!
09-29-2008 06:51:06 |
More by Deuane
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
The bar is located in the basement of a brick building in a somewhat run down section of town full of old brick buildings. Behind the bar there are three beer engines, a nitro tap, and 12 more taps. Excellent beer. Wide selection of their own brews. There is one pool table and an outdoor beer garden with live music. There are firkins opened on certain days expanding the range of available brews. Tasting Flights of 6x4oz for $14. Higher gravity beers cost a bit more but seem to be worth it. Red Canoe was my favotite along with the Malliot Juane and Belgian Amber.
06-10-2008 17:43:04 |
More by kaos14
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Stopped by on Saturday right after Dark Lord Day, so going from a crowded area to next to no one was a little odd, but very rewarding and relaxing. Benton Harbor itself seems like an abandoned town, but lucky for us The Livery isn't. With plenty of parking in the lot behind the place as well as street parking, there shouldn't be a problem finding a spot.
Walking to the downstairs bar area, I'm reminded of that basement bar I want to build but keep postponing. Several tables in varying sizes with plenty of chairs and a bar that can hold around 12 or so. Decided to sit down at the bar right in front of the taps, in which there are 16 of them, 4 of which are cask only. All sorts of styles, from several lagers to porters, stouts, wheats, IPAs, and even meads and wines. Nice that they serve everything in several sizes too, for those who want to sample lots of different things to just enough to really enjoy it all the way to pints and bigger, and all of the beers are worth getting the biggest size, if you can handle it.
Service was great, our bartender was very attentive, perky, and passionate about the beers she serves and really made us feel welcome, even taking us on a quick tour of the upstairs before we left. We didn't have any room for food, but they did have a kitchen in the back. Also, they've got merchandise in the form of tie dyed shirts ($30) as well as pint glasses ($5).
Well worth the stop if you're anywhere in the area, the place is very welcoming, has great brews, and a laid back atmosphere.
05-03-2008 02:20:59 |
More by HopDerek
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
As others have said its in a part of Benton Harbor that is run down and is a bit of a ghost town. There's a lot of road construction going on and its a bit hard to find, but well worth it.
The Livery is just across the river from the revitalized downtown of St. Joseph, if the bar was over there it would fit in perfect and see alot more traffic. There were maybe a 8 people in the bar when I showed up and I was the last to leave. So it was me and the bartender - needless to say I got some great service!
I got an earful of history about the bar, the brewery, and the beer from the bartender (Mike - an awesome guy to BS with for an hour or two). Great atmosphere, friendly barflies, and some great brew. I got the sampler when I was there and Mike added a few on that didn't come with it. Overall I sampled about ten of their beers.
The Telewhacker stood out to me for its hoppiness and citrus aftertaste. I went there for the triple Weizenbock but unfortunately it was not available (should be by June 08) so I tried the Liverator Doppleback. A fantastic beer high ABV beer.
They have about 15 beers on tap including a couple of pulls. You can find any type of beer here that you're looking for and they are all of very high quality. I'm a bit of a hop guy and they had several that went down with a big smile. But if you're into stouts, bitters, pale ales, english ales, lagers, hefes, they have it all on tap and they will fill you a growler to go.
Definitely stop by if you're in the area. The beer is more than worth it.
05-02-2008 11:48:45 |
More by Emarq
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
We made a post DLD stop here on the way up to Grand Rapids. I must say that Benton Harbor seemed like an interesting place, or at least the area around the Livery did. It looked absolutely deserted on a Saturday afternoon, complete with "not another living soul around" feel and boarded up buildings that made our arrival feel like something out of a post-apocalyptic action film. I was half expecting Mad Max to pull up and offer to enjoy a cold one with us. Fortunately, the historic building and the accompanying brewpub inside give off a much more pleasant vibe. We immediately went down to the downstairs bar area which literally looks like someone's basement with some tables and a decent sized bar. Trust me though; the whole setup is cooler than it sounds.
On to the beers and boy, did they have a nice selection. They had a total of 14 taps going, with the gamut running from Ales to Lagers, to higher ABV fare (like their fantastic Double Paw DIPA and Liverator Doppelbock), to 3 different cask offerings, wine and a cider. Very nice! That selection is complimented by three different pint sizes as well. A $4 10 oz, a $4.50 16 oz, and finally a $5.25 20 oz. We mostly stuck with the 10 oz sizes to sample more but I definitely could have gone bigger on everything, they were all solid. They also have a limited food menu with the likes of sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and appetizers that looked like they could be ordered at a separate kitchen station in the back of the room.
I must mention the service here. Our server was one of the friendliest and most energetic that we've ever had and really made our visit here complete. As we left, even though it was locked, she opened the upper level up for us for a quick tour of their upstairs bar/concert venue/yoga studio. It's quite the neat little setup they have up there and we were very grateful to have had the opportunity to check it out. Baring the shady surroundings, we had a great time and only wish that we could have stayed longer but other breweries where calling our name. We'll definitely be back again though to check out this quite unique and interesting brewpub.
05-01-2008 19:47:19 |
More by Kegatron
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Came across the Livery during our recent Dark Lord trek, and what a great find it was. I knew nothing about it, and wasn't really pumped about visiting. But once I got there, I changed my mind very quickly.
It's in a cool old restored building, and there are two floors. We went down to the basement and there were only a few people in there on a Friday afternoon. The brewmaster himself was tending the bar, and he was incredibly friendly and attentive. We tried beer after beer (there were 14 on tap that day I believe), and every one was excellent. Very clean and right on the styles as they were intended. I couldn't believe the quality of the beers here all the way across the board.
The atmosphere was very cool and laid back when we were there. They had a band playing that evening in the upstairs bar, and I really wanted to stay and drink more outstanding beer and listen, but we had a hotel booked closer to Three Floyds so we got some growlers and had to head out.
Definitely worth seeking out if you're in the area.
04-28-2008 19:52:24 |
More by cartdan
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Driving into Benton Harbor, I started to get the feeling I get when driving through the North Side of Milwaukee in July or past Darbo in Madison after dark so I unbuckled my belt, locked my doors, and prepared to blow past red lights. It was a strange sensation to have in a small lakefront community just a few miles north of the Indiana line but each time I thought I was being a bit paranoid I would get another threatening look from folks standing on all the street corners.
Thankfully the Livery was located just a couple of miles off of 94 and after a short drive around Downtown Benton Harbor I arrive unscathed - although the undercarriage of my car wasnt so lucky. The dirt roads and potholed parking lots of Benton Harbor arent exactly kind to Honda Civics.
Once inside the Livery I felt like I had been transported into an alternate universe where Benton Harbor was filled not with boarded up old industrial warehouses but rather, well restored art galleries and music venues run by friendly artsy types. What an out of place establishment the Livery was.
The upstairs bar was closed so I made my way into the small cellar and took up a stool at the bar. I was immediately greeted by the most friendly people, offered samples and insight into the beers, and promptly served. A coffee stand behind me offered soups, simple sandwiches, and assorted snacks and although it was closing down when I arrived, they were more than happy to whip up a hummus plate for me that filled my belly and tasted great.
The beer that I was most interested in trying was the Wheat Triple Bock, a beer I had been one of my favorites at the 06 Great Taste. Sadly, this beer wasnt available but a whole assortment of other cask aged and high gravity beers were. I settled on a snifter of CA Hopplebock and then ordered a growler of Oktoberfest to go. Both were quite good. I was also offered plenty of samples from the kind staff who were just super excited about their product. It was great to see that level of enthusiasm from the staff and I thought that each sample I tasted was spot on for the style.
After leaving I took the business 94 loop south through St. John and a couple other lakeshore towns before reconnecting with 94 a bit north of New Buffalo. This route seemed to take forever and in the future I would recommend taking the business 94 loop back north, even if ones ultimate destination is Indiana or Chicago.
10-04-2007 16:48:31 |
More by DaPeculierDane
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
First introduced to the Livery at the '07 American Beer Fest. There I tried a couple exceptional high gravity German beers, and was determined to go to the source.
Stopped by The Livery in Benton Harbor with the entire family on a Sunday evening. The top floor, the night club, wasn't open, but usually provides live music--a couple posters were for different bluegrass bands.
The lower floor, cellar bar, was occupied by a few regulars along with us out-of-towners. I had a flight of beers, lawnmower lager, McGilligan's IPA, hefe-weizen, Irish stout, Dark Czech. Then had a tulip glass of Cousin Jax. Complemented the beer with one of their selections of sandwiches, in my case roast beef--really excellent.
Hidden away in a revitalizing industrial area, The Livery is a great destination for light food and good beer.
07-08-2007 20:22:00 |
More by BattleRoadBrewer
The Livery in Benton Harbor, MI