Log in or Sign up
Extreme Beer Fest
returns to Boston on March 21 & 22, 2014.
Tickets are on sale now
BeerAdvocate mobile beta: Testers Wanted
. Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Android or Google Chrome user? Get a
14 day free trial to BeerAdvocate magazine on Google Play Newsstand
today! (AU, CA, UK, US only).
Extreme Beer Fest
Google Play Newsstand
Arbor Brewing Company
Active Beers: 67
Beer Ratings: 1,666
Beer Avg: 3.61
Taps: 10 / Bottles: 6
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
114 E. Washington
phone: (734) 213-1393
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 74 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Arbor Brewing Company is a must-do brewpub in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I've been here quite a few times for regular pub-going, not to mention quite a few special events.
The beer selection is always good mix of their own craft beer. All of their beers are bold and flavorful and all very, very different. My favorites are their Sacred Cow IPA, Espresso Love Breakfast Stout, Maibock, Oktoberfest, Phat Abbot Belgian Triple, and their Faircy Fest Irish Stout. Their newly-released Tree Fort Beer is pretty interesting as well.
As far as the brewpub itself, it's always a great atmosphere. All the workers are knowledgeable and friendly and will tell you anything you want to know.
The pub has a large non-smoking section which is extremely pleasant.
The food is good, but remember to save room for what you actually came for--the brew! It's reasonably priced (Mondays = happy hour all day; all larges at the small's price!).
They also throw one hell of a kegs 'n eggs shindig on St. Patrick's Day morning.
Also, once a month they have different themed beer sampling parties. The only one I've been to so far was December's "Holiday Ales" party and it was a BLAST. I definitely plan to check out some of the others and would highly recommend others to check them out.
Overall, ABC is a great place to go and everyone should take the time to pay them a visit.
03-31-2008 01:54:31 |
More by jeremyd365
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
The Arbor Brewing Company was a nice suprise. Located in downtown Ann Arbor, right off Main St., it offered alot of what a more sophisticated beer drinker would look for. The brewpub is decorated much like other college town watering holes, with a darker lighting situation, and lots of beer signs and beer posters / awards on the walls. Lots of tall booths for get togethers, and a bar that seats about 15. The service was quite good, as my glass never got empty, and the bar tender seemed to know about the beers they offered. The selection was very good, with over a dozen home-brewed offerings on the menu, and a nice selection of belgians and imports. I also liked the fact that they produced their own "cellared beers" and made them available in 750 mL wine bottles. That's pretty sweet. The food was quite good, although I only had a couple of appetizers (big plate of Nachos and some Spicy Fries). The value was very good when you take into consideration that you're in a big college town (a 12 beer sampler was about 10 dollars). I look forward to returning. If you're in the area, it's definitly worth a stop. Recommended.
06-18-2006 16:19:58 |
More by Frozensoul327
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $
I visit Arbor Brewing about once a week. I guess that makes me a regular. I know about 7 other regulars by name. I often chat with Dug the brewer. I've worked on their computer systems with my job in the past. I've often spoken with Matt and Rene, the owners. I know 4 of the bartenders by name. My softball team plays their softball team (we kicked their a**). This is like a second home to me.
The Sacred Cow IPA is excellent, the Bavarian Bliss taught me how to enjoy hefeweizens, The Milestone Porter and Faricy Fest Stout are great.
Service at the tables is hit or miss. The bartenders are second to none.
05-31-2006 05:23:17 |
More by ken3c
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
It had been a couple of years since I visited ABC, my favorite beer stop in Ann Arbor when I would come back to visit my friends at U of M during breaks from college out east. So, I was excited to get a chance to steal away to Ann Arbor and see if the Terminator, Jackhammer, Faricy, and Sacred Cow were still as good as I remember them being. They are.
Just off of Main Street, ABC specializes in English and German ales (not a lager in sight) with some very special Belgians available in 750 mL, corked bottles. Including the Belgians, there were probably sixteen available house brews. I opted for pints of the hand pumped Sacred Cow IPA--a true rival to Two Hearted's lupulin supremacy in the Michigan beer market, and a glass of their Bavarian Bliss Hefe Weizen. The latter was a true-to-style hit, with a wonderful body and crisp, balanced finish.
The menu is a hodgepodge of typical pub grub and is up to standard, but with so many more enticing eateries (Blimpy Burger and Zingerman's) in Ann Arbor, I never thought of ABC as a place to grab a meal anyway. After all, it's the quality brews that are in the spotlight here. The pub does a nice job of marketing craft brews in general beyond their own wares as well, featuring a beer tasting each month and offering full day deals on Monday for all of their beers.
Hopefully I'll get back to ABC when I visit Michigan again this Thanksgiving, because twelve months is too long to go without a stop here. Since I didn't go to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor doesn't remind me of my college years. It does, however, remind me about why I love craft beer.
This is one of the only must visit brewpubs in southeast Michigan.
08-13-2006 01:11:56 |
More by benito
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
In reading the menu, the owners proclaimed that they were not only celebrating ten years in business, but that they had also embraced vegetarianism, moved away from doing business with multi-death corporations, and towards local farm-grown products. Amen to that!
I entered through a vestibule with the maitre d station to the immediate left and the bar directly in front of the entryway. To the right, facing aft, were a couple of banks of high-backed wooden booths and I opted to sit in one as a change of pace. The brewhouse was to my left, in all of its shiny, coppery glory, directly behind the bar.
I began with a sampler of nine (9) beers, accompanied by the Corned Beef Reuben sandwich with a side of asparagus (!), instead of a potato product, although broccoli was also an alternative. Two of the beers, the IPA and the Porter, were on handpump. I was not won over by the Hefeweizen and the Pilsner did not have the hop bite that I had come to expect from the style. Still, I could not dun any of them for being undrinkable. I was very satisfied with the sampler and following lunch, I moved to the bar for a pint of the IPA. It also bears noting that my server was extremely polite and very attentive. Those are positive qualities for a college student working over the summer.
Returning to the layout: Still on the right-hand side, headed aft, the kitchen was all of the way aft, with the washrooms downstairs. When I moved to the bar, I realized that it is at a 45-degree angle to the doorway, so that the interior was more of a V shape than I originally noticed. The bar top was made of hammered copper and the bar area featured a pressed-tin ceiling and exposed ducting. To the left of the bar was a line of booths along the exposed brick wall. On the extreme left of the building, on the other side of the aforementioned wall, was a game room with English-style darts, shuffleboard, and more booths and restaurant tables. Along all of the windows were a mix of booth and table seating, plus they offered al fresco dining out front. Finally, a glass and wood cabinet sat right behind the maitre d station and held their logo items for sale.
I left when Elvira, the black-clad manager arrived and set the lighting to Stygian. When I cannot see to take notes, its time to go.
08-29-2006 10:11:22 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Arbor Brewing was the first stop for my wife and myself on a brief tour of Ann Arbor brewpubs.
Sunday morning right after opening time, but already a bunch of tables occupied and some folks perched at the bar drinking. Nice airy place, comfortable. Would come often if I lived around.
Service was good and food was too. My wife got their signature burger and it was amazing, super juicy and well cooked. I regretted going healthy with an OK spinach salad. Who eats salad with beer???
We tried only two beers- the flagship Sacred Cow IPA (on cask) and the Super Snapper VSB, which is a bitter on steroids. Both were very good, and I had never tried a "VSB". The cask was, however, a little too cold. Tasted almost like a regular draft.
But we liked it enough to get a growler. Too bad they didn't seal it properly and when we opened it at home the beer was incredibly flat.
Aside from this, we really enjoyed Arbor Brewing and would definitely come back. It was our favorite of three we visited in town.
09-20-2010 18:02:55 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
One of the old college hangouts deserves a more favorable re-review...
In my previous review, I wrote that the Faricy Fest Stout and Old 22 Alt are both must-haves but that the biggest problem is that about half of the beer is pretty average or worse.
I'm not sure that's the case. While I still think the Oktoberfest is poor, and while their new stab at Belgian ales is average at best, their hefe has improved, and let's be honest -- the cask IPA is pretty damn good. They've also added a couple fun styles, like smoked lager, to their line up.
And it's still the case that I sometimes will turn to their bottled selection which is pretty good due to the monthly tastings they have (each month is a different style).
Food's good. Service is pretty good as well. And they've got DARTS and shufflepuck. Who can ask for more?
11-01-2004 20:48:25 |
More by marburg
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Arbor Brewing is my home. Good location downtown, across from an enormous parking lot if you need it, with nice outdoor seating. To woo the lady friends, next door is a gourmet chocolate store where you can watch them make the bons-bons you buy, and on the other side is one of the best restaurants in town, Amadeus.
Tall glass windows front the building, as very tall ceilings air out the woody interior with fairly good spacing. There is a bar with brewery behind it, booths of dinner seating all over, a second room for more booths that includes the only two TV's, three dartboards, and a shuffleboard, a third room for quiet drinking with its own separate bar, and lastly a beerhall downstairs for large group parties. In sum, there are a lot of choices and plenty of space to spread out.
The food has improved since I first moved to Ann Arbor. More selections, sometimes better ingredients, definitely more personalized to who Arbor Brewing is in a sense. The waitstaff are great.
Beer selection is interesting - they stock a large number of commercial beers. Taps include standbys like Pilsner Urquell and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, with bottle selections having a steady roster of Belgians and Germans as well as a second selection of beers from the "style of the month." Arbor has a monthly beer tasting that spotlights a style or a country, and the overflow of from the event get put on the menu. Right now its pale ales, so the menu has at least dozen or more interpretations of the style.
As for what they brew, Arbor's strength is overwhelmingly English-styled beer. Their specialties are their spectacular Bitter, Special Bitter, cask IPA, cask Porter, and a Mild. They also rotate in well-done versions of a Dry Stout, Oatmeal Stout, ESB, and Old ale. Their German-styled beers are varied, with the Alt being very good, the Maibock and Pilsner being fine, and the Hefe being average if not strange. They just launched a "Brasserie Greff" line of bottle-conditioned Belgian beers - so far me and my friends experience has not been great with these, but only time will tell how they come together, though the word is that their past Belgie attempts were so-so. So, their Brit-ales are excellent but unfortunately dragged down by some other selections. Regardless, they rotate their product very quickly and are committed to serving styles related to the seasons, something I love in a brewpub.
The reason why I love Arbor is all the space, the varied feel from the four different sections of the place, and their truly excellent British ales and ever-improving food. In fact, I think they are the best at brewing British styles of any brewery or brewpub I've ever visited or regularly purchased. Plus, true Imperial pints are only $4 and half-pints are $2.50.
09-17-2004 14:16:15 |
More by nomad
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
This place is sort of a well-kept secret even inside it's southern Michigan territory. The place doesn't get a whole lot of lip service even though the beer is quite good. The only explaination I can come up with is that they don't bottle much and only seem to sell them from the pub itself. Lack of visibility?
The place has great charm, everything shows a bit of age, the brick walls, heavy wooden appointments and high ceilings without seeming dumpy, dirty or not taken care of. The atmosphere is moody and warm, very inviting and cozy, a very nice place to have a pint on a cold day, or any day for that matter. The staff is always very friendly, though on my last visit my waitress was quite slow moving, not that it mattered as my party was chatting it up quite a bit and scarcely noticed. The beer is all well crafted, not over the top or too experimental, but solid and fresh; very good. The Faricy Fest Stout and the Cask IPA are both must-try in my book. Though admittedly a few of them are just simply average in some ways. Tables are ample and there usually doesn't seem to be much of a wait even though they always seem busy. Parking is very easy, as there is a structure just across the street at Washington and Fourth. Free parking on Sundays!
Of the Ann Arbor breweries, this is on the top of the list. A very enjoyable place to be and to drink.
03-21-2005 18:38:24 |
More by Gaisgeil
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
The Ann Arbor Scrabble Club meets here (Arbor Brewing Company will henceforth be referred to as ABC) weekly, during happy hour no less, so I've spent many hours in this fine establishment.
They are very gracious hosts -- service is attentive but not hovering, nice and professional. They put up with eccentric Scrabble players, so they will probably not mind you.
There are usually a half-dozen ABC-brewed session beers on tap, some of which rotate, along with a small selection of draft high-gravity ABC beers. Quality is fine, they are tasty and you know what you'll get, never anything bad and nothing really surprising or truly exceptional, at least among the session beers. The Sacred Cow IPA is my go-to but I try to mix it up. There are also bottles from around the country and the world, and that selection is pretty good, but if you're here, don't order beer made somewhere else [note: I know the brewery actually does its production in nearby Ypsilanti].
Food is good, menu could be bigger but there are delicious monthly dishes that use local ingredients and always a vegetarian option. For bar food, the garlic fries can't be beat.
Come during happy hour (4-7? Definitely ends at 7) and all beers under 8% abv are $3 for a 20 oz. pour.
01-06-2010 20:20:50 |
More by semihobo
Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor, MI
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address