Arbor Brewing Company
Active Beers: 67
Beer Ratings: 1,688
Beer Avg: 3.61
Taps: 10 / Bottles: 6
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 74 | Show All Ratings:
4.36/5 rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Wait, let me look around and see. Yeah, we're still in Ann Arbor. Where's the sun? Okay, there, yes, it's early. I know that. And I know I don't need to be watching the clock but I have a distorted sense of time and space. Somebody's got to keep an eye on what's what here, or we'll be late in getting to the airport to wait around. We've got time...
An angled "L" shaped copper topped bar seating a dozen greets you front row center with a bar back of booze shelving, glassware, growlers, pitchers, and a small fridge with their house Belgians (Blonde, Triple, Kriek, Framboise). Brick exterior walls and pale blue inner walls, pressed tin ceiling with fans and track spotlighting, and lots of wood trim. Beyond the bar to the right is a seating area holding a dozen booths and a handful of tables running from the rear up to the enormous front windows on one side of the door. On the other side sits 3 tables in a front nook beneath Arbor Brewing posters, awards, framed certificates, and articles from the Ann Arbor News, Observer, Detroit News, Current, and Metro Times. 5 tables beyond running back along the side wall.
Upwards of a dozen and a half tables & booths in the side room, with old Guinness ads, frisbees, beer can displays, blues & jazz street art fair posters, ads and fliers of Stevie Ray Vaughn playing locally, an area with 3 dart boards to the front and windows looking on the copper kettles in the brew room through long narrow side windows.
In a side room through the side room can be found a small straight bar seating 9 along the front window and 4 long narrow tables seating 8 a piece. A mirrored back unit shows booze below glassware and a row of taps and 2 handpumps on the bar. Drop lighting & wall mounted lantern lighting over planters, a central TV above a juke box to the rear of the room, French/Belgian beer posters and coaster displays (mostly English Bitters & Milds).
8 taps in all. 6 house beers and 2 guest taps (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale & Pilsner Urquell) over 2 towers and 2 hand pumps. The Red Snapper Special Bitter was deep red, malty, caramel, sweet; the Bavarian Bliss Hefe was nicely banana & clove; the Faricy Fest Irish Stout was creamy, mildly bitter, roasty, chalky, burnt coffee, espresso; the Super Snapper, their 10th anniversary beer was like the Red Snapper but twice the alcohol & hoppy as all hell; the cask Sacred Cow IPA was cascade, floral, grapefruit; and the cask Milestone Porter was raisins, fruit, licorice, with a sour nicety. Says Randall, "Holy shit, that's as good as fuck". They also carry a decent collection of guest bottles. 5 German Hefes, Hitachino Nest, St. B Wit, Blance De Chamblay, Spanish Peaks Raspberry, Harpoon UFO.
Beers were solid, service was plesant enough, would've been nice to spend more time but I'm sure there's always more to see.
09-20-2005 05:18:30 | More by slander
4.25/5 rDev +7.6%
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
3.66/5 rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Arbor Brewing is located on East Washington which is right in downtown. It is only a couple miles from US-23 off Rte 14. Parking should not be too much of an issue between meters and garages in walking distance. Speaking of walking distance, being only a block away from Grizzly Peak is a plus.
The establishment has a well-worn look inside. The bar is at a funky angle in the center of the main room, and there is an adjacent dining area as well. One thing I noticed was the cool ceiling, some kind of Victorian look.
The beer selection here is not too big, but it is easily one of the most unique arrays of beer I have come across. There are 7 beers available, and Instead of the usual "Blonde to Dry Stout" progression, they had 2 different Bitters and an ESB and other eclectic options. The sampler is $7.00.
Service here was decent, especially considering how crowded the bar area was on a Friday afternoon as people were getting off work.
We did not try any food on this visit.
Overall this is a good stop in Ann Arbor, although I liked Grizzly Peak better. There are only 2 things on earth that could get me as an OSU graduate to visit this city: An away game at the Big House and a good brewpub. This is the latter.
04-20-2007 21:03:52 | More by Dogbrick
4.03/5 rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
In the main tourist part of Ann Arbor. Lots of parking at 80 cents an hour across the street, walking distance from Grizzly Peaks, and a short drive to other beer stores. A worthwhile stop. Lots of rooms for private parties and well lit up area in front of the windows to people watch or sit at the smallish bar. The beer is very good, there are some guest taps, some special reserve stuff. The staff is very friendly and attractively dressed and mannered, and they knew the beers. Everybody is happy. A good experience.
01-25-2007 15:43:05 | More by Sammy
4.2/5 rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Arbor Brewing was the first stop for my wife and myself on a brief tour of Ann Arbor brewpubs.
Sunday morning right after opening time, but already a bunch of tables occupied and some folks perched at the bar drinking. Nice airy place, comfortable. Would come often if I lived around.
Service was good and food was too. My wife got their signature burger and it was amazing, super juicy and well cooked. I regretted going healthy with an OK spinach salad. Who eats salad with beer???
We tried only two beers- the flagship Sacred Cow IPA (on cask) and the Super Snapper VSB, which is a bitter on steroids. Both were very good, and I had never tried a "VSB". The cask was, however, a little too cold. Tasted almost like a regular draft.
But we liked it enough to get a growler. Too bad they didn't seal it properly and when we opened it at home the beer was incredibly flat.
Aside from this, we really enjoyed Arbor Brewing and would definitely come back. It was our favorite of three we visited in town.
09-20-2010 18:02:55 | More by DoubleSimcoe
4/5 rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
One of the many excellent beer destinations in downtown Ann Arbor. This place is just 2 blocks from Jolly Pumpkin and even closer to 2 other brewpubs. Hard to decide where to go when in town, so many excellent choices.
Arbor Brewing is a long time establishment in the area, maybe 15 years to date. I like this location much more than Corner Brewing, it just seems more urban. Large central bar, also tables for well over 100 people, more than plenty of space. There were 2 cask offerings, an IPA and a porter, both were excellent. Also a tap list of Arbor beers spanning many styles, mostly solid stuff.
The food was very good, relatively low prices and decent servings. Mostly standard pub fare, hamburgers and such.
05-24-2011 12:45:02 | More by TurdFurgison
3.95/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
not sure i've ever had their beer but i recognize them from the great taste of the midwest. nice big interior, nice woody interior with dark earthy tones.
pretty decent array of taps - a good cask ipa, a solid double ipa, a tasty brown, a good esb, and some other stuff of lesser interest. there was even a vintage bottle list that was a tad pricey and not really fitting with our evening plans.
everything i sampled was good - the ipa's were quite good. i saw a sour brown at a bottle shop - its pretty clear this spot is a decent local brewpub. they were out of a handful of things, but nothing even remotely interesting - so that is probably telling of the clientele but it was no issue to me
the menu was pretty pedestrian - burgers seemed like the best bet (local, grassfed, etc) and they come with 3 toppings. taste wasnt anything overly special
worth a stop if you're stuck in this hole
09-15-2009 04:44:59 | More by dirtylou
4.15/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Stop #215 on my brewery tour of the world.
Completed a brewpub tour of Ann Arbor the first week of June 2011 with a couple of my beer-snob-drinking friends. Easily shakes out to…
1. Jolly Pumpkin & Arbor Brewing tied and depending on unique vs. traditional beers
2. Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery
3. Grizzly Peak Brewing Company (very distant third)
Stop #2 on our tour was Arbor Brewing and if you like your beers straight and down the fairway, this is the place to go. We shared a five beer sampler (I think they were pretty big pours) of...
Festival Saison - a bit too cloudy to enjoy
Mai Bock - outstanding - fruity and clean
Olde number 22 German Alt - acused of being too porter but well done with the unique alt yeast flavor
Having an uber rare Alt on tap and a Mai Bock that I though were both done very well was a treat and I give Arbor props for that.
We had a pierogi appetizer and played some suffleboard (the bar kind) on a table that could use some work.
Wound up doubling down on the IPA's as they had JUST RUN OUT OF THE MAI BOCK!!!!
Getting the attention of the bartenders was a bit frustrating especially since the place wasn't that crowded.
06-12-2011 01:48:50 | More by Yetiman420
4.16/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I stopped in while on a business trip to Detroit.
Atmosphere - Arbor Brewing Co is in a nice, old college town. I'd never been to Ann Arbor and I was pretty impressed. The exterior of the building is very ornate with lots of trim and paint colors in what seems like a Victorian style. They have sidewalk seating in front. The interior also has a nice old feel to it with exposed brick, worn wood floors and a molded ceiling. There are lots of booths, some tables and a moderate sized bar. The bar has a large stainless steel rack / wait station toward one end that takes away from the appearance a bit. The brewing is equipment is visible through windows behind the bar. Overall it has a very comfortable feel to it.
Quality - I only had the IPA (on cask) but based on that, I give it high ratings. I really enjoyed it.
Service - I was in and out pretty quickly so I didn't pick up much on the service. I had no complaints.
Selection - About what you'd expect for a brewpub. They had six on tap and two on cask (the IPA and a porter). I love the fact that they offer two on cask.
Food - Didn't try.
09-11-2008 12:41:13 | More by GJ40
3.95/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Damn! Who knew that Ann Arbor has so many brewpubs! Oh wait, I did.
Atmosphere: On entering, we were greeted by a large bar area that obscures the brewing equipment behind it. A second dining area is to the left (bathrooms are in that room). A few of the barstools have names on the back, I like saving seats for regulars. A boho feel, this place has.
Quality: We didn't have a beverage list at first, requiring a trip to the bar to snag one. The only other hiccup that I can think of is the waitress's failure to intervene when we ordered garlic fries with the Divette.
Service: Fast and prompt, no doubt aided by the summer Friday afternoon time. She visited regularly, bringing our snacks quickly.
Selection: Arbor has tap offerings (6 or so), bottled Arbor offerings (6 also) and a reserve list. We went with the barrel aged Divette from the reserve list - an excellent choice. We also took a framboise with us to go. Because we didn't try the house beers, our opinion is of limited use.
Food: Garlic fries with a barrel aged blonde ale is a bad idea. Both were good on their own, just not together. A wide menu was available for the taking, we, however, went with the fries only.
06-12-2010 01:20:26 | More by akorsak
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Arbor Brewing Company in Ann Arbor, MI
89 out of 100 based on 83 user ratings.