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Right Brain Brewery
Active Beers: 63
Beer Ratings: 325
Beer Avg: 3.76
Taps: 15 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
225 E Sixteenth St Ste E
phone: (231) 944-1239
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Reviews by Mitchster:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
These guys have been open for about 2 weeks now. I don't know where the parking is, so I just parked out front. It's a typical open industrial look, with unfinished ceilings, exposed air ducts, etc. No food for right now, unless a bag of premade popcorn counts. They had about 12 beers on tap or so, with room for about 5 more. I tried the ESB, Raspberry pale, Hefe Weizen, IPA, Porter (on nitro), and Stout. They were all good, but none stood out as really, really good. The Hefe weizen and IPA were probably my favorites. I spoke with John, the brewer, for a while. He used to brew for Traverse Brewing Company in Elk Rapids. Very nice and knowledgable guy who seemed to enjoy talking shop. Plenty of seating (the license says 81) with local art on the walls. Big see through window to the beauty shop next door. Bathrooms out in the hall are shared with the other businesses in the building. They don't currently have a sampler tray, and it seemed the bartender was irritated by my requests to try the beers, despite the fact I was paying for them. When I was there, they had happy hour from 3-6p with $2 pints.
These guys have promise. The beers are decent for an early start, and I hope to see them grow.
12-16-2007 04:47:05 |
More by Mitchster
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
This review is for the Garland St location. I guess they just moved to a new location last week (Sep 2012).
In my opinion RBB has the best beer in Michigan. By all means it is a micro brewery. As far as I know they do not sell beer outside their pub. They brew beer for quality, not quantity, and it shows.
The setting was kind of weird. It is attached to a hair salon by two way mirrors. So basically you can sit in the bar and watch people get their hair done, but they can not see you threw the mirror. I thought that was super weird and somewhat creepy, but cool.
No food besides snacks are served, they have growlers of beer to go. They also sell some of their t shirts and stickers.
Overall, great beer, average service, and a weird environment. Definitely the best brewery in TC, if not the nest in Michigan.
09-08-2012 20:27:10 |
More by theecaleb
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
I heard that people that have TomTom or some other navigation devices have a hard time finding this place. Using Google maps on my smart phone brought me right to the front door. The location and building is nowhere near what you expect for a brewpub. In a commercial area in pretty much an alley. Right Brain shares a building with several tennants, one being a hair dresser that you can look upon via the windows. So if your wife wants to get her hair done, go with her, you are all set to drink some beer. All orders are done at the bar. I ordered a sampler with 6(?) choices. All the beer was good but nothing really grabbed me. My favorite was Dead Kettle while Bone Crusher was my least favorite. Beer from straight forward to out in left field. They had a smoked porter made with smoked pig bones but I did not try it. Sounds interesting though. The bartender was sure to tell me it recently won a reward. They do not do food besides bar snacks. I thought it was a bit expensive. If I remember correctly, it was $15 for the sampler.
10-07-2011 21:45:41 |
More by morimech
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
A very creative brewery. I had beers made with whole cherry pies and ghost chilis. The beers were well-made and balanced. They were adventurous, but very enjoyable.
The atmosphere is eccentric. Right Brain is located inside of a building where all the other businesses are closed by sundown. The building is on a road/alley that also is home to a commercial baked good warehouse. The bar shares a bathroom that is located outside of the main area, like you'd find in an office building. The bar is very well-lit, There are plenty of tables, but no servers. You must stand in line and order your beers at a countertop. A beer list is written in dry erase marker on a white board. The entire experience feels more like a coffee shop, or a bakery, than a brewery.
All of the idiosyncracies feel deliberate. The beer is allowed to speak for itself. The beers are over-the-top statements, and they do not need an over-the-top delivery. Everyone inside is nice and friendly, and if you want to try some unique beers in an unassuming environment--perhaps while playing one of their several board games--Right Brain is your place.
09-09-2011 02:48:51 |
More by dorianmarley
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Plenty of beers on tap and from the looks of the site it's always changing. My wife and I went for happy hour during the week and it was very laid back. The bar was more like a coffee shop that served beer. The one bartender was very friendly and quick while taking the time to talk to each costumer.
We sat in old hospital chairs and there was a beer advocate mag for me to browse through while I sipped on a delicious IPA. I really wanted to try all there beers because they had somethings as wild as a cherry pie beer. Actual cherry pies were through into the fermentation! There are "premium pours" and regular pours while they will also let you take a growler to go.
Right brain is cool with people bringing in their own food and even mentions this on their cards. The only downside we both agreed on was that there was no outdoor patio. Traverse City has such great weather and Righ brain should take advantage of this. Solid overall.
09-02-2011 22:11:20 |
More by stewart124
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped here after spending the day at Short's eating and drinking. I did'nt have anything to eat here but did try about 10 beers. Very bright and colorful inside, makes me feel like I'm in an ice cream store. The pub also connects to a salon where you can have your hair styled or cut while enjoying a beer. If you know me you understand I have no need to have my hair styled. This is a kid friendly brew pub so no need to leave them at home. The beers I tried were very solid beers and the had a sour which was very good. They always seem to have a highly eclectic variety of beers and is a place I will stop at every time I'm in Traverse City.
08-09-2011 01:46:57 |
More by jale
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
I have been here three times in the past three days.
Walking in was a hint confusing seeing as there is a salon out front. For those who are not locals or familiar with this location it might be a bit odd. But after the first time you know exactly where to go.
One is welcomed by a very nice and modern décor brew pub. Lots of open seating, a long L shaped bar, and a wonderfully transcribed board telling what is on tap. The three times my brother-in-law and I cam here it was a bit of off hours but the atmosphere was still great and the employees were eager to banter and BS with us about the beers. My brother-in-law and I both had a flight and then a couple other beers (at the other various times) that we enjoyed. They had some interesting beers (some I wouldn’t get again but was glad to try) but others that were solid for sure that I have enjoyed a few times.
The prices were overall good, and service great (sorry for the old fogies that feel they were not served well or are “out of the loop”…maybe they are). The selection was great, as in they had tons of RB’s own beers (no guest taps which would have been nice I will admit). We had plenty to choose from.
All in all, I have had an enjoyable experience and would recommend people to come here. The only downside was there was no real food avaliable.
08-08-2011 02:08:48 |
More by SpdKilz
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$
In a nutshell, this place is weird. Tucked back inside a strip mall, you feel like you're walking through a hair salon to get to the bar. After attempting to have a beer here, it became very obvious that I am not hip enough for this scene. I always try cask conditioned beers when I have an opportunity, and here they had a jalapeno stout concoction on cask. While others may like a spicy warm stout, I found it to be awful. The bartenders were pretentious and not particularly friendly. We didn't even finish our beers because we were just not enjoying the vibe the place was giving off. Perhaps if you are a regular you are used to the atmosphere, but I found it off-putting. I much preferred the North Peak brews I tried during my stay in Traverse City.
07-31-2011 23:42:56 |
More by augievikings
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This very eclectic brew pub is nestled in the warehouse district of Traverse City. The overall theme seems to be industrial meets geek. Patrons seem to come from every walk of life. There's a nice long bar with comfortable stools, as well as tables of all heights and sizes scattered around the place. The patio, was large, but packed. Not a seat to be found.
My fiance and I settled into our barstool and took a gander at the white board displaying the day's selections. There was a style for everybody. From the Owl Hawk made with Maris Otter to the Black Eye PA.
I had a flight of 6 beers, 6, 6oz. pours for $15. A bit pricey as far as flights normally go, but for my first time there, a great way to sample the majority of beers that piqued my interest.
My fiance had the Fuzz Face Peach Wheat, reasonably priced with a 20oz. pour for $3.50.
Merchandise was on par with other brewpubs, a T-shirt running $23.
Overall, a great experience with delicious, well crafted beers.
07-28-2011 13:20:27 |
More by RocPorterFanatic
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Now I've visited Right Brain about a half dozen times over the past three years, and have varying experiences. The first time I went about three years ago, I really fell in love with the place. It was a great addition to the Traverse City area. The local artwork is a great feature, the beers were tasty, using alot of local, eclectic ingredients, and the vibe was fun and relaxed. I've read some things recently that say the beers have gone down hill, but in my limited experiences, they have been alright. They aren't the best beers, no Shorts, or JP, but they are better than average beers. I've had some really nice beers on cask there, which is hard to get around the way. Give it a try, there aren't an overwhelming amount of choices in the area, so you should have time to decide for yourself.
NOTE: EDIT 12-27-2012 Original score as 3.91.
I have since visited Right Brain in their new location and wanted to note some things. The original brewer is back from his stint at JP, and the quality of the breweries as definitely been re-elevated.
The new tap room is pretty impressive. It's a really cool space, spread out, with plenty of wall space for art work, kind of continuing the theme from the Warehouse District. The brewing area itself is massively larger than previous, so this should give them the room they need to grow and distribute soon. Good looking out Right Brain.
03-09-2011 02:17:14 |
More by MarcatGSB
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Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City, MI