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Right Brain Brewery
Active Beers: 80
Beer Ratings: 689
Beer Avg: 3.7
Taps: 15 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
225 E Sixteenth St Ste E
phone: (231) 944-1239
(Place added by: Mitchster on 12-15-2007)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 44 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
final stop on day #1 of our Michigan trip
It was pretty busy though we were able to snag two seats at the bar. Pretty cool looking place, playing off the "right brain" thing with some quirky decorations and layout.
Unfortunately, they were down to 5 (maybe 6) beers to choose from while we were there. One I was really looking forward to was the RAD (Random Alpha Docious) collaboration with Dark Horse. It was decent at best. The most intriguing selection was the Pomona Pumpkin "sour" (more tart) that was good, though didnt interest me enough to get a growler to go. Everything else was forgettable.
Service, well we were waited on and carded when we sat down and ordered a flight. To which we had to fill out which six beers we wanted - when they only had six to choose from. After that, we were pretty much left alone, and not even asked if we wanted anything else once the flight was gone.
Overall, a little bit of a letdown from what I was expecting to be a hidden gem of the trip. Not bad enough to the point where I would give it another shot if in the area though.
11-17-2010 03:53:48 |
More by Stigs
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
well it's very clear that the brewery shares a building with other businesses. very cool establishment i.m.o. they have a chalkboard with the brews on hand and giving info on each one. they have a wall for their mug club and it's a site to see. it's a very laid back enviroment. when i went there were kids running around playing with their toys and no one cared. the place is very i don't know.. free spirited. they have alot of personal art and what-not hanging on the ceiling. the service is really good and the staff are cool. i got a growler to take home and i wanted the simcoe dream which is cask conditioned (cuz i thought their other ipa that wasn't casked sucked). well one of the employee's told me they don't really do that cuz of the cask getting flat but i offered to pay more and he said he would. he ended up giving me the growler for no extra money and i also got 2 pint glasses and a set of coasters for all 25 bucks out the door. which totally beats great lakes brewing which not even a month ago wanted to charge me 33 bucks just for a growler of blackout stout (RIP OFF!!)
the only thing i can say that is negative about the place is how they try to have 12+ beers on tap and when i went there 8/23/10 there were only i think 8. now the only thing i can say negative about the brewery is i would like to see more higher alcohol beers. they had nothing over 6.3abv which was an amber. like make an ipa that or 7abv.
i didn't get any food but all they have anyway are just some munchies like pretzels, popcorn, etc. overall this place is great. seems like the majority of the people who go there are down to earth but there are #ssholes everywhere. for $3 pints during happy hour 3-6 you can't beat it.
UPDATED!!!!went back on aug 17th 2011 and was pretty disappointed. their prices seem like they could be lowered and the quality of beer seemed to have dropped. 5.35 a pint of your own homemade beer at the same establshment seems kinda dickish to me. when shorts and other companies sell their beer cheaper and make way much more better stuff too.
08-25-2010 20:50:12 |
More by claminat420
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | $$
Traverse City was a pitstop on our way to Shorts a few miles north. Thank God we didn't stay in Traverse since it was awash in vacationers. We had received several endorsements of the Brain and so made our approach with optimism and enthusiasm. That a bit dented by its slightly hidden quality and trying to find a parking spot. Also a little taken aback by the first impression being that of a hair-dresser. Fortunately we managed to discern that the bar was behind. I guess it is a unique claim to be made to be the only bar where one can gaze out onto people having their hair dyed.
First impression was favourable: liked the slightly hip, west-coast casual ambiance. Encouraged by sign saying no one under 21 (except that's only true after 9, so yes there were babies in there). Bar staff pretty friendly. Happy hour prices really reasonable. Here's the thing though: beer just not that good. My own brewery is better. Spiny Norman not so bad. Will Power not so good. Something on the cask, a stout with cinnamon, truly awful; it would take a lot of ice cream to banish the taste of that one.
Another disappointment was the complete absence of real food. Chips and hummus that are delivered in the packages that came from the store...
A lot of marketing goes into this operation with its funky shirts and stuff. Also it tries to create a reputation of edgy and off-the-wall creations - like beer made with asparagus. Take a tip from Barry at Saugatuck: do the simple things well.
08-06-2010 02:51:47 |
More by AylwinForbes
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
The 3rd stop on our Traverse City brewery crawl. Located in the Warehouse District the exterior is non-descript and located on an alley-like street.
The interior is eclectic and fun with local art lining the walls. An impressive custom-mug club wall sits to the left of the bar. This place is a no-frills just beer establishment. I don't believe they offer food. Its a "Whadda Ya Want" type attitude but not unwelcoming. 12 beers were offered and a 6 beer flight comes in at $15. My flight consisted of their Empire Spear - an ASPARAGUS beer that was unique and refreshing when cold, a little off-putting as it warmed HA!, Will Power Pale Ale, Copper Grasshopper ESB, Out of Tyne Brown Ale, Ancho Chili Double Dutch Chocloate Porter and their Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal (C.E.O) stout. My favorite of the flight was the CEO stout but all were exceptional and tasty.
The world needs more places like the Right Brain Brewery where quality and creativity are top priority with passionate and devoted staff. I would frequent this place if I lived within 100 miles.
06-20-2010 13:33:02 |
More by BehindtheFinBrew
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
My better half and I took a trip to Traverse City this past weekend to get away and to stop at the local breweries. We ended up stopping at the Right Brain in the evening, and I have to agree with just about everyone that it was a very odd and hard to get to location. Upon walking into the building you have to pass a hair salon. You notice the walls covered with art and designs when stepping into Right Brain, plus get a "artsy" feel with practically everything involved.
The waitress we had was quite pleasent, courteous and energentic. The beers are listed on a large chalk board on the wall, giving a name, a slight description and style of the beers available.
I ended up trying a sampler, which contained 6 samples at 6 oz each for $15. The beers I had included: Naughty Girl Scout which was a stout containing a "thin mint" taste, a Beer called Wicked Garden Roasted Beet Wheat, which was basically what the name said as that's what it looked, smelled and tasted like. A LIttle Italy Honey Basil which had a Strong Basil taste and smell. A Burgundy Ale which was your typical Amber Ale. A Sun Cup American Wheat which wasn't bad and tasted like a usual American Style Wheat, and finally a beer called "Stoch Buddler Michigan Common Copper" which was quite interesting, though different at the same time.
One of the flaws of this place was that there was no food, which was surprising as you usually don't see this too often. But being that it was a small establishment it was understanding in a ways, and nice at the same time as you can bring a sandwich with no hassle.
Overall I found this place to contain a great environment, a great selection and a place I'd definitely return to and recommend.
05-14-2010 03:53:13 |
More by beerguru15
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Place is sort of a hidden gem located in Traverse City. Definitely has a coffee house vibe like others have said. A lot of artsy people were there, or at least they were dressed like they were. Place was pretty noisy while we were there due to the limited amount of space. That's really the only thing it lacks is more space, and a finished ceiling. Their beer selection was excellent. Had plenty of beers ranging over a wide variety of styles. Some of the beers were very unique as well. Service was pretty good, a little slow but it definitely wasn't the bartenders fault, a lot of people are so indecisive about what kind of beer they wanted to order. Average age for the place was probably mid-30's or so. My biggest grievance, no food! Popcorn and pretzels were available but I would love to see them offer food eventually. They might have to move though as I doubt there is enough space for a kitchen. I would definitely come here again just because of their unique beer selection.
04-18-2010 20:10:50 |
More by kbeals
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Traveled three weeks to Traverse City with friends. I had heard about Right Brain from a few people, with mixed results. I just had to give it a try (especially after a friend gave me his growler to be filled at a reduced cost!).
The location was kind of a pain. We didn't realize that it was behind a hair salon (I'm sure townies love it). Once inside though, it had a terrific vibe. Along with a good selection of beer (try the Big Boned Belgian, you won't be disappointed), it also had a great 'personal' feel to it. Very much like a coffee shop. If you being able to hear your friends, this is a great place. I hope to go back someday soon!
12-08-2009 17:02:45 |
More by jeepboy76
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Located in the warehouse district in Traverse City, Michigan. A bit tricky to get to but well worth a little effort! Located behind a hair salon that is actually part of the bar. You can get a haircut and sample a brew at the same time.(What a great idea!) If you don't need a haircut, just walk past the salon into the brewpub. There is an "L" shaped bar and various tables with one having actual barber chairs to sit at.
The place has a kind of Bohemian, coffe-house eclectic feel to it. There are no t.v.'s, but there are numerous old-school board games to play, if you are so inclined, and some unobtrusive rock/pop music plays over the whole scene. The pub is smoke-free, and although there is no food served, there are snacks such as popcorn and pretzels. But you don't come here for the food. At any one time there are 12 different taps, all with an eclectic sampling of various house brews, ranging from an English hand-pulled stout, to a 14%ABV barleywine and everything in between. On the day I was here, everything was just $3 a pint all day!!
The "beertenders" were very knowledgeable and helpful, and provided samples (just ask!)
Everything on tap is written on a huge blackboard and may change daily, depending on how fast a particular offering sells out. There seemed to be only one waitress, so you pretty much had to stand in line to get a beer, but it moved fairly quickly and gives you time to read the blackboard and figure out what you want to try. The beers run the gamut from average to exceptional. All local ingredients are used, with no extracts. On most days the owner is behind the bar and will answer any questions you have when he gets the chance, as this place can get pretty busy.
Overall, if you are in the Traverse City area the Right Brain Brewery is a must for all craft beer lovers. It offers a unique atmosphere and equally unique brews that must be tasted to be appreciated. Growlers are also available to take your favorite (or favorites) beer home.
09-07-2009 17:46:28 |
More by hosehead83
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
The Right Brain Brewery is located in Traverse City Michigan's warehouse district. Located in a renavated buildingalong with some other neiboring businesses. One of which is a hair salon in which you can have a Right Brain Brew while getting your hair cut. Cool.
The atmosphere is very west coast casual. The place has a bit of nostalgia from the building and a bit of family fun with board games to play whist sipping on a quality brew. It is a mixed bag as far as patrons; some older folks, some younger too but all have a good appreciation for quality beer.
The service is outstanding. Considering you have to get in line to order your beer the staff moves the line along quickly. They are all knowledgeable of what they serve and are very friendly and accomodating.
The beer selection is fantastic! Rye cream Ale, Stouts, Porters, IPA's, APA's, and Barley Wine.
I sample three while I was there and all were very good within their class; CEO Stout, Hopping Frog Creamy Rye and the Posh Porter. I hope to be back soon to sample their other offerings.
If you want good craft beer on a budget this is your place. I was very impressed that on a Saturday they had all day happy hour. Pints were $3 and growlers were $12. They have a wide selection of RBB wear and collectables as well. Again all reasonably priced.
If ever in the TC areas RBB is a must visit!
Cheers to RBB!
09-02-2009 09:29:47 |
More by GordonQuid
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
My girlfriend and I spent a long weekend in Traverse City recently, and had the chance to drop into Right Brain for a beer. It's a little tough to find initially, but definitely not hard to get to.
We went in on a Friday afternoon/early evening and the place was PACKED. I'm telling you, wall to wall with people. It wasn't even tourist season, and everyone we ran into were locals. It's definitely a neighborhood hangout. We squeezed in at the end of the bar and chatted it up with some very nice ladies. Sampled a couple brews and stuck with a nice winter warmer. Everything I tried was better than average, with some being great. My girlfriend, who isn't necessarily a ba, is a good sport about visiting breweries and genuinely enjoyed her time here as well.
Service at the bar was great, the bartenders were very nice and on the ball.
Beer selection was good, with pretty much every base covered, including a couple IPA's and a barrel-aged offering. They were grilling asparagus out front for an asparagus brew. Quite ballsy if ya ask me.
Didn't try the food, but apparently it's not their strong suit. Plenty of good spots around the area to get some great eats tho.
All in all a worthy beer destination, especially when coupled with the other beer-centric establishments in and around the city.
08-02-2009 21:07:29 |
More by SaucyA
Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City, MI
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