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Jolly Pumpkin Cafe And Brewery Ann Arbor
Active Beers: 8
Beer Ratings: 53
Beer Avg: 3.89
Taps: 10 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
311 S. Main Street
phone: (734) 913-2730
(Place added by: Hokenfloken on 10-21-2009)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 37 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Having lived around and frequented the brewpub since it opened, I've seen all sides the place offers.
BEER - There are always rotating seasonal taps, experimental taps that don't get bottled, standards, and new releases from Ron Jeffries' other joint business venture North Peak Brewing Co., which has some solid IPAs. Also got to buy and taste some 6-7 yr old beers from Jolly Pumpkin's first batches thanks to Ron holding a charity rare beer auction from his personal cellar. My favorites have been:
- Spring Sour (1 time only blend of several different beers)
- Raspinnicle - The 2nd in the "Green Leaf" experimental series of non-sour beers, brewed with spinach. Solid, unfiltered, biscuity pale ale. The other two beers in the series were good as well - a kale beer, and a nettle imperial ipa.
- Oro de Calabaza - world-class, lightly sour belgian golden ale with wonderful belgian yeast and punchiness. The best of their regular brews.
- Madrugada Obscura - Wow. Sour imperial stout - talk about breaking new ground in a beer category and doing it well! Phenomenal depth, complexity, and balance and I've still never had any other beer quite like it. Generally only brewed in Feb-Mar, it's still avail in bottles this summer.
- Biere de Mars - big, funky, biere de garde similarly complex to a Oud Gueze and just packed with flavor without being overly heavy. Wonderful beer.
Lots of other beers I like there too...
FOOD - I had lunch with the head chef and talked with her about her philosophy when it opened. She sources as much local/organic/seasonal food as she can and then does things like maker her own kimchi in-house. Very solid food for the price, but definitely a little more pricey than normal brewpub fare.
AMBIANCE - Gorgeous artwork from the bottle label designs, crafty chandeliers and sconces, dark woods, and friendly people abound. Big, spacious outdoor deck for the summer. Well-designed.
08-07-2011 16:33:22 |
More by mrbeermug
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stop #214 on my brewery tour of the world.
Completed a brewpub tour of Ann Arbor the first week of June 2011 with a couple of my beer-snob-drinking friends. Easily shakes out to…
1. Jolly Pumpkin & Arbor Brewing tied and depending on unique vs. traditional beers
2. Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery
3. Grizzly Peak Brewing Company (very distant third)
We did Jolly Pumpkin as the first stop with the plan to visit again the next day for lunch.
Of all the brewpubs I've had the good fortune of visiting, the interior of this one is among the finest. Very classy, nice upstairs, and they even have a deck off the upstairs back along with a second bar upstairs.
We went with the nine beer sampler and the olive and meat appetizer.
Raspinicle (with spinich!)
Came back the next day for the amazing truffle pizza, a pint of Bam, and drop some cash on shirts and fancy growler (for my homebrew transport).
I'm a huge sour/wild fan and think Bam Weizen is one of the best beers in the world. Other JP stuff I'm mixed on. To me, their beers could benefit from a touch more carbonation and I find some of the sours (like the spring sour) to finish a bit muddy and lack clear definition.
I tied this with Arbor brewing and make a note that if you aren't all that exploratory with your beer (i.e. English Ales rule!!), then JP may not be your cup of tee. If you're into the unique with beer (and food), JP will be right up your alley.
06-12-2011 01:40:11 |
More by Yetiman420
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I reall enjoy coming here when I'm hungry for really good food to go along with good beer. This is downtown Ann Arbor and usually busy. The menu is not your typical brewery menu, it is AA you know. The food is of very high quality,not out of a box or a can. The service has always been very good and waitstaff are normally talkative and helpful with any beer questions. If they don't know the answer they find someone to ask who does. They have quite extensive seating here for downtown Ann Arbor. Not the local pub atmosphere but upscale without being snobby.
05-13-2011 12:53:31 |
More by jale
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I went to Jolly Pumpkin Cafe and Brewery for the first time a few weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised.
You could walk right by the place and not notice it, but it is located right downtown just a couple of blocks from Arbor Brewing and Grizzle Peak. The atmosphere is very nice inside. It's pretty small, but there is a cool, upscale pub vibe going on. There are small 3-4 table areas that are kind of segregated from each other.
The menu is fairly small, but with lots of interesting and unique choices. A good selection of vegetarian fare, as well as some interesting non-alcoholic drinks. My son had a ginger soda and loved it.
The beer is great. They serve Jolly Pumpkin beers as well as North Peak, so there is something for any beer drinker.
The prices are a bit high, in my opinion. It was $60 for 2 sandwiches/fries and a kids meal, 2 draft beers, and a ginger soda($4). The beers were the Biere de Mars Grand Reserve and the Bambic, so that is probably why they were $8 each. Not sure what a pour of their regular offerings cost.
Overall a unique brewery that I will definitely visit again.
05-12-2011 20:34:15 |
More by tjohn2401
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Downtown Ann Arbor, 1 block from a parking garage in case street parking isn't available. This looks to have 2 floors, but I just stayed on the lower level. Nicely put together, an upscale brewpub that tends towards being artsy.
The JP beers on tap were great, nothing TOO rare unfortunately (would have loved Lambicus) but still some stuff you don't see too often. Prices were reasonable and the beers were prompt.
The food is upscale pub style, including vegetarian choices which is cool. I'm not a vegetarian but I like tofu, however I recommend against the tofu sandwich as it wasn't very good. The truffle fries are excellent though.
A very easy choice if you're in Ann Arbor, the main competition being Ashley's, where you can get a much wider range of brewery products. If I had 2 nights to spend in Ann Arbor I'd do dinner at both places, if I had 1 night it's a toss-up.
03-10-2011 17:16:07 |
More by TurdFurgison
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I had some pretty strong recommendations to visit this place, and it did not disappoint.
First of all, make a reservation, I am glad I did. The tap selection isn't mind blowing, but I suppose if I were from out of state I would be going crazy. The food on the menu (check out the menu) almost made my mind numb with anticipation, but the only thing that really blew my mind was the truffle fries. The pizzas looked amazing, but I did not get one. The service was very attentive without being overbearing. I did not test the server's knowledge of the beers because I was familiar with the selection, but she was familiar with what was available and what was not. Hard to beat and highly recommend.
02-13-2011 05:37:56 |
More by david131
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
We stopped in over the Xmas holidays. The decor and layout of the place was cool -- I really liked the large versions of the JP bottle artwork hanging on the walls. The beer list wasn't immense (about a dozen on draft), but it covered the regular JP releases as well as some seasonals and guest taps. Samplers were available, which was appreciated by some members of my party that had less familiarity with their beers. Service was good, attentive without being overbearing. The food was enjoyed by all -- my porchetta sandwich was rich and delicious, fries were solid, and the butcher's platter had an interesting selection of meats and cheeses. Prices were reasonable, though specific items were on the pricey side (see butcher's platter mentioned above). Overall, definitely worth a visit especially if you're not very acquainted with the JP lineup -- and even if you are, you can enjoy them on tap and with some tasty food.
01-12-2011 21:50:09 |
More by DrJay
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
I went here for dinner last week during a visit to Ann Arbor, happy to finally partake in Jolly Pumpkin beer after hearing so much about it. The place is fairly big, with two levels and was very busy the night I went.
The menu wasn't huge, but they seemed to go for more fancy fare over usual bar food. I got a carnivore pizza, which was excellent. The service was amazing with the waiter very engaging and helping me decide which of their 10ish beers on tap to try. He was extremely knowledgable about all the beers and was more than happy to offer samples when I had a tough time deciding. By the end of the night I would estimate I probably ended up talking with him for at least a half an hour about the beer.
And the beer was certainly worth talking about. They don't have a typical brewpub offering where they have a stout, a porter, an IPA, etc. Instead they're very experimental with their beers and are tough to put into simple categories. While they were all very high quality I was especially impressed with their Bam Biere and La Parcela.
This place was excellent and one of the highlights of my trip to Ann Arbor. It was so good I had to bring a group of my friends, also from out of town, back two nights later.
09-21-2010 23:55:03 |
More by Rocks
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Another road trip stop in down in Ann Arbor. Grabbed a sampler and was again surprised that not all of their regluar beer offerings were on tap. No La Roja?! Really? They also had an assortment of North Peak on tap as well. When I asked the bartender about North Peak and why they had it on tap he really didn't seem to interested in telling me about their association. Got some nachos while I was there and they were AWESOME! Cool place but need their regular lineup on tap and a more lively bartender.
08-23-2010 19:14:10 |
More by kbutler1
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | $$
Stopped in here after the Michigan Brewers Guild Fest 2010.
Located in a pretty awesome part of town amongst lots of other bars, cafes, shops, galleries and restaurants, many of which have alfresco dining and open air fronts.
JP doesnt have a very big sign and its easy to miss. We were walking but we didnt notice it until we were right smack dab in front of it. Inside is dimly lit with chandeliers made from kitchen utensils. Their label art is framed and adorns the walls.
Right by the hostess stand is a little nook for tee shirts and take home bottles. We walked right in and sat at the bar downstairs. Everyone in town seemed to know that the beer fest was going on and one of the bartenders chatted us up a little about it.
Upsettingly the selections here were nearly nothing I couldnt get all over the place. Some North Peak and Tortuga Brewing in bottles and tap though.
I was, however, glad to see a hand pump which had Calabaza Blanca with Hibiscus Flowers. It was very good and easy drinking on cask.
Really, I was a bit let down. I really hoped for something crazy one off and something worth buying a growler for.
07-26-2010 01:01:48 |
More by MbpBugeye
Jolly Pumpkin Cafe And Brewery Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, MI
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