Jolly Pumpkin Cafe And Brewery Ann Arbor
Active Beers: 8
Beer Ratings: 55
Beer Avg: 3.89
Taps: 10 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 37 | Show All Ratings:
2.98/5 rDev -28.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 1.5 | $$
In town for a brew pub crawl and JP was on the list...Pretty non-descript front, easy to walk past. A huge bottom floor that looks mostly restuarant style seating with a pretty nice bar. A big case of JP beers when you walk in, just regular stuff though. We went upstairs to the bar part and sat at the bar. Nothing super special up staits, a big barrel that is sorta cool...The selection of beers was pretty disappointing frankly. They had 8 taps and 8 bottles, 80% percent where JP beers. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you are going to have your beers at least have some stuff that is not readily available. Basically everything that they had I could get in Chicago. The Bar Tenders were nothing special, not super friendly or knowledgable.
Overall, a bit of a disappointment.
07-19-2010 20:24:34 | More by jrallen34
4.53/5 rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Made the trip down to "weasel-town" aka Ann Arbor to watch the US/Ghana match at the brewpub.
The front of the place is pretty hard to notice as I walked right past it. Once entering there's a hostess stand with a small "gift-shop" and a beautiful carved wood bar lining the back wall. We opted to sit at the bar for the event as there was only one TV in the joint. Surprising given the laid back atmosphere as compared to their more upscale Old Mission location that housed a Golden Tee Machine and 3-4 times as many TV's.
While waiting for friends, I sampled the brews on tap I had yet to have. There were 7-8 brews on tap at the time with many Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak brews available in bottle. The sampler I went with was a Gluten Free Sour Mash on cask, Luciernaga, Calabaza Blanca, Manitee Belipago Gluten free Belgian IPA, and their Tortuga Ale Co. Chocolate Stout. All of which were quite good with the favorite being the Calabaza Blanca and the least being the Chocolate Stout. This was my first experience with a true sour mashed beer and it did not disappoint. A pint of North Peak Diabolical IPA and Siren Amber Ale were also sampled.
The lunch menu is the exact same as the dinner menu only prices jump $3-4 at dinner time so get there for the lunch hour. I had their JP Burger and my fiancee had the chickpea panini. Both were quite tasty but a little pricey for this unemployed post-graduate coming in around $10-13 for lunch. I did appreciate the ability to sub a salad for french fries.
The service was outstanding. They swapped a shirt I bought at the Traverse City location for a more appropriately sized one at their store. That was much appreciated. Also, the bartender was uber-friendly and knowledgeable of the company and their brews. She unhesitatingly answered my relentless inquiries about their company structure in my attempt to understand the Jolly Pumpkin/North Peak/Grizzly Peak dynamic. I'm still not 100% on it but glad she obliged.
Overall, the trip was much enjoyed, albeit a little saddening due to the US loss, and I would visit again quite willingly.
06-27-2010 16:24:12 | More by BehindtheFinBrew
3.88/5 rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Just returned from a beer tour of Michigan and this was our second stop. Review is from notes taken on 6/18/2010.
Atmosphere: Nice, and actually pretty classy (actually, it was pretty bourgeois, and the whole area of Ann Arbor that it's located in screams it). However, aside from that, it was nice and well decorated with sweet full frame versions of their bottle artwork on the walls (I thought about stealing the Bam Biere one because I like it so much). There's really plenty of room there too as there is a full bar on both floors. I do think they need to get the bathroom situation worked out a little better though as they're hard to find and they need more space in them.
Quality: Definitely solid - JP really puts a lot of time into their beers to create some unique ones and the opportunity to have them on tap proved to great to pass up. They also had some other breweries on tap (Grizzly Peak and North Peak) that apparently fall under their label umbrella that I had never heard of so I thought that was a nice touch.
Service: Can't really complain here -- they kept my glass full and I really didn't go in with any questions as I knew what I was looking for and what I was going to get.
Selection: Bit of a downer as they only have their standards on tap (along with the taps from GP and NP mentioned above) -- I was hoping they would have some brewpub exclusives I guess, but in the end, I really thought they had a good diversity of their beers up for offer.
Food: Nice, and it comes with a bit of a fusion and experimental aspect. The fire and smoke pizza I had was great and everything else sounded really good too.
Value: Definitely a little pricey overall, beers and food both. But the food was good, their beer takes a bit more time and resources to create, and one has to consider the context of the Ann Arbor area that it is in. I would definitely go back if I'm in the area again.
06-20-2010 21:17:18 | More by bamadog
3.95/5 rDev -5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
The first stop on a whirlwind tour through Ann Arbor. Lunch and drinks on the menu.
Atmosphere: The brewpub has an industrial feel to it. On entrance, stairs lead upstairs and a walkway leads to the downstairs bar area. We were seated near the bar, close enough to see World Cup highlights. Several smaller coolers surrounded the bar.
Quality: No Baudelaire Io! Other than that, I can't think of much to complain about. Staff was friendly, beer and food were good.
Service: I was greeted by a hostess, the bartender and our waiter. All were helpful. Our waiter stopped by regularly, sharing some tips on the local availability of JP beers.
Selection: The selection included JP, Northern Peaks and Grizzly Peaks predominantly. Several of each were on tap. We went with a bottle of Baudelaire Absurd Ale, a rye tripel with a bit of funk. It was so good that we took a bottle to go.
Food: We stuck with finger foods, a butchers plate with cheese, olives, breads and salami. On type was gamey, the other not. The menu is much more extensive than that, we just didn't dive into it.
JP has a warm feel, one that gets pretty packed I'm sure. I was glad to have tried the Absurd Ale.
06-12-2010 00:50:23 | More by akorsak
4.43/5 rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
This brewpub it located in a trendy part of Ann Arbor (the likes of which you can find in most college towns and cities).
The inside is pretty dark. Can best be described as a shabby/sheik coffee shop meets classic irish pub.
The beer selection is what you can expect...pretty much everything they brew was available. The nice thing is that they have both drafts and bottles to go.
The bartender was knowledgeable and friendly...willing to discuss the beers and offered multiple samples.
Great place that houses great beer. Worth the trip for sure. The only bummer is parking...but you will have that in a lot of "main street" areas...
05-18-2010 20:00:35 | More by mgbickel
4.33/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in here on our way down to DLD. The actual brewery has always been closed on that weekend so we finally got to get some JP love.
Really neat looking place, looks to be a happening part of town. Very nice interior, classy, lots of dark wood. Definitely a good looking place.
Service was very good, very attentive and quick. The beer was nice, nothing show stopping but the ones I tried had some good character to them. The selection was a little lacking but I won't complain too much.
The food was great, I had a pretty awesome sandwich and the prices were very good for what you get. Very upscale pub food with great pricing, my meal was fantastic and that seemed to be the consensus.
Definitely recommended, maybe we caught them on an off weekend with the beer but everything was still very good.
04-29-2010 17:00:45 | More by Viggo
4.15/5 rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
This is on the "upscale" Main Street in Ann Arbor, and I enjoyed my visit very much. The selection is of a half-dozen Jolly Pumpkin beers, but that's what you come here for, so no complaints there. It's a pretty excellent brewery.
I didn't ask about samples so I can't comment on that, but the service was friendly, and sat me in a booth with enough lighting that I could read the book I brought with me.
The food was delicious--I had one of the sandwiches (with an awesome pickled zucchini wedge, which I would gladly have eaten an entire plate of) and found it tasty, and the other food I saw looked and smelled good. Would return, especially for a date.
03-09-2010 22:59:14 | More by lstokes
3.8/5 rDev -8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
I had been meaning to stop in here for a while and finally got around to going for dinner last night. Managed to make it in just early enough that we didn't have to wait for a table. Very cozy, dark atmosphere inside. Large framed bottle art from the JP beers on the walls.
The selection of beers was a little less than I expected. Four JP beers on a tap, some North Peak, and a chocolate stout from Tortuga Ale Company. Another couple bottles of JP and some others that I don't remember. That being said all the beers my table ordered were very good from the chocolate stout to the sour brown. Reading through the reviews before our trip I noticed one reviewer complained that they were charged for samples of beer. This was not my experience. Our waiter was happy to give my girlfriend a few samples of beer at no extra charge. So, I'm not sure what the standard is here, but my experience was that they do not charge for samples. It's possible they got enough complaints about how cheap they were being that they stopped charging for them.
The food was all very good. My table ordered two pizzas and the grilled cheese. The pizza was very good and the grilled cheese was excellent. The food was a bit pricey, but the drinks were pretty reasonable so it all evened out in the end for a reasonable bill.
Overall a great experience and someplace I will return when I feel like a change of pace from my usual routine.
02-07-2010 03:28:51 | More by Shumista
4.43/5 rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
My fiance and I hit up JP Cafe last weekend for the first time. I have only been a JP fan for the past few months mainly due to my pallet changing towards sour ales. When this opened I was pretty excited as I have some family in the Ann Arbor area and always like a trip to downtown AA.
The atmosphere in the cafe is PERFECT. From the outside the cafe fits in perfect to the Main Street vibe, then when you walk in you know it is Jolly Pumpkin. The chandeliers are wicked cool looking, the art on the walls and overall vibe on the inside is perfect.
The JP brews always have quality associated with them. I may not like all of them, but they are always spot on. I had two glasses of the special brown ale and loved it. My fiance had a glass of the hard cider then Bam Biere and liked both.
Service was outstanding. This isn't just another brew pub, they are going for class with this. Our server was very helpful and made sure we were happy all the time.
Selection was pretty disappointing. They had a total of four JP brews on tap, and two of those were variations of the Bam series. I was expecting at least 6 of their brews for some reason. They did have a few others from other breweries (North Peak and others).
Holy crap the food was wicked good! I had the JP burger and highly recommend it. One of the best I have ever had. My fiance got the grilled cheese and truffled fries, which were both damn tasty as well.
Overall this place is great. Everything is pretty pricey, but you know it when you walk in. I definitely recommend it for anyone within an hour of it.
01-29-2010 16:18:03 | More by steebo777
4.33/5 rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in here twice over the weekend. Saturday night was packed as you might expect, so we spent our time upstairs where the second bar wasn't as crowded.
On the swanky Main St. strip, the JP café fits right in without being too pretentious. The decor was classic with dark wood paneling on the lower part of the walls, wood floors, tin ceilings. Lots of framed photos, also assorted larger artworks from the JP labels. Some brewing equipment was on display, but it looked more vintage than in use. On the flight of stairs to the 2nd level, there was a super tall wooden light fixture that looked almost like a barrel that had been stretched vertically from either end. Framed on the opposite wall was a classic "Pabst lady" ad that had to be over a century old.
Beers were good, though seemed "lighter" on draft than their bottled counterparts. For example, Maracaibo was more like a Belgian Dark with only a hint of tartness, not the spicy, funky sour brown I remember the last time I had a bottle. There was a blended porter on cask (downstairs), "Bog Beast" I think, that had cranberries added. Bam seemed lighter and less funky than I remember also. There were 2 Baudelaire series bottles available in addition to the regular lineup. The Eyo/iO red Saison was really nice, didn't try the tripel. There seemed to be less JP available on draft than I would have liked, only 3-4 options, and a few North Peak beers. It would be nice to see more of Ron's barrel experiments here, as that's what Jolly Pumpkin is all about.
The food really looked great, slightly upscale but still affordable. This was a comfortable place that i'd return to in the future. Not sure if it was smoke-free, but it seemed like it.
01-18-2010 16:21:54 | More by emerge077
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Jolly Pumpkin Cafe And Brewery Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, MI
92 out of 100 based on 45 user ratings.