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7 Monks Taproom
Taps: 46 / Bottles: 74
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
128 S Union St
phone: (231) 944-9198
Reviews by MarcatGSB:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Been reading alot about this new spot in TC so I made a point to wait around town until they opened so I could check it out.
Very beautiful, elegant and booshy lay out to the bar area, moden, but not over the top. The tap wall is very impressive, especially for being in Northern Michigan, big props.
They have about 40 taps, and they are varying from a handful of true Belgian, to another handful of Belgian style, and a good group of American Craft...some Short's, some good Dark Horse, Bell's, Founder's Imperial Stout...good stuff.
The bartender was knowledgeable and very friendly. They seem to be well trained, not obnoxious, and attentive.
They had some sort of family photo shoot going on inside the bar that started about a half hour after we got there...typical Traverse City bullcrap...
I want to make it clear that their website is quite misleading. If you follow the link on their to their tap list, it is broken down by style, and they have a listing for Trappist Ales, and a good list of nice beers. Rochefort 10, 8, etc...Those are not on tap. The whole time I'm checking out their website I'm saying "What, how", but alas they are in a bottle. I wish they would fix that, but maybe I'm the only one who is having problems with that. Not a big deal, but it is misleading!
A great new spot in Northern lower Michigan. I really like this place, albiet a bit houghty, but it is in TC...Good spot.
12-27-2012 20:07:56 |
More by MarcatGSB
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
I went in there for the first time the other day and loved it. It took me nearly ten minutes to figure out what I wanted from the huge menu. Forty-some beers were on tap and more bottled and canned. The prices were pretty reasonable. The bar staff was awesome. Even though they were busy the guy and girl there took their time to answer any questions I had about a particular beer. I loved the selection they had from all over the place, particularly their focus on local brews. I didn't have any food there, but the guy who was eating steak next to me looked pretty happy with it. If you're in the area, make sure you stop in!
09-03-2012 01:36:58 |
More by redleg64
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
If you are a fan of great beers and excellent selection, this is the place to be; not just in Traverse City but in northern Michigan. In many ways 7 Monks is a true tap room; 46 on tap and just as many in bottles. Nothing north of central MI even comes close to what is offered here.
A lot of money was spent to create a great tap room environment; polished metals, expensive wood, couches, mirrors, lighting; everything is first class. However, all these hard materials can make this a noisy place at times; not a problem if you have visited similar establishments in other places. Service was as described in previous reviews at first, but now there are servers to care for the customers who are not sitting at the bar. Some of the food is very good; some is marginal. But it many ways 7 Monks is still a work in progress; it continues to evolve as co-owners Jim and Matt receive feedback from their customers and implement those that add quality and value. People in this area can be hard to please, partly because of the variety of eating and drinking establishments. But the staff at 7 Monks works very hard to be customer friendly.
7 Monks is not for everyone; no drinking establishment is. But if you like what has been described in the reviews thus far, then this is the place to be. I'm confident that with the passage of time, 7 Monks will only get better. Say hello to me when you visit; I'll be the guy at the bar sampling the newest dark brew, usually as suggested by Jason, Kaitlin or one of the other knowledgeable staff (another plus; bartenders who KNOW beer!).
In an earlier review Mitchster mentioned that Bay Leaf was preferred. Bay Leaf is a great wine bar, but it is NOT a tap room. If I want to drink great wines from an excellent selection, I head straight to Bay Leaf. However, any serious beer drinker (perhaps I should say beer snob) will prefer 7 Monks hand down.
11-03-2011 01:26:05 |
More by NMBeachBum
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
7 Monks Taproom--wow. In Traverse City, MI--where I grew up--double wow.
I have traveled to Belgium and throughout continental Europe dozens of times--including several trips made specifically for purposes of indulging in continental ales and lagers. I am a partner in an nascent German brewing concern in northern Vermont. Further, I lived in Europe for five years. In short, I know well the shortcomings of many US bistros-cum-taprooms when it comes to mimicking Euro offerings, and feel qualified to offer an opinion here. In short, 7 Monks rocks.
1. A magnificent concentration and spectrum of Belgium and Belgian-style offerings extremely rare to find in the Midwestern US. Nice touch balancing these with the Weihenstephan Hefe dunkel and the Pinkus Alt, too. See these often, much less poured from a stainless tap wall that is, frankly, badass?
2. A lineup of Michigan- and even Grand Traverse-centric ales and lagers (many brewed in the Belgian style)--including some outstanding brews from Short's--that is well-chosen and rarely found in such abundance. Great publicity for MI beers.
3. Food: let's just say the burger is honestly the best I have EVER had, and the dates are killer. Great compliments to something like Delirium, I might add.
4. Atmosphere: stylish, progressive and family friendly. Sure, I would probably rather drink beer in continental Europe (note: I don't mention UK because British beer is obviously not the focus), and I rather enjoy cold, silent dark cellars with a fire while fondling a Westmalle Tripel. However, A) this is northern MI, not Europe; B) a place this good is going to attract other brew aficionados--I can't have it all to myself; and C) I actually like to watch football (with the sound off) while drinking awesome Belgian beer. Other ratings decrying the TVs are, honestly, mysterious to this beer lover and ardent Lion's fan.
5. Yes, the 'order at the bar' concept is novel, but I have seen this in a few other excellent beer bars out West. How they handle gratuities is their business, and not the least of my concern. Like other popular spots in TC, you might have to wait a few minutes prior to ordering food/drink. Big deal.
6. Prices were as I would expect. These make the atmosphere even better, to be honest, without being too exclusive.
In short, killer spot. I rate it as one of the best--and certainly most unique--taprooms in the Midwestern US based on beer quality and quantity; quality of food; and progressive, professional atmosphere with knowledgable bar staff.
09-07-2011 18:29:15 |
More by GMooselook
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I knew that I would love this place when I first walked in! The atmoshere was a welcome change from the usual; upbeat and classy without being stuffy. Comfortable seating and lots of it.
The tap wall is a thing of beauty!! 43 beers on tap, more in the bottle, ranging from the traditional Belgium to Michigan crafted, and a few traditional favorites. Loved Richard in the Dirt, crafted just for them by Shorts. Also 4(I think)of Left foot Charlie's wines, also crafted just for them, I am told. Loved "Murmur".
Lets talk about the food. The burger is AMAZING!! Other favorites were the Dates, and the Scallop special,cooked just right.and the Trappest pizza, and "Monk and Cheese" (yes I went back with friends and we sampled!). Everything is ordered at the bar, which I found convenient, one bill, one tip.
The barbacks ,owners, and staff were very attentive, knowledgable,and super friendly
Overall, a great new spot!
09-06-2011 15:42:01 |
More by nannerbee
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$
Went to the new taproom today. They had 43 beers on tap and more in bottles. The beer was fresh (of course, because it just opened), and served in appropriate glassware. Germany, Belgians, and American's were well represented. British selection was meager. Of course, the selection focused on Michigan beer.
Take a peek yourself at the beer menu:
Prices were OK, but to be honest, one can get better prices down the road at the Bay Leaf, where almost everything is $4. I had a Trois Pistoles ($9), a GLBC Dortmunder ($5), and my GF had Celebrator ($6.50) and some Monks Blood Red wine from Left Foot Charleys (on tap-and for $6, the pour was disappointingly small).
The problems - There are 7 large screen TV's, so this is not a place to ENJOY your beer, per say. It makes business sense to have 7 TV's because people will drink more as they watch the game and scream and yell (as they were doing today), even at 3:30 in the afternoon when I thought it wouldn't be too busy and not to loud.
The other problem: When we sat at a table (after waiting about 20 minutes), the waitress told us all food and beer is ordered at the bar. The problem with this is: 1) The tips for the waitress are going to be lower if I have to wait in line to place an order (isn't that her job?), and 2) I forgot to pay the waitress and paid the bartender instead, with tip...Oops.
09-04-2011 02:41:05 |
More by Mitchster
7 Monks Taproom in Traverse City, MI