North Peak Brewing Company
Our goal on this trip up north was to hit up as many breweries as we could. The breweries that serve food always have outstanding food. It just seems like people who care enough to make good beer care just as much the restaurant side of the business as well.
Our dinner choice on the first night in Traverse City was North Peak Brewing Company. The beautiful brewery is a 100 year old building that originally housed a candy factory on Front Street just to the west of Downtown Traverse City and the Boardman River.
The parking lot is on the west side of the building and it’s shared with an Irish Pub next door.
The entrance to the brewery brings you buy some of the brewing equipment and to a set of old wooden stairs that lead you up to the main dining room and a hostess station.
The large pub is exactly what you would expect from a 100 year old building. It’s fairly dark to due to the color of the wood and the color palate is a simple black and white. The space feels much more like an upscale dining establishment than it does a brewery.
The hostess took us to booth near the windows that overlook Front Street. She set the menus down and I flipped right to the beer selection. I was a little disappointed in their tap list because they didn’t have a lot that really interested me even though I know there are a number of beers North Peak brews throughout the year that I really like. They have a set tap list and three “special” taps. All the specials were on the lighter side of things and nothing jumped out at me so I did their sampler which is 5 oz. pours of their regular tap list. The five beers were Northern Lights (American Light Lager), Siren (Amber/Red Ale), Mission Point Porter (Porter), Shirley’s Irish Stout (Irish Dry Stout), and Diabolical (American IPA…and one I really like). J was a little bummed they didn’t have a Cider on tap (they make Nomad, which we found the next day at Jolly Pumpkin), so she ordered a Root Beer which is also made in house.
The dinner menu is a little on the fancy side, but we didn’t have any problem finding something simple yet delicious.
I ordered The Peak Burger. The beef is a 1/2lb all natural, vegetarian raised angus beef that is topped with lettuce and tomato and served on a bakery roll. I added on smoked bacon and gorganzola to make this sandwich incredibly delicious. The meat was so tender, so flavorful, and perfectly cooked. I took a bite and I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled in the back of my head. J just looked at me and said, “That good, huh?” Yes. Yes it was. I wasn’t wild about the bun selection as I think it took away just a little from the extremely intense flavor of the beef, but I really couldn’t get enough of this sandwich. I was sad when it was gone.
The burger came with pub fries. There wasn’t a lot on the plate, but it actually worked out to be a perfect portion. They were long, flat, crinkle cut fries that were a perfect golden brown.
J wanted a salad and North Peak had a number of delicious options. She opted for the Cherry Chicken salad. The bed of greens comes with grilled chicken breast, Graceland Farms dried cherries, toasted pecans, red onions, gorganzola and a cherry vinaigrette. J asked for the chicken and red onions to be left off. She still found at least one slice of onion in the salad and said she could taste an onion-y flavor, but never did find another one. Other than that, the salad was huge. It was more than enough for her and probably another person. She said the salad was delicious, which, at the end of the day, is all that matters.
When the hostess seated us, she set down a place mat for L to color on which had a kid’s menu. We tried to steer L away from pizza at lunch at Short’s, but she ended up eating off my plate. At dinner, we told her she could get a pizza if she wanted, so we ordered her the pepperoni pie. This small pizza came out with a thin, crispy crust and a very cheesey topping. L had fun trying to eat the cheese the kept hanging off the edge of her slice. She ate about half and we boxed up the rest for later.
We were both too stuffed for dessert when we asked for a box for L’s pizza, so we just had to ask for the check. The total was just under $40 before tip and our meal probably didn’t take much more than a half hour.
North Peak is another gorgeous brewery. They’ve taken a really great, old space and turned it in to something special with an amazing atmosphere, a fantastic menu, and of course, great beer.