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Right Brain Brewery

September 20, 2014

  • Right Brain Brewery225 E. Sixteenth Street
  • Traverse City, MI 49684
  • (231) 944-1239
  • Website
  • Menu

If it seems like we go to a lot of breweries, it’s because we do.  We always look ahead of time and try to figure out if it’s kid friendly or not.  We’ve learned that almost every brewery is.  I actually can’t think of one that we’ve been to where I wouldn’t take my toddler.

J’s not a huge beer drinker, so there are also considerations for her.  Do they have a cider?  If not, is there some kind of wheat or fruit beer that she will drink?  Also, a big consideration is do they have food.

We had our meals pretty much planned out on our Traverse City trip, but there was one question mark.  There was one brewery I really, really wanted to go to, but the food menu was iffy.  We couldn’t really find anything for L to eat and didn’t know if they’d let us bring something in for her.

I was going to call and ask, but after a couple hours of swimming in the water park at Great Wolf Lodge, L was exhausted.  We had to drag her back to the room, but her eyes looked so tired….she just wanted to keep swimming.

J was pretty tired too as she didn’t sleep well either night we were there.  I needed to get out of the room so both could get a good nap in, so I asked if it’d be ok if I just went to do a flight somewhere.

I asked to make sure J wasn’t really wanting to go with me before heading down to Right Brain Brewery on Sixteenth Street in what they’re calling the “SoFo District” (South of Fourteenth) of Traverse City.  The brewery is a huge warehouse.  I don’t use the word “huge” lightly here.  It is really large for what I pictured to be a small brewery.  

The taproom is a large (again, I really do mean large) open space with tables scattered throughout.  The bar is as far away from the door as they could get and still be in the tap room.  I walked past several tables and noticed power outlets on the wall and several people working on laptops.  I had some pictures to edit and I considered going back to the car and getting mine, but instead I made my way to the bar.

I took a few minutes to soak in the beer menus written on chalkboards hanging behind the bar.  I didn’t see anything about a flight or a sampler, so I had planned on just trying  a couple of their premium beers.  I put in an order for the Looping Owl.  This delicious beer is the Northern Hawk Owl Amber Ale that has been aged in whiskey barrels.

As I was standing at the cash register to get my beer, I noticed slips for samplers on the counter.  I opened a tab with the bartender and grabbed a pen and a sheet of paper to begin work on a sampler.  I still was excited about the Looping Owl.  The Northern Hawk Owl is a pretty good Amber, but everything tastes better barrel aged.

When I was almost finished with the beer I had, I headed back to the bar with my slip for the sampler filled out.  I handed it to the bartender and once he got the board done, I added on a pint glass and a sticker to take home and closed my tab out at just over $35.  The sampler runs $15 for six 6 oz pours plus an extra dollar for any premium pours.  I had two.

I grabbed the board and headed back to my table to finish off my first beer.  Once that task was accomplished, I grabbed the Hundo Annie.  I chose this one because it was a brand new beer. I was the second person to check in to it on Untappd, so it couldn’t have been out too long.  It’s an IPA made with 100% local centennial hops.

Next up was Spinal Tapper…another IPA.  I can’t get enough of the IPA’s, so I made sure to try as many of Right Brain’s offerings as I could.  I also sampled the Spiny Norman IPA.  Neither of which I had had before.

After the Spinal Tapper, I moved on to the Smooth Operator which is a Cream Ale.  I don’t drink a lot of Cream Ale’s, so I didn’t know what to expect.  It was pretty smooth and tasty, but I don’t really have anything to compare it to.

Next offering was called Concrete Dinosaur.  This beer is also on the IPA list and it’s categorized as a RYE IPA.

My final selection, which I intentionally saved for last, was the North Shore Iron Works.  I love Barleywines and North Shore Iron Works is an English Barleywine.  If I was going to drink another beer from Right Brain, it would be this one.

I had considered ordering myself a sandwich but I had spent more money than I thought I was going to on beer, so I decided just to wait and go to dinner once J and L woke up.  The sandwich selection is really something I need to mention though because all of the sandwiches are made with waffles instead of bread.  I saw a couple of them come out and it looked pretty awesome.  I wish they did this everyday (since I was there on a Thursday)…on Friday and Saturday they offer a burger selection…served on their waffles instead of buns.  The idea just makes my mouth water.

I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did not skip Right Brain Brewery on this trip like I thought I was going to.  If you’re a beer lover, you will love Right Brain.  It’s such a great atmosphere that’s filled with a huge selection of always rotating taps and interesting special brews.

Right Brain Brewery

Right Brain Brewery

Right Brain Brewery

Looping Owl

Right Brain Brewery

Beer Sampler

Right Brain Brewery on Urbanspoon

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