It’s always weird to me when I see friends of mine from back home in Illinois posting pictures and talking about their trips to Lake Michigan beaches. The majority of the time, those pictures all come from Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer. That always seems odd to me because, in the seven years we’ve lived in Michigan, we have never once even thought about going to Warren Dunes.
After our vacation in June, L had been asking to go back to Nana and Grandpa’s for a week again. She told J and I that we could go to another wedding….we didn’t have another wedding, but we do need to start cleaning up L’s room and the spare bedroom to get ready for the arrival of L’s little brother in a few months. She didn’t have any camps or commitments this week, so we told her she could go stay with Nana and Grandpa.
We had originally talked about meeting J’s parents at Silver Beach, but I’m really not a fan of Silver Beach on weekends. It’s a great beach and I think everyone in Berrien County would say the same…downtown is always such a madhouse. I didn’t want to deal with parking and possibly having to walk from downtown, so I suggested Warren Dunes State Park. It was actually closer to a midway point anyway and it’d give us a chance to check out another beach.
I’m going to keep this part short. We won’t be going back to Warren Dunes anytime soon. The disgusting bathrooms and lack of facilities would have been enough to keep us away, but two days later, my feet still hurt from the gravel that dominated the landscape of the beach in the water.
Annnnnyyyywaaaaaayyyyy, we still stayed about an hour and a half because L doesn’t notice the things we don’t like about the beach. She just sees sand and water and has a blast. We weren’t going to take the day away from her because we were miserable, so we let her play until she got tired then we decided to head in to Bridgman to grab a bite to eat before saying good-bye to L for the week.
For quite a while now, I’ve been wanting to ask J to stop at Tapistry Brewing on one of our many trips back and forth to Chicago this summer. We usually get a late start and everyone needs food before getting on the road, so I never bring it up, but we were in the area anyway, so I asked J if she’d mind eating there. Of course, she had no objections.
Tapistry Brewing is in Downtown Bridgeman on Lake Street just a few blocks east of Red Arrow Highway. The brewery actually takes up two storefronts in the old downtown with one being the production facility and one being the taproom.
We were able to find two spots on the street right in front of the brewery, but during busy times, there is a parking lot about a block from the restaurant on the corner of Lake and Vine.
It was just a little afternoon when we walked in to the brewery. There were a few people at the bar and a few other groups at one of the many tables. In addition to the main dining area, there is a patio area, but I didn’t venture far enough to see where it was. We actually timed it really well as not long after ordering, a large Winery, Brewery, and Distillery tour pulled up. Lucky for us, we were able to get our order in before them.
I’ve had a little experience with Tapistry beers, but I was really excited to finally get to the taproom. They have a of their staples that they are putting in cans and every so often, there’s a special bomber that grabs my attention so I pick up Tapistry brews from time to time.
My Mother-in-Law was the only other in our group who ordered a beer. She got a Reactor IPA. My Father-in-Law got a Faygo Cola while J got a sparkling water. There was a water fountain with plastic cups not too far from our table, so we got one of those for L.
I didn’t want to pass up a good opportunity, so I ordered a flight. There were enough beers that I haven’t tried for a flight, but not too many that I had to pass something up.
My flight started with Foreign Policy. This one is categorized as an Export or Foreign Stout and it’s only available in the taproom. It’s a smooth stout with a good chocolate and coffee profile.
Beer number two was the London Bridgman (+1 for the name on this one). The beer is an ESB which I’m usually only pretty lukewarm on. I really just ordered this one because I don’t have the ESB badge yet on Untappd and I really liked the name.
Beer three was the Reactor IPA w/ Toasted Coconut. I’ve had the Reactor a couple of times and I’ve always thought it was a pretty solid IPA. I didn’t really get any coconut with this one…no sweetness or really anything that would leave me to believe this one was different than the Reactor. The sheet that came with the beer said “w/Coconut” so I know I ordered the right one.
Fourth beer was another IPA. This time, a Double IPA called Enigma. This Imperial IPA had that piney smell to it and, as I wrote on my Untappd checking, was “yummy.” I really like this one and if it wasn’t for the last beer in my flight, this would have been the winner.
The beer that beat Enigma was Heart Full of Napalm. I don’t remember which hops were used in this beer, but there were three different kinds and hot damn, it was good. It looks like they were selling bombers of this recently, but it was crossed off all the menus. Hopefully this one not only comes back, but goes out for distribution. I’d love to get a couple bottles of this one.
On to the food. The taproom menu isn’t large. It’s a one-sided menu with sandwiches, salads, and appetizers. We started with an appetizer because, seriously, who can pass up beer cheese? This amazing smoked cheddar beer cheese is served with toasted pita bread. Even L got in on this action. She knows a good beer cheese and this one was delicious. I feel like the menu understates this a little bit because there is more than smoked cheddar but I just couldn’t put my finger on what the tanginess was…but it was really good.
Both of J’s parents and I ordered the same thing. All three of us thought the Wisconsin Dip sounded good and all three of us were pretty spot on. This sandwich is roast beef, 2-year white cheddar, and a horseradish chive sauce served on an Italian loaf from Bit of Swiss alongside a cup of au jus. Dipped or not dipped, I really enjoyed this sandwich. The beef was piled on pretty high between the two crusty pieces of bread and even the sauce, which I would normally leave off, worked to soften the bread and enhance the onion-y flavor of the au jus. The sandwiches were served alongside kettle chips and pickle slices.
J ordered the Cheese City. This is Tapistry’s take on the grilled cheese. Between three pieces of Bit of Swiss Paesano bread (it’s a triple decker) is Hook’s 2-year white cheddar, Hook’s Swiss cheese, and tomato. The sandwich typically comes with carmelized red pepper and onion, but J left both off because they couldn’t separate the pepper and onion…and she doesn’t like onion. She was not expecting the three slices of bread, but still said the cheesy, gooey sandwich was delicious.
L also got a grilled cheese sandwich, but her’s was nowhere near as fancy. It was made with the 2-year white cheddar and served with kettle chips. L was more interested in the chips and playing with Grandpa than eating, but eventually, we convinced her to eat a little more than half while Grandpa and I picked up her slack.
The bill for the five of us, including the flight, was just under $70. It’s always hard for me to say anything bad about Michigan breweries because I love them so much…and I have no reason to even think about saying something bad about Tapistry. It’s another great, delicious stop on the ever growing Michigan brewery trail and you never know what kind of fantastic beer you’re going to find on tap when you stop in to this little joint just off I-94 in downtown Bridgman.