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Haymarket Brewery & Taproom

June 22, 2017

  • 9301 Red Arrow Highway
  • Bridgman, MI 49106
  • (269) 266-5050
  • Website
  • Menu

Our most recent long weekend in Chicago wrapped up on Father’s Day.  J usually lets me pick someplace for dinner on my birthday and Father’s Day and usually, I pick a brewery.

We left Chicago just before noon and started heading towards Michigan.  I could have found someplace in the Chicago suburbs, but I wanted to take advantage of the trip back home and stop in Bridgman.

Haymarket Brewery & Taproom is the third brewery to open in the small town of Bridgman near the Michigan/Indiana border.  Haymarket Pub & Brewery is already established in Chicago, but when the duo that owns the brewery was looking to expand, they looked to the east side of Lake Michigan after striking out in their hometown.

Haymarket Brewery & Taproom is on Red Arrow Highway on the north side of Bridgman.  It’s right across the street from Lost Dunes Golf Club just inside the city limits. The new venture took over the old Michigan State Police post that was vacated by MSP in 2011 when the State Police closed 21 posts statewide.


The sits a little ways off the very busy Red Arrow Highway.  When entering the property, there’s a sign out front directing you to the front where there’s “a little” parking or the side of the property which has “a lot” of parking.

We tried the front parking lot first, but it was full.  The side parking is where the MSP used to park their vehicles, so there’s a large lot just a short walk from the front door.

Right inside the door, in what I assume is the old reception/public area of the post is a small store selling Haymarket merchandise.

The “Merch Room” has the usual t-shirts, hats, and other assorted clothing, but they also have some really cool flight boards (which I’ll talk about in a few paragraphs).  At the moment, they’re only canning one of their beers which is available in six packs in the Merchandise Room.  They do Growlers and Crowlers for other beers at the bar.

We were met right inside the door by one of the employees who explained the layout.  Ordering is done at a station set up as part of the bar, “servers” bring your food to you once it’s ready, and the establishment is “no tipping.”  Should you decide to tip, the extra cash is seen as a donation which they pass on to local charities.

We had no idea what the expect food wise when we walked in.  Seriously, I could rant about this for a while.  Haymarket’s website blooooooooooooows.  I mean, it’s bad for the Bridgman location to the point it’s almost non-existent.  They have a Facebook page, but no mention anywhere of menu.  I get that they don’t post it because it changes often and is seasonal, but still…it sucks.  It literally took me about five seconds to snap a picture of the menu (which was the menu the day we were there…no guarantees it will be the same if you go, but at least you have an idea of what they do)….they could do that everyday or every few days when it changes.  I really would have liked to have an idea of what to expect.  Will my kids eat anything?  Will my wife?  If it was just me, I’d chance, but it’s kind of an ordeal for us to go out.

Anyway, the menu is hanging on the wall near the cash registers as well as along the wall heading back towards the kitchen.  On busy nights, you would line up in this area which is why the menu is in both places, but there was no line, so we walked right up to order.

We started with food orders.  The menu is mostly brick oven pizzas, but there are also a couple of sandwiches.  J and I both ordered a pizza.  There is a small kids menu, so we got the kids a grilled cheese and pizza.  Drinks for J and L ended up being Brix Soda.  There were no beers on the menu that I thought J would like and no ciders so she just got two bottles of Brix Pomegranate Lemonade.

I asked of they did flights and was pointed to a chalkboard on the wall near the line-up area.  They have little clipboards and slips of paper to write down five beers for a flight.  As J was finishing up ordering, I went and grabbed a piece of paper and quickly wrote down the five beers I was interested in trying.


We paid for the meal which came out to a little over $65 then grabbed our number and headed towards a table.

The dining room is pretty large with a number of picnic table style tables throughout the space.  There were quite a few people enjoying a couple beers on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, but there was still plenty of space.  We took a seat near the back and one of the servers working the floor brought us a high chair for B.

There are garage doors in the dining that open up to a small patio but there isn’t really any seating out there.  There are some whiskey barrels set up on end to use as tables and there are a few cornhole games set up.  The big grassy area next to the patio is off limits as they look to grow some new grass.

The food is cooked in brick ovens in a small kitchen in the back corner.  When you pay for your order at the cash register, you’re given one of those metal things with a number in it.  Food is put up on the counter as it’s ready and the servers bring it to you.

ggg

I noticed my flight sitting up at the cash register waiting for someone to come pick it up.  I had to go to the bar area to pick up some water for B and L, so I told the cashier I’d come and pick it up.

The flight boards are really cool.  If I had a use for one, I would have definitely bought one from the Merchandise Room.  The board has spots for five small tasters and it’s in the shape of Lake Michigan…the unifying link between Haymarket’s two locations.

I started my flight with the lightest beer on the board, the First Chance American IPA.  It’s a pretty solid IPA that I could drink a lot of.  It’s a pretty light beer with a subtle hops bite that makes for a sessionable beer.

Beer number two was Mathias Imperial IPA.  This beer is named after the first Chicago PD officer to lose his life in the line of duty during the Haymarket Affair, Mathias Degan.  The beer is brewed with Citra hops so you know I was a fan.  This Imperial had that slight citrus flavor and a good hops punch that I love in IPA’s.  This was probably my favorite of the flight.

The third beer was Mother Jones Belgian Abbey Style Dubbel.  This one is claimed to be  brewed with authentic Trappist yeasts and raisins.  Belgain beers really have to catch me in the right mood.  Some days I love them.  Some days they’re just alright.  I was really digging this one.  You get a little orange zest in this one along with the signature Belgian flavor.

Beer number four was Teen Wolf.  This is a brown ale that’s a three way collaboration between Haymarket, Wiseacre Brewing in Memphis, TN and Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville, IL.  The three brewers all worked together at Rock Bottom before going out on their own and got together to make this beer one of the first produced in the new Bridgman facility.


The last beer of this Father’s Day flight was Why? Why? Imperial Belgian Rye IPA.  This is a beer they’re calling a “Rare one off from Michigan.”  You really need to enjoy the rye taste to enjoy this beer…and I did enjoy it as the perfect end to a delicious beer flight.


Our meals came out a little staggered.  They didn’t wait for all four of our plates to be ready.  As plates came up, they brought them out.  Fortunately, it was the kids plates that came out first.

The first thing out of the kitchen was L’s meal.  She ordered the Lil’ Pie off the kids menu.  This six inch cheese pizza (we added pepperoni for a small charge) is cooked the brick ovens just like the bigger pizzas.  The insanely delicious crust is topped with a sweet marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and, in L’s case, a spicy pepperoni.  B saw the pizza come out and started reaching for his sister’s meal right away so L had to defend her plate.  Between the two off them, they ate all except the crust.

The kids meals came with choice of side.  They could get either chips or fruit.  We got both kids fruit.  The bowl came out of the kitchen with apple slices, blueberrries, and orange wedges.  The kids weren’t as interested in the fruit, but L polished off most of the apples while B was more interested in the blueberries.

B’s meal came out next and he had no interest in it.  We got him the Lil’ Grilled Cheese which is made with mozzarella cheese and cooked in the brick oven.  B wanted the pizza so J and I ended up splitting his grilled cheese because it was soooooo good.  The simple sandwich had a very buttery crust and was super crispy on the outside, but so soft and gooey from the mozzarella in the middle.  We both just kept quietly going back for small pieces until the whole thing was gone.

The next tray out was my pizza.  I had ordered the Pepperoni & Sausage pizza.  This pie is topped with a plum tomato sauce, pepperoni, oregano, fresh mozzarella, and an incredibly tasty roasted barley fennel sausage.  They have much more creative creations on the menu but I went safe.  I should have went for something a little more wild, but, man, this pizza was good.  I’m not typically a sausage on pizza guy (my dad and brother both are, but that skipped me), but this sausage was good.  I love fennel in sausage and this sausage had a really great fennel flavor.  I inhaled this twelve inch pizza in a matter of minutes.

J also went pretty safe on ordering a pizza picking the Margharita.  This simple pizza has the plum tomato sauce, the fresh mozzarella, and fresh picked basil.  The pizza is super simple, but it’s made with incredible ingredients making this pizza very hard to put down.  J had been snacking on B’s grilled cheese and the crust of L’s pizza, so by the time hers came out, she had already eaten quite a bit.  I went to the kitchen to ask for a box to take the rest home.

J and I have talked for years about going to Haymarket Pub & Brewery in downtown Chicago, but we never have.  It’s kind of an ordeal to head in to the city for dinner on a weekend, so whenever I bring it up, we typically get lazy by dinner time and opt for something a little closer.

The second Haymarket location in Bridgman is still a little far away, but we drive back and forth to Chicago quite often and we meet our parents in Southern Berrien County for lunch every so often, so Haymarket can fit in to that rotation.

Haymarket Brewery & Taproom is a great addition to the ever growing brewery trail in Southwest Michigan.  The converted State Police post is such a great space and the food from their brick oven is fabulous.  They don’t have a lot of big, special beers yet, but their regular line-up as some pretty solid offerings.  This is the kind of place that is worth the drive from Kalamazoo for a special treat and it’s great if your in the area camping or hanging out at the beach to get away for a couple of hours.

Haymarket Brewery & Taproom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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