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5 Lakes Brewing Company

March 9, 2018

  • 1638 142nd Avenue
  • Dorr, MI 49323
  • (616) 359-9555
  • Website
  • Menu

There are so many breweries in Grand Rapids that we haven’t been to that it’s always hard to choose when we do make a rare trip up north.

After spending the afternoon at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, we started to head south to find something to eat.  There were many options in the City of Grand Rapids, but I had my eyes set a little further south back in Allegan County.

5 Lakes Brewing Company is on 142nd Avenue just under two miles from the US-131 interchange on the east side of Dorr.  The brewery takes up the west end of the shopping center and shares space with Brewhouse Lanes Bowling Alley.

The restaurant was packed when we walked in a little after 2:00 on a Saturday.  There is a hostess station just inside the door.  She took us to the only four top available in the dining room near the bar.

The space is pretty wide open with high ceilings and neutral floor and wall colors that really brighten the place up.  There are TV’s all over the place  which gives the restaurant a sports bar feel.  There is a huge bar near the back of the space with several taps of beer made right on site.

The first thing I did was start with a flight.  The beer list is pretty simple.  There is a wide variety but nothing really crazy.  The waitress just wrote down my five selections then brought me back a piece of paper that acted as a map with my selections.

The flight board was in the shape of a hop with the 5 Lakes logo on it.

I just went in the order that they were listed on the piece of paper.  Like I said, there was nothing crazy about any of the beers.  They were all pretty standard for their styles.

The first beer was the Michigan IPA.  There were five beers that used the names of the Great Lakes plus their style.  It makes perfect sense for “Michigan” to be the IPA since we tend to like hoppy beers here more than anywhere else it seems.

The second beer was Ontario Porter.  Again, using the name of one of the Great Lakes as a name for the beer.

The third beer was the 16th Street Brown.  16th Street is the north-south road just to the east of the shopping center where the brewery is located.  This beer also played a little darker than I expected it to but still had that rich, nutty brown ale taste.

Beer number four was Raven.  This is one of the “seasonal brews.”  It’s a rich imperial stout.

The final beer was one I usually don’t pick.  Pin Chaser Pils is the only everyday beer not named after a Great Lake.  The name makes sense when you know the bowling alley is right behind the bar so they just played off that theme when naming this one.

There were a couple of local cider’s on draft as well but nothing made in house.  I believe J’s order was for a Vandermill Totally Roasted.  They also have wine and mixed drinks in addition to the non-alcoholic staples.

We started with an appetizer because J saw something unique that sounded delicious.  The Homemade Fried Pickle Wraps are kind of a cross between the ham and pickle wrap appetizer my dad loves and fried pickles.  These pickle spears are wrapped with capicola and cream cheese…see, simple Ham and Pickle wrap….but they were ten wrapped in won ton wrappers and fried.  I’m gonna be honest, I do not like ham and pickle wraps and I’m iffy on fried pickles…but this combination was delicious.  Lucky the kids didn’t really like them which meant more for me.

There is no kid’s menu listed on-line but paper place mats alongside crayons were set down with our menus.  The kid’s menu is listed on the place mat.  It’s fairly typical with the foods kids like

B was asking for a pizza, which we could have ordered off the regular menu, but we got both kids the Kraft Mac & Cheese instead.  It’s always weirdly comforting to see Kraft on the menu because we know both kids will eat it.  Both got a small plate of noodles alongside some skin-on fries.  B continued to ask for pizza while he nibbled on the noodles and dipped the fries in ketchup so we probably should have just listened to him.  L pretty much cleaned her plate which is finally becoming the norm again.

I ordered the 5 Lakes Burger.  This sandwich is a brioche bun with a 7 oz hand-crafted, char-broiled Angus beer patty topped with applewood bacon, a housemade beer BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and a fried onion ring.  The BBQ sauce dominated this burger.  There was a it on it.  I always hesitate on BBQ sauce on burgers because they can get so messy if the sauce is heavily applied.  This one was messy.  The sauce was super sweet and it was delicious…there was just a lot of it.  The other flavors just sort of got lost in the pile.  For a side, I chose the 5 Lakes Fries.  These were a kind of long, flat, seasoned curly fry.  They were not quite a curly fry but not quite a regular fry either.  They were quite tasty and perfectly cooked.  They could have been under-cooked in the middle but these were not.

J’s selection was the 5 Lakes Grilled Cheese.  This sandwich was a Parmesan grilled multigrain bread with cheddar, muenster, Provolone, and American cheeses.  The cheeses all melted together into a gooey, delicious mass.  J also chose the 5 Lakes Fries for her side.  She ate about half then passed the rest over to me.

Our lunch was pretty expensive with the appetizer and drinks.  The total came out to a little under $60 before tip.  It’s not that it was overpriced…we just ordered a lot.

I didn’t have a lot of expectations for 5 Lakes Brewing Company when we pulled in to the parking lot.  I didn’t really know what to expect.  The small town breweries usually focus more on being a neighborhood bar type brewery with little effort put in to food.  5 Lakes Brewing plays much bigger than that coming off as more of a family restaurant/sports bar type of place with a solid selection of beers and a delicious menu.

5 Lakes Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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