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North Pier Brewing Company

June 21, 2018

  • 670 N. Shore Drive
  • Benton Harbor, MI 49022
  • (269) 757-7163
  • Website
  • Menu

As we were going to bed Saturday night, J told me to find a brewery between Chicago and Kalamazoo to stop at on the way home.  It was Father’s Day so J wanted to do more than just hit the McDonalds drive thru on the way home.

The first one I found that I thought looked good was in Hammond, Indiana.  They didn’t have a kids menu listed on the site and I didn’t see anything on the regular menu we could order the kids if they didn’t.  J didn’t really see anything that looked good to her either so we passed on that.

The second I settled on was a little closer to home.  It’s another brewery that I’ve known about for a while but was unaware they are serving food now.

North Pier Brewing Company is outside of Benton Harbor on North Shore Drive where it meets Higman Park Road.  There’s a taproom on the west side of the road and a much larger production facility on the east.  The main parking lot is across North Shore Road near the tee box for Hole #14 on Harbor Shores Golf Club.  

There is a small taproom on the west side of the road with a parking lot big enough for a dozen cars or so.  The entrance is off the parking lot and you can choose to either go inside or to go directly to the large, shaded patio.

The taproom was pretty busy when we walked in but we found a table for four just near the entrance. There’s a real industry feel to the place.  The floors are concrete and tables are framed with conduit.  The metal chairs used on the four tops weren’t all that comfortable and most of them weren’t level.  There was also picnic table style bench seating at some of the larger tables.

We sat down and started looking over the menu when one of the bartenders came over and us a beer menu.  J found The Huntsman.  This is North Pier’s semi-dry hard apple cider offering from Peat’s Original Cider.

I asked about a flight and the server said they do four pours.  There was quite a bit to choose from and most of the offerings were some version of IPA’s.  I tried to branch out and try different things but in the end, I chose three IPA’s out of my four choices.

We put in our order then kind of explored a little bit.  The pub was really kid friendly having a kids menu posted on line and several things for them to do.

L was drawn right to the shelf of board games.  She picked up Connect Four and she, B and I tried to play it but B just wanted to keep shoving checkers into random slots.

There was a shuffleboard behind our table and we played with that until a couple of guys sitting at the bar asked if they could play.  About that time, a different table opened up that we ran over and grabbed….because it had an N64 next to it.

L has never used a controller that big.  We have a Wii U and a Switch so she’s used to much smaller controls.  I put Mario Kart into the machine and tried to teach her how to use the joystick.  It didn’t go so well, but lunch was coming out about that time.

While we were playing games, I started in on my flight.  The first beer I picked up was Buckrider.  This is their hop forward Belgian Style IPA.  It’s a nice, light start to a beer flight….a little hoppy but not overpowering.

The second beer I picked up was Springtooth.  This one is a Farmhouse Double IPA.  Again, very smooth and pretty easy drinking for a DIPA.

Beer three was Scrappy Guy.  I meant to save this one for last but I picked up the wrong one and started drinking.  This beer is an Imperial Pale Lager.  It’s light, crisp, and crushable.

The final beer I chose was Quandry.  This was the highest AVB of the beers I chose.  It’s a Cognac Oak-Aged Belgian Quad.  It wasn’t nearly as boozy as I thought it would be.  Just had a nice, rich malt forward taste.

The food menu at North Pier is pretty simple.  It’s one page of flatbreads, sandwiches, and some shareable appetizers.

I picked the Mac Daddy.  Listed under the “Shareables” section of the menu.  This flatbread is topped with BBQ sauce, mac ‘n cheese, bacon, Old Shuck beer-braised pulled pork, red onion, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, and green onions.  I asked if the red onions could be left off but the server said the flatbreads are pre-made.  I scrunched my nose but figured I could deal with it.  I pulled the big pieces of onion off before I bit into the slices.  There was a lot of pulled pork and BBQ sauce on the small pizza.  The sweet, sticky BBQ sauce really dominated the flavor.  The mac ‘n cheese kind of got lost behind the pulled pork.  Every so often I’d get a big bite of mac ‘n cheese but mostly it was pulled pork.  It was a delicious flatbread…even with a few onions…and different from the burger I usually get at restaurants.

J also picked something with pulled pork when she picked the Pulled Pork Tacos.  The same Old Shuck braised pulled pork that was on my flatbread joins jalapenos, garlic, black beans, lettuce, pickled red onions, pimentos, and chiptole ranch in flour tortillas.  There was a lot of the filling in each one of the tacos.  J said the tacos were delicious.  She would have been alright with a little bit less of the veggies, but there was still quite a bit of meat in each one.  The three tacos were a perfect portion size for her.

One of the things that sold me on North Pier was they had a kid’s menu posted online.  A lot of place have the kid’s menu but we don’t know that until we get there.  I appreciate when places put theirs online…although I understand why they don’t.

The kids each wanted something different.  L asked for the chicken strips.  The three strips were frozen food service strips served alongside some simple fries.  There was ranch included with the basket since L likes that for some reason.  For the first time in a while, we didn’t have to fight with her to eat lunch.  She ate one and a half of the strips and some fries.  We took the rest home and threw it in the air fryer to warm back up for dinner.

B wanted a grilled cheese.  His basket had a golden brown grilled cheese and fries.  He went to town right away and started eating around the crusts.  He also ate about one and a half pieces of a gooey, cheesy, tasty grilled cheese.

I had already cashed out our tab when I went to get J a second cider.  The bill at that point was about $55 before tip.  I just went to the bar to cash out.  There is a cash register at the end of the small bar where you can order drinks. The server had a lot going on and I wanted to get another drink pretty quickly.  Lunch was going well with the kids but they can be ticking time bombs.

I picked up a couple of cans to take home and a pint glass before I left.  I asked if they sold their glasses and the guy said yes and grabbed a clean one from behind the bar.  They had four different beers canned in a cooler next to the bar so I grabbed one of each.  That cost me another $35.  I paid cash this time.  My mom had give us money to pay for lunch.  Since I used my card on the meal, I used the cash for my extras.

As we were leaving, the kids wanted to see the patio.  It was pretty hot on the day we were there so we chose not to sit outside, but there is a great space with quite a bit of shade that connects to the main taproom with a couple of garage doors.  This is the kind of patio that has to be awesome at night as the sun is going down.  It’s too bad we stopped in on a day the heat index was pushing 100 degrees.

I’ve been seeing billboards for North Pier Brewing Company for quite a while on I-94 on our trips back and forth to Chicago.  I wasn’t aware they were serving food so I was really happy when I decided to look on Saturday before we headed home.  The food menu is pretty simple. It’s nothing that’s going to blow you away, but it’s still really tasty.  They also have a great beer line up.  I had low expectations when we walked in the door. I didn’t know much about this place and haven’t heard a lot of buzz.  It’s a good little brewery though and a great stop before you hit that tee box across the street.

North Pier Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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