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Grand River Brewery (Marshall)

December 11, 2018

  • 101 W. Michigan Avenue
  • Marshall, MI 49068
  • (269) 727-9311
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s usually me who is pressuring J in to going out to eat at a new place someone has told me about but this past weekend, she turned the tables on me.

We were planning our day on Sunday when J kept saying she wanted to go to Marshall.  One of her colleagues has been raving about a brewery there and, well, she had me at brewery.

Grand River Brewery in Marshall is the second location for the Jackson based brewing company.  The Marshall location is right in downtown on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Jefferson Street in the 150 year old Cronin Building.  If that names sounds familiar, you know you’re Marshall history.  The Cronin Mansion is the inspiration for the book The House with a Clock in it’s Walls which became a movie starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett.  This building downtown was used for many things over the years.  It’s original purpose was a dry goods store, but it’s been an antique store and a couple of restaurants over the years

The building is essentially two store fronts.  The “front door” leads into an area with a small bar and some pub seating.  They also have beer to go and merchandise for sale near the hostess stand.   The “J.H. Cronin” sign that hung on the outside of the building for many years now hangs on the brick wall opposite the bar.

The larger dining space is through a small doorway that looks like it was built to connect the two spaces together.  This room is a lot bigger, it has a much bigger bar, and seating that goes all the way to the back of the space.  It’s in this area that you really get a good look at the way the restaurants highlights a lot of the original features of the building (stamped ceiling tiles, hardwood floors, exposed support beams) with some newer, modern updates (sleek furniture, newer floors, modern ceiling fans and lighting).

We were taken to a table in this back area which was quickly filling up.  There was a good mix of groups of older people enjoying brunch and younger families trying to get a meal in before getting on with the hectic December afternoon.

The hostess set down four tablets on the table when she seated us.  I picked one up and turned it on.  They do their menu on these tablets instead of printing them…and let me tell you…it’s freakin’ neat.

The menu worked by swiping through the pages.  Each page just listed the options.  It didn’t have descriptions or prices, but if you tapped on the item, you got a full color picture, description of the item, and the price.

J and I both swiped to the drink pages to start.  She ordered a Cranberry Ginger Mimosa.  The waitress gave her an option to make it bottomless but she declined.  Near the end of the meal, she may have regretted that decision as she ordered an Orange Mimosa to finish off the meal.

I asked right away about a flight and the waitress said they do boards of five.

The first beer I asked for was the Black Ace which is an Imperial Stout.  The sheet the waitress gave me even said that it was, but the beer was definitely not an Imperial Stout.  When she came back I asked if she knew what it was.  She went to the bar and they told her they blew that tap last night so they just replaced it in my flight with Triptych Warrior.  I didn’t mind that it was replaced with this…I just wanted to know what it was.  Triptych Warrior is a Belgian Tripel so the abv was similar to the Imperial Stout…that’s why they chose to substitute that one.

The second beer I tried was Monkey Mouth IPA.  Not a huge surprise that I didn’t stray much from the hoppy stuff.  Monkey Mouth is an American IPA and their award winner.  This one took home a the American Style IPA of the Year  from the New York International Beer in 2015.

The third selection was The Sticky Manifesto.  This is their take on the juicy NE IPA.  Not gonna lie.  I really enjoyed this one and could see myself drinking more than just one.

The fourth beer I picked up was the Black Penny Porter.  This one’s a tasty middle of the road type of beer. It’s a solid porter but nothing that really makes it jump out.

My final beer was Buffalo Blizzard.  This is White IPA which I’m not very familiar with.  I’ve had a few.  Always enjoyed them.  This one was no different.  Good way to finish off the meal.

We actually discussed not going to Grand River Brewery on a weekend because we noticed they did brunch.  Some places will only let you order off the brunch menu while some will just make it an extra option.  We prefer the latter.  In the end, we decided to go figuring even if it was brunch only, there would be something we would like and we were right.  The brunch menu looked amazing but luckily for us, GRB is the former and allows ordering off their whole menu in addition to brunch.

We started with the Chronic Fries…because..damn!  They looked good on the menu.  The house cut Belgian fries are topped with garlic brown butter, bacon, rosemary, Sartori SarVecchio (Parmesan) cheese, and topped with a balsamic reduction.  You really wouldn’t think balsamic on fries would be good but it was amazingly so.  It didn’t take long for J and I to polish off this bowl.  The kids couldn’t get past the “black stuff” so they would’t even try it.  Their loss.

J and I both flirted with the brunch menu but we both ended up ordering off the regular menu.  I did the Black & Bleu Burger.  This hand fresh, all natural beef patty with just a slightly pink center is topped with bleu cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion and served on a brioche bun that is baked in house.  This burger is what a burger should be.  The beef stands on it’s own letting the crispy bacon and tangy bleu cheese just enhance the flavor.  The sandwich is served with hand cut Kennebuc fries.  I had already eaten half a plate of fries and couldn’t stop myself from eating more.  J made fun of me for filling up on potatoes before I really even touched the burger.

J had a couple things in mind but when it came to decision time, she picked the Heart Attack Mac.  The baked mac and cheese is topped with pulled pork that is smoked in house, bacon, pico de gallo, sharp cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions (she left those off).  The whole idea was to get two meals out of this dish and that’s exactly what happened.  The large was just a pool for the noodles to swim in the cheddar cheese sauce.  You combine two of J’s favorite foods and you know you’ve got a winner.

The kids menu had three things our kids would eat but both of them decided they were going to do breakfast food instead.

B did the Chocolate Chip Pancakes and boy did he like chocolate chips in his pancakes.  The plate came with a stack of two pancakes, butter, and syrup.  I think this was the first time he had ever had pancakes like this and he ate about 3/4 of his plate for the second day in a row.  The rest of us passed around pieces of what he didn’t eat to see why he was hogging them all to himself.  It didn’t take long to figure it out.

L did the Bacon, Eggs, and Toast.  She got her eggs scrambled and the toast was sourdough.  She didn’t know what that was so we told her white.  She needed a little more butter which we just took from B’s pancakes and she really liked the sourdough.  The bacon was nice and crispy and the eggs were fluffy scrambles.  Just like her brother, she ate a majority of the plate which we’re hoping is going to become a regular thing after so many meals that have gone to waste with these two.

Our bill was $87 and we got a little bit of a sticker shock but we did order a lot of stuff.  I did a flight, J got two drinks, and we got an appetizer.  I’m one of those people that don’t mind paying more for good food.  Sure, I can get a fast food burger for $4 instead of this one for $13 but do I even have to explain why I wouldn’t do that?

Grand River Brewery is so worth the trip from Kalamazoo.  In fact, this place jumps right to the top of one of my favorite places in the state.  The owners of the Jackson location have said they hope to keep expanding and I would definitely welcome one in Kalamazoo Everything we ate was fresh and delicious.  J’s co-worker wouldn’t stop talking about this place and I’m so glad she didn’t.

Grand River Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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