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Saugatuck Brewing Company – Kalamazoo

June 18, 2019

  • 140 S. Westnedge Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 382-2739
  • Website
  • Menu

I was just as confused as everyone else when Gonzo’s Bigg Dogg Brewing announced in March they were merging with Saugatuck Brewing.   I’ve always been a fan of both breweries so I wasn’t worried other than I was sorry to hear Gonzo’s would be going away.

It’s been about a month or so since I noticed the Saugatuck signs go up on the building right on the edge of downtown Kalamazoo.  Last Friday, a beer sounded good, so I texted J before leaving work to see if she wanted to meet me there with the kids for dinner.

Not much has changed other than the signs on the outside of the building at the corner of Westnedge and Academy Street in the Central Business District.  About six years, Gonzo’s transformed an old car dealership into a brewery and now Saugatuck continuing what Gonzo’s started.

It was actually a pretty nice night and we really thought about sitting out on the patio. It’s the first thing you see when you walk across the street from the parking lot.  It’s a pretty large space right along the high traffic Westnedge Avenue with metal patio furniture.  The noise can be a distraction and the kids wanted to sit inside so that’s where we asked the hostess to seat us.

The pub looks pretty similar to what I remember Gonzo’s looking like.  There’s a large U-Shaped bar in the middle of the space with both Saugatuck and Gonzo’s beers on taps.  Saugatuck kept the best of Gonzo’s recipes, including the Vanilla Porter, and brought in a lot of their favorites as well

The seating is mostly pub tables with metal bar stools but there are some lower four tops tucked in to the corners.  We got there just before the big Friday night dinner rush so we were lucky enough to get one of the tables near the door.  Westnedge Avenue is still a focal feature of the place even when sitting inside.  Large windows provide an up close view of the cars speeding by.  When they were younger, both kids used to like to stand in the window and watch the cars.  It was easy entertainment while we were eating.

I searched the menu for beers I hadn’t had before and found something called Jack Rabbit Slims.  This is a New England IPA that came over from the Gonzo’s menu.  It was served in a snifter and had the juicy flavor that dominates the NEIPA style.

J ordered the Saugatuck Rose Cider.  This cider was light and sweet.  Mixing things with Rose is apparently a thing now too and J likes both ciders and the sweet wine so this worked really, really well for her.

The menu is also pretty similar to what it was in the Gonzo’s days.  The spent grain pizza dough is still featured heavily on the menu but it seems to me they have more sandwich and burger options.

I picked the Beer Cheese and Bacon Burger.  The half pound burger patty is topped with thick crispy bacon and a gooey Brewers Cheese beer cheese. The sandwich is served on a poppy seed roll with yukon gold potato chips but I upgraded to hand cut fries.  The burger seemed to be cooked a little past medium at first but it was oozing juice.  The further I got in to it, the more it became a little before medium which is how I like it.  The beer cheese is a soft white cheese that just soaked up all the flavor from the meats.  It’s a delicious sandwich made even better with tasty, hand cut fries covered in a salt and pepper mixture.

J picked the one of the Spent Grain Pizzas that was topped with pulled pork and BBQ sauce.  The pizzas at Saugatuck Brewing are so good.  I mean, I always forget how much I like these pizzas until I make a return trip.  J was very excited to take half her pizza home for a later meal and only let me eat one slice so she’d have more for tomorrow.

The kid’s menu is super simple.  Pizza, mac ‘n cheese, or chicken tenders.

J picked the Mac ‘n Cheese mostly because she knows how to read now and noticed the Mac ‘N Cheese kid’s meal is Kraft.  She asked for grapes for her side and she actually ate almost all of her meal while watching YouTube videos on her tablet.

B picked a pizza.  The menu has a pepperoni pizza for kids but B just wanted cheese.  He got a pretty good size pizza made with the same spent grain dough as J’s pizza.  It’s topped simply with mozzarella cheese and red sauce.  While J didn’t really want to share her pizza with me, B was more than willing to trade a slice for a few fries so I got a little bit of his.

The bill for our meal was a little over $50.

Saugatuck Brewing Company – Kalamazoo is doing things right at their new location right now.  Gonzo’s was already  pretty well established and had a solid menu.  Instead of blowing that up and bringing in their own people, Saugatuck is just expanding and tweaking what Gonzo’s was doing.  The best things about Gonzo’s are still present but now we’ve also got some of the best things about Saugatuck Brewing a little closer to home.


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