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Stormcloud Brewing Company

March 14, 2020

  • 303 Main Street
  • Frankfort, MI 49635
  • (231) 352-0118
  • Website
  • Menu

It’s been a few years since we took a trip to Traverse City.  Our Northern Michigan trips usually center around a stay at Great Wolf Lodge and we just haven’t had the time to do that in a while.

Both kids had a day off from school last Friday so either J or I would have had to take a day off anyway.  We decided to both take a day off and treat the kids to a weekend of water sliding fun.

Our Great Wolf trips always give us a chance to find new breweries along the way.  We drove to Short’s Brewing one year, we stopped at Cedar Springs Brewing one year, we stopped at Rockford Brewing one year…this year, we took the long way to Traverse City through Frankfort.

We went out of our way to stop at Stormcloud Brewing in downtown Frankfort for lunch.  I’ve always heard so much good about the brewery on Main Street near the intersection with 3rd just a few blocks from Lake Michigan.

The building here is really cool.  There’s a fairly large dining area with a big bar that was mostly full when we walked in a little after 1:00 on a Friday afternoon.  The bar is fronted with stamped tin.  The beer menu is written on a large chalkboard right in the center of the back wall and a TV hangs on one end so you have something to do while you’re drinking.

We took a table in the dining room.  The decor is kind of a hipster Northern Michigan theme.  The tables have checkerboards on them.  The walls have retro sepia toned photographs showing different lake scenes.  The dining room is pretty bright with a lot of natural light coming in and bouncing off the light blue walls and light woods used on the floor and table tops.

Outside, there’s a nice little beer garden that looks like it could be heated in the winter but was not open at the time we were there.  There’s also an ice sheet for curling.  It’s not open curling…they have leagues, private group curling and learn to curl.  It’s a really cool, unique feature, but you can’t just show up on Friday night and call “Next.”

I haven’t been much of a beer drinker. Just have had the urge to imbibe.  I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to try as much as I could at a place that won Michigan’s Best New Brewery during Mlive’s Michigan’s Best search in 2016.  So, I ordered a flight.

I started with Rainmaker Ale.  It’s a Belgian style Pale Ale that won a Bronze Medal at Great American Beer Fest in Denver.  The beer was solid.   Not sure why I picked this because it’s not usually my favorite style but it was enjoyable.

The second beer in the flight was Thirty One Planes Imperial IPA.  This is more of my style of beer.  This is part of the experimental series of beers using different hopping techniques.  The beer was pretty strong and very hoppy….the way I like my beers.  This is a solid Imperial IPA and one I could enjoy over and over.

I needed to get a couple dark beers in the rotation too.  I picked the English Porter called The Disappearer Porter.  Stormcloud calls this an “easy drinking British porter” and it really is.  It goes down really smooth and really easily.

My final selection was The Flaming Idealist. This a Black IPA that’s part of the 2020 Dark & Stormcloudy Film & Beer Series with The Garden Theater.  Black IPA’s are always hit or miss for me.  It depends on my mood.  This one was quite tasty though and was a solid finish to the flight.

J was happy to see a cider on the menu.  She ordered the Weathered and Hard Cider.  It was a pretty sweet but dry cider.  She had no complaints and loves to see it when beer places have good ciders on tap.

We started our meal with a basket of popcorn.  If you put gourmet popcorn on the menu, I’m going to order.  We got the Garlic Parmesan Popcorn and to my surprise, it was real garlic and shreds of Parmesan cheese.  There was quite a bit of it and we couldn’t quite finish it all.  There was a pool of butter on the bottom basket that mixed with the big pieces of roasted garlic giving it a real garlickly flavor.

There are no burgers on the menu so I ordered the Cherry BBQ Brisket.  This sandwich has slow roasted (not smoked) brisket, mushrooms, jalapeno, smoked Gouda, and a house made BBQ sauce.  It’s served on what they call a “Crescent Bakery rustic bun” but it tasted like Ciabatta to me.  I actually left the mushrooms off and there weren’t a ton of jalapenos…but just enough to add a little spice.  The unfortunate thing with this sandwich is the bread totally dominated.  It’s the kind of bread that I would love to dip in to some olive oil and spices but the bread dominates too much as sandwich bread.  The homemade BBQ sauce was really quite delicious.  It was a little tangy..a little sweet.  It wasn’t overly cherry.  The brisket was good.  I actually didn’t even get much brisket flavor from anything.  The accouterments really outshined the beef.

J did a half sandwich and salad for lunch.  She picked the Grilled Stormcheese as the sandwich part.  The cheese part is a blend of aged cheddar cheese.  Like my sandwich, it’s served on bread made at nearby Crescent Bakery.  The half sandwich did come with the kettle chips that come on the side so she got quite a bit of food.

For the salad part of her meal, she picked the Roasted Root Salad.  The mixed greens in this salad are topped with Garlic herb oil, roasted beets, rainbow carrots, parsnips, green onion, goat cheese, corn, and Parmesan.  The dressing is a maple balsamic vinaigrette that is served on the side.

The kids each wanted a pizza so we got them their own pepperoni pizzas off the kids menu.  The smaller pizzas are made with dough made fresh in house.  They are topped with an absolutely deliciously sweet and spicy sauce.  The kids were being difficult and only ate a little over a piece each.  That was good for J and I because then we got to eat some.  I was so excited to box up the rest and take it home…then I forgot the dang box on the table.

Our bill for lunch was a little over $60 but that included drinks and an appetizer.

The drive out of the way to get to Frankfort was totally worth it.  Stormcloud Brewing lives up to the hype.  The beer was fantastic and I really wish I could have tried more.  The food was tasty too and I’m sure the atmosphere is something else on a Friday night in the summer.  We don’t get out that way much (or ever really….this was our first time in Frankfort) but I would go out of the way again to make a stop for drinks and a meal.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. BBurk permalink
    March 16, 2020 4:01 pm

    Seriously – please leave brewery / beer reviews to experienced beer drinkers. You didn’t do StormCloud any favors with your lackluster beer or cider tasting descriptions. Food reviews appear better suited for you.

    • SW Michigan Dining permalink*
      March 22, 2020 3:07 pm

      It’s a conscious choice. Most people really don’t care about all the intricacies and flavor profiles. They just want to know if it’s good. There are really good beer blogs out there if you’re looking for something more in depth.

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