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South Haven Brewpub

March 1, 2021

  • 515 Williams Street
  • South Haven, MI 49090
  • (269) 767-7105
  • Website
  • Menu

I know a lot of families have really been impacted with sports cancellations due to this pandemic but we’re fortunate enough our kids aren’t really in to sports yet. They both played a shortened soccer season last fall but other than that, they haven’t missed out on much.

The one thing my daughter has really missed is ice skating. She was progressing through the levels with Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association last spring when ice skating was abruptly halted. We were finally back to a point we felt comfortable with group lessons and we signed her up.

We were all ready to go and realized her skates from last year don’t fit. She and I ran to Grand Rapids to buy a used pair from Play-It-Again Sports but realized the first week we bought a size too big. That’s fine. She’ll have them for next year.

We ordered her a new pair in what we thought was the right size but really wanted to test them out before she wore them for almost two hours of lessons. Problem though…there’s no place doing open skates.

This was all happening the weekend is was super, super cold….like air temperatures in the single digits, wind chills well below negative. The only place we could get on the ice for a few minutes was the rink in downtown South Haven. It’s an outdoor rink so we knew we wouldn’t be there long but we just needed to test out the fit and comfort.

Along the same lines, we haven’t eaten at a restaurant in almost a year as a family. I ate inside a restaurant once when I was in Florida on a work trip and J has met some friends on a patio a few times. We decided to look for some igloos in the South Haven area and that’s how we’ll ease ourselves back in to public dining.

We picked South Haven Brewpub as our first family meal out in almost a year. The restaurant is on Williams Street but you won’t see it as you drive by. It’s part of the Old Harbor Village right along the Black River Channel.

The Brewpub is down the set of stairs if you’re coming from the entrance near Center Street. We found a parking spot right across the street from this entrance but it was a very cold day in the middle of winter. In the summertime, you’re not going to get this lucky and will have to find parking around downtown or in one of the public lots.

We picked South Haven Brewpub because they have a number of igloos and outdoor covered dining options. The igloos were first come first serve so we made sure to get there right as they opened at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon. Dine-in service was just resuming in the state and there were a few people taking advantage of that. We went right in and asked if we could sit outside. The bartender handed us a couple of menus and said we would need to order at the bar as there is no service in the igloos. We were fine with that so the four of us piled into one of the domes with picnic tables inside and cranked up the heat.

We figured out what we wanted to eat then I headed back in to order. South Haven Brewpub is a place I’ve been wanting to go to for a long time but during the summer months, the place is usually busy. They have a great space along the river in a great atmosphere of shops and other restaurants connected to Old Harbor Inn. The dining room isn’t all that big when there are no capacity limits but it’s cozy enough and still gives you the brewpub feel in a more intimate resort like setting.

Ordering was done at the bar and since bar service wasn’t allowed a the time, the bar is stacked with merchandise. There’s also a beer cooler on one wall with canned beer to take home.

We kind of went overboard with the ordering starting with the drinks. We got the kids both a hot chocolate and a Sprite to drink. They wanted the hot chocolate because it was so dang cold but that wouldn’t be enough for the meal.

J started with an Irish Coffee…because, it was cold. The drink came in the same paper coffee cups the kids hot chocolate did so I really had to be careful to give her the one filled with coffee, Carolan’s Irish Cream and Jameson.

I started with a beer because I so miss drinking draft beer at a brewery. I picked the Not Your Grandma’s Cookie because that just sounded like the kind of beer to warm you up. The beer is an oatmeal stout with chocolate and peanut butter. The beer sipped pretty easy for a stout and it was gone by the time our food came.

J had saw online they had a Blood Orange Gose but didn’t know the name of it. The beer list inside didn’t list styles or what was on it but when I got back to the igloo, I looked at the beer list on the website and saw it. I went back in to get her snifter. I don’t like Gose’s but she does. This one has what they call a “mild blood orange taste with a tart/sour aftertaste.” I took a few sips just to try it but this is more her kind of beer than mine.

When the food came, I went back for another beer. This time I picked Toes in the Sand. This is their Citrus IPA offering and it’s a real good dinner beer. They call it sessionable and I would agree. There’s a good mix of hoppiness and citrus flavor without being a hazy IPA.

We started our meal with an appetizer. Like I said, we went all out. After not eating out for a year, we did multiple drinks, apps, and entrees for everybody.

We got the Beer Cheese and Pretzels for the four of us to share. There were a lot of the bite size pretzels stacked in the to-go container the bartender brought out to us. Each one was perfectly crisp and salty. They didn’t need the cheese, and for the most part, the kids ignored the cheese, but they were even better with a little bit of the smooth, creamy beer cheese made with the Black River Ale. There was a little bit of cheese leftover which I saved for my fries.

My pick for lunch was the Mac & Cheese Burger. This two hands required sandwich is a burger topped with fried mac and cheese wedges, a sweet chili sauce, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. The sandwich was massive. I’ve seen mac and cheese burgers before with a scoop of mac and cheese on top but this one had big fried wedges. The chili sauce was a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet and actually helped to hold the bun on top of everything. For all the flavors going on, it was really the burger that jumped out at me. This was clearly a fresh meat patty because it was still loose and falling apart. It’s like the kind of burgers you make at home on the grill. There’s a slight saltiness to it and it barely holds together. It makes every bite tougher but the reward for holding it all together is a delicious beef patty that holds it’s own. The sandwich comes with kettle chips but I upgraded to beer battered fries. I’ve mentioned in the past these aren’t always my favorite but with a little condiment, in this case leftover beer cheese, they can be enjoyable.

J ordered the Slow Roasted Pork Tacos. The three flour tortillas come with house roasted pork, a spicy slaw, a chipotle aioli, and cilantro. Each of the three tacos were filled with pork. J gets a little weird with pork textures. If the pieces are too big, it’s hard for her to get past. The flavor of the pork was great but she really likes it shredded a little more. She pulled some of the bigger chunks off and shared with me but only ended up eating two of the tacos. We threw the third one in the kids leftover pizza box but I forgot about it once it got home and put in the fridge. J’s meal came with tri-colored chips and salsa on the side.

We got the kids a pizza to split. I did a 14″ pepperoni pizza with the intention of bringing home the leftovers. The pizza has a somewhat thick, chewy garlic butter crust topped with a sweet marinara sauce, browned mozzarella cheese and crispy pepperonis. The kids kind of filled up on the pretzels so there was a lot left. Each at one slice and I think L went back for a second but only ate half. I was fine with that because I ended up eating it for dinner after we got home.

Our bill was over $90 which seemed high at first until I looked at the ticket and saw we had so many drinks. It was fine though. As J said, we haven’t eaten out in almost a year so we over did it a little bit. We’ve done a ton of carry-out but this is the first time we’ve had draft beer in a while and we forgot how good that was.

South Haven Brewpub was a great way for us to ease back in to dining at restaurants. We’re still not ready to eat inside with the kids but we’re feeling more comfortable with outdoor dining. Despite the painfully cold temperatures outside, the igloo kept us nice and warm while we were able to enjoy dining out as a family again.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 1, 2021 11:24 pm

    Loved looking at the different beers and tucker. Tri coloured chips ? WT !
    The igloos look great fun.😀

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