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Brewery Outre

April 17, 2023

We finished off J’s birthday afternoon with a couple of beers.

The kids go to theater camp at The Civic over Spring Break. Over the course of a week, they learn a show then do a performance for parents on Friday.

J and I had several things we wanted to do including going out for lunch then going somewhere else and grabbing a drink or two at some place we wouldn’t take the kids.

We went to Battle Creek for lunch then did a little shopping. We got done earlier than we thought and by the time we got back to Kalamazoo, we still had two hours before the performance.

We didn’t want to sit at a bar for two hours so we went home and relaxed for a little bit.

We knew there was a brewery that opened at 3:00 that we had never been to and that doesn’t have a kitchen. That’s usually the places we try to hit without the kids. Their performance was at 4:30 so it gave us just enough time to get a couple of beers then head over to The Civic.

Brewery Outre has been open for about a year on Ransom Street at the roundabout with Harrison. The brewery takes up a lower level retail space in the Harrison Circle Apartment Building which was just built a few years ago in the new Rivers Edge District on Kalamazoo’s Northside

The parking lot an entrance are behind the building. There is a narrow lot right behind the building but there is a big lot across Butler Court. The back side of the building is pretty generic. The entrance to the brewery is marked by a small hanging sign coming off the concrete facade.

That entrance kind of brings you in to a common area. Again, it’s very sterile concrete walls and glass doors until you get to the back wall where the Brewery Outre sign leading you into the brewery is.

We got to the brewery right as they were opening around 3PM. There was another couple at the bar already but we took a seat in the bar area near the brewhouse. There are a couple different types of tables in this area with metal barstools and seating. We took a pub table looking out on to Ransom Street but close enough to the bar we could see the tap list.

There are other spaces throughout the building including a great outdoor patio and a lounge type area that is more laid back than the bar setting. This space is great for playing board games or hanging out with friends.

The bar is walk up service and once we had an idea what we wanted, I went up and got drinks. Brewery Outre is known for their experimental beers using wine to ferment making beer-wine hybrids. This is what J was looking forward to try. I more of a beer person and less of a wine person but always open to trying unique drink combinations.

We were there the day before their big one year anniversary party where they were releasing a new barrel aged Biere de Garde using bourbon barrels from Green Door Distilling. I wasn’t expecting Bon Anniversaire to be on the menu…but it was so of course I ordered that. The beer is super complex. There’s a lot coming at you. The menu suggests drinking it slow as the flavors morph as the beer gets warmer. The beer is super tasty but also pretty heavy. One is about all I could drink.

J’s pick was the Rose Sour. This beer is one of those hybrids that’s brewed with zinfandel grape juice. The beer is a sour which she loves but I’m never super wild about. She was a fan. I took a few sips to see what it was like. It’s fine if you like this style of beers.

J wasn’t going to get a second but I know there was another one she wanted to try so I got it instead of trying the IPA. I picked the Mimosa Sour as my follow up to the Bon Annivesaire. Like the Rose Sour, the Mimosa Sour is a hybrid. This one is made with muscat grape juice. Like the Rose Sour, it’s a super tasty beer if you like the style. J did but was not wanting a second beer. She drank a little bit of mine. I enjoyed the beer as much as I could for a sour. It was hoppier than the Rose Sour which made it easier for me to drink. It’s one of those, I’m glad I tried it but I’m going to stick to the big hoppy beers that I love in the future.

We had already eaten lunch so food wasn’t really a priority for us…kind of why we chose Brewery Outre on this day. There is no kitchen but they do have some “bar snacks” and you can bring food in from other places. Louie’s Trophy House Grill is nearby and pretty soon, Papa’s Italian Sausage will move to the space right next to Brewery Outre. They also do food trucks pretty regularly. There was a taco truck in the parking lot the day we were there and it’s always sooooo hard for me to pass up taco trucks but I was stuffed at this point.

Kalamazoo has lost a lot of small breweries like this over the years. There was an oversaturation for a while and it was only the big breweries that had full kitchens that seemed to have made it.

Brewery Outre is pretty different from what we have in Kalamazoo at the moment. It’s a neighborhood type bar. A place to grab a few beers after work. Boatyard Brewing was just down the street when they were around and that was a place people went to after work to grab a few pints with friends and co-workers. Brewery Outre is the same kind of place.

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