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Old 04-20-2009, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default Jamesport Brewing Company, Ludington, Michigan

Ok, had to go to Manistee this past week and due to logistics they sent me home early on Friday (yeah, I know it sucked...)

Anyway, on the way home, I decided to pull into Ludington and check out Jamesport. I've lived in Reed City for close to 2 decades and somehow never knew this was here. Well, I found the place and went in. Nice place. Restaurant and bar areas with several beers on tap.

I asked for the menu and while having a look, another customer asked me what kind of beer I was looking for. Well, I didn't know. We started chatting and he said he makes mead and I mentioned I make beer.

I knew they gave tours, so I asked the bartender when the tours are. She said the brewmaster was downstairs cleaning some kegs, and he said come on down. YES!

I find my way downstairs and meet Tom Buchanen (sp) the Brewmaster. You couldn't meet a nicer person! He gave the lowdown on his equipment (3.5 bbl setup) and process. We chatted about beer, breweries in the state, etc. He mentioned a beer festival that is coming up this summer (August 22nd IIRC) in Ludington with a homebrew contest involved!

The customer came down and chatted for a little bit with us and then the two of us left Tom to do his thing while we sampled more beer. Being a lightweight I drank about 6 sample glasses of IPA, Mild, Bitter, Weizenbock, and some others I can't remember. All were good, except the weizenbock. I reinforced my opinion that I don't like that style. It was not terribly nasty, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to those who like that style. THey are just not for me.

I also sampled the Onion Rings with a bleu cheese and something or other dip. This thing came out looking like it was made in a fancy french restaurant! And it tasted fantastic!

This is a very nice brewpub with a very good menu and top-notch beer! No fancy beer names, just called what they are, but they are done well. I'm ready to plan our camping trip to Ludington State Park and a romantic evening with the wife at Jamesport. Another growler added to my collection too!

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Old 04-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #2
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Forgot to mention that the winner of the homebrew contest gets their recipe on a guest tap at the brewery. Is that cool or what?

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Old 01-20-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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I stopped in over the New years week and sampled some pretty tasty beers. The appetizers are great.

I would highly recommend the Amber steam they had on tap. I sent an email to Tom trying to get some pointers on a recipe like his, but have not heard back. Way better than Anchor, I had 3 of them after the sampler tray.

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Old 01-20-2011, 10:41 PM   #4
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I stopped in over the New years week and sampled some pretty tasty beers. The appetizers are great.

I would highly recommend the Amber steam they had on tap. I sent an email to Tom trying to get some pointers on a recipe like his, but have not heard back. Way better than Anchor, I had 3 of them after the sampler tray.
We popped in there in September and had a great time! We stayed at a motel within walking (well, stumbling, actually) distance and enjoyed the beers immensely! We thought the food was very good, too and would recommend that place to anybody who was in the area.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:47 PM   #5
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Next time Yooper, I will have to let you know when we head up... Its always a good time and we try to hit as many breweries as we can. We usually stay in Cadillac and travel to TC and at least one or two other places specifically for beer. I think next trip will be TC and maybe Holland.

Have you been to the Mission in TC for some Jolly Pumpkin yet? I love it.

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Old 01-21-2011, 01:01 PM   #6
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Connecting online is not the fastest way to get hold of them over there, unfortunately. I seems they don't keep up with technology as well as some other breweries do. But I think Tom would be willing to give advice. He's very open about showing off the small brewing system they have and doesn't seem to mind chatting for a few minutes each time I stop in.

But every time I look at the website, the brewers log is always very outdated.

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Old 01-21-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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Next time Yooper, I will have to let you know when we head up... Its always a good time and we try to hit as many breweries as we can. We usually stay in Cadillac and travel to TC and at least one or two other places specifically for beer. I think next trip will be TC and maybe Holland.

Have you been to the Mission in TC for some Jolly Pumpkin yet? I love it.
We did go to TC and had some Jolly Pumpkin! We liked the wineries even better, though. I really enjoyed Right Brain the best- they had a cask conditioned IPA that was wonderful! Our favorite place was Short's in Bellaire, so we stayed one night right in Bellaire to be able to walk back to the motel.

I don't know if we'll get back there anytime soon- it's about a 6-7 hour drive to TC for us.

I didn't even think to ask about checking into a little tour at Jamesport- I was just happy to be on my first "Michigan Brewpub Tour".
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:35 PM   #8
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Jamesport doesn't usually have tour times. If Tom or someone is down there, and they aren't too busy making beer, they'll give you the nickel tour. But it's only a small basement and everything is right there, or in the big cooler.

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Old 03-28-2011, 01:12 PM   #9
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Wife and I stopped in on Friday night to sample the Award Winning IIPA from last year's Homebrew Competition. I had the Perch Fillets and fries and she had the cherry bourbon glazed steak with au gratin potatoes. Very good food.

I had a 5 oz Hefe, then a 5 ounce smoky porter, then a 12 ounce IIPA (Soul Shine). Except they poured a pint!!

Tom was there, and I said hi. He thought the IIPA was too sweet, but I disagree. I like my IIPA to have some malt backbone. I thought it was dead on and it tasted great, as did the other beers. I know Tom likes an IPA to be less over the top. The Hefe was lacking a bit of the banana and clove but was still tasty. Some people prefer just a hint.

So get yourself over there is you like a good IIPA. They one on tap that I would seriously buy in the store if I could!

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Old 04-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #10
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I have to give them a thumbs up from my visit about two years ago. A brewpub is challenged at having to make good food and good beer. They do well at both. My only disappointment is that as a guest you can't really see the brewery...except through a small window in the floor which is only proof that they have one on site.

But... for a lakeshore community in Michigan that caters to tourists they have a great combination.

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