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Old 02-25-2009, 03:36 PM   #1
Homercidal
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Default Right Brain Brewing in Traverse City, Michigan

I'm going up there on Friday to help a friend look at guitars and have lunch. Anything I should know about? The website makes it look pretty cool for a place that sells on premises, but doesn't serve food. Their taps rotate constantly and it seems like a very cool place to live near because of the constant variety.

I wonder if they fill growlers if I brought one up...

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Old 02-28-2009, 10:53 PM   #2
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Hey....wondering what you thought of Right Brain. Did you get some ingredients from them? My experience has been hit or miss with their beers, but mostly hit as of late. What did you try?

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
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Ok, just got back to work and now have time to post! LOL!

First, I DID score a bag of grain! 50# 2-row (Canadian) for $40 cash. So nice to have some grain to try out my new crusher (although I found it needs to be tweaked. The rollers are binding and I think I have to run the shafts completely through the rollers instead of pressing them in blind. I think they may be a bit cocked).

Anyway, now on to the beer!

I tried the ESB first, just before lunch, while I waited for my friends and thought it was a very tasty beer. Now I have never had one before, so I have no idea what it is SUPPOSED to taste like, but I liked it. Basically mid-range in malt/bitter/etc. but fairly well hopped. Possibly a bit more than the style dictates? I don't know, but it was veyr yummy.

I also got a sampler of a Wasabi Horseradish Cream Ale. Initial aroma was a bit funky. I missed where it said there was horseradish in there, and I think that is part of what I was smelling. I have also never had wasabi and do not care for hot stuff much. But they said it was NOT HOT, so I tried it. It was really very good! I could have easily drank a pint of it to wash down a meal. I doubt I'd get it just to drink on it's own, and they claim it's meant to be drank with something like sushi.

Next was a sample of Bourbon Stout. I liked this one! By then I was eating lunch and having a good time, so that might have helped, but the bourbon flavor was very pronounced and went well with the beer. So far so good.

Next was Lupulin Infusion IPA. I've discovered I'm a bit of a hophead and just had to try it (I had to wait because they were cleaning lines or changing kegs or something and it just came back online). I got a sampler due to almost having to leave. First, they not that it's ABV was about 5.3. A bit low for IPAs I've had and there was a noticeable lack of alcohol heat for the style IMO, but otherwise the Hops flavors were very forward and it was a fairly well balanced beer. I'd probably choose this as one of my session beers if I frequented the place. I actually appreciate the fact it's a lower alcohol IPA that tasted good. Unfortunately, I live too far away to really get a chance to appreciate all of their beers.

I drove to the music shop and my friend bought a guitar. His brother and I went back so he could check it out. He got the IPA and agreed with me on all points. I got the Posh Porter. The board indicates a chocolate flavor and it's put down on a bed of fresh raspberries. Ok, it's a bit not my style, but I was curious. But I must say that this is not my kind of beer. I honestly did not pick up any chocolate flavor. The raspberry flavor was noticeable and not unpleasant and might have been the best part of the beer. There was a kind of harsh bitterness that came from who knows where. I'm sure some would enjoy this beer, but it was not for me.

Right Brain is an interesting place. A good brew pub with some character. They have a club where you can purchase a membership and a ceramic mug and customize the mug a few doors down at the ceramic shop. The membership allows you to get drink specials and whatnot. Not unlike some clubs I've seen at other places.

At around 3:00 on Friday the place was filling up and by the time we left at around 5 I think, it was getting more than full. Clearly a popular place to hang out. They don't serve food there, but there is at least one restaurant in the shared building and you can order pizza from local places and they will deliver, to you don't miss the lack of food.

It's hard to find! I drove past a couple of times, even after being told approximately where it was. Apparently there is a ban on placing signs on the building or something. It's in the old warehouse district, which is continuing to be made over with other shops and things going in all the time.

The beer at Right Brain is different all the time, and it seems the brewmaster (who used to work at the Traverse Brewing Company) has a lot of freedom to make whatever his creativity brings to him, or whatever he has laying around! You'll often find the usually suspects and also some more interesting creations.

I quite liked the place! They offer tastes and samples so if you are unsure of whether you will like a beer, you can try it for not much and decide if you want a pint.

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Old 03-05-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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Nice write up, I enjoyed reading it. I need to go there more often, I like that they brew off the wall stuff. I usually go to North Peak which is right down the road...they have some solid main stays and usually have a really good rotating selection. I got a brew club membership for Christmas which gets me smoking deals on beer there, so if im in that neighborhood, I just go there. Your write up has prompted me to head down to Right Brain...thanks!

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