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by Kelly Caldwell W

E DON’T VISIT THE Michigan Brewing Company in downtown Lansing only for the free, constantly replen- ished peanuts. We don’t even go solely

for the gargantuan burgers or the sweet potato fries or the fried pickles. We go for the beer, and rightfully so. The pub and brewery, located

in Webberville, crafts the bulk of the MBC’s varied brews, which range from the universally ap- pealing Nut Brown Ale to the hearty Superior Stout. The pub, located in downtown Lansing, brews small batches of beer, hard cider and wine. The brewery also distills vodka and whiskey, and is nationally recognized; one of our favorite Belgian strong pale ales, the Celis Grand Cru (8 percent ABV), won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2007.

The MBC is also particularly noted for

partnering with Kid Rock to produce the “Badass” beer, a crisp, light American lager which, according to the MBC, is “a beer that was brought up to go down easy.” This approach to brewing, the unpreten-


Webberville Brewery and Pub 1093 Highview Dr., Webberville (517) 521-3600

Lansing Pub 402 South Washington Ave., Lansing (517) 977-1349

tious appreciation for a beer that isn’t overly complicated and doesn’t peddle a “craft” reputation, is the kind of attitude that has made the MBC a home base for local mi- crobrewery enthusiasts as well as the guy who just wants to drink some beer. The pub atmosphere itself

is comfortable and rather en- dearing: chrome detailing, sleek metal chairs and tables, artsy, silver wall accents merge with the homey feel of a chalkboard draft list, ketchup and mustard at each table and peanut shells scattered on the floor. This inconsistency in interior design suggests a pub that at one point wanted to be

something trendier, but realized halfway through that its real love was burgers and beer. The clientele is mixed, with regulars making themselves comfortable at the bar while young couples, groups of friends and families settle in for dinner and a drink as the speakers play feel-good pop tunes. The MBC has been creative with standard pub fare, offer- ing dishes like crab-stuffed mushrooms ($8.95)

The Michigan Brewing Company allows you to “Build your own Burger” — price starts at $7.45. PHOTO: KELLY CALDWELL

and zucchini sticks ($6.85), as well as burgers and sandwiches. Having the distinction as one of the

DRINKS WE LOVE: Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale, 5% ABV T 10 | REVUEMM.COM | NOVEMBER 2011

HI S CLEAR, AMB E R- COLORED beer is creamy, slightly sweet and has a foamy white head that diminishes into

a faint lace. Notes of vanilla, nutmeg, cin- namon and gingerbread stand up against the dominating flavors of pumpkin, clove and brown sugar. The finish is smooth and clean with very little hop bitter- ness, making it an extremely drinkable beer—ideal fuel for your final drunken gallivanting through the streets of Lansing before sidewalk ice patches pose a serious problem. Though the beer isn’t particu- larly complex and may not impress beer

snobs, the pumpkin and cinnamon appeal to a certain sentimentality about crisp fall air and turning colors, and would pair well with classic autumn foods like acorn squash. The Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale is on draft at the Michigan Brewing Company pubs ($5/pint) or is available to purchase in six-pack cases. A suggestion from us: In a large glass,

pour the Screamin’ Pumpkin Spiced Ale over one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Beer purists would be aghast at this proposition, but it makes one creamy, delicious pumpkin float.

only microbreweries in the Lansing area, the Michigan Brewing Company fills an important role: it allows Lansing and East Lansing residents to buy their local Michigan beer, made with Michigan ingredients, at an independently-owned Michigan brewery and pub. And that tastes good. n


“You could give this to children and they would think it was delicious.”

“Would you be mad if I put a pea- nut in your beer?”

“It’s like if I had a one-night stand with a pumpkin pie.”


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