Where I come from, microbreweries are known to have good food. But, as I have learned, many parts of the country (perhaps all except Oregon?) are much newer to the micro or craft brewery concept and have focused much more on the beer than the food. Arizona, though, while new to the union and pretty new to brewing seems to have struck the right chord. Perhaps it’s because there are so many damn people here from Michigan, but whatever the case I was eager to get myself a non-media meal at SanTan Brewing Company ( you can check out the media one here).
Burgers and brews go together like Forrest and Jenny, which is why my eyes generally shoot to the burger menu when I check out a brewery. It’s also why they always have burgers on the menu or, well, I question judgment. I did not have to question any judgment about burgers when I paid a visit to Four Peaks in Tempe, at least not at first.
It seems like just yesterday that I packed up my bags in Michigan to move to Los Angeles, but alas it was nearly 10 years ago. A lot has changed in those 10 years, and aside from housing prices and traffic much of it has been for the better. Take, for example, breweries. Michigan was littered with them and I found LA barely had one (San Diego was strong, though). Now, they are much easier to find and have even come around to serving brewery food instead of fancy stuff (I’m looking at you, Golden Road, but glad that you have also fixed yourself up!) Highland Park Brewery is one of the new entrants and I set out to test both its food and booze.
Breweries are the best, right? And they typically have awesome food. That’s why I was pretty excited to find out Phoenix was getting a new brewery called Helio Basin and tried to make my way there at the first opportunity. Plus, it didn’t hurt that I had a connection at the place and wanted to show some support.
You don’t typically associate a brewery with breakfast. But then, Eagle Rock Brewery Public House is less of a brewery than a quaint brunch spot that also happens to serve up a bunch of Eagle Rock Brewery’s beers (the real brewery is located elsewhere in Eagle Rock and is foodless save for the occasional food truck). Thus, after downing a beer I settled on the subject of food.
Out in San Dimas is a microbrewing spot called Clayton Brewing Co. Due to eating there during work, I wasn’t able to try their beer, but fortunately most breweries have great food and I was hoping Clayton would follow that pattern. After a whole lot of deliberation, I opted for the Smoked Gouda Patty Melt.
In need of some food to soak up the booze of the night before, we found ourselves at Les 3 Brasseurs in downtown Montreal. Of course, in English this translates to The 3 Brewers, so it seemed like a good place to get our fill before leaving the lovely city of Montreal. Because it seemed necessary, we started with a couple orders of poutine for the table – including one non-traditional that had pulled pork and bacon.
Downtown Buffalo hosts all sorts of fun events during the summer and so far none more fun than Thursdays at Canalside. But right by Canalside is place called Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, which is supposed to have some good things to eat and drink. As a man who loves brewery food, I was excited at the prospect of Pearl Street and after ordering one of their seasonal beers I took a gander at their menu.
Montana. Big sky country. The land of traffic jams caused by cows. Yes, like very few people before us (based on the lack of a line at the border), we returned from the Great White North through Montana. Billings is a long way from the border, but at some point we found ourselves there and in need of eats. Thusly, we discovered the creatively named Montana Brewing Company.
Many times I have lamented the lack of a microbrewery in LA. Sure, I’ve heard there’s one in Eagle Rock, but in 3+ years of living in LA I haven’t set foot in Eagle Rock and probably couldn’t point it out on a map. Plus, that’s one (allegedly good) brewery for a city with a metropolitan area of just under 18 million. Blech. But Michigan is another story, with plentiful great microbreweries. One of these is CJ’s Brewing Company in Commerce. And while I’ve had some delicious beers there, as with most microbreweries, the food is just as good.