Tucked into the side of a shopping center in Novi is an unlikely beer oasis, the Michigan Beer Company. The bar and restaurant, located at 42875 Grand River, specializes in Michigan beer and the food menu incorporates state-grown ingredients. The highlight of this gem, though, is the indoor/outdoor beer garden.
The open-air, all-season dining space is open daily in the summer with live music Thursday-Saturday evenings and the occasional beer-related events. Sip a Dragonmead Apricot or Roak Powerboat while sitting at a table under a white trellis-like area, or at the stone bar. Outside of the rolling garage doors, additional seating is available on a completely outdoor patio.
The beer list aims to feature at least one product from every brewery in Michigan that distributes to bars. Chef Jeff Krulikowski, formerly of Toasted Oak Grill & Market in Novi, has created a menu of comfort and bar foods using products from local farms, and also uses Michigan-made beer and spirits in his dishes.
One signature dish, the Mount Arvon meatloaf is painted with a glaze made with Traverse City Whiskey. It’s cut into savory chunks and served in a pile on top of smashed redskins, cheddar cheese and onion straws. A barbecue chicken entrée uses sauce made from North Peak’s Siren amber ale, and the jalapeno beer cheese and bacon dip appetizer is made with Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA, a popular brew from Birmingham’s Griffin Claw Brewing Company.
The food is not an afterthought, but the beer list is the real reason to visit. Around 30 beers are on tap, and another 55 in bottles. More than a dozen Michigan wines are also available, as well as a list of signature cocktails.
Michigan Beer Company is open 3-11 p.m.Tues.-Wed., 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Thurs.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Sat. and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Happy hour is 4-6 p.m. daily and includes $4 drafts and half-off most appetizers.