It’s Oscar Sunday, and what does that mean? Nothing at all, so I may as well cap off a great weekend by making yet another Brew Pub trip! This time, I headed up to Benton Harbor in Michigan with two good friends of mine, Ed and Flo, to The Livery (www.liverybrew.com). I had been hearing about this place for a while now, but after hooking up with them via Facebook and finding out they give tours of their brewing operation on certain Sundays, I decided it was time to give them a try.
The Livery is situated downtown on 5th street, right off of Main street, in what I’ve been told is the art district. In an otherwise struggling town, this area displays what Benton Harbor once was, and again could be. Contained within a fairly unassuming big brick building lies an upstairs and downstairs bar area. From what I could tell, the upstairs portion had a handful of their beer on tap, while downstairs had far more of their “hand-forged microbrews.”
We were a few minutes early for the brewery tour at 3, so we decided to pass the time by drinking some beer; we collectively chose the Karhu IPA. I don’t recall what the IBU was, however I’m guessing it is somewhere around 70, with an ABV of 6.5%. Karhu has a very nice golden orange color with a thick white head and an unfiltered yeast cloudiness. The aroma was of grapefuit, citrus and floral hops, which according to their website comes from the use of Chinook, Amarillo, Centennial and Mt. Hood hops. I could tell how well my friends enjoyed their choice, as the glasses seemed to empty quickly.
While we were enjoying our first beer, we also had the opportunity to walk outside, across the patio and into the brewery. Although small, they seemed to make use of every space possible, even converting a storage room into a space for aging beer in casks. They had several varieties of beer in the fermenting tanks where they’ll stay until the desired characteristics have been met. Much to my surprise, there is no bottling operation at this time, but I was assured that they have plans for this in the future, and I’m certainly looking forward to buying their IPA at my local shop. Tours are given the 2nd and 4th Sunday between 3-5, so if you are a beer enthusiast like me, make sure you check it out.
Back into the Pub for another beer, this time selecting a German Dunkel (of which I don’t have the stats on), with the guys trying the brown ale and stout. This is turning out to be a really great find, and not too far of a drive from South Bend. For the remainder of our stay, we took in the atmosphere, told jokes and remarked at how good the beer was. Getting out of town and trying something new in our area seemed to pay off.
My thoughts – this place is great. The service and selection was outstanding, the surroundings were comfortable and the place invites you to have a good time. Without a doubt, the beer is good, and I recommend you give it a try too.