Right Brain Brewery

Not Rated.
Right Brain BreweryRight Brain Brewery
BEER AVG
3.77/5
Based on:
92 Beers
1,113 Ratings
Place Score: 90
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: n/a
Taps: 15
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

225 E Sixteenth St Ste E
Traverse City, Michigan, 49684-4181
United States
phone: (231) 944-1239

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @rightbrainbrew

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Mitchster on 12-15-2007)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GusPanch
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of emilybeehagen
5/5  rDev +24.7%

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5/5  rDev +24.7%

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5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of Jiatlas
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of sternamagrapha7x
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of beerguru15
4.94/5  rDev +23.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

My better half and I took a trip to Traverse City this past weekend to get away and to stop at the local breweries. We ended up stopping at the Right Brain in the evening, and I have to agree with just about everyone that it was a very odd and hard to get to location. Upon walking into the building you have to pass a hair salon. You notice the walls covered with art and designs when stepping into Right Brain, plus get a "artsy" feel with practically everything involved.

The waitress we had was quite pleasent, courteous and energentic. The beers are listed on a large chalk board on the wall, giving a name, a slight description and style of the beers available.

I ended up trying a sampler, which contained 6 samples at 6 oz each for $15. The beers I had included: Naughty Girl Scout which was a stout containing a "thin mint" taste, a Beer called Wicked Garden Roasted Beet Wheat, which was basically what the name said as that's what it looked, smelled and tasted like. A LIttle Italy Honey Basil which had a Strong Basil taste and smell. A Burgundy Ale which was your typical Amber Ale. A Sun Cup American Wheat which wasn't bad and tasted like a usual American Style Wheat, and finally a beer called "Stoch Buddler Michigan Common Copper" which was quite interesting, though different at the same time.

One of the flaws of this place was that there was no food, which was surprising as you usually don't see this too often. But being that it was a small establishment it was understanding in a ways, and nice at the same time as you can bring a sandwich with no hassle.

Overall I found this place to contain a great environment, a great selection and a place I'd definitely return to and recommend.

Photo of GordonQuid
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The Right Brain Brewery is located in Traverse City Michigan's warehouse district. Located in a renavated buildingalong with some other neiboring businesses. One of which is a hair salon in which you can have a Right Brain Brew while getting your hair cut. Cool.
The atmosphere is very west coast casual. The place has a bit of nostalgia from the building and a bit of family fun with board games to play whist sipping on a quality brew. It is a mixed bag as far as patrons; some older folks, some younger too but all have a good appreciation for quality beer.
The service is outstanding. Considering you have to get in line to order your beer the staff moves the line along quickly. They are all knowledgeable of what they serve and are very friendly and accomodating.
The beer selection is fantastic! Rye cream Ale, Stouts, Porters, IPA's, APA's, and Barley Wine.
I sample three while I was there and all were very good within their class; CEO Stout, Hopping Frog Creamy Rye and the Posh Porter. I hope to be back soon to sample their other offerings.
If you want good craft beer on a budget this is your place. I was very impressed that on a Saturday they had all day happy hour. Pints were $3 and growlers were $12. They have a wide selection of RBB wear and collectables as well. Again all reasonably priced.
If ever in the TC areas RBB is a must visit!
Cheers to RBB!

Photo of l2oguel_emming
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%

Photo of hosehead83
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Located in the warehouse district in Traverse City, Michigan. A bit tricky to get to but well worth a little effort! Located behind a hair salon that is actually part of the bar. You can get a haircut and sample a brew at the same time.(What a great idea!) If you don't need a haircut, just walk past the salon into the brewpub. There is an "L" shaped bar and various tables with one having actual barber chairs to sit at.
The place has a kind of Bohemian, coffe-house eclectic feel to it. There are no t.v.'s, but there are numerous old-school board games to play, if you are so inclined, and some unobtrusive rock/pop music plays over the whole scene. The pub is smoke-free, and although there is no food served, there are snacks such as popcorn and pretzels. But you don't come here for the food. At any one time there are 12 different taps, all with an eclectic sampling of various house brews, ranging from an English hand-pulled stout, to a 14%ABV barleywine and everything in between. On the day I was here, everything was just $3 a pint all day!!
The "beertenders" were very knowledgeable and helpful, and provided samples (just ask!)
Everything on tap is written on a huge blackboard and may change daily, depending on how fast a particular offering sells out. There seemed to be only one waitress, so you pretty much had to stand in line to get a beer, but it moved fairly quickly and gives you time to read the blackboard and figure out what you want to try. The beers run the gamut from average to exceptional. All local ingredients are used, with no extracts. On most days the owner is behind the bar and will answer any questions you have when he gets the chance, as this place can get pretty busy.
Overall, if you are in the Traverse City area the Right Brain Brewery is a must for all craft beer lovers. It offers a unique atmosphere and equally unique brews that must be tasted to be appreciated. Growlers are also available to take your favorite (or favorites) beer home.

Photo of Hawkster316
4.76/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of DCdevyl78
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of ctrousse
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of toyfull1
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Anitrak
4.73/5  rDev +18%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

I come to Traverse City a couple times a year and always make it a priority to come to Right Brain. Their beer ranges from traditional/textbook recipes to crazy and out of the box. I wish I could get their beer on tap in Indiana.

The bar is off the beaten path and is a few blocks out of town. However, when I go on a bar crawl, it's only about 8 blocks from Ferment. So it can be a nice little walk between the two. Inside it is wide open and spacious. Even though it can be packed, it's not hard to find a place to sit and have a nice conversation. They also have a few video game machines that you can play while you drink. Depending on what time of year it is, they often have artwork from local artists for sale on the walls.

If you're into beer, this is definitely a must if you're in Traverse City.

Photo of RocPorterFanatic
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This very eclectic brew pub is nestled in the warehouse district of Traverse City. The overall theme seems to be industrial meets geek. Patrons seem to come from every walk of life. There's a nice long bar with comfortable stools, as well as tables of all heights and sizes scattered around the place. The patio, was large, but packed. Not a seat to be found.

My fiance and I settled into our barstool and took a gander at the white board displaying the day's selections. There was a style for everybody. From the Owl Hawk made with Maris Otter to the Black Eye PA.

I had a flight of 6 beers, 6, 6oz. pours for $15. A bit pricey as far as flights normally go, but for my first time there, a great way to sample the majority of beers that piqued my interest.

My fiance had the Fuzz Face Peach Wheat, reasonably priced with a 20oz. pour for $3.50.

Merchandise was on par with other brewpubs, a T-shirt running $23.

Overall, a great experience with delicious, well crafted beers.

Photo of Buck_Jones
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of d_locks_MI_beerlove
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of HereforBeer
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Drk93TT
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of daniagates
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Roeters
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Over the past year I have made the trip to Right Brain a few more times and I am a full believer in this place. The biggest thing with Right Brian is that they are always rotating they beer selection and they are pushing the envelope. I feel that the first impression was the day to day of this place.

Go in the spring early summer and that they do the asparagus ale again

You may want to check their website to see what's being served before you make the trip.

Old post --- A:4,Q:3.5,S:4,S:3.5

The atm osphere really fits in with the rest of downtown T.C. A little artsy and very interesting. i love that there are no TVs in this place. I hope to see more places moving in that direction as tv is the death of independent though.

But away, in my opinion they have the best brews in T.C. and they have a creative list of brews to chose from. Unlike the other breweries that I visited that had a watery summer wheat or a marginal cask IPA as their wildest brews. But, RB has a ways to go to compete with breweries out side of T.C.

The service was good other then the credit card machine not working and the brewery closing 1 1/2 early. Which is completely out of their control.

They had a list including 10 beers and 1 cask. The list was wheat heavy. Which I was expecting being a summer resort town. I enjoyed all the brews that I tried. I will be stopping in again and is a must if you'll be around the T.C. area, but not worth a special trip.

Photo of Deuane
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Located in the up and coming, artsy looking, downtown area, Warehouse District. Some claim it is "hard to find", I guess it could be, but my trusty Garmin took us right to the spot.

Right Brain is located in an old warehouse that also houses Salon Saloon, drink RB brew and get your hair styled at the same time! A high end coffee shop is in the building too.

We visited during their 1st year anniversary party!

Nice, socially conscious place with no TV's, light background music and a few board games if you are so inclined!

A speakeasy feel with a large open seating area, exposed piping, local artwork (for sale) adorn the walls and a dim light ambiance.

12 on tap and one on the engine. A nice, across the board selection, and an interesting line-up. Some standards, a few tweaked brews and a few that go beyond style lines and use local produce.

Despite the busy goings on, the place was packed, the tenders did a fine job at keeping us flush with beer. Nothing outstanding, but solid and dependable service.

Limited food is available at RB, some local made gourmet popcorn, hummus and pretzels. So eat at Culver's down the way before you come if your hungry!

This place has a lot of potential. I was impressed with the innovative and interesting line-up, the conversational vibe and the general feel of local support for the place. With Short's being less than an hour away, Right Brain and Short's offer a can't miss, one-two punch for the beer traveler (and local alike) in the greater Grand Traverse Bay area.

EDIT--Second visit on 6/18/09-place continues to impress with "odd" and innovative beers....come on a pale ale with grilled asparagus and lemon peel? A full list of 13 beers--all solid---and two servers that were beyond nice! Thanks to C-note and Nate for a VERY fun evening!

Photo of DRjester
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

I just moved from Traverse City to downstate Michigan, and this is the place I will miss most of all. It's located in a sort-of artsy sub-district right in the hub of the downtown shopping area. It can be a bit hard to find if you're not familiar with the area, but ask around and locals can point you to the place.

The place has a sort-of hip coffee shop vibe, with couches, funky tables, lots of art on the walls, and an unfinished, converted-warehouse feel to the ceiling. There are board games and magazines available, and the place is non-smoking.

They run 12 rotating taps at all times, along with 1 on a cask. They don't have any "all-the-time" brews, so it's always a bit of a surprise as to what you'll find. That said, you'll pretty much always find at least some sort of IPA, stout, amber, and a few other common styles. They also do a good job of having 2-3 less common styles on tap, and they often go out of their way to use local ingredients if they can. Their beers are generally good and occaisionally excellent, although they also have the occaisional whiff, so to speak. Some of my favorites of theirs have been an oak-aged imperial stout, a belgian-style trippel, and a smoked porter.

The service is generally good; the bartenders are prompt, knowledgeable, and friendly. One thing I particularly like is that the head brewmaster is often in the house (they brew on-site), and he's quite friendly and will readily discuss beers (his or others) and brewing if he has the time.

The one downfall, in my opinion, is the food situation - they offer a few bar-snacks, like popcorn and pita chips with hummus, but otherwise nothing (although they don't mind if you want to have something delivered or bring your own).

Overall, this is a great place and one I would recommend without hesitation to anyone visiting the area.

Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The 3rd stop on our Traverse City brewery crawl. Located in the Warehouse District the exterior is non-descript and located on an alley-like street.

The interior is eclectic and fun with local art lining the walls. An impressive custom-mug club wall sits to the left of the bar. This place is a no-frills just beer establishment. I don't believe they offer food. Its a "Whadda Ya Want" type attitude but not unwelcoming. 12 beers were offered and a 6 beer flight comes in at $15. My flight consisted of their Empire Spear - an ASPARAGUS beer that was unique and refreshing when cold, a little off-putting as it warmed HA!, Will Power Pale Ale, Copper Grasshopper ESB, Out of Tyne Brown Ale, Ancho Chili Double Dutch Chocloate Porter and their Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal (C.E.O) stout. My favorite of the flight was the CEO stout but all were exceptional and tasty.

The world needs more places like the Right Brain Brewery where quality and creativity are top priority with passionate and devoted staff. I would frequent this place if I lived within 100 miles.

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Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City, MI
90 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.