Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery
Active Beers: 15
Beer Ratings: 68
Beer Avg: 3.44
Taps: 5 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 19 | Show All Ratings:
2.8/5 rDev -16.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 2 | $$
Happened to be in the A2 area for the second time in the last month and wanted to cross another brewery off the tour list. Due to the circumstances, we needed a family-friendly atmosphere and after learning that this establishment is owned by the same management company as Jolly Pumpkin, Blue Tractor seemed like a safe bet.
Atmosphere - I really enjoyed the feel of the place, it had a rustic but modern touch to it.
Quality - Of the two beer styles I tried, it was average...nothing less, nothing more. Their Bumper Crop IPA had me puzzled. At first, I thought the waitress had brought me something other than an IPA. The caramel malt taste almost overpowered the hops in my opinion. It was drinkable but just not true to the style. The second beer I tried was their Pitmaster Porter. This was average-to-good and unlike the IPA, it was more style appropriate. It had a heavy roasted/smokey taste to it with a decent finish.
Service - Seemed good enough. We were promptly seated at a table after entering. Our waitress was prompt and efficient.
Selection - Only saw four of their beers on tap on the beer menu at the time of our visit: Bumper Crop IPA, Pitmaster Porter, Sudworth Bock, Red Barn Amber Ale. They did however have bottles from Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak.
Food - I wanted to eat something light so I opted for the Pastrami sandwich. My girlfriend had a specialty salad and an appetizer. Everything was edible but just not enjoyable. Maybe I was expecting something else in this department because it seemed a little more focused on the food.
Value - The pricing for beer and the food seemed average.
Overall, I probably wouldn't go back....
01-27-2013 03:06:21 | More by red94tt
3.74/5 rDev +11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5 | $$
The Blue Tractor considers itself a BBQ place, but the BBQ here is really nothing special. The beer is not bad, and they do have solid staples. I used to love the Tractor Burger, but they went and changed it. Still a good burger, just not as good as before. If you love BBQ, I can’t recommend the pulled pork. But the sauces are solid. Overall, I like the atmosphere and the expansion into the old Cafe Habana. They do sell Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak beers in addition to their own, so there’s a decent variety.
04-17-2012 23:03:40 | More by BMMillsy
3.28/5 rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
I made my third trip to the Blue Tractor before a Michigan basketball game. I had heard at Ashleys that they had just finished a renovation enlarging the place. Sounds like business is booming. I also heard that the beers were improving, and I have always heard that the food was good.
The first thing that I noticed when I walked in was the wonderful smell of barbecue. I looked like a dog with shoestrings of drool in the corners of my mouth. My date and I bellied up to the bar and were immediately greeted. We wanted to see what was on tap and asked for a minute. My bad, because that was the last time we got service without flagging down a bartender. Albeit, they were busy.
I really like the feel of the place (probably that bbq smell). The walls were covered in old barn siding and the tables and booths were modern. A unique feature was a cold strip that runs the entire bar for you to set you drinks on to keep them cold.
I finally settled on a Bumper Crop IPA and Hopicidal Maniac. Both were terrible. The food was good. I had a pulled pork samich and mac n cheese and my date got a half rack of ribs. They did mess up her order but neither one of us minded and the manager said the ribs would be free. They were not. But I wasn't paying so I didn't care. My date did love her ribs. I pried one out of her clenched jaw to try, and it was good. I did lose the tip of my finger though.
I really wanna like this place. I had a java stout that was awesome on a visit. It is hard to say a place is good though when one beer in three visits was all that I have liked. I recommend eating here and I will continue to stop in hoping to find another good stout.
02-26-2012 16:36:06 | More by buschbeer
2.94/5 rDev -12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
I liked everything about this stop--except the beer. Nice wood interior, like a BBQ joint, with plenty of folks around on a Sunday evening. Bar was pretty cool with an ice strip across the front for sitting your beer on. No one was doing that, but it looked cool.
But, the beer just didn't match up. All were ok but seemed to have flaws in each. I thought maybe the Hopicidal Maniac would be a stand out, but it didn't work out. Didn't get a chance to try the food, so maybe that's what keeps the place a float. Not a destination for beer, but as long as I was in the neighborhood, thought I'd find out for myself. And, I did.
07-28-2011 21:46:57 | More by FightingEntropy
2.88/5 rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
A- a pretty much olden feel establishment but makes sense because i'm sure the building is old as hell.
Q- even tho i had their basic ipa which wasn't too shabby i also tried their special (hopicidal maniac) and it tasted like some light hop water.
Service- showing up during the art fair i thought this place was gonna be packed but nope. our waitress was nice but seemed like an airhead. she got us our drinks but then took forever to come back and actually order some food. when the bill came around she screwed up the change.
Selection- even tho their menu is pretty much all bbq i can't fault them for it because it does say bbq on the sign. their beer selection seemed like they could do better. 3 menu beers come on.. they did have like 5 or so specials so thats cool.
F- ordered the burger which was good. the misses got a catfish po-boy which wasn't bad. yeah i had a bite. whatever you do DO NOT GET THE ONION RINGS!! they look good but they are coated with wayyy to much batter and the onion inside is still somewhat hard. the pickles they give you are hideous. other than that my goat cheese, bacon, and fried onion burger was good.
Overall- i would like to stop in again down the road and re-try cuz i've heard terrible things about their ipa but the batch i had was good. one thing i noticed was even the people their not alot were drinking. when we got seated i looked around and everyone in our area were either drinkin water or a coke (or pepsi). even tho this place has bad reviews and what-not. it still beats the piss out of arbor brewing.
07-23-2011 03:16:12 | More by claminat420
3.5/5 rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
This is more of a hip bar then a brewery. The beer is below average but the food ia very good. The bar has the coolest way I have seen to keep a drink cool. A 5 inch steel strip that has an inch of frost on it. The basement has a beautifully finished lounge with another bar. Very chic. This seems upscale for a brewery. Not really a destination brewery, but is located one block from two other breweries makes this a nice addition for a pub crawl. For the average non-beer geek crowd, this place is a nice place to hang out.
07-12-2011 01:39:47 | More by jale
4.03/5 rDev +19.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Stop #217 on my brewery tour of the world.
Completed a brewpub tour of Ann Arbor the first week of June 2011 with a couple of my beer-snob-drinking friends. Easily shakes out to…
1. Jolly Pumpkin & Arbor Brewing tied and depending on unique vs. traditional beers
2. Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery
3. Grizzly Peak Brewing Company (very distant third)
After a dismal experience at Grizzly Peak, my expectations were low for this lowest-rated brewpub in town. I'm pleased to report we had a fine experience other than waiting a long time for our food at the end of the night (round of beers on the house for that).
Mokee java (Belgian hybrid)
Our group had the hefe, IPA, and vanilla java and all agreed they were well done. We also had too much BBQ and I consider it legit given the four American regional sauces they offered.
Lots of slate on the inside and a bit deceptive for a BBQ place. Jolly Pumpkin's "sister" brewpub which I'm not quite sure what that means.
06-12-2011 02:03:14 | More by Yetiman420
3.33/5 rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This place is very nicely appointed throughout. You really have to look around to notice all the details, including one of the nicest lounges I've seen in the basement, along with a second bar. Rustic looking wooden walls upstairs, with a stone-appearance on the bar and an iced line along the length of the bar for keeping beers cold. If the beer was just a little better this place would be a top destination for me in Ann Arbor. The beer isn't bad per se, it just really can't compete with Jolly Pumpkin or Arbor. Obviously it can't compare with the selection at Ashleys either. But the lounge is so awesome, I will definitely come here with my wife when we're in town, just for the atmosphere.
05-24-2011 13:02:22 | More by TurdFurgison
3.8/5 rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Service we had was great! The beer flight however... only had four to offer that day. Also when the server brought it to us it seemed as if they mixed up a chocolate wheat beer and a beer called darkside. I really liked the uniqueness of the one beer that tasted most like chocolate, which she had labeled darkside. I wanted to be sure before I ordered a growler for home. I asked her one more time for good measure, she brought both out and told me this is this... blah, blah, blah. Come home and it's the wrong one. Nothing like expecting a deep chocolate flavor and then getting just a regular porter. I would go back... to get the correct beer and try more food, it is a nice place.
11-12-2010 16:38:44 | More by brandon1920
2.93/5 rDev -13.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | $$
Stopped by Blue Tractor to meet some friends for a couple of beers. They had just eaten dinner there and said it was pretty good, but I didn't have a chance to try their BBQ.
I sat at the bar which was fairly large and roomy. Inlaid in the bar is a frozen frost strip where you can set your bar to keep it cold. First time I've ever seen this amazing invention.
The offered 5 or 6 beers, nothing too out of the box. I had a couple beers, including their IPA. Both ok, but nothing too memorable. I hope the food is great because the beer has a tough time competing with the other quality places in town.
09-22-2010 00:04:14 | More by Rocks
Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery in Ann Arbor, MI
80 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.