Motor City Brewing Works

Motor City Brewing WorksMotor City Brewing Works

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

470 West Canfield
Detroit, Michigan, 48201
United States | map

No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 52
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Cool spot near Wayne State University. Solid true-to-style beers, but nothing fancy or flashy. Cool rooftop available when the weather is nice, pretty reasonably priced. Snacks and artisan style brick oven pizzas.

 216 characters

Photo of ARoman
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

Situated in a shack-looking building just outside of Wayne St University in the midst of an area becoming more developed with swanky bars and restaurants. It feels a bit out of place, but then again, it also has an interesting charm to it. The staff and patrons all seem very chill and friendly. Not a huge selection, three to four of their regular rotation, maybe a season or an experimental. They serve 10" pizzas as well as a selection of salads and a few side-like dishes. Everything was reasonably priced. Worth a quick visit for some brews and grub.

 555 characters

Photo of HJayS
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

It can get crowded here, but that is a testimony to their great products and neat locale. The roof top is a great place to sit in warm weather, but otherwise, enjoy the bar. Well worth the trip.

 196 characters

Photo of Tiburon
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

Ghettoblaster beer put this brewery on my radar. I was amazed that there was actually a beer w that name. We stopped in for lunch, on our way out of town. Parking is troublesome, and basically ignore the large lot in front and park in back. As you enter, you will find a large poured concrete bar. They prob had 6-8 beers available, and they are all reasonably priced. They also have a fine pizza selection on their menu. I got the meat lovers and my wife got the veggie. They offer growler fills, and basically a build your own six pack w singles also available. My pik six was four Ghettoblasters and 2 IPA's.

Staff are very friendly, though easily distracted. This place has the feel of a neighborhood bar. Overall I was happy w my visit, and would come back.

 764 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
2.68/5  rDev -27%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 2.75 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2 | food: 3.5

Atmosphere: pretty cool looking little place. has the effect of being in the brewing room without the negative smells or messiness that is associated with

Quality: decent beers not the worst I have had but nothing I'd seek out

Service: our waitress was good but a bit set up for failure. they had some serious issues when i was there. The computer for billing broke so we had to use cash, the pizza order printer broke and they missed making pizzas for about 15 minutes. The guy who should have been making pizzas or noticing the machine was broken was too busy talking about growing marijuana with friends who dropped in

Selection: not too impressive. only about 5 beers and at least 2 were only in bottles.

Food: their pizza, at least the one the guy didn't burn trying to catch back up, was pretty good

Overall: Obviously wasn't too impressed with this place. I won't be recommending it for anyone who isn't a hipster with a taste for mediocre beers because they are brewed in detroit

 993 characters

Photo of Jay43613
1.8/5  rDev -51%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 3 | selection: 1

They only had a few beers on tap, and what they had was all 5.2% unless you went with a pub-cider. Some of the beer was alright, but it was well below my expectation of quality when it comes to craft beer. I probably would not go back to this place.

Also, they had an employee in the parking lot telling people where "not" to park. I thought that was somewhat counter-productive to that type of a position.

 407 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 5

-Posted from my Yelp account.-

The BEST pizza I've ever had from any place anywhere.

Also, the beer is pretty great as well.

Basically this is all of what I got: One sampler ($10), a Ghetto Blaster ($4), and three pizzas split three ways ($30 total)... those pizzas being The Bronx Bomber, BBQ Chicken, and Sopla Fuego.

The Bronx Bomber is essentially a supreme type pizza... I believe it had pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, green pepper, and things of that sort on it. The BBQ chicken had red onion, chicken, and BBQ sauce. The Sopla Fuego was most intriguing to me -- habanero sauce, cheese, chorizo, and sour cream. There may have been more items on all three of these pizzas, but I had a little bit of beer while eating so my memory's a little foggy.

For the beer, as I said, I got a sampler. The sampler -- at least for July -- consists of their pale ale, lager, Ghetto Blaster, Nut Brown Ale, Honey Porter, and their Summer beer. I do remember that none of their beers were BAD in my mind. Personally I'd rank them best to worst as pale ale, Ghetto Blaster, Summer... and then the rest. Even though I felt the pale ale was best, I got the Ghetto Blaster in a pint due to it being their flagship beer. I didn't care for it when I first tasted it, but it quickly grew on me. Just so you know, all of these beers are FAIRLY mild. None of them overwhelmed me in any way. The carbonation was mild on all of these, and there wasn't much bitterness either.

Anyway... yep. Motor City Brewing Works has the best pizza I've ever had... and that's almost ALL they sell food wise. They sell pizza, seasonal appetizers, beer, and house-made pop. Nothing else. From what I was told, their pop is really good too... but that's not at all surprising to me.

This place is a must. I can't stress that enough. I'll be going back soon...

P.S. DO NOT BRING KIDS. Babies in particular. One toddler was screaming her head off and some of the people working there were literally rolling their eyes and groaning. They wound up turning up their hipster music to drown out the whines. Hey, I sure didn't mind. I don't think anyone did.

 2,129 characters

Photo of SeaUrchin
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

been drinking and eating here between classes for a few semesters now and its almost a staple for me. the atmosphere is a cozy little brew pub, they have chess boards for guests and it just feels friendly. The quality is above average, ill give them that, but far from the best beer iv ever tasted. but they are solid brews and are quite refreshing when you still have a lecture to go to in three hours. the service is amazing, walk in and sit down youll get a menu and asked if youll have a drink, bring you everything in a timely fashion and ask if youd like another drink when yours is about 3/4 done. the selection of beer isnt huge but this isnt a huge place. they also ahve a few guest taps from time to time, they have their beer menu on a blackboard hung over the bar, thats where youll find the guest taps. the food here is amazing, great pizza's and sandwiches(normally off the specials menu) and i love their chili, they also make all of their own pop and they go great with pizza. as far as price the beers are reasonably priced but the pizza's are about 8-9 bucks for a personal pizza but the quality almost commands that price, nice little place to stop in and hang out for a while

 1,195 characters

Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This was the 1st stop on our Detroit Brewery Crawl.

Early morning visit so we were pretty much the only customers at the time. Ordered a sampler since I had never been to the brewery before. 8 samples for $7, consisting of a Bohemian Lager, Pale Ale, Ghettoblaster (an English mild), Nut brown Ale, 120w-60 cascade dry-hopped IPA, 90w-40 barleywine, Honey porter and their hard cider. Cleverly presented in a heavy iron flight tray to fit with the motif. The cider was quite good but thats for a different website.

Their flagship brews (Lager, Pale Ale, Nut brown, and the Ghettoblaster) were all extremely mild flavored. Hop character on the pale ale was hardly noticeable. Interesting thing I noticed, all the OG's and ABVs were identical for all 4 of the brews. Potentially why all were similarly mild. The 120w was far and away the best beer with great hop nose.

The atmosphere is great, cozy tile lined with a elbow crushing concrete bar. The staff on this visit was extremely friendly and attentive. I didn't sample the pizza on this trip (pretty much their main option) but did shortly thereafter and it was decent, moderately bland though.

Great local joint that I highly recommended. Detroit needs more places like this.

 1,235 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2 | food: 4.5

We stumbled upon Motor City Brewing Works while parking for The Traffic Jam & Snug across the street.

The place is tiny but cool, with an industrial feeling that suits Detroit and her ruins. Nice cozy local vibe, friendly service, great gourmet pizzas with funky toppings like roasted figs and excellent prices! $8 for a pizza that easily feeds two as an appetizer.

There is also a nice terrace/patio upstairs where you can sit and enjoy the sunset and some urban views of Detroit. Very comfy!

So what's not to love about Motor City? Unfortunately, the beer! They're great all around except for the one thing a brewery should be getting right: BEER. We tried their American Pale Ale and the Nut Brown Ale. Both were flat, watery thin, boring and hard to drink. You could think they're good session beers, inoffensive and all that. Not even. They're not worth.

Huge letdown there! But everything else is good so my score reflects that. Would come back for the pizza and the ambience but not for the beers.

 1,010 characters

Photo of warmstorage
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This place is a little tucked away at the back of a parking lot near Wayne State University, but is worth finding.

Atmosphere is good: a small place, with a small (maybe eight stools?) u-shaped bar and half a dozen tables. Both times I went I got a huge whiff of active brewing (mash.) I can definitely see how this place could get very crowded.

Over the course of two visits at at a couple bars in the city, I tried their nut brown (serviceable but not overwhelming), pale (meh), stout (seasonal, and excellent), hard cider (excellent, fairly dry, made with Michigan apples), summer ale (so-so, brewed with orange peel, but not heavy on this flavor) and Ghettoblaster (an oddly named English mild that serves its purpose but I would never order a pint of.) They distribute well in Detroit bars, but the beers are definitely fresher on premises, and the bartender did mention that they are very careful about keeping clean lines.

The bartender mentioned they are planning to do their own in-house distilling in the future, and that the alley behind the place is being turned into a "green alley" though I don't remember what he explained about this.

Very friendly and helpful bartender (big guy with a big bushy beard) but I didn't interact with any other staff.

I got a brick oven pizza on one visit that was excellent, and reasonably priced at $8. Beer price was okay at $4.50 for standards, and $5.50 for seasonals.

All of their standards are brewed to 1.052 OG, and finished to 5.2% ABV (so what's that... approximately 1.013 FG?) which I found a little odd, and which the bartender couldn't explain. The cider is heavier at 6.8%, and he thought the seasonal stout was also a little higher gravity than the standards, but wasn't sure about specifics. If he'd been a little more knowledgeable about the beer I would have given him a 4.5.

I'll definitely go back, and focus on seasonals and specialty brews.

 1,923 characters

Photo of divineaudio
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 5

Motor City is a great little place tucked away in the back of a parking lot in midtown Detroit near the Wayne State campus. It's usually pretty chill in there, but it is small and fills up fast on a weekend. Also, Wednesday nights are usually packed for "This Week in Art", where local artists come in and set up a small display for the night. Wednesday night is so popular in fact, that there is now a 2+year waiting list for artists to get in there. The upstairs patio is especially nice in the summer.

Beer selection is pretty minimal as they only have about 5 or 6 on tap at any given time, but the quality of the beer itself more than makes up for this. I think the standards are Ghettoblaster, Nut Brown, Pale Ale and Lager plus a rotating seasonal variety or two. Beer to go is available in bottles or growlers.

Their handmade brick oven pizza is to die for, with a wide variety of fresh toppings available if you want to customize your pizza. I highly recommend the Sopla Fuego, which is chorizo, jalapeno and sour creme with cheese and sauce. Vegetarian friendly options are available too.

Staff is always friendly and knowledgeable.

Overall a great alternative to the typical loud, obnoxious bar scene, with better beer, food and atmosphere. If you find yourself looking for something fun to do in Detroit, Motor City won't disappoint.

 1,349 characters

Photo of SaucyA
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Every time I've been to Motor City, it's been extremely low key. I love the fact that it's rather quiet, has a local vibe and feel to it, and just feels nice to be in. It's tucked in the back of a parking lot in the college side of town, so it automatically feels a little remote. Upon entering, you're either greeted with a comfy, low-lit chillout vibe, or a nice summer breeze coming through the giant doors. Lots of work went into this place, and it's always improving.

Make sure to park close to the building because the guy that owns the big parking lot tends to be a dick about customers parking in it.

The beer quality is normally mediocre to good, with some seasonals being great. Lots of their standards taste very similar and are mainly malt-driven, and fall short in a few aspects. Ghettoblaster, however, is an extremely sessionable brew, if there ever was one. Also, prices can't be beat, and their growlers are super-cheap. They do a barleywine and DIPA that are awesome, too.

I've never had bad service, and I've had some truly amazing and memorable service here before, so I can say nothing but good things after being here more times than I can count.

Never had the food but I hear they have great pizza.

All around, a good staple in Detroit, and definitely worthy of a stop.

 1,298 characters

Motor City Brewing Works in Detroit, MI
3.4 out of 5 based on 469 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.