Atwater Brewery


Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

237 Joseph Campau
Detroit, Michigan, 48207
United States

(313) 877-9205 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 12-20-2006

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 63
Photo of Englishteacher
5/5  rDev +45.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The new menu is great! This place has the best beer and most of all the best security! I feel comfortable knowing my vehicle is safe as its being watched by security that is there 24/7!

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Photo of MIBeerGeek
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

I love the area in Detroit that the Brewery is located. I have a few Atwater beers that I love but not a huge fan of all of their selection. + on the fact that you can drink pints in the actual Vat house where everything is fermenting and being produced. Very Cool!

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Photo of tnelson1
3.87/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Whether you enjoy a visit to Atwater or not really depends on what you're looking for. Personally, I really enjoy the warehouse atmosphere, and I like their selection of beers. They don't have food but you can bring your own. My recommendation is parking near the Ren Cen and taking a bike ride down the river walk to Atwater. You can bring you bike in and not have to worry about it while you enjoy some beers. My favorite of their beers is the Blocktoberfest.

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Photo of ClutchyHopkins
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%

this place is awesome. BYOF (food) and grab a freshly brewed Voodoo Vader....
you're pretty much gonna be sitting right in the middle of the floor of operations, gives you an understanding of all the work that goes into brewing all of this magic.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 1.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Sunday morning in Detroit, doing the usual ruin-porn sights, the art museum and a couple of beer joints… Atwater was our first stop, not too far from the hotel we were staying at. It is a working brewery and it smells like such, I like that. The taproom is basically an L-shaped bar inside the warehouse, with a long communal table to boot.

On tap this day: Decadent Chocolate Ale, Teufel Bock, Hop-a-Peel, Detroit Pale Ale, Conniption DIPA, Voodovator… 12 taps plus a cider for the ladies.

The place is pretty cool- I love having a beer inside a brewery! And the prices and service are fine.
But the problem is the poor quality of Atwater’s beers. The Pale Ale tastes like the IPA tastes like the DIPA. And so on. All watery, indistinguishable, mediocre. Terrible stuff, I have had homebrewed beers that are way better than what this commercial, nationally-distributed brewery puts out. What a shame.

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Photo of guityler83
3.64/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25

An accidental find while going to a Red Wings game in Detroit, Atwater was right around the corner from a pub that had a shuttle that was going to the game. Of course I had to check it out!

When we walked in the rolling door there was some kind of silent auction going on but that didn't deter us from talking a seat at the small bar in the back of the brewery. It took a while to get the attention of the bar tender (understandable considering what was going on) but when we did the beers came quickly (3 double IPAs). Solid beers, but nothing life changing.

The atmosphere was great, the brewery was active. There was a batch in the process of being mashed in, they were checking levels on ferm tanks all the while we sipped on our beers.

The next beer was a Java Vanilla Porter, very nice flavorful beer. That was the last beer for the night before heading to the game, but they did have about 5 other beers on tap.

A great find that kept me interested and I'd recommend if you are in Detroit, not a destination brewery, but solid.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
2.19/5  rDev -36.3%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2.75 | selection: 2.75

Atmosphere: i have nothing against the brewhouse/bar feel. but it is over crowded. it smell a lot like vomit in the bar while i was there. not the best use of space.

Quality: I have probably tried 7 or 8 atwater beers. I only find one of those even drinkable. every beer i have had from them has had a major flaw in it.

Service: not too bad but the bartender stepped out side for a rather long smoke break when i really wanted to get my check and get out

Selection: I mean they have more the 10 beers on tap but thats not to say that you could find a beer you like on there

Overall: I don't understand how this place stays in business. they are not exactly in a place in detroit you want to visit and there beer is just plain bad. no reason to go here except to say you've been there and to check it off the list and never look back

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Photo of buschbeer
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

Atwater Block was a couple blocks from my hotel so I had to stop in. I thought the place was closed. The light out front was off and a gentleman that was there ahead of me told me the place must be closed. There was a sign on the door that said tasting room around the corner. I ventured on and found an unmarked door that was ever so slightly ajar. When I opened the door I thought I was walking into the production facilities. I was right, but at the far end of the building was a couple tables and a bar. Their tasting room is just where they brew. So I enjoyed that aspect.

I bellied up to the bar and sampled a few beers. I used to love the Vanilla Java Porter, but did not care for it the last time I tried it. I tried the Shaman's Porter and Coniption Fit, a DIPA. They were decent. The beers were served in clear plastic cups. It didn't look like the had any food. The bartender, while knowledgeable, was not outgoing. I think they had 8-12 beers to choose from.

It is a neat setup for a tasting room. I'm glad I stopped in even though the beers are remarkably unremarkable.

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Photo of martyrthisthat
4.47/5  rDev +29.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I visited back in July. I did not expect a bar in a warehouse but I really enjoyed how bare-bones it was. Beer was served in plastic cups. I'm not sure if that it typical here. It's a very straight forward place and I like that.

It's worth mentioning that there were no food offerings. It looks like they are working on that.

Very few beers compare to the tasty-ness of their Vanilla Java Porter on tap. It's like liquid cake. You also can never go wrong with the Dirty Blond. It's simple but well rounded.

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Photo of yankeej13
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

This was my second stop on my brewery crawl in Michigan. As my father and I were walking down the street, you could see Atwater from a distance in this giant warehouse. The alehouse is literally right inside the warehouse itself. I love breweries that have gatherings inside the brewery itself.

My dad and I walked in and was greeted by the bartender as well as a few locals that were just grabbing a beer. Everyone was really friendly and wanted to know our story basically which I always enjoy.

It was really awesome looking around at all the pallets full of beer boxes and just the whole operation right in front of you. They had giant vats right in front of the bar and it was really cool just giving yourself a little tour of their brewery.

They had at least 7 or 8 beers on tap and I had their Vanilla Porter which was very good and my dad tried one of their wheat beers cause he was driving! Overall I enjoyed their brewery alot next time I will hope to have more time to sample more of their beers! Cheers guys!

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Photo of warmstorage
3.74/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I liked this place a lot. I went in on a Friday afternoon at about 1:30pm, and was the only one in a cavernous place. Sat at a long bar that looks into a good-sized brewery.

The bartender sold me samples of all six of their house brews on tap for $1 each, roughly 3 ounces each (large tumblers, a little over half full.) I tried the java porter, pale, vanilla porter, witbier ("Dirty Blonde"), cherry stout, and one that I forget. They ranged from reasonably good to very good, and I was quite happy with a pint of the cherry stout. I don't know quite how the pricing worked out, since the bartender charged me $8 total, but I was happy with it. Selection was fine, and I was pleasantly surprised with the wit.

Didn't try the food.

The service was friendly enough, and available, but it was slow (only one other table came in while I was there.)

I did overhear the bartender mentioning that the place would be closing for a few months (maybe for the major construction going on in the area?) so call before you go.

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Photo of 86sportster883
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

The Atwater Block Brewery is a large, cavernous place that was empty on a Wednesday evening. Massive in size, long bar, lots of tables and a view into the working brewery behind the bar. It was a cold, rainy night and it wasn't much warmer inside the ABB. I had a couple of decent beers and some really lame wings, before heading out somewhat dissapointed

On draught: Michigan Lager, Winter Bock, Dirty Blond, Dunkel Lager, Shaman's Porter, Cherry Stout, Double Java Porter and a beer called Double Down.

I started with the Dunkel, a GABF Gold medal winner. Not my favorite style but was certainly full of rich caramel flavors. I followed this with the Java Porter which was a very aromatic beer, but the vanilla became somewhat overwhelming as the beer warmed.

Not bad, but nothing special.

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Photo of Mgrad92
1.73/5  rDev -49.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2

I wanted to go an pick up a growler, so I called to see what was on tap. Unfortunately no one answered the phone for two days straigt.
So I went to the brewery, but no one was there. Their sign clearly indicated that they open at 4:30, yet by 4:35, there was not an employee to be found in the tap room. The doors were locked, and the chairs were still stacked on the tables.
You may say that 5 minutes is no big deal, but even if someone showed up five minutes late, they were no where near being ready to open.
I run a business myself, and I understand the importance of being open when you say you're going to be opened. I open my office at 8:00. Every day. All the time. If there is an emergency, you will see a note on the door explaining why were are not there- and that has only happened twice in 20 years.
Sorry, Atwater, but you've got to do better.

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Photo of adams82
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

First off, Atwater gets huge points for having their own parking lot in downtown Detroit, which is somewhat of a rarity.

The brewery is housed in an old warehouse in the downtown river district; huge ceilings, wide open spaces, but comfy. The bar was fairly long with draft towers at either end and while it was rather dead the night I visited, I'm sure they could seat a packed house comfortably. The huge brew house is visible behind the bar in its' stainless steel glory.

Our server was friendly, talkative and attentive and she was kind enough to offer suggestions for a first timer, even though I was more than capable to navigate their menu with ease. There were 7 or 8 beers on tap during this visit and I was only able to try 3 of them, but they were all very good. The quality/selection ratio is pretty high and it seems that they fancy brewing German styles of ales and lagers.

I had the Dunkel, Kolsh and IPA. Again, all of which were good, especially the IPA, despite the poor ratings my fellow BAs gave it... Try it fresh, I bet it'll be better.

The atmosphere suffers a bit, but again, it was a muggy and humid night and dead inside. I'd love to visit again when there is a bit of a crowd during a ball game... Overall, a nice brewery with good beer tucked away on the Detroit River. I've had their beer before at fests and in the bottle, but I am very glad to have been able to go to the source in person. I am looking forward to going again, and next time, I'll try the food.

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Photo of
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I went to Atwater at the middle of the day, in the middle of the week with my father in law and cousin. The beer was good, the D light was a surprisingly refreshing kolsch and the porter was excellent. Us and a pair of lunching working ladies were the only patrons and I had expected more attentive service. We talked more to our cook than to the bartender. The food was good but nothing of real note. The atmosphere was bout the same you'd get in a Rock Bottom or other such chain.

I'd go back for a beer, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

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Photo of weeare138
4.13/5  rDev +20.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited back in November of 2005. I copied the notes I had under Stoney Creek, even though it was operating as Atwater Block. At the time, I was given a personalized tour of the facility and the owners were extremely cordial...
Atwater Block Brewing has been back up since May, '05. The Stoney Creek line is no longer being produced in the facility and the former Stoney brew guys have gone their seperate ways. The atmosphere is of a quaint brewpub nestled near the river in downtown Detroit. Cleanliness seems to be key inside the establishment, as the tables and bars look well polished and ready for business.
High ceilings in the bar area, which is seperated by a long wall with glass windows, showing all of the stainless steel brewing equipment. The beer quality is in check here. There was nothing out of the ordinary that seemed "not right".
The service was attentive and eager to offer suggestions.
The selection was very good. Many menu items to choose from, even during lunch with 9 different beers being offered at the time of my visit.
The food was good. The twice baked skins were actually too much for me to eat but satisfying and the burger was outstanding. They were also offereing beer samplers for $7. That included all beers on tap and they were generous offerings...I believe 6 oz's each. Try to beat that with a stick!

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Atwater Brewery in Detroit, MI
3.52 out of 5 based on 6,482 ratings.
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