Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery

Blue Tractor BBQ & BreweryBlue Tractor BBQ & Brewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

207 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104
United States

(734) 222-4095 | map

No notes at this time.

Added by SierraGS on 11-28-2008

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 55
Photo of lochraneg
4.44/5  rDev +32.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5

Beer was ok. Nothing stood out in my opinion as good beer, but the food was great and the service was even better. Cool spot in downtown Ann Arbor. Def give it a try!

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Photo of JasonR1975
3.65/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Good BBQ - the rest is about average, beer is VERY hit or miss. Nice location downtown AA - note: very cool cocktail bar downstairs accessible from taproom.

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Photo of Romoworld
4.91/5  rDev +46.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

This place is amazing, the food was amazing, the beer was amazing, and the servers and employees were helpful it was pricey but after eating the tractor burger it was worth it. It was the best medium rare burger I have ever eaten. I am definitely joining the Mug Club.

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Photo of matt_duthie
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Good food which is available either at the bar or typical restaurant-type layout, as well as in the basement whiskey/beer bar and (free) live music venue. Offer at least a handful of draft options which rotate fairly frequently. Friendly servers, bartenders, and hosts/hostesses. Prices reasonable for the food (downtown Ann Arbor reasonable anyways) and two separate happy hours every day to make the beer very moderately priced on average.

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Photo of red94tt
2.8/5  rDev -16.4%
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....

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.74/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
2.94/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of claminat420
2.88/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of jale
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.03/5  rDev +20.3%
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).

On tap..
Vanilla Java
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of brandon1920
3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of Rocks
2.93/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.91/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

The wife and I stumbled upon the Blue Tractor while looking for Grizzly Peak. The Blue was not on our list of breweries to check out while in Ann Arbor, but we decided to give it a try.

Seated at the bar, almost completely empty but still had to wait way too long for the bartender to even look at me. I hate bad service when the place is EMPTY!! Anyway, after bitching her out we got a 1/2 pint of their IPA. Surprisingly good! Wife described it as "Samuel Adams does IPA". I would agree. Not super great but very drinkable and pleasant.

Also tried the Schakolad Weizen, which is a very interesting and unique dunkelweizen made with local chocolate from Schakolad.

Didn't have any food, but we did buy a growler of the IPA because the price was reasonable ($14 including a new growler, if I remember well).

Overall, I'm glad we tried this place but -with so many amazing beer options in Ann Arbor- I don't see myself coming back here. More than decent, though! This place would shine elsewhere, but not in beer-rich Ann Arbor.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.61/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3

I stopped in this place despite the bad reviews and came away very surprised...The atmosphere is nothing special, decent outdoor patio on the sidewalk that is good for people watching, inside is nothing special...The beer list was very small, they had 3 beers they always have available and a couple specials, nothing in terms of a good bottle list...I had 5 different samplers from the brew pubs in Ann Arbor and this was by far the best, 6 beers and each was really good and drinkable, even a pilsner!...Service was so-so not great beer mind, didn't try the food, but the beer made up for it.

Worth trying the sampler.

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Photo of Shumista
3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

Stopped in for lunch and a beer. Nice warm, rustic atmosphere. Felt especially appropriate because of the blizzard outside.

I ordered a burger and a cup of soup for lunch, both were pretty decent but nothing great. They have a few different BBQ sauces they offer with your food, kind of unique.

The beer selection was just ok. The small selection is understandable because of how small of a brewpub this is, but that doesn't make it less dissapointing. I think they had 5 or 6 including a seasonal and a double IPA. These were the only two I tried. The seasonal was a pretty decent spiced Christmas beer, maybe a little bit overspiced. The DIPA on the other hand was very odd. Not necessarily bad...certainly not good. Not brewed to style in my opinion at all, it wasn't very hoppy and had a smooth butteryness to it I couldn't figure out. I would have left feeling much better about the small selection if the few beers they did have were executed better.

Service was very friendly and fast, however there was no one else there really so I guess I may not be the best judge.

Overall this is not a bad small brewpub. However, with ABC, Grizzly Peak, the new Jolly Pumpkin cafe, and Ashley's all within walking distance I see little reason to frequent the Blue Tractor.

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Photo of cueball52
3.79/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

We stopped in for a beer while walking around downtown on a Thursday afternoon. We went to the bar and were promptly served. The bartender was very friendly. I tried their "Bumper Crop IPA" and found it to be very good. They also had a "Bearded Pig Pilsner","Red Barn Ale", and "Sudworth Bock" but due to time I didn't try any of them.
The decor, though clearly brand new was very rustic and provided a great atmosphere. This place looks like it has great potential and I would like to come back when I had more time to try more of their brews and food.

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Photo of akorsak
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3

The Korsak Michigan brew tour was supposed to begin at Arbor Brewing but July 19 is their staff outing day. I wish that one had been posted on the website. SO we ended up at Blue Tractor, as it is a half a block away.

Atmosphere: A dark, wooden look greats you, austere in its simplicity. The bar is off to the left with a long concrete-esque finish. They recently added a cold strip that cools any beverage down. I put my water on it...

Quality: The bartender was very friendly, gladly filling our two sampler order. No compliants but nothing special. The bathroom had a weird smell.

Service: See above.

Selection: 5 house brews on tap. The Jolly Pumpkin tap handle is a trick; there is no JP on tap! My sampler had the pils (way too buttery), IPA (too vegetal), red ale (no complaints), bock (best of the bunch), and a wheat beer (a close second). Too bad the JP wasn't on tap because these beers didn't get is done for me.

Food: Didn't eat.

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Photo of jeremyd365
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

Tried going here for dinner yesterday..a Saturday night ~8pm. 75 minute wait for only two people? Needless to say, we didn't wait, and went to ABC instead for a wonderful time.

Came back today on a Sunday afternoon and of course got in fine. The place looked nicely decorated--dark and rustic--barn wood walls and some random tractor pieces on the walls. We sat by the door so I didn't see too much of the place, but it looked nice.

Our server was plenty nice but almost...too friendly? Usually this is not something I would complain about, but it didn't come across as entirely genuine. Either way, she was helpful and seemed knowledgeable and was plenty attentive.

The menu looked pretty good for a brewpub, lots of southern-style dishes and whatnot. I had a veggie burger and yam fries and it was alright. I should have had a salad so I'd have room for the pecan pie...

I went for the 5-beer sampler, and was expecting something horrible and vile from the few reviews of this place, but overall it wasn't bad. It consisted of an IPA, a pilsner, an amber, a bock, and a "seasonal". However, I was disappointed that their seasonal was just a guest/rotating tap. Overall the beers were of moderate quality--definitely decent, but nothing to write home to dad about.

Overall, it was a decent experience, but not even close to the quality and ambiance of Arbor Brewing.

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Photo of alexgash
2.45/5  rDev -26.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 1 | food: 3

The newest brewpub in Ann Arbor is appropriately located on Washington St., or "Brewpub Row," as it's becoming! Gave this place a couple of months to work out the kinks and get its feet on the ground before visiting. Well, they still need to work out some issues...

First of all, the atmosphere was pretty nice. Darkish, with lots of dark wood, and not too much junk on the walls. Might actually be a little too dark. Nice long bar and some flat screens on the walls. The bar has a narrow "ice rail" to keep your beer cold. Gimmicky and unnecessary, but kind of cool, I guess. Service was fine. I couldn't really ask the guy too much about their beers, because they only had THREE! So, yeah, selection was terrible. They showed 5 house beers on the menu: 4 year-rounds and one seasonal. But they were currently out of the Light and the Pilsner. This left a nitrogen-dispensed cream ale, an IPA, and the seasonal red lager. Having been warned about the tastelessness of the cream ale and wary of the red lager, I ordered the IPA. It was a decent brewpub IPA, but nowhere near as good as ABC's Sacred Cow across the street. Food was average. I had a decent black and blue burger and my wife had the pulled pork sandwich. The fries were a little thin, wimpy, and from frozen stock. All in all, a disappointing visit, and the lack of beer is pretty inexcusable. Oh, and the BBQ and "Southern" food could use some more soul.

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Photo of Deuane
2.53/5  rDev -24.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2

Found out about this new brewpub while checking out the local papers as we sat eating lunch at Arbor Brewing. Being just down the street we decided to check the place out. The Blue Tractor is part of the same group that owns Grizzly and North Peak plus various other places in Ann Arbor, Traverse City and Royal as far as a restaurant they must know something!

Having eaten at Arbor Brew food was not an option for us but the Southern style BBQ joint vibe is established with the decor matching well. From barn wood to cool tractor headlight overhead lights. The bar was nice but had one of those gimmicky ice rails that don't really do anything other than look cool.

As far as beer they offer a only had four out of a possible five taps pouring. With 6 taps being my standard for average TBT fell a few short, thus the 2 score. Beers offered inlcuded light beer, cream ale, pilsner, and IPA. I found all of them to be dull at best. Nothing was awful but certainly nothing was good either. This place is NOT a brewpub but a restaurant that makes it's own fact it may even be a partial mash or extract system.

I found the price of the beers to be a bit much considering the quality and lackluster choices.

If your in town looking for quality craft brew skip this place till you hear of improvement and hit up Arbor Brewing or Ashley's.

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Photo of rmasen
2.33/5  rDev -30.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 1 | food: 3

When I heard that there was a new brewery going up in Ann Arbor I got really excited, so a week or two after they opened I jumped at the chance to go their with my partner.

The atmosphere is really impressive all of the walls are made from a wood that was taken from a barn in a local town and the table/lighting set up creates an almost private feel at the tables. At the bar they include an ice rail that is interesting but seems unnecessary.

The food was pretty good as far as the flavor goes. I got a pulled pork sandwich that was a bit dry. My partner got their hand made veggie patty that was far too wet falling apart the whole time. The french fries that came with our sandwiches were quite good though.

There beers are where the proverbial poop hits the fan. The beer is clearly geared to the non craft beer drinkers. They offer a light beer, a cream ale, a pilsner, and an IPA. They didn't have the pilsner on tap when I was there, but the offerings I tasted were very poor for their style. The light beer had almost no flavor, the cream ale was utterly unsatisfying and their IPA, the most flavorful, tasted more like a very lightly hopped pale ale at best. in their sampler they put a taster of Bell's Best Brown which I thought comical which made the flavors of the other 3 beers even more lackluster by comparison.

Over all the BBQ is ok and the beer is terrible. You would have a better time heading to the Cuban restraunt that it is attached to.

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Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery in Ann Arbor, MI
3.6 out of 5 based on 122 ratings.
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