Dragonmead Microbrewery

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Dragonmead MicrobreweryDragonmead Microbrewery
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1,977 Ratings
Dragonmead MicrobreweryDragonmead Microbrewery

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

14600 E 11 Mile Rd
Warren, Michigan, 48089-1556
United States

(586) 776-9428 | map

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Ratings: 136 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of matthew_k
2.13/5  rDev -48.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 3

I seriously had the worst bar/restaurant experience of my life last night. The staff was rude, the bouncer was rude, the whole place was unacceptable from a customer service stand point.

When i joined my party it took 15 minutes before someone stopped by to see if I wanted something to drink. When my friend showed up 20 minutes later, first the bouncer came over to our table and demanded to see her ID (she looks young yes but she's 23 and he was incredibly rude in how he went about carding her) and then nobody EVER came by to ask her if she'd like something, she never even got one drink.

Then when our table got the check one of our group asked the server if they could charge $44 (of our $200+ bill) to his credit card, he was told that they do not do that because that would constitute splitting a bill which they REFUSE to do. He had already added up his total and told them how much to charge, not split anything off, just charge his portion of the bill to his card. Their response was "It's not that we can't do it, it's that we won't do it." ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. What happens when a group only has credit cards? Is on perso. Forced to charge the whole bill on their card because dragonmead refuses to be accomodating.

Best believe I will never return there with my business. I will never even buy a dragonmead product at another bar. I will also tell everyone I know about how horrible my experience was there, and I mean EVERYONE, friends, family, and complete strangers.

I will happily go to the Falling Down Beer company (better beer, better food, and a better staff) with my business from now on when we want micro-brews. To be honest I would rather find a hole in the wall bar and drink bud light on tap before I ever return to or give dragonmead my business again.

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Photo of CoSMoSYS
2.68/5  rDev -35.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5

I've been to this place quite a few times and every time I have gone in there, I have been very pleased, except for the last time I went in, which will undoubtedly be the last time I visit this place. I have to agree with everything that 'Gaisgeil' wrote in his review of this place.

The atmosphere reminds me of the Ren Fest. Very 15th century feeling with the Dungeons and Dragons. As soon as you walk in you feel comfortable and warm.

The quality of the beers is something to be desired. It's almost as if they were about the quantity than the quality. I always get the sampler when I go in there and usually end up regretting 2 or 3 of the choices I have made. The only beer I really enjoyed was the Redwing Raspberry Wheat.

The service the first couple times I went here was great. The wait staff was very friendly and helpful, they seem to go out of their way for you to feel at home. The last visit I had changed my perception. I don't know if I caught them on an "off" night but that was the worst service I have ever encountered there. They were the opposite of what I remembered. They seemed almost annoyed with us every time we ordered. I didn't know a brewery would charge you $2 a head for a party over 10 people. They were out of a beer I asked for in my sampler and the waitress never came back over to ask what I wanted as a replacement. As we cashed out our bill, one of the waitresses turned around and, under her breathe, called my girlfriend and friends 'idiots' and that she hoped us, 'morons', wouldn't stiff her like the last party did, on a tip.

Didn't try the food but the free pretzels and mustard are a nice touch with the beer.

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Photo of jale
2.78/5  rDev -33%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Walking into this place, I was sure to be greeted by a court jester. Kind of a kids type amusement place, but hey whatever works. The service was very slow even though the crowd was thin. Small selection of snack type food so don't come hungry. They did have a wide selection of beer styles that are average in taste. Not really a destination for beer geeks like me. The medival theme seems like a gimmick but if it gets people into craft beer, so be it. I would prefer they concentrate on fewer beers with better quality then such a vast selection of average ones.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
2.93/5  rDev -29.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

It's high time I get around to reviewing this spot, lord knows I've been there enough times. Located in a rather annoying spot on the eastbound service drive off of 696 in Warren within an industrial strip mall, kind of odd. The place is decorated dungeons and dragons style complete with amateurish fantasy artwork and medevil style stage props. You know... the whole dragons, sword and shield bit. Overall though, it's a nice enough place, a little cramped around the bar, which you basically HAVE to sit at, if you sit at the table you can forget about anyone from the staff coming by to help you. Which brings us to the service... back in the day this place had a nice staff, friendly and helpful but now, you'd think these people hate their jobs, I'm not sure if it's a whole new barstaff or what but these people act like they're doing you a favor or something. They're pretty slow too when there are more than a few people around. The selection is great in sheer number and scope, but also in quality. In my honest opinion there are a lot of clunkers here, not horrible mind you, just really bland and not worth the price tag. There are however a few truly wonderful beers here.

A spot worth checking out surely, but they've developed some problems and if you only had time to go to one place in the area, you'd be much better served checking out Kuhnhenn first.

SlĂ inte!

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Photo of aaron
3/5  rDev -27.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 1.5

It's hard not to be impressed by the beer selection at this place. The bar is tucked in an industrial strip. It's very clean. And the decor is fantasy dragon themed. I sampled several brews in one visit. Nothing was stellar.

Nearly 40 beer options are all brewed in-house -- though not all available all the time. During a Thursday night visit, our waitress noted that several of the most popular options printed on the weekly menu were unavailable. Our waitress was knowledgeable and helpful (there really are LOTS of beer styles on tap).

I thought the Bill's Witbier was very good and the Castlebrite (Apricot) Ale was nearly undrinkable. Otherwise, mediocrity flowed from the others that I tried.

Thursdays are apparently "Acoustic Open Mic Nights" -- which packed the small place. Food is barely available (crackers, popcorn, sausages). Pretzels were brought to our table after one round and the menu notes that food may be brought in from elsewhere. Check their Web site for beers being served and entertainers on tap.

Be sure to check out the bathroom. On the way, you'll spot a glass wall looking into the squeaky clean brewing operation. In the men's room, you'll find a bizzaro drawing of a naked woman feeding a dragon.

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Photo of christopherbaum
3/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of beergorrilla
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of Rohkey
3.27/5  rDev -21.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 1 | selection: 4.75

Only been here once, and it was a real mixed occasion.

The location isn't ideal but it's adjacent to the freeway and there is plenty of space. The medieval theme is pretty cool, and the place was relaxed.

The beer selection was outstanding. Can't remember offhand but had to be at least 40 different brews. My girlfriend and I sampled as much as we could, and unfortunately you could tell they focus more on quantity than quality. While the beers were better than what you can get in Downriver or Detroit, only a couple of them were worth ordering pints of. Some of those were pretty damned good, though.

They don't have a full food menu but do have some snacks/appetizers, and, I believe, allow food to be brought in.

The service was abysmal, however. There was a party of 16 or so in there and a handful of waitresses catering to them. The one in charge of us was nonexistent, and it took 10 mins for us to be greeted and another 5-10 for our beer order to be taken. When we finally got our beer, approximately 25-30 mins after sitting down, a different waitress dropped it off and I asked if we could order some snacks and she literally said, "Not from me," and walked away to cater to the party. My gf had to go up to the bar to order food and one of the bartenders asked her why she didn't just wait for our waitress, and seemed bothered by us. When we were done with our first flight we waited about 10 mins and realized our waitress wasn't there anymore so we went up to the bar and sat down, hoping the service would be better. A guy greeted us and was ostensibly the only non-rude attentive employee present, but after a few minutes he started rounds around the seating area and the woman who took his place (same one who told us we couldn't order food from her) was rude and inattentive. I tried to talk to her about different beers and also the prices of their merchandise and she was dismissive. I asked how much of the stuff they bottle and she replied, "Can't you see what's in the display over there?" Which really put me off. We left shortly thereafter as it seemed the employees were all either having a bad day or too busy fellating the party that was there.

Would I go back? Maybe. I'd like to see if the service was an anomaly or the usual, but, while some of the beer warranted returning, we were too agitated by how we were treated to do so. The next night we drove out to Kuhnhenn, not far from Dragonmead, and had a much, much better experience (and enjoyed better beer).

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.28/5  rDev -21%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/20/2010.

Stopped by here on a Saturday night. It is right off the highway. There are a lot of taps (~40) but this place is definitely more about quantity vs. quality. We tried a couple of samplers plus a few pints and all the beers were mediocre at best. The atmosphere and service were alright. Although it was a Saturday night, the bar was not completely packed and it probably was only mostly full because there was a special event going on. If you have extra time you could stop here, but there are better nearby brewpubs with higher quality beers (ie Rochester Mills, Sherwood, Black Lotus) that I much preferred to Dragonmead. I didn't try any of the food but there is a limited menu.

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Photo of HarmonMW
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.75

Brewpub is located in Warren in an industrial strip-mall type area. Inside, it's decked out in the medieval ware - a little hokey to me. They have a huge selection of beers available, and between four of us we tried about 10 (two different samplers) and they went from bad (probably just me not appreciating the style) to above average. I was slightly disappointed in the quality of the beers we tried. Service was slow, but it was busy. Food was only pretzels and onion rings and small stuff like that. I wouldn't recommend going for the food at all. If you're a fan of the beer, it's worth a stop, but if not, I don't think a visit to the brewery will change your opinion.

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Photo of HellsBELLS24
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Had a decent trip to Dragonmead on a friday.

The place was crowded and the music was so loud you had to shout to talk to anyone that was sitting next to you. The beer selection was huge although there were too many english/scottish styles for me. There were not enough strong ales in my opinion.

The crown jewels IPA was very good off of the draught handle and the final absolution tripel was very good as well. My friend and I tried a sampler and were not too impressed with the tastes of most of the brews.

All in all I would recommend going to the dragonmead at least once if you are in the area but I would not make any special trips to the brewpub. I would rather buy a 6 pack of crown jewels at the store instead.

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Photo of aratcliffe
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

My first trip to dragonmead was an impressionable one. After a long day of traveling around mid Michigan with my wife, I was able to locate this establishment, as it wasn't far off our trek. On a Saturday afternoon, this Microbrewery was rather barren; only a few customers, and an exceptionally relaxed atmosphere. The interior is a mecca of psudo-medieval decoration, with swords, sheilds of armour and flags from European countries filling the area. The brewing area was visible via a glass window near the restrooms, which I found to be quite interesting. It's not typcial for such a view to be present in microbreweries that i've been in. The quality of the beers was good; a weekly menu of on tap beers was available with a second to none selection of quality made brews. I found though, throughout my 2 hour visit, that the service left quite a bit to be desired; the bartenders were far from friendly, only throwing a beer menu at me and my wife; they were far from educated when I asked about a few of the styles, and finally, they could've been a bit more attentive, as the place was near empty, and I had to wait for service. The selection, as I mentioned before was great; lots of different flavors, styles, etc, etc. The beer menu was my guide though, since the staff took little interest in telling me about what was available. The food was decent, and I did like the fact that the menu mentioned that food was welcome to be brought into the brewery, as the menu offered little more than snacks (Popcorn, nachos, cheese & crackers). Overall, i'd definitly visit again, but hope to hell the service and staff improved. Recommended.

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Photo of HopHEAD1522
3.61/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.75

Photo of benmiliron
3.61/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Nice place. A little small. Envision someone trying to setup a medieval-looking establishment in a mini-mall and you've got dragonmead. It's in Detroit (they call it Warren, MI, but trust me - it's Detroit).

I had been ecstatic about trying this place out for many moons. Finally my wife takes me here and... maybe I built it up too much in my mind. They have 30+ beers on tap, some nitrogen poured even! But, the beer just wasn't THAT good. It was ok, but had a watery aspect to it (despite some high gravities) that I couldn't put a finger on. Most beers, save the Russian imperial and the honey Porter (awesome!), had this strange quality. If you've ever gone to a "Hops" restaurant, I'd say it's similar to that.

You have to order your own food, they'll even bring you a phone! Kinda cheesy, but better than them having to deal with food and beer and the beer losing some of the quality as a result. I just wish they'd use the time to concentrate on the beer a little more. I don't know, maybe it's that fine Detroit water...

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Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2

Our last stop on the Detroit Brewery crawl.

Located off an entrance road to 496 Dragonmead seems out of place. Small parking lot with a simple storefront. Upon entering I felt like I was in the bedroom of a D&D obsessed 14-yr old. They've really gone crazy with the medieval kitsch (Check out the painting in the men's room to prove my point). Otherwise there's a somewhat cozy pub feel.

Loads of brews on tap (50+) which wasn't matched on any of our previous 9 stops. Not to mention a plethora of styles by country. Samplers (10.50 but large samples) consisted of 6 beers picked from the lot. I went with the Breath of the Dragon Bitter, Kaisers Kolsch, Inquisition Pale Ale, Holy Smoke Rauchbier, and their Russian Imperial Stout. The Kolsch was dead-on with great Pils flavor and late hop aroma with a crisp finish. The Rauchbier was a mess with over-done smoke with a watery mouthfeel. The others were decent but forgettable. I've had their Final Absolution previously so I know they can brew but my 6 weren't entirely impressive.

Food was prepacked frozen fried tidbits that at the time were just arriving from some bulk-sales type store. Regardless, we ordered sweet potato bites and jalapeno poppers which weren't great. Service was friendly.

Definitely the most unique place I've been in Michigan. That said, the beers I sampled were mediocre. Don't eat there unless you want to overpay for pre-frozen snacks. Is it a must-go? No, but if you're in the area stop in and try a beer as there is no shortage of variety.

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Photo of chewy6935
3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of benito
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I grew up in SE Michigan and have known about Dragonmead, which is about 25 minutes from my house. Finally, I made the trip out there.

Their location isn't great: on a service drive of the interstate; I was almost confused into thinking that I'd driven too far and that I'd end up back on the freeway, when I finally caught a small 'Dragonmead' sign out of the corner of my eye.

The interior is small. A classic bar with two separate rooms with tables. I'm a sucker for these types of places and enjoyed the fact that I felt like I'd stumbled upon something special: a small brewpub in a nondescript industrial mall, much like the Fort Collins Brewery or Twin Ports Brewpub in Superior, WI. What the place lakes in glamor, it makes up for--quickly--in character: you walk in and the place screams 'we're about beer first and foremost. everything else is an afterthought.' I came in on a Monday afternoon and only found a few regulars at the bar. The service was incredibly friendly. As I perused the beer menu (they had 29 on tap!), Sherri the bartender offered a few suggestions after asking what styles of beer I enjoyed.

I bought two samplers, each of which came with 5 4-oz selections. Choosing which beers to try was no easy task, but I came in armed with a good series of reviews from BeerAdvocate and a mind to try the field. All of my typical 'beerbar' heuristics were buzzing and signaled that this place ought to be a hit...they had good service, a small and hard to find spot, and lots of beer on tap. Unfortunately, the beer itself I found to be less than enthralling across the board. It was by no means bad, but of the ten brews I tried, I only found one to be exceptional (the Honey Porter). The other nine were Under the Kilt Wee Heavy, Kaiser Kolsch, Nagelweiss Hefe Weizen, Corktown Red, Erik the Red, Big Larry's Pale Ale, Reverend Fred's Oatmeal Stout, Dubbel Dragon, and Bronze Griffin Belgian PA; what I found remarkable was that all nine of these had impressive flavor profiles and a good, if slightly watery body, yet they were marred by a bitter, biting aftertaste. Given that they've got 19 more brews on tap and ten more or so that they rotate in on a regular basis, I can only imagine that they've got their fair share of winners in there; it may have been the choices that I made, but overall, the beers were the most disappointing aspect of my experience.

For sheer novelty, I'll be happy to give Dragonmead a second (and probably third and fourth) chance: it would be a great place to introduce a newbie to a cornucopia of beer styles and the diversity of offerings that they profer is enough to maintain the intrest of even the biggest of beer nerds.

Given the number of American brewpubs that are serving five or six mediocre brews, the ambition of Dragonmead alone is impressive. I'll be back for a second, hopefully tastier, visit in the future.

Update August 2006: I made it for a second visit to Dragonmead while visiting family in SE Michigan. Just as I had anticipated, I was overwhelmed again with the task of choosing a few brews for the (very substantial) sampler. I selected the Final Absolution Trippel, Earl Spit Stout, Castlebrite Apricot Wheat, Imperial Stout, and the Crusader Dark Mild. The Final Absolution, Earl Spit, and Castlebrite were all excellent--the tripel being a truly phenomenal beer, and the RIS and dark mild, like many of their other brews were fine save the biting aftertaste. And, after a second visit, my conclusion is the same as after the first--I can still go back, find five more beers to try, and still have plenty left after that for a fourth visit. Perhaps this is the nature of addiction.

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Photo of BlueAndBrew
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of heddar33
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Hikingpa6
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of swtchuck
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of ssimpson89
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of king75
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Atmosphere - feels like walking back in time to the Renaissance, decorum is all swords, shields and dragons, low lighting level lends to the feeling of being in a castle. Pretty unique atmosphere.

Quality/selection- I have had several of their beers on tap at various bars so I decided to try some of the stuff that I had not had before. I had the crowned Jewels IPA which was not bad but not great a solid B ranked beer, the honey porter B-, Juggernaut B-, and the Russian Imperial stout B. The selection of beers on tap was great with well over 20 beers all made by Dragonmead. However, the quality/variety of the flavors did not blow me away. All of the beers even though they were of different styles had very similar flavor traits it almost seemed like they used the same yeast in all the beers. The beer was above macros in quality but just did not meet my expectations of what a craft brewery should be producing. Stick with Final Absolution if you go here that is their best beer IMHO.

Service- The bartender was friendly, not overly knowledgeable of the beer but friendly and met our needs.

Overall, a slightly mediocre brewery in the flavors they bring to the table but worth checking out if in the area.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Located right off a main freeway makes it an easy destination north of Detroit. They usually have about 45 beers on draft. Solid representations of styles. Crown Jewels is a great British IPA, Final Absolution Trippel is a must-have.

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Dragonmead Microbrewery in Warren, MI
Brewery rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 1,977 ratings