Royal Oak Brewery

Royal Oak BreweryRoyal Oak Brewery

Type: Brewery, Eatery

215 East 4th Street
Royal Oak, Michigan, 48067
United States

(248) 544-1141 | map

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 61
Photo of Mothergoose03
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4

This was stop #1 of our pub crawl this day with four people in our group. Beer and lunch were the objective at this stop. The brewery was very quiet this day, and that was a surprise to me for lunchtime, so the service was very good for us. The building's exterior and interior are both very appropriate for a brewpub, and the vibe was enjoyable. The view of the brewing equipment behind the bar added to the atmosphere.

We ordered a sampler flight that had 5 beers of the seven that were available that day. They were all good tasting, but I'll grade them from a C to a B-, so a C+ overall. They were all pretty much to style, just nothing that was exciting.

The food menu was interesting with its selections, and the food items that we ordered were all very tasty. We all agreed that the food deserved a B rating overall.

This is a cool brewery that is worthy of a visit, and I would visit again when in the area, but I wouldn't put it on my list as a primary destination.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Atmosphere: pretty much a middle of the way brewery. nothing that makes them stand out. I do like that they have a patio for nice summer evenings. When I was there they had odd tv choices, funniest home videos, bull riding and poker.

Quality: I was pleasantly surprised by their beers. I had two and tried two others. 3 of 4 were quite good and executed nicely

Service: good service. our appetizer, asiago dip, came out a little cold but it was replaced no problem and our waiter brought us extra chips right when we ran out. just the right amount of presence

Selection: 6 or so home brews. the ones i had were pretty good. but it is a ways away from having everyones perfect beer in stock

Food: good variety of unique dishes and common pub fare. Some of it was pretty tasty too

Overall: I was pleasantly surprised by this place. I would go back but probably not until their beer menu changes a bit, as i like to try all new things.

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Photo of Kerrie
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Went here for a friend's birthday party. The atmosphere inside was pretty dark (which I'm fine with) noisy, crowded and packed. It was too busy to get a seat outdoors, and we would have had to wait quite a long time. I do eventually hope to go and check out their outdoor area eventually.

The service was super slow, however. I've had much better service in crowded places before. Our drinks were empty too long and it felt like a millennium before the waitress even took our order, and even longer to get our food.

I remember their beer selection being quite small. I got their porter which was pretty watery and not that great, yet their raspberry wheat was excellent (better than WAB's, which is where I usually get them). That said, I wanted another but the slow service didn't allow me time.

The food was mediocre for the price, too. Overall, I am interested in trying it again to check out their outdoor seating, and maybe I can actually get two raspberry wheats this time!

Edit: Just visited again 5/14/13 and had a better experience. This time, we were outdoors and did not order food. Service was extremely prompt and efficient (so it's still an average of 3, given the terrible indoor experience, but I'd give a 5 for our outdoor service alone) and there were new beers on tap. The bf and I both loved the saison, which wasn't part of the menu last time. The outdoor area seems separate than the indoor in terms of service and still allows for ordering food. It's closed off, too, so you don't have the sun in your eyes or gawkers (this also means no people watching outside of the porch, so that depends on preference).

So my edited response: if you're able to score a seat outdoors (we went on a weeknight) I'd recommend that much more highly than indoors. Our outdoor experience was vastly different.

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Photo of adams82
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I knew I'd be a fan of the ROB as I was already a fan of the fellow beer companies: Rochester Mills and Detroit Brewing Company.

The menu is similar to their other establishments. Although there are some minor differences; the food is just as good. I love the pasta dishes that come with the GIGANTIC slab of garlic cheese bread that takes up half of the plate; a great way to indulge! Sandwiches, pizza, pasta, salads and special menu items have always been very good, the prices are below what I would consider the Royal Oak "norm" and the portions are rather generous. Amid the spectacular mix of fare, and oddly enough for me, my two favorite items have been the jambalaya (beware, the side of extra hot sauce is... extra, extra, extra hot) and the chimichanga.

The beers are of a good quality and they're well crafted, but I can't say that I come here for "that one beer". Unlike some of the other local micro breweries, none of the ROB brands *really* stand out and make you go "WOW", but they don't fall flat either. There's usually an IPA, an amber/red beer of some sort, a wheat beer and a "lighter" option on all the time, and of course, seasonals. This go saw a Scottish Ale (which was quite good) and a winter amber lager. The IPA is quite good and hop heavy, the Scottish ale was a good representation of a rather unique style and the winter amber lager was a mild flavored and crisp beer, which is a nice departure from the usual "winter warmers" that run higher in alcohol content and are heavily spiced.

The ROB is a comfortable place to eat/drink, and while not a true "sports bar", it makes a decent place to catch a game while grabbing a bite. There isn't one designated viewing area, but there are plenty of flat panels hung high and out of the way to so you can take in a game or two without some knuckle head hogging your line of sight.

My only complaint would be the service; while friendly, it tends to be a little slow, even when the dining area is sparsely populated.

For me, the ROB is more about the overall experience; the food AND the beer. I can't recall any one time that we came here just to have some drinks, and I couldn't imagine visiting the ROB to drink without eating or to eat without drinking. The food pairs well with the beer, and that's why I like it so much, even though there isn't any one thing that just blow me away.

Like any bar/restaurant in downtown Royal Oak, I would advise against a Friday/Saturday night visit, as you will wait... fore-v-e-r, but this is on of the rare places that is worth your wait.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

(Visited 08/2011): Royal Oak, one of several brewpubs in the city, is located in the heart of downtown on E 4th not too far off Main Street. Metered parking is available all around.

The interior has a cozy feel of wood, brick and maroon colors. The bar is along the right side and boasts a direct view to the tanks. Large historical pictures adorn the walls, and there is a beer garden out back.

Royal Oak's beer list consists of 5 brews, and are available in a sampler. On my visit the options were Northern Light, Summer Wit, Royal Pride IPA, Pappy's Porter and India Ink Black IPA. All of the beers are decent.

Service on a slow weekday early afternoon was good. The guy tending bar gave the impression that he has been there awhile and knew the beers and the history of the place.

I did not try any food on my visit.

Overall I favored the beers slightly more at Bastone but aside from that I would still recommend a stop here.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

stopped in for their anniversary party with my gf.

atmosphere is nice with a raw industrial feel. brewing tanks proudly on display next to the bar. seemed a little calmer than many brewpubs even though there were a ton of people inside. lots of tvs, but no sports in sight (a huge plus in my book).

the food was pretty good, better than the beer at least. i ordered a bbq chicken pizza which was great, and for beer a bourbon porter, hoppy anniversary ipa and oktoberfest which were all about average except for the bourbon porter which was not good (see my reviews). but really, for $2/pint i can't complain too much.

our server was friendly and very on top of things. she explained the beers they had on tap pretty well which always seems like a bonus.

overall, we enjoyed our vist and would return, especially if they have another $2 pint night.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Excellent service, bartender was very knowledgeable about beer and pleased to see us, despite the late hour of our visit. Sampling glasses were well priced and highlighted some enjoyable beers that I wouldn't have tried if a pint were my only option. Also didn't require that every available beer be sampled, which is a nice distinction from some other venues.

Thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of this pub, casually welcoming yet clean & professional. Enjoyed a seat at the bar, but tables looked equally as comfortable. Only recommendation would be to replace some of the more worn menus...

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Photo of beerguru15
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Ended up stopping here on a recent trip to Detroit. When walking into the brewery, you're presented with a nice looking bar, multiple tvs's, a large assortment of photos and just an overall good feeling.

I ended up trying their wheat beer, Fourth Street Wheat, which..I wasn't really impressed with, though it seemed a little off, so it may have been something wrong with the batch or? Unfortunately this was the only beer I tried from the menu,but I will give the additional styles of their beer a chance before completely writing them off.

The service was pretty good, our waitress seemed attentive and helpful, though didn't really go into detail with the beer offered.

The selection of beer was your typical brewery styles including an IPA, Porter, ESB, a Light, and a Red, but also had a cask ale and a few other guest brews on tap. Overall typical, but a decent selection for all fans.

The food was excellent! I ended up having the Sheppards pie which was quite the portion and quite tasty. My friend ended up having the Jambalaya and enjoyed it also. The food menu was pretty diverse, having sandwiches, burgers, fish and evenly priced.

Overall not a bad brewery and would return. I would like to see if they were just having an off day on that beer or ? I have a feeling by reading the reviews and by other people that I know going there, that the beer is decent.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I attended this brewery on a recent trip to Detroit. I tried their sampler platter which included their Cherry Ale, Northern Light, Pappy's Porter, Brewhouse ESB, and their Royal Pride IPA. The porter was very good, IPA was solid, cherry ale was done (I believe) with bitter cherries which made it so the beer was not undrinkably sweet, Brewhouse ESB was solid but not my favorite and their Light beer was a nice alternative for those who aren't much into the craft beer but want something better than Bud light. The waitress was very attentive but had minimal beer knowledge. I was slightly disappointed that they only had 5 beers available, but again, all were pretty solid. I wasn't really looking to eat anything but after looking at their menu, I decided I would. I had their gnocchi and pesto and my wife had a salad. I was pleased with my meal and my wife was a fan of her salad. My friend is a local and has been there several times and recommends their burgers. Overall, a reasonably priced establishment - worth stopping by if in the area.

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Photo of GJ40
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

After driving for quite some time to find a good beer bar while on traveling on business, we found the Royal Oak Brewery.

I was impressed as soon as we walked in. It's got an authentic, spacious feel with a large bar on one side and table seating on the other. It has exposed brick on the exterior walls and brewing tanks right behind the bar.

It was pretty well packed (a good sign for a Tuesday night) and the crowd was very varied (young and old, singles, couples and families, etc.) It had a real community feel to it.

They had several beers of their own including a stout, IPA, ESB, wheat, red, light and Belgian tripel. I liked the IPA a lot and the Belgian was pretty good. They also had a few guest beers.

The staff wasn't particularly eager or outgoing but I was able to get a recommendation or two.

I enjoyed this place quite a bit. It rates pretty well on beer, food and atmosphere.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Cool little brewery in downtown Royal Oak. It gets fairly busy on the weekends, as with most places around it. Clientele consists of a little bit of everything, making it a comfortable place to enjoy a beer.

Overall, the beers I've had there have been good to great. They rotate some in and out, and usually only have about 5 available at any time. But other than the light, which I'd call average, they've all been good.

Food is above average. Portions were well sized (bonus points).

They have growler deals I believe on Tuesdays. Prices were very fair.

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Photo of Stimack
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Went to the brewpub while in the Detroit area for business. How about that a town with three brewpubs walking distance from each other. The place has a nice feel to it; while I am not sure on the age of the building it has an older feel to it. When you walk in the place is very open, nice sized bar along the right hand side and few high tops. A number of TV’s line the walls as well, probably a great place for Sundays. On the left is a good-sized area, which I would call a dinning room with many tables. We where seated promptly and ordered drinks right away. Fairly extensive menu of food types that range the gambit, burgers, fish and chips, Mexican and Italian dishes. The food was pretty good, I got the fish and chips with fries and coleslaw. The beer selection was quite good but I did find the beers I tried to be pretty basic. Overall I thought that this place was pretty good, not as nice/good as other brewpubs that I have gone to in the past.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Went to ROB with my father-in-law yesterday and quite enjoyed it. We sat in the main dining area with is a large open space, wooded walls and a few TVs mounted around the room. Place was moderately busy for a Wednesday evening. Beers are listed on their tanks on the east side of the room, so you can look and see what's available at any given time. I think they had seven beers (the ESB was dead, unfortunately). I tried three and found them all solid, although not necessarily mind-blowing. We had a very attentive waitress who knew a good amount about the brew and was always there when we needed her. I had the chicken rojo which was basically nachos with chicken, which was a little strange, but quite tasty. Overall, a good experience and I place I'll be going back to.

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Photo of berserker256
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Royal Oak Brewery is about a mile and a half from my house. It's a very convenient old neighborhood-type establishment. The outside of the building has an older style brick appearance. Almost like a converted warehouse. They usually have around six or eight different brews on tap. Porter, light, red, IPA, stout, seasonals such as barley wine, belgian style tripels, wheats, etc.
The bartenders are very helpful and friendly and will discuss the beers with you. They'll answer all your questions. Happy hour is the best bargain around. You get outstanding beer in pint glasses for about $2.75. $5.00 Growler fills on Tuesday.
The menu is diverse and of high quality. Great sandwich and salad selection as well as entrees with a variety of Mexican/Italian/American choices.
I would like to be the "Norm" of this place but my wife would hate that.
Great place.

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Photo of bozebus17
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Stopped by here on a warm Thursday night. There was a decent crowd and the patio was open.

Royal Oak Brewery is a large open bar. There is a large seating area with tables and a pretty long bar too. Our waitress was friendly and took good care of us. They had six of their beers on tap and the menu said they had "guest" micro kegs. I didn't ask about this selection. I ordered a pint of the IPA and sampled the ESB, both were good but not exceptional. As far as food goes we ordered the cheese dip which was decent.

9/30/07 Edit: I had dinner here last night and I felt I needed to edit the food portion of my review. I tried a beer and cheese soup which was very good. I also had tasty Mexican chicken dish and my girlfriend's sheppard pie was awesome.

Overall the Royal Oak Brewery is a decent place. It is more like a bar than a brewery with mixed drinks on the menu in addition to their beers. I should also note that smoking is allowed, which is a turnoff for me and many others. I could see stopping by here again when spending a night in Royal Oak. It is also a good place for dinner.

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Photo of Caesar1pup
3.31/5  rDev -12%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Went to ROB on a Sunday evening with a friend and found the place fairly crowded. It was hard to put a finger on the atmosphere of the place. Plenty of TV’s for watching sports with a bar running the length of one side and a large seating area for dining. The wide open format of the place meant that if someone was smoking everyone would know it, and there were definitely people smoking.

I tried the IPA, which was okay. They had about 8 beers on tap with a number of guest micros to choose from. They had a fairly large selection on the food side but I did not eat there.

Overall this was an okay place with slightly better than average beer.

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Photo of schusterbauer
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

this is one of my favorite places to sit and have a few quality craft brews, and the food is damned good as well. the atmosphere is very friendly, with lots of regulars usually hanging around. it gets a bit loud, but that usually seems to be because everyone is having a great time. with a number of big TVs, this is also a great place to catch a sporting event. the service is always friendly and quick. during the warm months, i'd highly suggest checking out their patio in the back.

the beer is definitely above average, and over the course of the years i've been going, i've noticed that quality has steadily improved. usually 6-9 beers on tap, depending on the seasonals, along with a guest tap or two. their Red, Porter, IPA, ESB, and Wheat are all highly drinkable, and the seasonals/rotating releases are always unique (one of my favorites to date was their dubbel).

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Photo of 86sportster883
4.25/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Place
Nice place. Stopped in on a Monday night to sample their beers and I would definitely return when back in the Detroit area again. Four large flat panel TV's, one in each corner of the spacious bar/restaurant, plus a couple of small monitors behind the bar and one huge projection TV in the center of the table seating area. Each had the Monday night pre-game on without the sound (thankfully). In the backgound played the Grateful Dead, audible but not loud, with live versions of Dead songs, probably off of one of Dick's Picks. The place had a good number of folks there but was not crowded and I took a seat at the bar. The bartender and staff were friendly, attentive and quick.

The Beer
I ordered 5, three ounce samples ($6.50 total):
Pleszures IPA (6.5 ABV) - my favorite of the group, but you probably have to be a true hop head to like this one.
Brewhouse ESB (5.2 ABV) - Very drinkable, the session beer of the group.
Pappy's Porch Sippin Porter (6.3 ABV) - OK overall,... great mouthfeel, but I prefer porters with a more roasted malt finish.
Enfers (11th Anniversary) Ale (10 ABV) - The bartender told me this was like a Belgian triple, but it wasn't like any triple I've ever had. It wasn't bad, just a little bizarre. One of the staff told me it was made with lemon peel and lemon grass. It almost tasted like someone poured 7up in my beer. On the plus side, you didn't even notice the high ABV. Not sure I could drink a whole pint of this one.
Euphoria Ale (10 ABV) - Described by the bartender as a double IPA. It was pretty good, but I'm not too familiar with the style. As with the Enfers, I didn't get that alcohol finish that a lot of high ABV beers have. I'd order a pint if I weren't driving.

The Food
Ordered the Brewer's Bread ($5.50), thinking it was something light that I could clean my palate with. Turned out to be more like a stromboli, than what I interpreted from the menu. It was good however, and the basil and hot pepper spice went well with the Euphoria Ale.

Before I left, I noticed a sign for their bier garden. Although it was closed, I peered out the back door to what looked like a pretty nice place to hang out and have a beer on a sunny afternoon.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I visited the Royal Oak Brewery on my weekend trip to Royal Oak. I came here on a Saturday night.

Atmosphere: nice; decent sized crowd; music playing but not too loud which is nice; this seems like a friendly hangout for some of the locals
Quality: I only got one beer, but the stuff on-tap seemed good (I had the IPA).
Service: decent; a little slow
Selection: I think they had about ten of their own beers on-tap along with some other good micro from around America and Belgium (Bar Harbor Blueberry, Lindeman's Lambic Framboise, etc.)
Food: didn't have any
Prices: pints for $4 seem reasonable for the area

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Went here as I happend to be in town on a day off, and i'd heard about their brews being pretty good. Upon walking in, most of the establishment is adorned with Beer Memorabilia from years past, and a load of flat screen TV's that just beg to have hockey on. I sat at the bar and got good service (should have, I was the only person in the place), and the bar tender had decent knowledge about the beers that were offered. For food I only had an appetizer of Chicken strips, but they were ultimately good, though a bit pricey. I liked the fact that they had beer to go in 6-packs in a cooler by the door. All in all, it's a little too "yuppy-trendy" for me, but I'd go back if I were in the area. Worth a stop.

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Photo of DrJay
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

We finished off a day out in Detroit here (Merchant's Fine Wine, Brewing World, Kuhnhenn, Dragonmead, Royal Oak). By the time we made it here, the place was about half full. Decent atmosphere, but the music was a bit loud. Brewhouse equipment lines one wall behind a long bar and the kitchen is open in the rear. There were about 6 beers on tap, including a porter, esb, and ipa. I tried the red and wheat -- both were above average, with the red being a very pleasant surprise. Our server was quite good, always there when we needed something, but wasn't intrusive at all. We shared a few appetizers. Large portions and good quality food came quickly and at a fair price.

I remember stopping in at this place back about five years ago and I wasn't impressed at all with the beer being produced. I was pleasantly surprised by our recent trip -- they've really stepped up the quality of beer. Although I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to make it here if I visited Detroit and could only hit a couple of brewpubs, this was a nice change of pace for our regular group.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

I went here at the beginning of a pub crawl with my host in Royal Oak, Eyedrinkale. Atmosphere seemed nice inside. Spacious with some tables, booths, and the like. We sat on the outside patio and ordered a round of IPA's. The IPA was pretty bad, and it had this weird skunky euro lager flavor and very weak hopping. I also tried a taste of the red and the porter. The red was OK, great compared to the IPA and the porter was nice. Service was hit or miss, or waitress wasn't the best, but the "owner" seemed interested and nice enough even if he was lying a bit. Selection was decent with 6 or 7 draughts, and value was very good with some food, 5 beers, a soda, and tip being under $40. Not the best, not the worst.

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Photo of ahking
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

This is a nice, relaxing brewpub located in downtown Royal Oak. The beer produced here is very good in quality, taste and selection. I believe they deliver 5 or 6 brews at a time. If memory serves, they offer a light lager, ESB, IPA, porter, and belgian double (which they say is a scotch ale). The selections rotate fairly often with seasonals thrown in. The atmosphere is really good with a friendly and attentive staff. Not entirely impressed with the food offerings. Standard bar food is served. However, the beer quality and selection makes up for this and I enjoy patronizing this brewpub.

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Photo of proc
4/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Located on 4th Street, just off of Woodward in Royal Oak. Royal Oak is one of metro Detroit's "in spots" for dining, music and bars.

The Royal Oak Brewery is part of a tri-brewery group, which includes the Rochester Mills Brewery and the Detroit Beer Company. All three offer good, fresh beer. They offer staple beers in the style of red, stout, hefe's, pales, etc. and all are quite good. Not as wide of a selection as offered by Dragonmead or Kuhnenn. The brewery/pub is one, large room with brick, wood and TV's present. Its simple and comfortable.

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Photo of jsolack
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Great atmophere. Fun place to hang out... it's a multi-level place with good music and some pool tables.

High quality joint. Clean and nicely laid out.

The sevice I've had there has always been great. Friendly young staff seems to have a lot of energy and they seem to try to make your visit there a pleasing one.

Beer select was good. They may not have 100's of beers but they do have some interesting ones. We found quite a few that I haven't tried and I always enjoy that! Also, they served their beers in the proper glassware.

The meal we had was excellent. Seem to use fresh ingredients and presentation was nice.

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Royal Oak Brewery in Royal Oak, MI
3.65 out of 5 based on 149 ratings.
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