Black Forest Brew Haus & Grill

Black Forest Brew Haus & GrillBlack Forest Brew Haus & Grill
Black Forest Brew Haus & GrillBlack Forest Brew Haus & Grill
Brewery, Eatery, Beer-to-go

281 Heinlein Strasse
Frankenmuth, Michigan, 48734
United States

// CLOSED //

Notes: No longer brewing their own beers
View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 30 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jz989
jz989 from Michigan

3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5


Black Forest no longer brews their own beer. They do normally have 6 to 8 taps of Michigan craft beer. They are only open Friday - Sunday. A pint of Founders Centennial IPA costs $6 while a pint of Griffon Claw El Rojo costs $4.50. If you're there for dinner check out the sausage trio. Very disappointed that the brewing equipment was sold because the beer was some of the best in the area.

Jan 06, 2014
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Jodawn from Texas

3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Took family here and really enjoyed the experience. Food was tasty and beer selection was great. Sausage and cheese was big hit. Server was very friendly and brought us a number of tasters, as we are from out if town, and not familiar with their selection. Really liked the decor, felt like we had gone back in time. Busy on weekends.

Sep 13, 2013
Photo of Fatdenny
Fatdenny from Michigan

3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.25

Family friendly with a buffet. The buffet was squeezed into the middle of the walking isle so it was a pain to either use the buffet or make way to the restroom. The food was good and the beer selection was outstanding. Worth the visit for the beer but would not return just for the food.

Jul 26, 2013
Photo of king75
king75 from Michigan

3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Atmosphere- If your looking for a place that is going to enchant you and screams brewery then you are going to be disappointed. This place feels like a hotel restaurant. Very bland feel to it and the carpet is worn and old.

Quality /selection- They had at around 12 beers on tap of a variety of styles. The quality of the beer is better than I expected. Some of their beers will surprise you in a good way some in a bad way, but more good than bad. The ones I liked best were Woody's light quite possibly the best tasting light beer I have ever had to this day, Grateful red- light, flavorful, but lacking body, and all of their stouts were solid. Boyband barlywine to this day is the most dreadful beer I have ever tasted.

Service- the bartender was pretty knowledgeable about the beer, friendly, and honest. She told us the food is not that great here and recommended the burgers at Frankenmuth's Brewery.

Overall, I liked this brewery. Their beer is average or slightly above average. Very affordable had a flight of ten beers over forty ounces of beer for under $12 which is a great price. If your looking for beer in Frankenmuth this is the brewery I would recommend to go to.

Jul 24, 2013
Photo of AlMarzo
AlMarzo from Michigan

4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I stopped into Black Forest Brew Haus, during a slow period for a late lunch. The food was excellent and the service was excellent. The food had some German themed items which is great for the location (Frankenmuth) I would recommend the sausage sampler and the prime rib.
The beer menu is very nice, and very affordable. I tried a few different beers and really enjoyed the Lost Sailor IPA, great balance, and flavor. I was able to get a growler at an affordable price as well. The staff was friendly and made it easy to decide which beers to get, our waitress even suggested a few food pairings.
If you are going to Frankenmuth be sure to stop here, for a smaller and in my opinion more enjoyable experience than Frankenmuth Brewing ( although that place is good too)

May 25, 2013
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CSFerrier from Kansas

4.43/5  rDev +23.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75

The actually resturant is quite good if you're into German food, which I am. If you're not and you get something that isn't German, well then it's pretty normal. The beer; it's really why yo go.

Want a few Growlers? Well, you can get one from Black Forest for 15 to 25 dollars, full of beer. Once you've gotten one, you can refill it for as cheap as 10 to 20 dollars. Most places I've ever been have charged twice that.

Also, their selection of beer is always changing. Which is cool. They have a stout and a red or two that are always on tap, but often have barelywines of IPAs introduced for short times throughout the year. This really is a great little place. Underrated if you ask me.

Also, damn good pizza.

May 18, 2013
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor from New York

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/30/2010.

A somewhat odd brewpub (maybe more of a restaurant) located in a little Germany in Frankenmuth. You'd think that the place would serve German food or even German beers, but it didn't. The place was fairly empty at ~3:00pm on a Friday - however, I saw that when another party came in later, they were told to wait for their table, even though there were clearly many tables available. Also, apparently this place hosts wedding parties upstairs. The beer was surprisingly very good (especially the Lost Sailor IPA - definitely try if you can) and they have a large selection of taps (maybe 9 or 10). The food menu was a little uninspiring (maybe perhaps because I was hoping for German food) so we just got a sausage plate and that was pretty tasty. Anyway, this place is worth a stop for the beer alone, although the atmosphere leaves something to be desired.

Dec 23, 2010
Photo of bozebus17
bozebus17 from Michigan

2.36/5  rDev -34.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3

I stopped in here on the second night of a weekend trip to Frankenmuth. Driving up, the building looks very cool from the outside. My excitement ended shortly after walking through the door.

The decor inside of the place is a bit of a let down. It kind of feels like a Friday's or Applebee's. This really isn't that big of a deal, but it was a sign of things to come. We sat down at a table in the bar area. There were not many patrons there and I got the feeling they were mostly regulars who knew each other. We waited for the waitress to come by, but after 15 minutes she never arrived. I decided that for whatever reason she wasn't interested in serving us, so I walked up to the bar. The bar was not crowded and I stood there for a couple of minutes before the bartender acknowledged me. I ordered a beer for myself and girlfriend and was finally served, although not very politely.

The beer itself was pretty good. I ordered their red and enjoyed it. It leaned towards the malt like a good red should and I found it very drinkable. I did not sample any other beers as we felt very uncomfortable in this place and left immediately after finishing our drinks.

Overall I was greatly disappointed with this place. I have never felt more unwelcome in a bar or brewery in my life. The staff tried their best to ignore us, and I felt like we were getting strange looks from some of the other patrons in the bar. I would think that an establishment in a town that depends on tourism as their largest industry would be friendlier to visitors, but I was wrong. If I could do it over again I would have gone to the other brewery in town (Frankenmuth Brewery) for a second night in a row as opposed to going to this place. Next time we are in town I will definitely skip Black Forest and will spend my money elsewhere. It really is too bad, because the beer itself was good.

Mar 29, 2010
Photo of rrwiltse
rrwiltse from Colorado

2.4/5  rDev -33%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 2

Disappointing. The inside of Black Forest looks like a chain family restaurant, especially Perkins. Uninviting, and just plain ugly. The server was good,and seemed to have fair beer knowledge. The food was really dull--not bad, but certainly not good. Very much like, well, a Perkins! The beer selection was better than I had expected--unfortunately, the quality was not. The Porter and Stout were both fine, but every other beer we tried was either bland, or bad! The Pale ale seemed tasty at first, but slowly developed a very off taste, very unbalanced. The red was virtually tasteless, the scotch strong ale was undrinkable, and the farmhouse was just plain weird, the spices just didn't work in this one. And there was a light beer too. Yeah. Sadly, the best beers there were the two Lindeman's lambic taps. Very disappointing. Swing by if you're in town, but don't go out of your way.

Jan 15, 2008
Photo of MillRat
MillRat from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Frankenmuth is long-standing German-themed tourist destination that has a few places with character that were built 30-50 years ago, and a lot of larger facilities built within the last 10 or so years that slap up a few Deutsch flags and shelf of steins and think they're ready to pull on the lederhosen and polka. Unfortunately, this place is in the latter category, but with the closing of the Frankenmuth brewery, it's the beer lover's best option out of an astoundingly poor to mediocre selection in a town that claims to be the Deutsch-fruend capital of the midwest.

This place puts the brewery in the center of the main floor, and indeed the beer here is the only reason that I have bothered to review the place. My wife and I shared an IPA with west coast hops, a schwarzbier, and a porter, and found them all to be well-crafted and worthy of a recommendation. The service was attentive and knowledgable.

We didn't order food as we had eaten elsewhere, but did note that the menu featured a couple of fairly standard German items. The rest of the selections were pretty standard American tour-bus fare. I would not go out of my way for the food, but the beer is worth the trip in a tourist-trap sort of destination that with its German trappings and history promises the beer aficianado far more than it delivers.

May 31, 2007
Photo of Salo
Salo from Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

We stop by Black Forest every time we're in Frankenmuth. It is behind Bronner's coming into Frankenmuth. It's a Bavarian Style lodge setting with high ceilings. The interior and crowd is a little Bill Knapp's for my taste, but the beer and food make up for it. I have had the IPA, stout and Octoberfest and all were fantastic. You must try the appetizer sampler. Everything is fresh and you will be stuffed for $9.95. It includes ribs, handmade mozerella sticks, local sausage on a skewer from Willi's Meat Market and buffalo wings. The bartender knows his stuff and for hopheads check out the collection of growlers lining the ceiling.

Mar 06, 2007
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick from Ohio

3.83/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Found this place completely by accident traveling from Bronner's to Frankenmuth Brewery. It is located on Heinlein, which runs pretty much parallel to the main drag and is in walking distance from Bronner's. There is a large parking lot in front of the establishment.

Inside, the atmosphere does not lend itself to a brewpub look and feel. It looks more like a Perkin's. Unattractive green color scheme and chain-restaurant look really hurt the appearance. However, a live piano player and a really impressive collection of coasters behind the bar are a couple of saving graces. The bar is on the left side of the seating area, and the aforementioned coaster collection is featured around a large mirror.

As for the beers, the selection is decent. Black Forest offers 7 beers from a Light to a Robust Porter and Stout, along with the usual brewpub offerings and a couple interesting seasonals. There are also a few guest taps available. The beers are available in a sampler as well.

Service here is solid. The bartender was well-versed in the beers that are on draught and was happy to fill us in a little on the history of the establishment.

The only food we had here was an appetizer called Brew Haus Nacho Fries and frankly it was unique and delicious.

Overall I am happy to have stumbled across this place. Putting aside the lack of imagination on the interior design, the beers and food make up for it. I would definitely visit again.

Oct 15, 2006
Photo of BeerFink
BeerFink from Ohio

3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

To be fair, there was a wedding reception upstairs and a wedding anniversary downstairs. We only saw the ground level, which wasn't very impressive. I am willing to go back and re-review this place on another night.

Overall, the Black Forest Brew Haus was a bit of a disappointment. My fiance and I ended a night in Frankenmuth here, and were hoping for a cool place to relax for the remainder of the evening. First of all, the overall atmosphere of the place was more on par with a Ponderosa or a Denny's than a brewpub. We first arrived around 10pm, which should be a great time for a brewpub, but the staff seemed half-asleep and the rest of the patrons seemed lethargic as well. The "entertainment" was a really lame acoustic singer doing Bob Dylan type stuff to a drum machine background. Not exactly a cool place to be a on a Friday night.

Although I was skeptical, we stayed for a few beers and my fiance ordered their Black Forest cheesecake, which we both thought was very good. I don't think its fair, however to rate the food based on a dessert, so that was left with N/A. Their best offering in my opinion was their American IPA. Although they didn't have a huge selection of beers on tap, the range was decent, and I was happy to see that the beers weren't served ice cold. They were actually served a bit warmer than most places (which could have been due to our sluggish server), but it was appreciated.

Even though I was a little disappointed by this brewpub, I will give them the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to the two receptions they were hosting that night. The beers were only $3.50 a pint, and were tasty enough to warrant a return trip to re-evaluate the next time I'm in Frankenmuth.

Bottom line - don't expect a great place to hang out, but stop in and enjoy their beers if you are in the area already.

May 14, 2006
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A place owned by the Sullivan family that owned a few family restaurants around the Saginaw/Bay Caity areeas when I was kid not sure how many there is around the area now.Anyways it sits right across from the tourist trap known as Bronners I took many trips there as a kid as I grew up only twenty minutes away and both of my sisters are managers there now ok enough of all that to the place.We showed up at 4:05 and they open at 4:00 for dinner hours during the week wow this place was huge and with nobody in there it seemed maybe larger than it was, a decent size bar greets you in the dining room with alot of tables situated trhu out it trys to come off with a German flair but doesnt really in my mind.Our server was a trainee and a recent graduate of CMU and he seemed very nervous and liked telling me and my wife his life story but he was harmless and at times amusing,the beers available ranged from a very good German doppelbock,to an English mild wich was quite good as well.Sullivans was always known for their fish and chips as I recall so my wife ordered the fish sandwich wich was large and very good I got the locally made brat with sauerkraut wich was also very good (it should be here in Frakenmuth) the artichoke dip appetizer was pretty good as well.This place has a big banquet hall attached and hold live music there with Bobby blue Bland coming soon and recently had Johnny Winter two blues legends wish I could have seen them.Anyways when in the touristy town of Frankenmuth hit this place up.

May 10, 2006
Photo of nortmand
nortmand from Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +26.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Nice open place with plenty of lighting and not noisy. Perfect for gathering with friends.

All the beers I've sampled have been decent, but the IPA, Porter and Imperial Stout were fantastic, considering that this is sort of a kitschy tourist Frankenmuth place. They go beyond the Bavarian theme and serve a wide variety of appreciable brews.

Food was good, but the appetizers are where the german theme ends. While the sausage and pretzels appetizers are good, authentic German, the regular menu is severely lacking in good German choices. The closest they have is a smoked pulled pork sandwich, which is tasty, but I would definitely like to see some schnitzel.

Jan 08, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327 from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I've been going to this place at least once a year since 2003, and i've never written a beerfly review. Time to get to it!

This place is off the Main St. lane of Frankenmuth shops and stores, right near Bronner's Christmas Wonderland. Nice presentation, as the decor fits the German themed town very well.

The atmosphere is do-able. Nothing special, but not lacking either. A nice view of the brewing facilities from a dozen or so booths was well thought out. An appealing bar is also noted, with plenty of taps and seats.

The overall quality of the beers is quite good, considering this place is nearly unknown. Each beer was appropriate to the style and well crafted. It's obvious the guy making this beer cares about quality. The food is very good as well, with a wide variety of items from Surf and Turf, to burgers, brats and even Italian. Nice.

Service was cool. The waitress seemed to know about the beers and the menu, and offered man options when it came to food preparation. Definitly a step above what i've had at some other establishments.

Selection is good. You'll find something for everyone, including the kids (kid's menu is available). I could eat here several times a week and have something totally different each time. I like that.

Quality of the food was very good. I had the weekend lunch buffet, and every thing I had was great. The brats, beans, salads, potatoes, chicken, it was all very good and easily worth the 10 bucks I spent on it.

Overall value is great. Good beer, good prices, good food and good service. Wish this place was closer to my home. If you're on I-75, it's a 5 jot off the highway. Give them a try nextime you're in Mid-Michigan.

Dec 11, 2005
Photo of beerhog
beerhog from Michigan

4.03/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

11-17-2005. The family and I stopped by for supper and a few drinks. I started of with a nice Porter. Yum. The menu had lots to offer for those trying to stay on a budget all the way up to high brow.The facility was very nice and clean and atmosphere was pleasing. Live musical entertainment was playing at a soothing volume. Our server was friendly but maybe could have been a bit more timely. Next I had an Irish Red ale. Very good. The food was in generous portions and left me with no complaints. No complaints heard from the rest of the family either and considering we had an 8 and a 9 year old with us that's impressive. I could see the Brewer working away in the brewing area and once he sat down to rest I approached him to pay him complement on his handywork. He introduced himself as Andy Rathaus. He seemed very friendly and humble. He offered me free samples of other styles which I accepted ofcourse. After about 10 minutes of conversation I thought I should get back to my family. He never seemed uncomfortable with the exchange.
So I got supper for four with two beers for myself and two girly drinks for my wife. I had two half gallon growlers filled with their newest offerings in beer and left a tip. Total bill $80.00. I can only consider that reasonable.

Nov 18, 2005
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CRJMellor from Arkansas

3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Interesting place right across the street from Bronner's X-mas wonderland. If you ever find your unfortunate self by this place walk across the road and have a beer. Place is nothing special as far as atmosphere. More geared as a restaurant for the tourist masses but small bar and lokks like a nice outdoor patio.
Beer selection was decent as they don't go for the standard line-up that typical tourist place would do. They produce a few differenet styles and the brewer seems to be into a few different types.
Didn't try the food but the menu looked decnt and deep.

Mar 21, 2004
Black Forest Brew Haus & Grill in Frankenmuth, MI
Brewery rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 79 ratings