Old Hat Brewery & Grill

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

114 N Main St
Lawton, Michigan, 49065
United States

(269) 624-6445

// CLOSED //

Closed Dec. 18, 2011.

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Ratings: 10 |  Reviews: 10
Photo of jale
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Strange, in a funny sort of way. Located in a one horse town I was'nt sure what to expect. You walk into a seedy looking local bar. This is a place you think the good stuff would be PBR. They have food I think but was hesitant to try any. The beer on the other hand is rather good and not just because I was afraid to go missing if I did'nt like it. Now it was daylight and I was with friends and I left the car running so I was'nt worried. This place is only 10 minutes off I-94 and is across the street from a really good beer bar so it was worth the extra few minutes drive time. But only in daylight, and with friends, and with the car running. Just joking. Well sort of.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.54/5  rDev -31%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/27/2010.

An odd place. A decent brewpub stuck in the middle of a very small, poor, rural town. I got there close to opening time and there were only regulars there. As a beer traveler, I definitely felt out of place even though this brewpub does make beer good enough to attract travelers. Maybe it was the time of day, I don't know, but the atmosphere was definitely off-putting. The service was poor and was the reason I only stayed for 1 beer (see review on RB for the story...). A disappointing stop and a place I certainly wouldn't consider a "beer destination" unless you live within 10 miles.

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Photo of alleykatking
2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3

Stopped off here on the Sunday beer tour in Michigan.

A- Seemed pretty nice when we walked in. Band was playing covers in the far part of the area. Mugs were all over the place with peoples names on them up to clever sayings like Pussy Wizard. Just a little hole in the wall brewpub with a interesting take on it.

Q- The quality of the beer for me was a little on the downside. The beers were very watery and not much to the style they were suppose to be. Muted aromas and well the flavors were a little watery. Overall just a little above average flavor wise.

S- Bartender was a little on the rude side. Asked for a sampler tray and was told in a crappy manner that they didn't do them. Someone else in my party asked about stikers at which point the bartender huffed and said they were in the back and she didn't have the time to run back there. But the kicker was she served one person after and then just talked to some other bar patrons. Felt like we were more of a hassle than anything else even though we dropped 100 bucks or so.

S- The selection was decent with many different beers on tap. They seemed to be more German style(s) than anything else but only a couple of different non-German beers.

I was expecting a little more than what we got here. The beers were bland but still it wasn't that bad. The people there kept staring at us like we were some sort of freaks which was ok still. The bartender who made us feel like we were wasting her time because we asked for beers was complete bullshit though and made the overall experiance here wasted for the most part.

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Photo of BeerNuggets
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

On a tour through michigan brewpubs, this was quite the surprise.

It had a wonderful comfortable atmosphere in a cozy town.

We were greeted promptly at the door and the bartender was very knowledgeable about everything in the brewpub.

My wife and I ordered the reuben sandwich and the lug nut brown ale.
What a perfect complement!! The reuben was delicious and it was a huge serving.

We took home a growler of the lug nut and our family went nuts over it. (no pun intended)

We are taking our family to this hidden jewel on our next trip through MI.

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Photo of Bung
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This is a neat old place. Good brews, the 3 or so times I've been there. Focused more on traditional German recipes, but had some good darker stuff too. Food is a step up from pub grub. Used to stop in here traveling between Kalamazoo and St. Joseph. Good to see the local community supports it. A brew pub in a town this size would normally be out of business in under a year. The only reason places like this stay in business is because Michigan has had a respect/need for good beer longer than many other areas of the country.
I'm pretty sure Larry Bell has been away from this place for a while.

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Photo of DownDaHatch
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place is well worth the stop off of the interstate if you are traveling in Michigan. As with the other posters, Larry Bell is...was..involved with this place. Lawton is this quiet little town in Southwestern Michigan but has two outstanding beer places. Old Hat and Big T's. How can this town support them both? The ambiance and general vibe iof the place is cool. Most everyone in there are beer geeks and such. It is just bustling enough to make you want to stay. 7-8 beers on tap. All were outstanding as you may imagine because of the Bell's moniker. IPA, Porter and Seasonal were tasted.

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Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This place was off the beaten path, but well worth a stop off I-94. It was on the way home after a wedding, so we stopped in for lunch. Lawton is a one-stoplight town, and i'm not sure there's even one actual stoplight. The main strip had a sort of old-timey saloon feel to it, thankfully Old Hat was not too played-up in that direction.

The interior has plenty of old wood and brick walls, copper, cozy tables and booths with a view of the street outside. Taps behind the bar had quirky handles, like an engine-red fire hydrant and a carved wizard face. Beer styles seemed pretty traditional, nothing too crazy. No IPA or Belgian styles, more German/English varieties. We sat at a booth and had some appetizers and beers. It's worth mentioning that there is at least one gluten-free beer here (bees knees) and gluten-free pizza options. There was a small stage in back for live music, and a large window toward the back where brewing equipment could be seen. A small patio had tables outside too.

Service was friendly, the bartender (maybe the owner) was also the server, and knew quite a bit about their beers. Check it out if you are in the area, it has that small town charm.

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Photo of aforbes10
4/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Lawton is just a small town, but it really is surprizing how much good beer is there. We visited to go to both Big T and to Old Hat this weekend and both places more than exceeded our expectations. Old Hat used to be owned by Larry Bell and is now run by a former brewer of his (that's the word on the street, anyway).

So we come in and there are about 8 people at the very attractive bar that's decorated with, you guessed it, old hats. There are a number of booths and so we tell the bartender that we're here for dinner and he ushers us over to one of those. Turns out that he's our waiter as well. He gives us as many samplers as we want so we can decide what to drink and everything is pretty good. We both went for the dopplebock that knocked us on our asses since we hadn't eaten yet (very tasty, though). They had about 8 beers available, including a light maple ale, a pretty hoppy pale ale, the dopplebock, a cherry beer of some sort, an alt, and one or two more. They also had homemade soda and wine on tap. Like at Bells, you can get any of the beers in 3 sizes, all pretty inexpensive.

I think we had 3 beers each and they were all well made and tasty. Food was also very, very good and extremely inexpensive. Try the fried macaroni and cheese.

So, yeah, go to Old Hat. It's great.

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Photo of deejaydan
4/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Nice little brewery in a very small town in Michigan. Well lit bar, a few high top tables, and a few booths along one wall. The brewing equipment is behind some big windows so that you can look into them. I've heard that this was owned by Larry Bell of Bell's fame, but he had to sell it off once Bell's expanded due to Michigan's licenseing laws. Normally have 7 or so on tap. No bottles at this time, but they do offer growlers. Lots of beautiful wood in this place, and posters featuring, what else but hats! Copper sheet covers the bar. Seems and feels like a mostly local hangout. Beers that I've had there are good, slightly experimental but not too far off of classic styles, featuring lagers, with a few ales as well. Food menu looked good, but we had already eaten, so we didn't order anything. I was impressed with the fact that there is usually a bock on tap (rare amongst Michigan Breweries), and a Vienna Lager. Bartender was friendly, however my complaint was with the door guy. We showed up at 8 on a friday night to try some beer. The door guy/bouncer came up to us to ask if we were staying for the band, and if we were, we would have to pay cover. WTF!! Every other place I've been in the rule is if you are in before the band start, you don't pay. All in all, not a bad place to stop by just about 4-5 miles south of 94.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Real local brewpub with clientle to match. Formerly owned by Kalamazoo Brewing. Had to divest due to volume restrictions. Closed from Jan through May '03. 3 barrel brew house with glass visible from bar/restaurant. Decent size bar and about 10 booths and equal number of tables. Have live music about 3 nights per week. Theme is Old Hats (surpise, huh !)
Beer is good/very good. High quality, brewer is partial to German style. Recent visit included a Kolsch, Vienna, Alt and Dopplebock (which was very good) Menu is very pub oriented with select sandwiches, soups and appetizers. Food is average to little bit above average. Seems as if they are really trying to get better and improve.
Overall, if your in the K-zoo area or if you are driving across I-94 and looking for a beer, take a brief detour and stop by.
(Exit 60, Michigan Rte. 40, 4 miles south to Lawton, on the left side in the downtown area.

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Old Hat Brewery & Grill in Lawton, MI
Brewery rating: 2.92 out of 5 with 0 ratings
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