Downtown Detroit

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by TomCat11, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I'll be traveling to Detroit next month (mid March) staying downtown . Looking to get a list of recommendations for breweries and bars/restaurants/food with solid MI selections. Maybe even a good spot to grab some bottles to enjoy while there. Hotel I'm staying at is flexible so below are a few choices I have. Would prefer spots within walking distance (1 - 1 1/2 miles max) to where I choose to stay. Which hotel is the most centrally located to the most recommended spots. Last time I was in Detroit was 2015 and the only brewery I had time to check out was Detroit Beer Co.. Was hoping to check out Atwater and Jolly Pumpkin but didn't have the time. Thanks in advance!

    POSSIBLE HOTELS
    - Hilton Garden Inn Downtown
    - Doubletree Fort Shelby (where I stay at in 2015)
    - Marriott at Renaissance Ctr.
    - Courtyard Downtown

    **Not sure how much the day of the week or time of day would help but I'll be arriving on a Wednesday around lunch and then would have Wednesday evening as well as Thursday evening. Where I live in VA most breweries are closed on Mondays and do not open until 4pm during the week**
     
    #1 TomCat11, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
  2. apendecto

    apendecto Initiate (79) Mar 31, 2009 Michigan

    I'm not doing too much digging for you, but Hop Cat has a ton of beer in tap. Jolly Pumpkin is nearby and cool as well. Breweries are pretty weak in Detroit.

    Who knows if this is in the area or not but Slows BBQ has a huge selection of beer. I'd pass on the food and get there after the rush for drinks.
     
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  3. mbockstruck30

    mbockstruck30 Disciple (330) Dec 31, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, Jolly Pumpkin and Hop Cat are going to be two of your better options right in downtown. Last time I was in town, I hit up a newer brewery called Batch Brewing. Nothing amazing, but a good vibe and the brewers are very excited to chat with people who know beer. So worth checking out.
     
  4. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Didn't expect much digging. Just feedback from someone who knows the area well. I have already done some research and just trying to narrow places down or areas of downtown would be the best to stay based on what beer spots are nearby. I did check out Slow's on my visit in '15 but the food was forgettable. Beer selection was good though.8 Degrees Plato appears to be the best (and possibly only) shop for bottles downtown. If I end up going towards Jolly Pumpkin and HopCat then I will check them out.

    Thanks for that. I had both of those on my list. Have been to HopCat in GR and it's pretty good. I figure the week I'm in town will be the same that KBS hits taplines so one I'll try to catch to see if it's worth it again this year to grab bottles once it hits shops in VA on April 1st. Batch Brewing is also one I have heard a good amount about. Said they make some solid beer and are the newer kids on the block. Not really expecting anything amazing but really looking for good beer that does not get distributed to Virginia and being around people who know beer.
     
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  5. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
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    Jolly Pumpkin, Great Lakes Coffee, Batch, Slows BBQ, Grand Trunk, Hop Cat, motor city brewing (average beer, great tap room)

    Seva is a veg restaurant with a decent but small tap list, but a great half off all draft hour.

    8 degrees Plato is the best bottle shop in the City of Detroit proper and has a nice tap list as well. The Whole foods can be hit or miss for bottles. Ask at the cheese counter if they have any rare beers held back

    Downtown and mid town are booming, these are just a few that I know of but I am old and can't keep up..
     
  6. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
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    A few of those are outside of The walking range you asked for, but you can take the people mover train to the far north stop and walk into mid-town. Use big city common sense when walking in Detroit. Walk up Woodward to err on the side of caution if you do make the trek from downtown to mid town
     
  7. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Good info. I assumed Woodward would be a good bet walking and was curious how the area was to midtown. I walked from the Doubletree to Detroit Beer Co. and by Comerica last time and that did not seem too bad but that was as far as I went.
     
  8. K-jack211

    K-jack211 Initiate (180) Jun 22, 2014 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Use Uber. Hopcat, Jolly Pumpkin, and 8 Degrees Plato are all at least a half hour walk from any of the hotels you're considering. If you stay at the Doubletree, Batch (and the rest of Corktown) is only about a 15 minute walk. You'd also be able to walk to Grand Trunk (good beer bar) and the Detroit Beer Co. without too much trouble.
     
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  9. apendecto

    apendecto Initiate (79) Mar 31, 2009 Michigan

    Corktown is also good for Two James distillery. Do yourself a favor and get a shawarma from Bucharest Grill.
     
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  10. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
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    Depends on the mind set. Sometimes walking is part of the fun when traveling.

    It is less than a mile from the Grand Circus People Mover station to 8 Degrees. Have a few drafts and walk a few blocks up to Hopcat and Jolly Pumpkin. Catch an Uber back.

    It will be nice when the M-1 line opens, you can quickly take the train up. It is almost open but I don't think it will be open on time for OP.
     
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  11. ClarkstonMark

    ClarkstonMark Initiate (149) Feb 21, 2016 Michigan
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    Seriously! Get a chicken shawarma at Buch
     
  12. Breaking_Beard

    Breaking_Beard Initiate (67) Oct 17, 2014 Michigan
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    Skip Atwater. Seriously.
     
  13. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
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    Yeah. That's sort of my mindset when traveling to places I don't visit regularly. It's nice to walk not only to work off what I'm drinking but also allows me to see more of what's in the area. A lot of under the radar gems have been found by just going it on foot from place to place if it's convenient enough. I can make a list of places I want to check out based on some research but there's likely some local spots that are well worth uncovering. I don't mind a 20-30 minute walk either. Helps me pace myself more. :slight_smile:

    Good to know. Atwater is the one farthest out and in the wrong direction of most other spots I am looking at. When I was up 2 years ago, though, that was a popular recommendation.
     
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  14. Billet

    Billet Aspirant (251) Dec 17, 2013 Michigan

    Depends on what you like, Atwater has some solid German style Lagers and Pilsners.
     
  15. 98green

    98green Savant (980) Jun 13, 2014 Michigan
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    Completely agree
     
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  16. 98green

    98green Savant (980) Jun 13, 2014 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Also, if you are hitting that Jolly Pumpkin/Motor City Brew Works block, might as well hit Traffic Jam and Snug.

    The beer isn't worth a trip just for that stop, but worth a visit if you are in the area. They have been there forever and the vibe is very old school (or maybe just very old).
     
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  17. BrewUrbanist

    BrewUrbanist Initiate (152) May 11, 2012 Wisconsin

    Visited Detroit for the first time last Spring and was able to visit Batch Brewing just SW of downtown. Walkable (in my opinion) from most downtown hotels. Laid back taproom w/ pretty solid beers.

    Also - Mudgie's is a solid deli around the corner from Batch if you're looking for a low-key meal.
     
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  18. lftwng4

    lftwng4 Initiate (180) Oct 12, 2007 Ohio

    Also, John Brannon(ex Negative Approach, ex Laughing Hyenas, current Easy Action) used to work there, might still.
     
  19. mike409

    mike409 Aspirant (220) Jan 25, 2012 Michigan
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    there is a place across from Batch call brewed detroit or something along those lines.

    Skip Atwater.

    only place for bottles near you is 8 degrees.

    Spend your time at Hopcat.

    Get a schwarma
     
  20. steebo777

    steebo777 Zealot (511) Jun 30, 2009 Michigan

    This is the correct quick answer for sure.
     
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  21. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (1,983) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan
    Premium Member

    Agreed: Bucharest. If you're in Corktown, also: go to Batch Brewing. Brew Detroit is down there, too. You can get Stroh's Bohemian Pilsner on tap. Green Dot Stables is in/near Corktown, awesome fries and sliders and good beer selection. Nemo's is a long-time staple.

    And there's a Granite City in the Ren Cen. They usually have some good local stuff, but not really anything exclusive.
     
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  22. Gemini6

    Gemini6 Devotee (471) Oct 5, 2013 Michigan
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    I concur with the above.
    8° Plato for bottles.
    HopCat and Slows for extensive taplists and solid dinners.
    Batch Brewing and Jolly Pumpkin for some unique brews (JP has good pizza, too).
    Bucharest and Mudgies for affordable, portable food.
    Honest Johns and Brooklyn Street Local for your hangover breakfast.
    Bobcat Bonnies for a little of everything.
     
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  23. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
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    Sorry to be the bearer if bad news, but the downtown Bucharest moved to the river front. There is no longer a walkable Bucharest for downtown visitors.

    What a shame too, because a grill named after a Central European city makes the best middle Eastern sandwichs in town. Total Detroit melting pot food.
     
  24. a_beckman25

    a_beckman25 Disciple (352) Jan 27, 2013 Michigan
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    Personally I would say take the time to drive to Kuhnhenn Brewing. Some of the best beers in Michigan and plenty of stuff to take home. Bottles, howlers, growlers, they do amazing meads and flavored wines as well. Not walking distance so that might ruin it for u but if u are looking for quality check Kuhnhenn out! www.kbrewery.com
     
  25. ClarkstonMark

    ClarkstonMark Initiate (149) Feb 21, 2016 Michigan
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    I would not let that stop anyone from heading to one of the 3 other locations.
    But the one on Park was awesome!
     
  26. mike409

    mike409 Aspirant (220) Jan 25, 2012 Michigan
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    I was referring to the one in corktown...
     
  27. cbjfan

    cbjfan Initiate (122) Apr 24, 2014 Ohio

    After a couple recent trips to detroit area for wings games, i would second the Kuhnhenn idea. Also in Warren, Dragonmead was fun, they had probably 25-30 of their brews on tap and I believe they did mead as well. Ended up in Royal Oak too and went to Bastone, not so much kid oriented as it was a restaurant but some good belgian brew and really good belgian cuisine. Witch's Hat in South Lyon was a nice beer place as well.
     
  28. apendecto

    apendecto Initiate (79) Mar 31, 2009 Michigan

    Yeah, too bad. The good news is the "new" multiple locations.
     
  29. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
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    Next week is the week. I'll be in town the 15-17. Probably won't head to Warren to check out Kuhnhenn since rough trip would over an hour after I take into account eating/drinking up there. Since Wed is really my only day to explore I'll be sticking to Downtown / Midtown. Bucharest is definitely on my list of food stops when I arrive. I see HopCat is releasing KBS on Monday so while it may be gone by the day I arrive I'm guessing it may show up elsewhere during the week. While I've had it every year for quite a few years now and it's always consistent in quality I may try to grab that just to get a tick for this year before it releases outside of MI the first week of April.

    Good news is stops don't necessarily need to be walkable now. I'll have transportation so a trip to midtown is easily doable. Any other new/recent releases I should be on the look out for?
     
  30. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
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    Keep your eye on the 8 Degress Plato Detroit FB page for releases. They get The vast majority of, if not all, beers released in Michigan. If you are going to midtown, a stop there should be on your list anyway. They have a nice tap list for beers in house or growler fills, and all bottles or cans can be bought as a single.

    https://www.facebook.com/8-Degrees-Plato-Detroit-283379185150005/

    Bucharest is not a fancy sit down restaurant, but it is the best schwarma around so enjoy.
     
    #30 moshea, Mar 7, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  31. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
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    Thanks! I actually saw 8 Degrees post yesterday that their KBS release is the 15th at 4pm (draft) / 6pm (bottles). This works out great since it's the day I get into town and was planning to swing by a shop when I arrived to snag some local bottles (singles) to enjoy at the hotel during the stay. I'm not so much interested in the bottles since I'm not planning to bring anything home with be so hopefully it won't be too packed to at least grab a draft pour.
     
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  32. Acinonyx

    Acinonyx Initiate (136) Mar 8, 2017 Michigan
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    Get the truffle fries if you go to Jolly Pumpkin.
     
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  33. apendecto

    apendecto Initiate (79) Mar 31, 2009 Michigan

    Wait, you'll be there for Green Beer Day? Scrap most of those plans and hang out in Corktown.
     
  34. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
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    I will be leaving on Friday. Really just Wed afternoon/evening and Thursday evening to venture out
     
  35. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
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    What's the parking situation like in midtown? Specifically 8 Degrees Plato, HopCat and Jolly Pumpkin? Their own lots, metered street parking, free parking, garages....
     
  36. goast8127

    goast8127 Disciple (382) Oct 15, 2010 Michigan
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    8 Degrees has street parking and free parking directly across the street in the school lot. The other two you're looking at metered street parking, paid lots or structures, or $7 valet at HopCat if available.
     
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  37. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
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    Thanks for the info!
     
  38. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
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    Good luck with metered street parking. Meter parking was tough to find even in the bleakest Detroit days as Wayne State is in midtown.

    Metered parking is even tougher now that midtown is booming. Plato lot is fine, but on the south side of midtown. Hopcat is pretty centrally located for that part of town and the 7 bucks to park may be worth it,
     
  39. TomCat11

    TomCat11 Devotee (469) Jul 21, 2012 Virginia
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    I figured parking may be a premium with WSU right there. I'm sure I'll find something. Probably do midtown Wed evening so I can swing through 8 Degrees Plato to try KBS then head to HopCat for dinner. I will need lunch when I get into town so I may also head up to Jolly Pumpkin then check out Motor City and Traffic Jam or I'll just stick closer to downtown and grab food from Bucharest then swing to Batch. I see Brew Detroit is nearby here and they don't open until 4 so I may hold that off until Thursday though.

    One thing that was nice to see when I was looking at hours over the weekend was most breweries where I'll be open at 11am so I have a lot of time to decide how to go about making a few rounds with the availability I've got.
     
  40. moshea

    moshea Devotee (433) Jul 16, 2007 Michigan
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    If you are a music fan, be sure to stop at Jack White's Third Man Records, it is two doors down form Jolly Pumpkin