As Atwater Block Brewery is the proud owner of a German brewing system and is home to a German brewmaster, it’s not a surprise that they’re one of the relatively few craft breweries in this country that brews a significant number of lager beer styles. Michigan Lager is their version of a German Pilsner. This light golden beer offers up scents of lightly sweet malts accompanied by a kiss of hops of the grassy, floral, somewhat lemony, variety. There’s a pear-like impression in the background, along with a mild but distinct aroma of hay that intensifies quite a bit with warmth. On the palate this super-quaffable pilsner offered a satisfying malt flavor with a tiny hint of fruit, the aforementioned hay character, and a moderate bitterness. Prost!
Atwater Block Brewery was founded in 1997, and is situated in the center of Detroit’s historic Rivertown District. The brewhouse itself is located within a refurbished factory warehouse originally built in 1919. Known for brewing several German-style lagers, Atwater appropriately utilizes imported Kasper-Schultz brewing equipment from Germany, allowing them to follow 200+ year old traditional German brewing techniques for their distinctive beers. In fact, all of their beers are brewed with imported German malts and hops, while their ales are given a more American flavor with the use of American hop varietals.
The brewery has changed ownership a few times. The original group that founded the brewery sold to a second set of owners who switched the name to “Stoney Creek Brewing Company.” Howard Hampton and Mark Rieth, the current owners, brought back the Atwater Block name when they took over in 2005, and they also retained Hazen Schumacher, the brewery’s original brewmaster from Germany.
The 18,000 square foot brewery features a large Tap Room, and formerly a restaurant. At the time of this writing, the brewery is transitioning to a new Tap Room location in the Foxtown district, which will feature forty different beers on draft, a food menu focused on beer, and a decor that celebrates Detroit’s robust brewing tradition that dates to the 1800s.
For more information on the brewery, Tap Room, and scheduled tours, call (313) 877-9205, or visit them at www.atwaterbeer.com.
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