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Perrin Brewing Company – Comstock Park, Michigan

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One of the hidden gems on our recent trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the National Homebrewers Conference was hands down Perrin Brewing Co. in nearby Comstock Park. With a bit of downtime from the conference, we decided to rent a car and drive to Kalamazoo to visit Bell’s Eccentric Cafe and a couple smaller nearby breweries. On the way back from that venture, which will of course be getting it’s own post, we remembered that a bartender at Hop Cat had mentioned Perrin to us. A quick consult with Google Maps showed that it was basically on the way back to Grand Rapids, so to Perrin we went.

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Pulling into the parking lot it was certainly nothing like we expected. Fairly secluded in more of an industrial, office area, the facility itself is huge, with plenty of space devoted to a brewpub/tasting room with ample indoor and outdoor seating. The brewery is under the same roof, albeit behind glass, so you can see your beer being made as you drink it. We took a seat outside as it was a nice breezy day that had dandelion petals floating everywhere. Side note to anyone from Michigan: What is with that? Everywhere we went there were dandelion petals just chilling in the wind; even in the city where we didn’t see any actual flowers in the ground. Wild. Anyway, the space itself is very open with a rustic vibe and the outdoor seating was a nice touch, but the standout here was the delicious, delicious beer. Honestly the brewpub probably could be in an abandoned warehouse (and not the hip kind) and still be crowded.

 

Like many other breweries and bars in Michigan, you can purchase samples (around 4 oz.) of any beer at Perrin. This was great for us because it allows you to try a wider variety of beers and is especially helpful in a place like Perrin that had over 20 beers on tap, all of which were enticing. Also similar to most of the other breweries we visited, the menu was broken into “tiers” with each beer tier having a different price. This made browsing fairly interesting as few lists were grouped by beer styles. Semantics, as we never had trouble ordering and this was especially true at Perrin. Food is available too and though it looked good we can’t really comment on it, as we had already eaten lunch at Bell’s. Again, the beer ran away with the show.

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Their lineup has everything from IPA’s to fruit beers and a barrel aged series. Oh, and a malted milk ball imperial porter which is just as delicious as it sounds. We began modestly, ordering a sample or two each, but once we tasted them we just kept working our way through the menu. When all was said and done we probably tried 90% of the menu, which is where the sample sizes really helped us. There honestly wasn’t a bad one in the bunch and as a whole it was one of the most solid brewery tap lists we have ever encountered. We even tried their raspberry blonde, which is basically advertised as a beer dudes can give their non beer drinking wives, but it was sweet and fruity with just the right amount of berry tartness. Probably not one we would order again given the other options, but still.

Alicia’s standouts were the Kingdom of Tonka Vanilla Porter, which is made with vanilla beans from the South Pacific, and the Grapefruit IPA which is insane since she usually doesn’t even like IPA’s. If that beer was canned (or even bottled) and distributed on Long Island it would be absolutely perfect for the beach. Kevin also was a fan of the Grapefruit IPA with its balance of fruit, pulp, pith and hops. The Liger (formerly Rye of the Liger) was quite amazing too. It had a wonderful blend of spicy notes and hop characteristics and is a beer which like a real liger is a spectacular blend of radness.

Unfortunately, Perrin only occasionally bottles their beers in large format bottles and they are not widely distributed. However, you can find their stuff on tap around Michigan. On a positive note, this gives you an excuse to visit Grand Rapids and take a little drive out of Beer City USA to visit Perrin Brewing Co. Tip: give yourself at least an hour or two to spend here because once you see the menu you aren’t going to be in a hurry to move on.

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3 Responses to 'Perrin Brewing Company – Comstock Park, Michigan'

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  1. I’d never even heard of Perrin, and I live within 30 miles of the place!

    Their grapefruit IPA may be similar to Founders All Day IPA which has a distinct grapefruit note. And it DOES come in cans!

    HeyBeerDan

    2 Jul 14 at 5:17 pm

  2. Oh, and I’m thinking those weren’t dandelion “petals” in the air. More likely, they were seeds off cottonwood trees. They’re still in the air here in Michigan.

    HeyBeerDan

    3 Jul 14 at 9:10 am

  3. We are glad we could turn someone on to Perrin. We both think it is a fantastic brewery and well worth a visit. As fans of Founders All Day IPA (our glowing reviews of the canned: http://beerlovescompany.com/all-day-ipa-craft-can-founders-brewing-company-2014/ & bottled: http://beerlovescompany.com/all-day-ipa-founders-brewing-company-2013/ versions) we can safely say that Perrin’s grapefruit IPA is nothing like it. Both are excellent beers but the Grapefruit IPA is more in line with an IPA/Fruit Beer hybrid than a session IPA.

    Thank you for recommending All Day to us and for letting us know about the cottonwood trees. Walking around Grand Rapids (and Kalamazoo) and seeing all of the little white puffs floating around was very puzzling yet kinda magical.

    Hope you had a great Fourth of July!

    A+K

    6 Jul 14 at 8:13 am

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