Saugatuck Brewing Co. Beer Dinner at Hopcat Ann Arbor

welcoming beer
american brown ale ABV 5.5%


Classic brown, drinks a bit heavier than expected, hazelnut nose, good lacing, no bitterness. This beer would pair well with lots of food, so seems like a waste to use it as the welcome beer (3.75/5).

belgian-style tripel ABV 10%
paired with lobster bisque cheese ale soup


Super sweet. Yeasty nose. Does not drink like 10%. Borders on syrupy but doesn’t cross it. The cheese soup is lovely, but the sweetness of the soup and the beer just amplify one another (3.5/5). 

amber ale w/serrano peppers ABV 6.7%
paired with roasted red & yellow beet watercress salad topped with pistachios & goat cheese dressing


Really good balance of heat and flavor from the pepper. I wish this had been paired with the Bonfire Brown, as the nuttiness of each would’ve complemented each other. (4/5). 

oak barrel-aged brown ale ABV 7%
paired with grilled salmon & grand marnier cherry chutney


This is a stronger and barrel-aged version of the Bonfire Brown, though it drinks as much sweeter. The salmon was overcooked, and the chutney could have benefited from some acidity (3.5/5).

barrel-aged american stout w/ blueberry & maple syrup ABV 6%
paired with moose track mud pie


Pie is outrageously delicious, but the pairing missed the mark. Besides being the lightest stout I’ve seen, the blueberry overpowers any maple, which may be from the barrel aging (3/5). 

REVIEW based on SommBeer’s guidance

1. A coherent angle or theme: All beers were from Saugatuck Brewing Company (5/5)
2. Good beer: Using the average of the beer ratings (3.55/5)
3. Proper portions, proper pours: 6 oz pours were perfect (5/5)
4. Pairing the right beer for the food, the right food for the beer: This was the main weakness, and no pairings wowed me (1/5)
5. Atmosphere: Love the communal sitting, as we got to chat with the couples next to us; brewery rep being there is always a nice plus (5/5)

Overall: 19.55/25


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