“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: Bad people drink bad beer. Think about it.”
~ Hunter S Thompson – Rolling Stone gonzo journalist and famed drug abuser
I love beer. But in truth, I love good beer. Three or four times a week, you can find me perched atop a stool at Beards with a beer in my hand and a newly empty glass on the bar.
I am particularly fond of craft brews, and Northern Michigan is blessed with some of the state’s best brewpubs. Shorts, Beards, Petoskey Brewing, Cheboygan, Mackinaw Trail… If they brew it, I will come.
It’s a weekday afternoon, and my wife invites me to try Northern Michigan’s newest brew pub, Lake Charlevoix Brewery Company, who opened in June 2015.
The brewery is located just off the Beaver Island ferry dock and down a half flight of stairs. Dressed like an industrial warehouse, the place is outfitted in steel and lumber. Exposed shelves of wheat, barley, and hops sit just off the long bar. A mural of a Charlevoix sunset covers one full wall.
I skipped lunch, and I’m famished. When the waitress arrives I order a plate of surprisingly delicious tacos and a pint of the No Manners Smoked Stout. The menu reads…
No Manner’s Smoked Stout has a rich yet well balanced malt front, abruptly followed by an intense smokiness that rudely interrupts your taste buds. This smokiness is derived from the intriguing German Smoked Malt, which is quite addicting and keeps one coming back to their glass…sip after sip after sip. Be sure to try a pint while it lasts, when we are open of course.
I have a few favorite beers in Northern Michigan – Shorts’ famous Soft Parade; Beards Pomegalactic, Forked Up and Tree Blood; Mackinaw Trails Fudged Up Stout, and Petoskey Brewing Company’s Grapefruit Shandy and Up In Smoke Porter. Lake Charlevoix’s No Manners is now added to that list.
This is a fabulous beer! Obsidian black with a creamy head. A rich bouquet of coffee and smoke that lingers throughout the entire taste, although never overpowers. Coffee, chocolate and smoky flavors that are in perfect balance. My goal was to try three of four of the beers and I was really intrigued by the Nutty Hobo Brown Ale. But after one pint of the No Manners, I was left wanting a second and then a third. This beer is addicting, and hopefully one of their regular offerings.
Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company is located at 111 Bridge Park Dr. in downtown Charlevoix (across from the Beaver Island Ferry Dock). They offer a pub menu, wine, cocktails and outdoor seating.