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Beer garden in the Detroit area?

  • d

Seeing how it's looking mighty pleasant out today, I was curious to see what beer gardens the board would recommend in the metro Detroit area. Preferrably close to work (downtown Detroit) or home (Ferndale), but I will consider anything.

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  1. Good question...I always try to think of outdoor places to go in Metro Detroit and I come up stymied!! There's always the WAB (Woodward ave Brewery) in Ferndale, I think the Whitney has its garden party on Thurs, Agave has an outdoor bar in back, Tom's Oyster Bar has an outdoor upstairs (not sure when it is open), Hockeytown has the open upstairs. In Troy, I always forget that Camp Ticonderoga has an open rear porch (their food is iffy). Big Rock in Birmingham has some outdoor places. Of course, there's Royal Oak...

    1. on friday, my daughters wanted to eat outside. my wife and i took them to one of our favorite summer spots - rochester mills brewery in downtown rochester. decent fish & chips, cuban sandwich (and a hot dog and chicken fingers...) plus a nice doppelbock, a very good i.p.a. and a decent lager.

      check out their sister place - the royal oak brewery which has a nice beer garden in the back. now if we could only get some outdoor seating at their third outpost downtown - detroit brewing company.

      1. While I wouldn't call it a beer garden, Amici's Pizza in Berkley has a tiny little vest pocket outdoor garden which is quite charming in nice weather, right behind the "Living Room" bar/seating area. Great food, neighborhood atmosphere.

        I thought I read that 24 seconds, the new sports bar also on 12 mile in Berkley was opening an upstairs/outdoor area.

        An, of course Como's--though it always seems to me you're ON Woodward Ave rather than sitting by Woodward...like the Italian lights at night, though...

        O'Mara's also totally reavamped its outdoor area--they had some good happy hour values as well on drinks. Nicely shaded, with lots of flowers in the warmer weather...

        Let me know if you find any great sites we can high our tails over to...

        1. It's still going to be nice out for at least a month or two so I was reminded of this article on dining al fresco in Detroit. Most of these places you could simply go for drinks.


          1. David, you might consider a drive out Lakeshore, through the Grosse Points, to patios at Fishbones on Nine Mile and Jefferson, or Pat O'Briens at 10 and Jefferson. The only drawback to these two are their patios front the street, with little ambience. Beach Grill also has a nice patio overlooking the small marina. Its at Jefferson, just about two blocks north(east?)of Fishbones.

            There's a nice Tex-Mex restaurant on Mack in Grosse Pointe Park, Sierra Station that has "courtyard" drinking and dining also.

            Good luck in your search.

            1. David--Motor City Brewery on 2nd and Canfield is my favorite. Plus you can drink a ton of beer and magically not be hungover---I don't understand it. On Wednesdays they have art shows and movies on Mondays, but you can hang out anytime on the upstairs patio or the one on the side of the bar at ground level. there are only a few tables at each but it's not a super-crowded place in general until very late, typically. No hard liquor--just home-brewed beer and a few wines.

              1. There are beer gardens and then there are beer gardens. For a little different take on what's been suggested here, you might think about German Park on Pontiac outside of Ann Arbor. I think they only open to the public on the 3rd Saturday of June, July and August, but it's a good time. Food is all German, served cafeteria/buffet-style. Beer is high-quality, German, and plentiful. Where else can you sit down with a bucket of Spaten Optimator and enjoy some polka?


                7 Replies
                1. re: gromit

                  I second this one. I was going to post it but couldn't remember the name. It's on Pontiac Trail near North Terratorial Rd.

                  1. re: gromit

                    Quote: Where else can you sit down with a bucket of Spaten Optimator and enjoy some polka?

                    Well - one could try one of the festivals at the German-American Marksmen's Club in Auburn Hills. Their Oktoberfest is coming up on the 23rd of September... The Polka they've got covered and I'm pretty sure the Spaten was flowing at their Schützenfest back in July!

                    1. re: Wildschwein

                      Good to know...

                      But do they serve it in a bucket? (just curious - always thought this was a peculiarity of German Park)


                      1. re: gromit

                        In regards to the bucket – mmmmm, I don't think so... By the way, could you be more descriptive about the bucket? I'm just curious. I don't recall these from my last (and only) visit to German Park, but of course, that was some 15 years ago. Could be suds induced memory issues ;-)

                        1. re: Wildschwein

                          The bucket... is a little plastic pail with handle and lid. The lid has a punched-out opening to facilitate easy pouring. I'd estimate the volume to be approximately 1-1.5 L, perhaps more (it's short and squat, makes volume estimating tricky - at least for me). Add to that the choice of some fine German brews, including Spaten Optimator and Franziskaner - both on draft - and you've got yourself a recipe for some serious gemutlichkeit. Perhaps not as authentically festive as a boot, but it's tough to complain.

                          Prosit, g'suffa, and all that!

                      2. re: Wildschwein

                        Since it's that time of year... I stumbled back on this thread while searching for the facts on THIS year's Oktoberfest in Auburn Hills. The 2007 fest will be held on Saturday the 15th of September. I can assure you the beer was fine at the last event. If I recall, it was Spaten Oktoberfest that was flowing that evening. Found my info at www.dasv.org...

                        1. re: Wildschwein

                          Thanks for the tip. I'm definitely up for advice on Oktoberfest events from someone named "Wildschwein." Pork out, dude. Prosit!

                    2. Though not a beer garden at all in the sense that being outside is there is dangerous , I would suggest The Dakota Inn Rathskellar on John R between Seven Mile and McNichols . Yes , it's in a neighborhood that makes Baghdad look quaint , but hey , this is Detroit after all . Awesome beer selection , authentic ( if a little old fashioned ) German food , and you have to sing ! What could be better ? An organ player sits in a giant empty beer barrel and sings while a slide show (!?!?) displays the words on a screen so everyone can all sing along . Plus , the super long picnic style tables mean you almost have to be friendly and interact with your fellow drinkers ( I mean guests ) .They close down for a few weeks in the summer , I think to go back to the old country ( or maybe Traverse City ) , but Octoberfest is just around the corner . I know they are open in September . It's been up and running continously since shortly after the end of Prohibition , so they must be doing something right . Well worth the scary drive down John R . A true piece of Detroit history . And they have Rueben soup . Mmm . And sausage combo platters , and potato pancakes , and smoked double pork chops , and , and ... Optimator on tap .It's good to live here .

                      1. It's a little bit of a drive from Detroit, but there's a brand new beer garden in Ypsilanti called The Corner Brewery.

                        It's run by the same fine people who run Arbor Brewing in Ann Arbor.

                        Website: http://www.cornerbrewery.com/


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ebraun

                          The outdoor seating at the Sidetrack in Ypsi is also nice ... try to get a table on the side of the building, right by the train tracks. Good house-brewed beer; excellent burgers and sandwiches.

                        2. The Clarkston Union is Clarkston has a great beer selection and a small patio area.
                          Plus, Sept. 23 is their 11th annual Oktoberfest - will be a great time.

                          1. In Royal Oak (of course!) you have Bastone, Lily's Seafood and Royal Oak Brewing. I wish Bastone had more room out front but I do love their food.

                            1. want to be surrounded by a healthy mix of returning college students and old-school townies, try Dominicks in Ann Arbor. Beer garden meets Italian taverna, with 3 different outdoor seating areas, but try to get a table in the back. Some might be turned off by the venerable (read grungy) atmosphere. Sophistication is not the watchword here, heck all the beverages are served in or drunken out of various sized mason jars. But it is a truly beloved spot that occupies a special place in many an Ann Arborite's heart. Avoid the sangria, snag a half-gallon of Bell's instead.