Wolverine State Brewing Co.

. August 31, 2015.
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Wolverine State Brewing Co.

2019 W. Stadium
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Phone: (734) 369-2990
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4pm – midnight;
Fri-Sat noon-1am; Sun noon – 10pm
www.wolverinebeer.com

The Short Course

 Kid-friendly: Somewhat
To avoid wait: Go early for dinner or try lunchtime on the weekends
Noise level: High
Bathroom amenities:  Both men’s and women’s restrooms have changing tables
High chairs? No, just booster seats
Got milk?  No, but they offer water and assorted pop plus kid’s meals come with a mixed berry juice box
Kids’ menu? Yes
Anything healthy for kids? Fresh fruit can be substituted for chips in all kid’s meals
Food allergy concerns? When placing your order at the bar, be sure to inform them of your needs. They do their best to accommodate food allergies and avoid cross-contamination. Everything is made from scratch so they are fully aware of all ingredients and can advise on a case-by-base basis.

Tucked behind Great Lakes Cycling & Fitness, near Big George’s on Stadium, sits Wolverine State Brewing Company. Michigan’s sole all-lager microbrewery, WSBC produces an impressive number of lagers. There are flagship lagers, such as Wolverine Premium, plus India Pale, seasonal, “ferocious”, and rotating lagers.

What about the food, though? And can you take your kids?

Family all by their lonesome

I noticed that ours was the only family dining when we walked into WSBC on a Saturday afternoon. Grab a menu by the door, though, and you’ll see that a kids’ menu is available. Plus, the interior and outdoor patio ooze a casual vibe. We sat inside at one of the wooden tables, near the prominent L-shaped bar with a peek of the brewing equipment in another room.

Then I noticed something else.

My husband’s eyes had a glint. As he scanned the enormous list of lagers above the bar, he looked happier than I’d seen him while dining out with kids in a long time. This was his kind of place.

There are four offerings on the kids’ menu: a peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich, grilled cheese, pulled pork sliders, and a cheese quesadilla. All come with a juice box and kettle chips or fruit for $6. My son, 12, chose the grilled cheese. My daughter, 8, picked the cheese quesadilla.

There are nine handcrafted sandwiches, “Tap Room Favorites” like the Killer Burrito, and a lone salad for adults. My husband selected a half order of nachos ($7) and added pulled pork ($3.50). I had heard good things about the pulled pork, which is cooked low and slow on green cherry and apple wood. I decided on The Cellerman sandwich with turkey, cheddar, guacamole, field greens, tomato and red onion on multigrain ciabatta ($9.50).

WSBC is counter service so we ordered our food and drinks at the bar. Then it was an easy wait, with TVs and music all around, until the food was brought to our table. 

Generous portions

My husband’s half order of nachos was gigantic. “This comes with massive amounts of pulled pork,” he commented. “Delicious smoky BBQ flavor.” He dug into blue corn tortilla chips, cheese, black beans, red onions, cilantro, jalapeños, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and queso fresco. It was definitely satisfying.

My sandwich boasted copious amounts of turkey on crumbly multigrain ciabatta. The melted cheddar on my mountain of meat was a nice touch. The side of kettle chips was tasty and salty.

“I give it a 9 out of 10,” my son declared of his grilled cheese with three melted cheeses on sourdough. There was so much cheese that my son was full after eating two-thirds. My daughter managed a quarter of her likable, gigantic quesadilla, which was served with blue corn tortilla chips and a side of sour cream. In contrast to the big portions of food in the kids’ meals, the juice boxes, at just four ounces, seemed petite.

We left satisfied with boxes of leftovers. WSBC seems a bit of an enigma when it comes to family-friendly dining, though. On the one hand, it offers a kids’ menu and has changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms. On the other hand, no high chairs are available and the atmosphere is decidedly geared towards adult patrons—it is, after all, a brewpub. Still, my husband was the happiest I’d seen him in a long time while eating out with the kids and that definitely makes for a family-friendly meal.