Fill ‘em Up, Drink ‘em Down: Growler Bars in Metro Detroit

By: Scott Davis | October 29, 2014

If you’re from Michigan, you most likely either love craft beer or are aware of all of the beer around you. According to Thrillist.com, Michigan ranks fourth out of the 50 states in terms of beer quality and quantity. Simply put, Michigan knows beer and Michigan natives often partake in the old American pastime of drinking beer, obviously. With that being said, Michiganians, Michiganders, Michiganites (or whatever you want to call us) need our fill of brews.

You can literally get your “fill” these days by bringing a growler (a glass, ceramic or plastic container used to transport draft beer) to a bar or brewery and having the bartender fill it up with your favorite IPA, ale, stout, lager or whatever your brew of choice is! It wasn’t too long ago when bars were not allowed to fill growlers, but a rather recent change in legislation now allows for both bars and breweries to fill up your growlers. Thank heaven for that. Listed below are some places where you can do so.

Uptown Grille is located at 3100 E. West Maple in Commerce. Patrons may bring in their favorite growler from a different establishment, or may purchase one at Uptown and continue to fill it there. If you have never been to Uptown Grille, it is a fun place to be with a vibrant dance floor, good food and specials seven days a week. As you probably guessed, the price of the growler fill varies with the beer you choose. The beer selection includes several Michigan-made brews from breweries such as Bell’s, Founder’s, North Peak and more. Plus, other drinks from all around this lovely planet we call Earth.

Liberty Street Brewing Company, fittingly located at 149 W. Liberty St., in Plymouth, fills up 64-ounce growlers. Growlers start at $17 (may be extra for certain beers) and refills are $12. However, if you come in on a Wednesday or Sunday, growlers start at a mere $10! You can bring in your cherished growler or buy one right from Liberty Street Brewing Company. This establishment has a small menu, but also allows you to order food from nearby restaurants. Liberty Street’s beers and ciders are rotated seasonally. Currently on tap are Cherry Cider (made with Michigan Balaton cherries), Emperor Norton (Russian imperial stout) and Liberty Belle Blonde Ale to name a few. Check out the full beer list if you please.

Black Lotus occupies 1 E. 14 Mile Rd., in Clawson. Seasonal house brews on tap include Apricot Wheat and Thai-Pa, a Thai Basil IPA nano brew, among others. There are also several special guest taps from other breweries, and hard ciders. You can also join the Mug Club and enjoy 20-ounce brews for less than the standard price and get other discounts and specials. In addition to topping off your growler to take home with you, Black Lotus often provides live music. World groove/jazz fusion band Zap Toro is a regular performer. It is a quainter and more intimate location than most venues with live entertainment, but there is nothing wrong with that.

Motor City Brewing Works posts up at 470 W. Canfield in Detroit. It has been producing quality hand-crafted beers to Motown since 1994. Since the brewery’s Oktoberfest, a traditional Bavarian-style Marzen beer, is only available until the end of October, you only have a couple more days to get your fill. Don’t worry; there are several other beers to choose from besides Oktoberfest. The Motor City Pale Ale, Bohemian Lager, Honey Porter and more are available year-round. MCBW also makes its own wines, ciders and sodas. In addition to purchasing growlers (yes, you can still bring in your own), there are other cool pieces of merchandise for sale such as t-shirts, pint glasses and even the “Ghettoblaster Volume II” compact disk.

Michigan Beer Growler Company, 31221 Southfield Rd., in Beverly Hills, is the only one on the list that is not yet open as of press time. You can keep up with the Facebook page for details on the official grand opening. It is Oakland County’s first “growler bar” and will offer 32-ounce and 64-ounce growlers for purchase. You can also bring in your own growler to fill. The Michigan Beer Growler Company serves flights and pints of beers so you can sample the different brews and decide which one you may want to take home with you in your growler. If beer isn’t your thing, there are two taps of cider and two taps of craft soda as well. There are 30 beers on tap, with the majority made by Michigan brewers! Be on the lookout for this growler bar to open its doors.

The truth is, Michigan does beer right. All of the aforementioned establishments either brew in-house or offer a wide variety of Michigan-made products. If you love a certain beer and want to take it home with you, a growler is the perfect solution, just don’t drink it while operating a vehicle or walking down the street. We do not condone illegal activities here on the “In the D” website. With that being said, fill up your growlers and drink it gone when you’re home. Cheers!