Detroit sports fans are passionate and as loyal as they come (I mean, we stuck around through a 0 win and 16 loss football season once). With that being said, Detroit’s blue collar mentality is often portrayed through our sports teams. The city has shown its dominance in sports in the past, earning such nicknames as “Hockeytown” for the Wings’ unprecedented 11 Stanley Cup championships. By the way, that is the most out any National Hockey League franchise based in the United States (we’ll catch you one day, Montreal and Toronto). Needless to say, we are one of the best sports cities around.
There are no mysteries about us loving our local teams, but one other thing most Detroiters (and Michiganians all over the state, for that matter) love is craft beer. Tailgating, or hitting the bars before catching a game live, is more or less a given if you find yourself headed toward the stadium to root for our beloved athletic units. Another option, though, is visiting a brewery before the game clock starts ticking. There is nothing better than drinking a hand-crafted brew, made right here in the mitten. Fortunately for us, breweries are scattered about Detroit, well within walking distance to the respective stadiums.
While the two stadiums are right next to each other, obviously baseball season is in a hiatus until the spring. However, football season is in full-swing and you can always keep these places in mind come opening pitch in April 2015.
Detroit Beer Co., 1529 Broadway, Detroit, is not even half a mile away from either stadium. It opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays, so you’ll have plenty of time to grab a brew or two before making the short stroll to the game. This brewery has several award-winning ales and lagers to choose from, including the Local 1529 IPA, where the American hops present a sweet malt with grapefruit and citrus flavors. Perhaps you would prefer the Baseball beer, which is a smooth pale ale, dry hopped with Cascade hops. If you want a little pregame snack, the menu includes appetizers, soups and salads, brick oven pizzas and more.
Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield, Detroit, is less than two miles away from both venues. The Bohemian Lager is an original Detroit-style beer, using Noble hops, which is available year-round. The Nut Brown Ale has a toasty nutty character and has several blends of roasted malts blended with American hops, also available year-round. If you’re not a beer drinker, MCBW also makes its own wine, hard cider and hand-crafted sodas. In addition to the beverages, it also does art shows each Wednesday and brewery tours. Keep that in mind on days where you don’t have a sporting event to attend.
What would a hockey game be without beer? Check out these local establishments before the opening face off.
Atwater Brewery, 237 Joseph Campau St., Detroit, is about two miles away from your destination if you’re going to check out the Wings. You may want to plan on having a designated driver for this trip. You’ve probably seen some Atwater brands at many local (or even out of state) establishments, such as the Atwater Dirty Blonde, an American blonde/spiced ale or the Atwater Vanilla Java Porter, an English porter/spiced ale. Other popular products may include the Atwater Purple Gang Pilsner (German Style Pilsner) or the Atwater Grand Circus IPA. While the brewery opened its doors in 1997, the brewing process is more than 200 years old.
Batch Brewing Company, 1400 Porter St., Detroit is less than a mile away from the Joe. Unfortunately, it is not yet open, but it seems like opening day is soon upon us. The 2013 winners of Hatch Detroit have quite a few things brewing (see what I did there?), including the Kelly Ripa, a rye IPA and the Etheriale, a Belgian dark strong ale. Check the Facebook page to keep up.
There aren’t any breweries within walking distance to the Palace, so make sure to have a designated driver or take a cab if you plan on guzzling down a few brewskis before cheering on the Detroit basketball squad. With that being said, these places listed below are not too far away.
51 North Brewing Company, 51 N. Broadway St., Lake Orion, is about a 10 minute drive to your destination via M-24 North. There’s always something going on here at night. Whether it’s family night every Monday, open mic night on Tuesdays, trivia on Wednesdays or a plethora of other specials, you can have fun before or after a Pistons game any day of the week. In terms of beer, you can get the 51 North Beer Flight, which includes six varieties of beer for only $10.42. The Wind Walker Brown Ale was the 2014 World Beer Cup Gold Medal winner for “Best English Style Brown Ale,” so be sure to check that out. You can check out the breweries flagship brews online as well.
Rochester Mills Beer Co., 400 Water St., Rochester, is around a seven mile expedition. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you stop here en route to the game. With a diverse beer selection, Rochester Mills Beer Co., has something for everybody. The Milkshake Stout combines four different malt flavors and is a sweet stout ale. The Rochester Red is a red-colored English Ale with a smooth taste. Lagers, IPAs, pilsners and more are all offered at this brewery. This brewery also has live music every Friday and Saturday and open mic night on Thursdays, so you can come back after the game as well and enjoy that. There is an extensive food menu with appetizers, brewery favorites, pizza and more.
Beer and sports. You don’t need much else on a night out besides good company. Pure Detroit.