Thursday, April 5, 2018

Brews In The Blue

"Local Beer" in the Blue Water Area goes back to the mid 19th century. According to the website Old Breweries the first documented brewery in the region was the J. Stein Brewery which opened for business in 1856.

In the 1901 city directory, there were two breweries listed in the city of Port Huron itself and, save for the years of prohibition, the C. Kern Brewery was in business at 511 River St. brewing it's flagship Cream of Michgan Cream ale as well as Old Dominion and other styles until it closed in 1950.

Over the last couple of decades, tastes have shifted back towards regional flavors and craft workmanship when it comes to sipping a beer and our region has some great options to do just that.

Located in the Riverview Plaza, St Clair's War Water Brewery started making and selling beer in July 2015. Since it's opening the brewery has grown and in 2017 embarked on $5 million expansion in the plaza and in the city.

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Before 2018, War Water did not offer any in house food options but that changed when Anchor Point Bistro opened inside the brewery's location serving things such as flatbreads, subs, wraps and sandwiches that have a huge emphasis on fresh preparation and ingredients.

About a 10 minute drive north of War Water is the Harsens Island Brewery in Marysville. Opened in 2015 in a building that used to be a Wonder Bread/Hostess bakery by Brian Phinney and his father Spencer, the brewery has 8 different on-site brewed beers on tap.

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The Phinney's use regionally sourced products as much as they can for their beer. They also keep that theme with what they name the their brews, Tashmoo Steamer, a California Common is called after steamship which brought visitors to the area from Detroit between 1900 to the mid 30's and the Hump which got its from a popular fishing spot in Lake St, Clair.

Along with some fine beer, Harsens Island has some great food options too with a menu that has tasty appetizers such as their fried mushrooms and huge onion rings, excellent burgers, delicious salmon and a whole lot more.

Oh, and why is the brewery named after Harsens Island but is located in Marysville? The Phinney family owns a house there but found the island to be a bit too small to launch the endeavor. The building the are in is perfect for it.

Less than a 30 minute drive north up Michigan's east coast from Marysville is Lexington. The village of a little over 1,000 people is well known to roadtrippers for it's shops, beaches, harbor and marina but also over the past few years, the beer that the Lexington Brewing Company and Wine House brews has put another new thing for people to check off their listing when visiting Sanilac county. Open seasonally, the brewery got its modest start at the back of the Old Town Hall Winery tasting room. A couple years back, the beers started to become the main attraction for both thisty visitors from out of town as well as the locals.

Along with the mighty roasty stout Molly Malone, some traditional quaffs such as Ludy's Pilsner, the unique Tropicana Ale which is Belgian style ale accented by citrus flavors, the brewery also has a light menu featuring flatbread pizzas, sliders and charcuterie plates.

Weekend during the summer at the Lexington Brewing Company, the place grooves to live jazz, blues, bluegrass, folk and pop classics from a variety of local combos.

Find out more about what the Blue Water Area has to offer when you 
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